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Ever So Close!

Posted on 12/07/10 15 Comments

Well my last agility event for 2010 has been put to bed. Encore and I had the honour of representing Canada at the American Kennel Club Invitational last weekend. The annual event has 5 of the highest pointed dogs of each breed that competed in the AKC shows each year go head to head in the final showdown. It isn’t necessarily the fastest agility dog of each breed because someone with a moderately fast dog that trials a lot would likely rank higher than a faster dog that doesn’t trial much. However that being said there were a ton of very fast dogs there.

It is a very unique event in that you see only 5 Border Collies plus any that show up as International guests (such as Encore from Canada and two Border Collies from Japan). Definitely a worthwhile event to take in if you love dogs and love high calibre agility being run by dogs of various breeds. Some amazing Australian Cattle dogs, Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Weimaraners, Vizslas, Dobies plus the usual outstanding Shelties, Tervs etc. A really entertaining weekend plus don’t get me started on the shopping. . . wow!

Me catching a few winks on the cold hard steel bleechers (with a few donated coats & pillows to help out)

The footing was great to run on, it was really thick sod that they maintained all weekend (any area that was worn was cut out and replaced). I would say it ranks with the best footing I have run on. The way the event works is that you MUST be consistent. Four opening rounds and the top dogs from each height after four rounds go to the finals.

It was a great show.

Encore was her spectacular self all weekend. She won 2 of the 4 classes, placing 3rd in another and 0.001 second out of first for a second place finish in one other round. She went into the finals in first place. Although there were some fast dogs in the finals (an impressive Labrador Retriever was in 2nd place behind Encore going into the finals) I was confident if we both did our jobs success would follow as it had all weekend.

Alas it was not our turn. I could tell Missy En was a slightly higher than normal but I didn’t take that into account in my handling so she had an off course by the 4th obstacle in the final round. As they say in sport, I guess you can’t win them all and we sure have had more than our share of wins this year.

Fellow Canadians Jess Martin also had a bit of bad luck in round one when a very tight seesaw call put her out of the running. She went on to win all 3 of the remaining rounds but it is an event about consistent excellence, so that one bobble put her out of the finals. Our third Canadian Christine Boisvert also did the country proud with some gorgeous handling earning top ten placements in 2 of the 4 rounds.

Next year the event moves to Florida, I strongly recommend you take it in.  Here are Encore’s 5 runs from the weekends.

Today I am grateful for Encore, such a joy to travel with and almost always puts us in a position to win it all.


  1. Lisa says:
    Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 8:33am

    Had a great time for sure! Amazing to watch those runs in person! Brilliant idea to bring those pillows the last day huh!


  2. Heather says:
    Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 6:54pm

    Incredible Runs, as always!


  3. Wanda says:
    Monday, December 13, 2010 at 9:44pm

    Way to go Susan and Encore………you do us Canadian’s proud


  4. Joanne Rainger says:
    Monday, December 13, 2010 at 5:37am

    Hi Susan you posted a comment on facebook about the song that she always listens to while walking the course. I was just listening to my ipod and I woundered if you would like Thankyou sung by Keith Urban on his defying gravity album.



  5. Angela Maharajh says:
    Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 3:17am

    “Today I am grateful for Encore, such a joy to travel with and almost always puts us in a position to win it all.” What a wonderful thing to be thankful for, thank YOU for posting XOX


  6. S. Weaver says:
    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 1:22pm

    Kong Recipes: The Kong website has several recipes, such as:
    Banana Rama
    Philly Steak
    Fruit Salad
    Aunt Jeannie’s
    Kong on a Rope
    Frozen Jerky Pops
    Simple, Tried & True
    Trixie’s Tried and True

    Here’s the website address: http://www.kongcompany.com/worlds_best.html

    On the website, look for the “tips and advice” tab at the top of the page. Also, here in the U.S., when you buy a Kong, it comes with a little flyer stuffed into it that gives suggestions.


  7. Marion Wehrman says:
    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 12:02pm

    How do you get to the webinars and videos…I do not have any links to go to? I must not be looking in the right places.


  8. Fiona says:
    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 12:22am

    I always enjoy watching your videos Susan, thanks for sharing them.

    When you were recently in NZ, you said that you had some blog posters who had great recipes for stuffing kongs with. Can I ask anyone who has great stuffing ideas to share them.


    • veronica says:
      Friday, December 10, 2010 at 7:22am

      Re stuffing kongs.you can use pretty much anything the dog likes.
      One of my dogs favourites is a mixture of different sized dry kibble + some liverworst and a teaspoon of honey ( to stick it all together in the kong) Then freeze it solid.That way it will last longer and keeps the dog occupied for ages.
      You can vary it by replacing the liverwost with some cooked sausage or minced meat/chicken etc.
      Try and be creative.


  9. Sydney says:
    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 9:54pm

    Thanks for posting the videos so quickly. Also enjoyed the webinar yesterday and seeing your pre run routine. Lots of good stuff to visualize!


  10. Jan DeMello says:
    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 1:36am

    You and Encore were thrilling, chilling and always inspiring to all that watch!


  11. Dee says:
    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 5:21pm

    Thank you for treating us all to a wonderful in-person clinic on “how it’s done”!


  12. Laura says:
    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 10:36am

    It seems like a pretty neat competition with all the different breeds there. Yay Vizslas (thanks for spelling it right!)!!!! Vizsla Austin (who will be 10 in January) placed 3rd overall in the 24″ division.


  13. Shirley Harris says:
    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 11:48pm

    Susan, it was so fun to be able to watch your and Encore’s runs in person. Just breathtaking.


  14. Helen KIng says:
    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 8:47pm

    You and Encore were brilliant! It was amazing to be there in person! You did an incredible job! The other Cnandians were also awesome!
    We had some fun didn’t we.


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