Page 24 - The Sample Voice 02-13

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24
THE AGILITY VOICE | JULY 2012
FCI World
Championships
Qualifying Event
Held in Coventry on 28th May
2012 and judged by Tony Griffin
It doesn
t attract many spectators
but I really love attending this
event. Those people who enter
really feel passionately about
representing their country in the
most prestigious international agility
event of the year none more so
than those who competed there the
previous year. The FCI bug bites
hard and doesn
t let go, it seems,
for most handlers, and the tension is
palpable.
Before I show you the course plans
together with a brief overview of the
thrills and spills, let
s talk about
whether or not this is the correct way
to choose our World Champs Team
GB. For example, should results
throughout the agility year gain points
for those entering the qualifier? Most
if not all - of those trying out
compete regularly at KC shows so
perhaps wins in G7 classes and
Champ should be part of a
competitor
s
CV
of agility
achievements. I know there are
arguments such as it
s easier to gain
points north of the Watford Gap
because there are fewer dogs in a
class but honestly, if competitors want
to boost their points that much, they
will travel. Or perhaps
the
management
will take that into
consideration.
Team Manager Graham Partridge
commented to me that this approach
is difficult because the Kennel Club
doesn
t record wins on a database
.
In the experience of The Agility Club,
we don
t have a problem with policing
our Annual Awards (competitors are
free to enter their results on trust)
because those at the top of each
league keep an eagle eye on each
other and know if results have been
entered erroneously, believe me!
Having said that, isn
t it about time the
KC DID keep a record of results?
Surely, with its big IT department, it
can work out how to do that? At the
moment, if you want to check whether
dogs have won enough CCs to make
Agility Champion, the KC has to
manually visit each dog
s record.
Surely it would be easy enough to
input
even into a spreadsheet
the
results of each Champ final as they
come in and to publish historical
results on the KC website?
I also believe, as I mentioned last year,
that handlers who have already
qualified in previous years for the
Squad should have points for that,
too. It seems mad to me that
everyone has to start on a level playing
field every year, despite the invaluable
experience gained by the likes of
Nicola Garrett, Greg Derrett, Natasha
Wise in particular. I mean, why was
Natasha even trying out again? Her
place in the team should have been
assured just based on points gained
through the year. She and Dizzy are
in a different league. Anyway, I
digress
.
No Anthony Clarke
despite him and
Gas being probably the most
consistently successful Large
partnership on the circuit right now.
Tracy Flower and Barbie - did so well
at the Worlds last year but that
counted for nothing.
Yes, it would give certain dogs an
advantage going in to the qualifying
day
but an advantage that they
would have had to work hard to earn.
Many of the dogs trying out, in all
height categories, come nowhere, on
a regular basis, but they could have
ended up on the squad because of a
couple of fluke off days of the top
competitors. (Am not saying that is
what happened, before anyone writes
in!)
Do we want to come home with Gold
from the Worlds? If we don
t, then
why do we bother? So let
s make sure
we really have the dogs and handlers
with the best chance of bringing it
home. Having said that, I would like
to stress that the existing system has
this year, and in previous years,
produced 3 very strong teams. All the
Large dog handlers have World
Champs experience except Laura
Chudleigh, but she
s won Olympia so
used to the big occasion so they may
well have qualified under
my
new
revised system anyway. The same can
equally be said for the Mediums. The
Smalls will gain valuable experience
this year which, in my opinion, should
be taken into consideration for next
year
s try-outs.
The role of international squad
manager is up for grabs at the moment
might be one manager for both the
EO and WCs, or one for each. It
always concerns me that, choosing
someone from within our sport to
manage their friends and fellow
competitors means that their need to
be liked overshadows their ability to
make tough decisions that will upset
some people, but whilst our sport
maintains its amateur status, we can
t
afford someone from outside.
When you have a sudden death day
event like we do now, it
s very difficult
for the management to choose
someone outside of the top 4 (or
however many) when they have
gained fewer points on the day, even
if they are believed to have a better
chance than someone who did get
more points on the day. However, a
points system that rewards people for
consistency and success throughout
the year and international experience
It seems mad to me
that everyone has to
start on a level playing
field every year...