The significance of the International Sweepstakes Class (ISC) changes at certain jump heights. In the 14”, 18”, and 26” classes, a spot on the European Open team is up for grabs. The top dog at each spot secures a spot on the team, if they have not already been selected after last December’s tryouts. If the top dog had already made the team, it can go to the second, then third place spot, before it returns to coach Anne Braue’s selection. On the flip side, a winning run at a non-International height does not count for any titling and the payouts are small due to fewer entries. The ISC course, intended to reflect designs seen at FCI trials abroad, proved to be a very challenging with few clear rounds. Many of the ribbons and cash payments were awarded to dogs with faults.
4” Preferred Jump Height
No dogs were entered in this jump height.
Only three 8” dogs were entered in the ISC class this year. Of the three, only Pembroke Welsh Corgi Zip and Debbie McGee finished with a clean run. Cavalier King Charles spaniel Jasmine and Shari Lemke incurred a refusal, while papillon Dazzle and Lee Kusek had multiple faults.
- 1st – Zip – Pembroke Welsh Corgi – Debbie McGee – 47.016
- 2nd – Jasmine – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Shari Lemke – 58.87 (not clear)
- 3rd – Dazzle – Papillon – Lee Kusek – 48.865 (not clear)
The 8” Preferred class also had only three dogs entered this year, all seasoned shelties. Kaboo and Jennifer Crank won the class with a time of 39.246, four seconds ahead of former NAC and PNAC Rock-It and Barb Davis. Spec and Jean Lavalley rounded out the class, having posted the fastest time but incurring faults.
- 1st – Kaboo – Sheltie – Jennifer Crank – 39.246
- 2nd – Rock-It – Sheltie – Barb Davis – 44.352
- 3rd – Spec – Sheltie – Jean Lavalley – 38.072 (not clear)
The 12” Regular class had a mere four competitors, as most 12” dogs opting to run the ISC course selected the 14” jump height where they could vie for a spot on the European Open team. None of the four competitors were able to put up a clear round, but placements and cash winnings were allotted to those who were not eliminated. The placements were based on number of faults, and then time.
- 1st – Marie – Sheltie – Judy Akins – 44.192 (not clear)
- 2nd – Lane – Sheltie – Catherine Angel – 41.223 (not clear)
- 3rd – Jaeger – Miniature Schnauzer – John Rowe – 42.338 (not clear)
- 4th – Shani – All American – Valerie Dietz – 54.094 (not clear)
The 12” Preferred class had two dogs entered—an all-American, Gimmick, and a sheltie, Indy. Although their times were close, Gimmick and his handler Dena Brown had a clear round, winning this height.
- 1st – Gimmick – All-American – Dena Brown – 50.540
- 2nd – Indy – Sheltie – Kimberly Line-Berget – 50.081 (not clear)
The 14” jump height was the first large group running in ISC, with the winner of this class earning a spot on the 2016 European Open small dog team. Only 3 of 31 competitors ran clean, demonstrating the relative difficulty of the course. Sheltie Elsie and Mike Padgett won the class and will secure a spot on the European Open team. Elsie and Mike were selected to the 2016 IFCS team earlier this year, and Mike and his wife, Jan, are the USA Team managers for the WAO this year. Poodle Armand and Beth Lawrence took second place. The final clean run of this jump height was poodle Dakota and Dave Pappone, who won a spot on the European Open team on the first day of tryouts. Defending NAC champion Skecher and Barb Davis posted the fastest time of the class but had a fault, ultimately placing fourth. Skecher and Barb were selected to the 2016 EO team in December.
- 1st – Elsie – Sheltie – Mike Padgett – 37.977
- 2nd – Armand – Poodle – Beth Lawrence – 39.205
- 3rd – Dakota – Poodle – Dave Pappone – 39.892
- 4th – Skecher – Sheltie – Barb Davis – 35.268 (not clear)
The 16” jump height was also small, due to many dogs in this jump height electing to enter the 18” jump height for a shot at making the Medium team. Like the 14” jump height, there were three clear runs at this height. Kist, a border collie owned by Holly Bourne and being run at NAC by Laura Pryse, showed their teamwork with a clear round and time 1.5 seconds faster than the second place winner, border collie Ici and Lori Pope. Rounding out the ribbons were two shelties: Lina and Bonnie Opal, and Cheer and Jean Lavalley.
- 1st – Kist – Border Collie – Laura Pryse – 35.674
- 2nd – Ici – Border Collie – Lori Pope – 37.210
- 3rd – Lina – Sheltie – Bonnie Opal – 40.902
- 4th – Cheer – Sheltie – Jean Lavalley – 38.514
Like 12” Preferred, the 16” Preferred class had two dogs entered – an all-American, Hype, and a border collie, Zanie. Hype posted a clear round, securing the win.
- 1st – Hype – All-American – JuliAnna Munden – 40.383
- 2nd – Zanie – Border Collie – Mike Kriegel – 48.608 (not clear)
Like the 14” jump height, the 18” class featured several teams looking to secure the last spot on the European Open medium team. The 18” dogs fared better than most jump heights, with 10 teams running clean. The winner, sheltie Skittles and Graham Logen, earned that EO team spot. Sheltie Michael and Maureen Waldron, a 2014 and 2015 AWC team member, took 2nd place. Rounding out the top 4 were miniature American shepherd Trudi and Chip Gerfen and sheltie Lucky and Linda Mecklenburg. Also finishing in the top eight were: sheltie Kora and Denise Kilpatrick, all-American Dynamite and Shenna Lemche, sheltie Cruzer and Diane Patterson, and Australian shepherd Lilac and Neno Pessoa. None of the top eight finishers entered the competition as a team member for this year’s team, although several have previously competed on the international stage.
- 1st – Skittles – Sheltie – Graham Logen – 35.630
- 2nd – Michael – Sheltie – Maureen Waldron – 36.308
- 3rd – Trudi – Miniature American Shepherd – Chip Gerfen – 36.458
- 4th – Lucky – Sheltie – Linda Mecklenburg – 36.653
Although the 20” division did not offer a spot on the EO team, several current team members ran in this height. The top two finishers at this jump height, Australian shepherd Boca and Dave Grubel, and border collie Tonic and Jennifer Denereaz, have international experience in other venues. Boca and Dave have been medalists at the IFCS world championship in years past, and Tonic and Jen will representing Team USA at this year’s World Agility Open in the 26” division. Border collies Scopey and Linda Mecklenburg and Pie and Team USA AWC coach Nancy Gyes finished out the ribbons with third and fourth places, respectively.
- 1st – Boca – Australian Shepherd – Dave Grubel – 33.245
- 2nd – Tonic – Border Collie – Jennifer Denereaz – 33.965
- 3rd – Scopey – Border Collie – Linda Mecklenburg – 34.949
- 4th – Pie – Border Collie – Nancy Gyes – 35.237
There was only one entry in the 20” Preferred division, defending PNAC champion Rice, a Labrador Retriever, and his handler Sarah Baker. Although Rice did not run clean, he was not eliminated and therefore earned a ribbon and cash payout.
- 1st – Rice – Labrador Retriever – Sarah Baker – 39.996 (not clear)
Similar to the 12” and 16” jump heights, the 24” division had few entries. There was only one clear round at this jump height, from poodle Sky and Stephen Estrop, who also posted the fastest time. Finishing out the placements were German shepherd Inara and Ken Wallace, border collie Robber and Kaitlyn Dreese, and vizsla Dulce and Laurence Laudicina.
- 1st – Sky – Poodle – Stephen Estrop – 38.682
- 2nd – Inara – German Shepherd – Ken Wallace – 42.704 (not clear)
- 3rd – Robber – Border Collie – Kaitlyn Dreese – 40.078 (not clear)
- 4th – Dulce – Vizsla – Laurence Laudicina (not clear)
The 26” jump height had the largest number of entries, with competitors looking to capture the final spot on the European Open large Dog team. 11 of the 37 runs were clean. Early in the jump height, border collie Caper and Melissa Henning put down a blistering fast and flawless run, with a time of 32.997 to take over first place, and no one was able to beat their time. Melissa had already been selected for the 2016 EO team with her other border collie, Relay (a 2014 EO team member) back in December, so will now be competing in France with two dogs. The next closest clear round was border collie Ninja and Christine Leslie, over a second behind Caper with a time of 34.209. Border collies Mako and Kristie Moser and Will and Naci Berkoz were right on Ninja’s heels. Rounding out the top eight were more border collies: Puma and Melanie Rock, Brew and Laura Jones, Phil Harris and Kaitlyn Dreese, and Flex and Barb Davis.
- 1st – Caper – Border Collie – Melissa Henning – 32.997
- 2nd – Ninja – Border Collie – Christine Leslie – 34.209
- 3rd – Mako – Border Collie – Kristie Moser – 34.255
- 4th – Will – Border Collie – Naci Berkoz – 34.603