2016 AKC NAC Preferred 20″ Preview: The 50/50 Split

The 20″ Preferred height division is a complex group when it comes to determining who has the upper hand.  In the past six years of the AKC National Agility Championships, this height has an even 50/50 split between champions that are border collies and champions that are other breeds.

Rice photo credit: GreatDane Photos
photo credit: GreatDane Photos
Last year, Sarah Baker and labrador retriever Rice won this class, one of two labs to ever become the 20″ Preferred champion (the other being Henry handled by Dennis Butler in 2013).  Just a year earlier, the 2014 champion was Oliver, a border collie handled by Ira Dauer; that was their second time claiming the prestigious title, the first time being in 2012.

The 2015 Bad Dog Agility Preferred Power 60 illustrates the difficulty of determining the top contenders for this year.  Only 3 of the top 12 20″ dogs in the Power 60 are border collies (Tricki Woo handled by Tammy Langer, Paint handled by Catherine Laria, and Kandu handled by Katie Steiner) but together they occupy the top 3 spots.

Whether this year’s winner is a border collie or not, the 20″ Preferred class features several capable teams with a great chance to win it all.

Kama Rueschenberg

Kama Rueschenberg

An English major, USDAA judge, and trainer at Club-Doggie, Kama has a strong interest in animal behavior and cognition. She is a high-level competitor with multiple placements in regional and national finals. She also created the Arizona Animal Actors Talent Agency which has provided many animals for print and national commercials.