By MADDIE SUVAK
In 1997 horses and dogs ruled the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field. It was the first year the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) came to Cleveland to host the Grand Prix of Dog Agility in conjunction with the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic, and the tradition continued through 1999. This July USDAA returns to the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field for the Title Mania & All-Around Agility Championships.
This four-day event runs July 4-7 in conjunction with the annual Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic which runs July 4-14. The Title Mania & All-Around Dog Agility Championships is designed to recognize excellence in three categories: versatility, consistency, and accuracy. More than 200 dogs and humans from across the country are expected to compete at this year’s event where they will contend for prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals.
Dog agility is fun for children and adults to watch. Guided only by voice and movement cues from their human partners, the canine athletes compete against the clock, flying over hurdles, weaving between poles, racing through tunnels and bounding onto the see-saw. Obstacles are set according to the dogs’ height and experience level, allowing dogs of all breeds and sizes to compete.
This is a come one, come all free event open to the public. Watch as dogs of all breeds and sizes weave through poles, climb a-frames, jump over hurdles and more! There will be multiple rings of competition set up on the grass polo field and the event schedule is as follows:
Thursday, July 4 (12 – 5 p.m.)
Friday, July 5 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Saturday, July 6 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Sunday, July 7 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
“We are excited to return to the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field,” said Ken Tatsch, USDAA President. “We have competitors coming in from across the country and Cleveland is an ideal, centralized location. We are delighted to continue to share the sport of dog agility with as many people as possible.”
In addition to the competition, USDAA will host an Agility 101 ring on Saturday and Sunday where spectators are welcome to bring well-behaved dogs on leashes and test their dog’s aptitude for agility for a $5 donation per run through; proceeds will benefit the Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village.
Dog agility as a sport traces its roots to Great Britain in the 1970s. It found its way to the United States a decade later with the creation of the United States Dog Agility Association in 1986. The USDAA has continued to advance the fast-growing sport both nationally and internationally, this year hosting regional championships in Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Spain, in addition to the U.S.
The United States Dog Agility Association is the world’s largest, independent canine sports authority, dedicated to promoting the sport of dog agility as a recreational, family sport that fosters responsible pet ownership.
Bits & Leashes Bash benefits Rescue Village
Rescue Village joins the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic to present the Bits & Leashes Bash at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field on Friday, July 5 from 4:30 p.m. until dusk. Attendees enjoy a ringside cocktail party, raffle, silent auction and dinner, all while watching and bidding on the infamous Horse & Hound Relay competition that pairs a show jumping horse and rider with an agility dog and handler for an exciting team race over obstacles against the clock. Proceeds from the Bits & Leashes Bash support Billie’s Barn Program at Rescue Village as well as the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic’s Facilities Fund.
Gold Sponsor $2,850 ($2,610 tax-deductible)
(reserved table for six, 24 raffle tickets, buffet dinner & wine)
Silver Sponsor $1,850 ($1,610 tax-deductible)
(reserved table for six, 16 raffle tickets, buffet dinner & wine)
Bronze Sponsor $850 ($610 tax-deductible)
(reserved table for six, 6 raffle tickets, buffet dinner & wine)
Individual Tickets $75 ($35 tax-deductible)
(includes 1 raffle ticket, buffet dinner & wine)
To purchase tickets visit http://chagrinhunterjumperclassic.org/spectator-fun/ or call 440.338.4819, ext. 50.