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Two Agility Trials In One

Chapter 1, Section 2 of the revised AKC agility rules, adopted January 1, 2010, states An AKC-recognized specialty club may offer a single breed specialty agility trial in conjunction with another club’s all-breed trial, sharing the same date, show site, equipment and judges. Specialty trial participants shall be excluded from competing in the adjoining all-breed trial. Both agility trials may be run together; however, each club is required to maintain separate event records.

English Setters took advantage of this provision in the agility rules at our National Specialty, held in November 2012, to have an agility trial for English Setters Only co-located with an All-Breed agility trial. Offering Time To Beat and all levels of Standard and Jumpers With Weaves on Saturday and just Standard and JWW on Sunday, we had 39 runs on Saturday and 27 runs on Sunday.

Fixed Expenses added up to more than $8,000, including rent for the venue, rent for the equipment, rent for the truck to move the equipment, the judge, the trial secretary, ribbons, trophies, and AKC application and recording fees. If we had had only English Setters in the trial, the cost per run would have been over $120. If we had only been able to use income from English Setter entries, ESAA would have lost about $6,500 on the trial. How many specialty or parent clubs would be willing to sustain that kind of loss in order to offer agility at their National or regional specialty?

The all-breed trials came to the rescue. By having the all-breed trials, we were able to break even. With a more favorable date, we might have made a healthy profit.

We chose to have the English Setters Only trials in conjunction with all-breed trials, rather than simply host an all-breed trial that English Setters could enter, so that English Setters could compete only with each other for class placements. This meant that every English Setter with a qualifying run got a placement and a trophy. Cost of holding two trials for English Setters only in addition to the All-Breed trials, $200 in additional application fees; the joy of English Setters placing at their National Agility Trial: priceless.

The trial secretary set up two catalogs, one for English Setters and the other for all breeds. The other breeds ran the courses at each jump height first and their scores were recorded, and then all the English Setters in their various jump heights ran the courses, and their scores were recorded in their catalog. The spotlight was on English Setters while everyone cheered us on.

This format might benefit other parent or specialty clubs whose participation in agility might be so small that an agility trial for that breed only would be unaffordable. Another club must lend their name as sponsor to the all-breed trials, since AKC will not allow the specialty club to sponsor two trials the same day.

Setting up the premium under this format was a challenge. You can look at our premium at www.esaanational.com under Agility Trials. Our trial secretary checked all the ins and outs of how to do this, and she might be available to work your trial. Our judge and AKC were very helpful and supportive. We encourage you to try it; you just might like it.

 
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