2001 North American Dog Agility Championships:
Mankato, Minnesota - September 19 - 23

John Spivey/pawPrints

Breezy in Action

Ch NATCH/V-NATCH Baliwyn's Precious Friend


Only one Beardie qualified to go to the NADAC Championships, Jerry Bergen's Breezy, who is still the only NATCH Beardie. This is the second time Breezy has attended. She also participated in the AKC Championships in 1997, 1998, and 2000.

Jerry Bergen: " Lu, Breezy and I have just returned from Mankato, Minnesota, and the 2001 NADAC Championships. In the six runs at this trial, Breezy and I managed two 5th, two 7th, and two 8th Placements. We were entered in the 16" Veterans division of the Pre Elite Class. In addition to veterans, the Pre Elite Class was composed of junior handlers and handlers who had not yet earned an Elite title on their dog. Receiving the loudest cheers of any of the 200 plus dogs at this trial is our only brag. It occurred at the completion of our fastest, cleanest and most embarrassing run. It was our second run of the trial on one of the fastest courses. The course ended with a tunnel exit aimed at two jumps in a straight line. I yelled "Bye! Bye!" after Breezy entered the tunnel to entice extra speed from her while I started running faster toward the finish line. The sod suddenly slid out from under my foot causing me to belly-flop between the last two jumps. From my prone position with my face in the grass I glimpsed Breezy landing after clearing the first jump. She stopped to stare at her handler in a position she was not used to seeing in the ring. Still lying flat I raised my hand and pointed to the last jump and yelled "Go over!" Breezy turned, trotted to the jump, leaped over it and the finish line. The roar from the crowd was deafening. We were pleased with our performance even though we didn't earn any of the top placements in our class. Breezy at 10 years 8 months of age was the oldest by over a year of any dog in our class. I committed one serious fault in our 4th run when I mistakenly clapped when Breezy was in the weave poles. This unusual action caused Breezy to pop out. I compounded the problem by attempting to reenter Breezy where I thought she had popped out. I realized I entered her in the wrong place when she exited on the wrong side. Now totally frustrated, I continued the course incurring a 20 point fault for failure to complete an obstacle.

NADAC has a very unusual way of running a championship trial. It's one ring with 2 handler/dog teams on the course at the same time - one team starting while the previous team is completing the last quarter of the course. Two judges are in the ring judging different aspects of the course and additional judges are outside the ring to judge nearby contacts. The Elite teams run courses with 30 to 33 obstacles and the Pre Elite run the same courses but only the last 2/3 of the course. The Pre Elite teams are interspersed with the Elite but start the course on the opposite side of the ring. Two timers sit in the ring - one for each starting side. It sounds confusing, but the runs go smoothly and quickly. NADAC has gotten criticism for the way the Championships is run. I, however, found its uniqueness enjoyable. As for the sod-over-concrete floor, it's the handler's responsibility to judge the quality of the footing during the walk-through and run accordingly. I didn't consider the footing and fell on my face - my fault!"

Lu Bergen: "At the Championships they have a ceremony where they hand out all the awards for the NATCH, points, triple Superiors, etc. The NATCH award is wooden with a facsimile of an award certificate on it. The lifetime points award is acrylic. Sharon has a little something to say about every dog getting an award. Makes you feel special."

Breezy Relaxing with her frisbee

NADAC Website (North American Dog Agility Council)

Breezy at the 2001 NADAC Nationals


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