Franklin County Fairgrounds hosting regional dog agility competition

Elsie, a border collie, bounds over a jump guided by Lawrence Kelly during the United States Dog Agility Association’s (USDAA) Dog Agility Trial at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield in 2018.

Elsie, a border collie, bounds over a jump guided by Lawrence Kelly during the United States Dog Agility Association’s (USDAA) Dog Agility Trial at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield in 2018. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Australian cattle dog Kora runs through a series of jumps during the United States Dog Agility Association’s (USDAA) Dog Agility Trial at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield in 2018.

Australian cattle dog Kora runs through a series of jumps during the United States Dog Agility Association’s (USDAA) Dog Agility Trial at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield in 2018. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Report

Published: 04-15-2024 1:39 PM

GREENFIELD — Hundreds of canines and their handlers will compete at the Franklin County Fairgrounds on April 26 through April 28, vying for top honors in the United States Dog Agility Association’s (USDAA) New England Regional Championship.

Organized by the Playing Agility With Style (PAWS) club, the New England Regional Championship is one stop on the USDAA’s national 2024 tournament series. The culminating championship, Cynosport Dog Agility World Games, will take place in Tucson, Arizona, in November.

PAWS is supported by several New England dog agility clubs, including Northern Magic Agility Dogs, Riverside Canine Center, New England Agility Team, Canine Agility Training Society and Data Driven Agility. The clubs hold dozens of indoor and outdoor trials each year with competitors in the New England area.

“The New England regional championship has been a core competition on the USDAA calendar, identifying the sport’s top qualifiers in the region who will advance to the year-end championships,” Ken Tatsch, USDAA president and founder, said in a statement. “The USDAA is the original American agility organization, having introduced the sport in the United States in the mid-1980s. Several New England dog agility competitors have been the foundation of the USDAA and are recognized in our Hall of Fame as pioneers of the sport.”

Dog agility showcases talented dogs performing against the clock over hurdles and A-frames, as well as through tunnels, hanging tires, weave poles and the seesaw. The objective is to score the fastest time with the least penalties. Dogs of all breeds and sizes compete in various classes where obstacles are set based on the height and experience of the dog. USDAA hosts 11 regional championships throughout the year.

Admission to the New England Regional Championship is free for spectators. The competition begins at 9 a.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and will continue through the late afternoon each day. Pets must be on a leash and kept away from the dogs in competition and away from the rings.

For more information on the event or to find out how to get involved in dog agility locally, visit tinyurl.com/566ac6c2 or tinyurl.com/2p9f5tjp.

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