The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Dog agility trials back this weekend

 

File photo: Tony Bullocks

Curry County's "dog agility trials" have been held each year since 2009 and involve tasks like weaving through stationary poles. Border collies are most popular, but hundreds of dogs and a variety of breeds are expected to compete at the trials this weekend, said an event organizer.

CLOVIS — Get along, little doggies.

That's a cheer you might hear this weekend during the Stars and Stripes Dog Agility Trials, in which hundreds of pooches from across the state and region will compete at the Curry County Events Center.

It's free for spectators, but pets not entered to compete will need to stay at home.

The events consist of agility courses across several classes, starting with the most accomplished dogs at 8 a.m. each morning, Friday through Sunday, and ending around 4 p.m. each day after the novice pups have their moment.

The event has run in Clovis since 2009, said the secretary of the Clovis/Portales Kennel Club. In that time, the conference of canine champions has developed enough of a standing to draw a spread of participants.

"We have dogs coming from all over New Mexico, Texas, we even have some from Colorado," said Jaqque Johnson. "We get dogs from quite a ways around the area. We have a really good trial so everyone wants to come."

Johnson said she expects up to 150 dogs per day, each trying to meet qualifying times and scores in events involving jumps, weaves and tunnels, among other challenges. In addition to facing off with their colleagues, the goal for many of the dogs is to advance through classes and eventually earn a "master" designation.

One can imagine what a sweet appellation that might be to an animal accustomed lately to sitting by the heels of mankind. Remember: Every dog has its day.

The most common champions are border collies and golden retrievers, Johnson said, but in recent years competition has been opened to mixed-breed dogs. She is entering a Boston terrier, and a mixed-breed she has trained for about nine years.

 

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