The FCI Agility World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic lived up to our expectations. The atmosphere amongst the supporters and competitors was fantastic. The standard of the agility courses was very high; they were technically challenging and yet exciting to watch. And of course the standard of competition was incredible. Much like the European Open the handling seen amongst the top teams was precise, fast and well practiced.
Agility at this level gets faster and more exciting each year. The top dogs are now regularly reaching speeds exceeding 6 metres per seconds (MPS). To put this in context when I first started looking at dog speeds we were aiming at 5.6 MPS for the same group of dogs. That’s a 12% increase in speed in four years. Obviously there are many factors that effect the speed including course design, the surface, jump heights etc.. however dogs and handlers continue to achieve faster times.
Unfortunately we didn’t win any medals this year. Which obviously we were disappointed about; I felt we were strong contenders for at least two medal positions. Our results didn’t reflected our performance. Many team members exceeded expectations, some pulled out a few surprises and others showed potential for the future.
Overall as a team I felt we were well prepared and knew what to expect. I think what caught us out was the raw power and speed of many of the dogs and handlers. This didn’t phase us, but it did make us push for every drop of energy and speed we could find.
So what next? Well the Coaching Team re-group later this month to plan our 2018 activities and how we are going to get our dogs quicker. Follow Mark Laker’s blog here: http://marklaker.blogspot.co.uk/