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Magica Goldens
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Discussion Starter #1
This is making the rounds online so some of you may have seen this already...check out the conditions at the AKC Invitational in Long Beach.

Imagine having assigned crating at the end of the sandbag stream (all competitiors had assigned spaces). Even in good weather tenting in a parking lot would not have been sunshine and roses - but this was awful - I can't even imagine driving days or flying hours (and all that investment of time and money) to spend a weekend in conditions like this. I expected more of AKC on this one....and I feel badly for the exhibitors.


 

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I had heard from a Lhasa exhibitor that at one point people bought some rubber ducks and were having duck races in the water. People spend so much time and money getting there, to be put in awful conditions.
 

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Magica Goldens
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Discussion Starter #4
Can you believe this event is reserved for the top 5 dogs in each breed? This is a huge accomplishment to get there - either by running an unpopular (and maybe not particularly agile breed (how many Leonbergers do you see competing in excellent agility) or being so consistently good (and fast) that you are in the top five - think about how many goldens, border collies, shelties are out there in the Excellent B classes! Either way it's a lot of sweat, tears, money and sacrifice to get there. In years past agility was inside on cheap matting. This year they were on sod (turf) which is more expensive but even in good conditions 7 porta-potties wouldn't be adequate for that crowd.

I don't think anyone in the agility community expected to be treated as royalty - but they expected to have suitable crating and bathroom facilities....I did hear that the footing was actually good in the rings though...

Erica
 

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Magica Goldens
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Discussion Starter #5
I had heard from a Lhasa exhibitor that at one point people bought some rubber ducks and were having duck races in the water. People spend so much time and money getting there, to be put in awful conditions.

THAT'S FUNNY!!! (and sad).
 

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They get it
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Wow, that is terrible. What a bummer for owners and dogs. They travel to the event with high hopes and excitement only to have that kind of reception. I hope it is better for you next time agility folks. Did they make it right like say, refunding a portion of the entry fee?
 

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Magica Goldens
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Discussion Starter #7
Did they make it right like say, refunding a portion of the entry fee?
I don't think AKC knows how to put those words in that order....no - they won't refund entry fees...which in the grand scheme of things are so small.....entries for the weekend were probably around $100 - it's the hotel, the gas, the time off work, the meals, the airfare, etc etc etc that really add up.

Erica
 

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I heard they were promised indoors next year.
 

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Magica Goldens
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Discussion Starter #9
I heard they were promised indoors next year.
It depends - there are people who will go because of the show and the experience...I have to admit if I were to finagle an invitation I'd go if I could afford the expenses - even if I knew those were the conditions I was heading into. I'd try to find a way to work out of the car so my dogs wouldn't be in the tent (yeah I'd drive from VT to CA - I don't fly my dogs)...it did look like all the crates were elevated - since all the platforms looked the same my guess is that they were provided - hard to change horses in the middle of the stream - even for AKC.
Erica
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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Would the AKC care if there was a mass protest of some form from the agility folks? That is outrageous!!!
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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It's unfortunate, but I think a lot of it was just bad luck. Had it not rained (which honestly, it rarely does here in So Cal) the accommodations wouldn't have been nearly as bad. A few more porta potties would've been good, though!

I think a big part of the problem was that since conformation ended up being open to all vs. invite only, it took up gobs more space indoors, which is what forced agility outdoors.
 

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Magica Goldens
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Discussion Starter #13
I think a big part of the problem was that since conformation ended up being open to all vs. invite only, it took up gobs more space indoors, which is what forced agility outdoors.
I know that the tenting situation was published in the premium (people knew what they were signing up for) - and I know that agility takes a lot of space (crating and four 100x100 rings) - and I'm so envious that it rarely rains in So Cal (so jealous!!! probably doesn't get down to 2 degrees either) - it just seems that even if all the stars were aligned with weather that the facilities were not as good as I would have expected for a national event - and perhaps not as good as they should have been (again - national invitational, etc etc).

Erica
 

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I am on an agility board. I have heard from people on that board who were there. They said the AKC could not control the weather no where the water was going to decide to run, but they were ALL over making sure they did all they could for the competitors. I don't know all the ins and outs, but the poster on this board said most people just went with the flow (no pun intended) and other than complained it was raining didn't think it was all that bad. Most had a good time. They said in fact they were glad Animal Planet was not there as it meant things went smoother and they got out of there faster. No AP because of the rain and the expensive equipment.
 

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For several years USDAA nationals has had crating in the same type of tent and the runs are outdoors (I don't remember the bathrooms, but I still had a phobia of port-a-potties when I was there so I probably walked up to the RV :p: ). It's rained and people have been upset with conditions there, mud and such, but when it happens to USDAA, people read it as what it is - unfortunate weird weather. When it happens to AKC, oh my goodness, it's a conformation conspiracy to marginalize agility ...

I was also surprised to see videos of dogs basically refusing to run "because they're wet." Yes, it sucks for your dog's bed to be wet, but everything else (walking through a puddle, getting dripped on, etc) is something that most agility dogs, let alone "champions" as this video seems so fond of emphasizing, regularly encounter and should have no problem with.
 

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...
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From Michael Canalizo

Date: Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 7:18 PM
Subject: [AKCagility] fwd: Message from Michael Canalizo, Director of
AKC Event Management



Received at 12:45pm EST today... (thank you, Michael):

===============================
To all the 2009 AKC Agility Invitational exhibitors:

I am Michael Canalizo the Director of AKC Event Management. I am
the person responsible for the venue provided for your event.

As competitors having achieved a position as one of the top Agility
dogs for the year, I'm sure you were looking forward to a seamless
trip and a great venue in which to compete. It certainly was our
intention to provide just that.

You can't imagine my dismay when the conditions that impacted your
event presented themselves. Most understand that rain in southern
California at this time of year is not significant and indeed the
storms that passed through were record events for the area and season.

I think you all realize the herculean effort that was put forth by
Andy, Carrie, Gail, Doug, Barb, Diane, Mark, Rich, Steve, Pam and
Curt to rectify the situation. The safety of you and your dogs was
their primary concern.

I was kept abreast of the conditions and discussion on/if the need to
cancel the event had to be made. I am humbled by your commitment to
the sport, as I know how uncomfortable as it was for all of you. Many
events we compete in can and do encounter challenges which we all
have been forced to endure at one time or another. I'm sorry the 2009
Agility Invitational had to be one of them.

To the many who shared their thoughts, both positive and negative, I
assure you that your comments were appreciated were integral in the
course of action that was taken.

I know the rings were not impacted to the same extent the crating
area was, and that many great runs were made by you and your amazing
dogs. I received many positive comments that the sod was great to run
on. While watching the finals I felt the excitement of the crowd
and the energy was thrilling with each great dog and handler who
entered the course.

While I can not predict what Mother Nature can or will do...I can
assure you that for the next six years the AKC Agility Invitational
Events which has been one of the cornerstones of the trilogy of the
National Championship Events will be an indoor event. Hopefully you
and your dogs will never be placed in another situation which
resulted in great discomfort and unexpected stress.

To all of you please accept my sincere apology for having ultimately
been the responsible party to have placed you in the position that
you experienced.

With immense sincerity,
Michael Canalizo
 

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Humankind. Be both.
Joined
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7,650 Posts
It's rained and people have been upset with conditions there, mud and such, but when it happens to USDAA, people read it as what it is - unfortunate weird weather. When it happens to AKC, oh my goodness, it's a conformation conspiracy to marginalize agility ...
Haha.... I feel a Best in Show sequel coming on... :p:
 

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Humankind. Be both.
Joined
·
7,650 Posts
Date: Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 7:18 PM
Subject: [AKCagility] fwd: Message from Michael Canalizo, Director of
AKC Event Management



Received at 12:45pm EST today... (thank you, Michael):

===============================
To all the 2009 AKC Agility Invitational exhibitors:

I am Michael Canalizo the Director of AKC Event Management. I am
the person responsible for the venue provided for your event.

As competitors having achieved a position as one of the top Agility
dogs for the year, I'm sure you were looking forward to a seamless
trip and a great venue in which to compete. It certainly was our
intention to provide just that.

You can't imagine my dismay when the conditions that impacted your
event presented themselves. Most understand that rain in southern
California at this time of year is not significant and indeed the
storms that passed through were record events for the area and season.

I think you all realize the herculean effort that was put forth by
Andy, Carrie, Gail, Doug, Barb, Diane, Mark, Rich, Steve, Pam and
Curt to rectify the situation. The safety of you and your dogs was
their primary concern.

I was kept abreast of the conditions and discussion on/if the need to
cancel the event had to be made. I am humbled by your commitment to
the sport, as I know how uncomfortable as it was for all of you. Many
events we compete in can and do encounter challenges which we all
have been forced to endure at one time or another. I'm sorry the 2009
Agility Invitational had to be one of them.

To the many who shared their thoughts, both positive and negative, I
assure you that your comments were appreciated were integral in the
course of action that was taken.

I know the rings were not impacted to the same extent the crating
area was, and that many great runs were made by you and your amazing
dogs. I received many positive comments that the sod was great to run
on. While watching the finals I felt the excitement of the crowd
and the energy was thrilling with each great dog and handler who
entered the course.

While I can not predict what Mother Nature can or will do...I can
assure you that for the next six years the AKC Agility Invitational
Events which has been one of the cornerstones of the trilogy of the
National Championship Events will be an indoor event. Hopefully you
and your dogs will never be placed in another situation which
resulted in great discomfort and unexpected stress.

To all of you please accept my sincere apology for having ultimately
been the responsible party to have placed you in the position that
you experienced.

With immense sincerity,
Michael Canalizo
Good for them for addressing it. Yay, AKC PR team!
 

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Magica Goldens
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1,363 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
For several years USDAA nationals has had crating in the same type of tent and the runs are outdoors (I don't remember the bathrooms, but I still had a phobia of port-a-potties when I was there so I probably walked up to the RV :p: ). It's rained and people have been upset with conditions there, mud and such, but when it happens to USDAA, people read it as what it is - unfortunate weird weather. When it happens to AKC, oh my goodness, it's a conformation conspiracy to marginalize agility ...

I was also surprised to see videos of dogs basically refusing to run "because they're wet." Yes, it sucks for your dog's bed to be wet, but everything else (walking through a puddle, getting dripped on, etc) is something that most agility dogs, let alone "champions" as this video seems so fond of emphasizing, regularly encounter and should have no problem with.
I agree with you on a number of levels - certainly it wasn't a conspiracy as the video suggests - just that while a lot of planning went into the breed side, not a lot of thought was put into the agility side of the game. Whether or not this had anything to do with removing the invitational side of conformation I don't know - how many more breed entries were there over previous years when entries were limited to the top 25 (I think) in each breed? Did those additional entries take up the space that would have been used by 600 agility dogs and the rings? I don't know - I wasn't there. My point is that I would have been disappointed traveling to that event (or a national specialty for that matter) to find that we were setup in a parking lot without drainage. Yes rain happens - but I would be disappointed to play agility in a parking lot at such a "prestigious" event.

Dogs should be able to run in the rain - living in New England they should also be prepared to run in the sleet and the snow. However, I don't enter early spring and late fall trials where the weather is likely to be 40 degrees and rainy. I also choose not to run my dogs in trial when the footing is mucky or slippery - I expect muck and slippery from local clubs that rent a park for their trials. I don't expect a national event to fail to plan for rain.

I don't expect my dogs to have to hang out in a soaking wet crate and I don't expect myself to be damp and wet all day at a show - I'd stay home that weekend or I'd pack up and drive home early. I would not have felt "honored" and appreciated hanging out like a drown rat in a tent in the parking lot.

That the videographer was calling all these dogs "Champions" - that's irrelevant. I don't agree with the dramatic emphasis - but I think it really captured some of the problems with that site and long beach as a location for this event (not to mention all of the anti-dog legislation going on out there).

Erica
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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7,650 Posts
I wonder if people had complained about the footing indoors in previous years? I've heard lots of comments about how nice the sod was and how much "better" it was than before. Maybe that's why agility was moved outdoors? If that's correct, then the move outdoors was to try and make things better for the competitors, and the tented crating area is the only thing that made sense. Then it was just dumb luck that it rained - and rained as hard as it did.

Yeah, I'd have been a little bummed to sit under all that rain, too, but I'd mostly be thrilled to have been invited, and any disappointment about site conditions would disappear as we stepped to the start line. The people I know who were there all had a good time and jokingly call themselves survivors of the Agility Invitational Refugee Camp!
 
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