What a cluster!
Updated: Feb 14, 2019
The Treasure Coast Kennel Club hosts one fun Cluster in St. Lucie, FL..
Off to St. Lucie, Florida and the 2018 Treasure Coast Pirate Cluster...
The three-day event at St Lucie County Fair (North of Palm City, FL) combined several groups to host competitions in Agility, Precision Lure Coursing, Dock Diving, Barn Hunt and Frisbee Dogs. It was quite an expansion from previously hosted events of the Treasure Coast Kennel Club (TCKC) and the credit goes to Christine Segedin for coordinating this complicated event with several organizations and the venue.
We spent Sunday at the event, and it was a very busy day indeed. With an indoor AKC Agility competition on two separate arenas. The area was buzzing with these Bad Azz Dogz ready to run the courses. There was a lot of bustling, and lot of wagging tails and smiles as competitors from near and far ran with their dogs, but also met old friends and made new ones.
The “Cluster” has become a popular multi-event Dog Show across the USA, and there are growing number of these large events.
The TCKC has existed over 25 years in Fort Pierce and handled the AKC Agility event as one of their specialties. The training club provides both a social experience for area dog owners, but training, and competition for Agility, Rally, Obedience and Conformation AKC sanctioned events. With such an expansive event, Christian was helped by TCKC Slim Barker helped guide vendors (and visiting reporters) and allow them to provide the best services to the excited attendees.
Capturing the memory for you..
Pix n’ Pages was there from sunrise to sunset every day of the event to capture the competitors images for those wanting to save the memory in photograph. With literally thousands of pictures, Nikki and the gang have them available now here. Though most pictures are by pre-request, Nikki and the gang took hundreds of the three days and worth checking out to see if you and your Bad Azz Dog were one of them.
Barn Hunt uses real rats!The event included more than one of the indoor buildings with Tailwaggers Learning Center hosting the Barn Hunt in a nearby building. Fair to say, it was a good choice as they had the air-conditioning too. In Barn Hunt, (like scent work) the teams have a course to navigate and accurately alert when the hidden targets are correctly identified. Note: Unlike most Dog Sports, Barn Hunt is a great alternative and rewarding competition for those with mobility challenges.
“Rat Catchers” have been critical in the history of mankind. Both protecting humans and livestock from disease in both rural and urban settings. However, the rats in this case are carefully protected in shielded tubes and as loved by their owner as the dogs.
Barn Hunt tests the nose, speed, agility, and surefootedness of dogs that have a history of above-ground vermin hunting,” - Robin Nuttall, founder of the Barn Hunt Association
With categories to reflect and include teams of every skill level, Barn Hunt also incorporates various “games” to provide a challenge and entertainment to handler and dog alike. Tailwaggers Learning Center hosted this part of the Cluster and was so popular it was the last to finish late on Sunday. The club started in 1994 and has 80+ regular members and almost ten times as many online on Facebook. Based West Palm Beach, with classes and events in Agility and Obedience, and obviously Barn Hunt too. was so popu
On Target with Precision CoursingOff to the outdoor events where things really heated up. Literally as the Fall weather in Florida takes a while to decide it isn’t mid-Summer still. Approaching the Swiftpaws event we saw an odd maze of low fences while looking for the Lure Coursing competition and were surprised to find that this was it.
Precision Coursing differs from Fast Cat or more traditional field Lure Coursing. It involves a tightly weaving maze of a course and lure rig with sharp turns and runways. It is a timed event, but interestingly unique. The fully customizable course can be as large or as small as you have room for. This means, if you have a decent sized yard? You can actually set this up at home, and Swiftpaws Founder Mehgan Wolfman eagerly confirmed that as one of their growing markets at Swift Paws who hosted this segment of the event.
swiftpaws® is a health and lifestyle product for pets. It’s all about their enrichment and well-being. Pet owners, industry professionals, and most importantly the animals themselves LOVE - swiftpaws.
Though the unconventional course alarmed a few more used to older formats, the dogs just loved it. We watched several Bad Azz Dogz run the course. None of which had ever seen it before, and without an exception, they had the best time ever! With a single operator and no need to run with your pup, but you DO need to catch them at the end. Note: We met SwiftPaws again this week at the Weiner Dog races in Maitland and even the Wiener dogs loved it too.
Ultimate Air Time
Ultimate Air Dogs (UAD) est. 2005 - had responsibility for the flying Dock Diving Dogs pool. Their portable pool stayed busy across every day with both veterans qualifying for further events to newcomers taking their first plunge. Cathy and Milt Wilcox run UAD with a lot of love and personal passion for the sport and the dogs themselves. Based in Jacksonville, FL and Greenville, MI
“ We... make every competitor feel welcome! The philosophy of UAD is all about “family”. – UAD
The forty-four-foot mobile dock traveled and setup outside the main Agility arena and with several tents for vendors and organizers, there was constant traffic to compete for the wide range of ribbons intended to reward all in this light hearted and popular league.
UAD has clubs and events in most of the lower 48 in US and an active calendar of events. If you haven’t had a “splash” yet? Look for one near you.
Up, Up, and UpDog AwayWe just cannot seem to avoid running into UpDog Challenge everywhere we go these days, and it’s always like meeting old friends again. So we eagerly padded over to the largest single event area of the day where the Disc Dog competition was in full swing.
“Our events are all about fun. Every team at every level can enjoy competing and earning achievements.” – UpDog Challenge
We made it in time for the “Freetstyle” competition. This is the pinnacle of the combined skills and experience gained in the wide variety of challenges UpDog classifies in fun games with points and rewards to are really encouraging and help guide you along the way.
With games like “7 Up”, “Far Out” and “Frizgility” this league is truly entertaining as it is active. The age range of kids in this Disc Dog competition is always wonderful too. Achievements show the same creativity and range from “Throw and "Go Sharpshooter” to “High Roller”. This international organization hosts these fun events across the USA and with clubs to get you going, make sure to check out the “more info” at end of page.
Note: We have a special feature on UpDog Challenge here!
The Classic MovesThe Agility event was clearly the star of the Pirate Cluster. With a packed house, the Treasure Cost Kennel Club (TCKC) managed a huge field of teams from across the country, with the full range of categories and challenges for these Bad Azz Dogz.
The TCKC represents the core of the AKC “Code of Sportmanship”
“The sport of purebred dog competitive events dates prior to 1884, the year of AKC's birth. Shared values of those involved in the sport include principles of sportsmanship” – AKC
This explains the long success and huge gathering they hosted. It also helps that they put together such a successful event. The specific responsibility for Agility was in good hands. The club handles Agility Course Tests (ACT) that first introduce you to the sport through qualifiers that can lead to the national championship. The courses change with the skill level and included between 8-12 obstacle challenges from the tool box of tunnels, weave poles, tire jumps, seesaws, and pause tables where the dog must stop for a set amount of time. But your dog isn’t purebred? No Problem! Mixed breeds were welcome too, and usually are at todays AKC’s events. Always check ahead for specific details. More Information:
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