Updated: Jan 22, 2020
The Dream Team Captains this years big event in St Lucie, Florida. Part One of our 10-13 October 2019 Pirate Cluster Spotlight
AKC Pirate Cluster, St Lucie, Florida
(extended photo feature at end of article)
We returned to St. Lucie County Fair, FL for the 2019 Pirate Cluster hosted by the Treasure Coast Kennel Club (TCKC). Only in its second year, the "Pirate Cluster" has grown to be one of the South East most popular events and this year Christine Segedin returned as the cluster host with a “dream team” of only six to manage over a hundred volunteers, dozens of vendors and multiple organizations required for such a combined show of this sort.
The reason and the motivation
I like to see people happy... and see them grow and form that bond with their dog that grows by doing these sports. - Christine Segedin
The TCKC has existed over 40 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.
The Pirate Cluster is made up of much more...
Hundreds of dogs descended on St. Lucie Fairground for the Multiple Events
The big event at this year’s cluster was the AKC Agility trial that filled the massive covered pavilion of the fairgrounds. Hundreds of dogs traveled from all over to compete in the three-day competition.
This game was the first seriously introduced as part of the American Kennel Clubs sanctioned activities in 1994. Now featured at trials around the country and on national television, the game has become synonymies with the term dog sports.
The AKC emphasizes the value of "principles of sportsmanship" in dog agility and the Treasure Coast Kennel Club (TCKC) exemplifies that with the friendly and welcoming atmosphere at the show. The volunteers across the event must have been quite exhausted by the final day, but still smiling and a sense of a joyful teamwork was striking after so many months, weeks and now intense days of hard work.
The TCKC 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 toolbox of tunnels, weave poles, tire jumps, seesaws, and pause tables where the dog must stop for a set amount of time.
Assess your dog’s temperament to be sure he’s right for Agility: Is he highly energetic? Does he enjoy running and responding to instruction? Does he get along well with other dogs? If so, agility could be a great fit. - AKC
But your dog isn’t purebred?
Mixed breeds were welcome too, and usually are at todays AKC’s events. Always check ahead for specific details.
AKC Agility requires flexibility and mobility of both dog and handler. It should be noted though that at last years AKC Invitational in Orlando, one team handler competed on a Segue" mobile cart, so the organization is flexible and will make effort to accommodate those with restrictions where they can.
Be as involved as you wish.
We met county fireman and USN veteran Shawn Smith at this years Pirate Cluster Agility rings in hist first show as a provisional judge. Shawn started agility over ten years ago with his wife and their dogs.
"it gives you a respect for life" Shawn Smith
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the organizations linked or at end of article if you are a 1st responder or military veteran and have specific questions.
I will do my best to direct you to the best sources to answer or answer those I can.
It may be a surprise to learn that this massive undertaking did not come from a massive organization or of any great wealth or influence. A small dog club on the Atlantic coast of Florida just decided they wanted to do it and they did.
In only it's second year the TCKC "Dream Team" pulled off one of the states most successful and largest combined dog sports events and did it smiling all the way.
With such a strong culture of positive attitudes and family like bonds, the Treasure Coast Kennel Club represents what is so very special about our dog loving community in the Sunshine State.
Stay tuned for Pirate Cluster Spotlight on this years Farm Dog, Barn Hunt, Fast CAT and Dock Dogs coming this week ahead on Bad Azz Dogz!
** Photo-Feature **
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AKC Pirate Cluster 10-13 October 2019
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