Updated: Nov 13, 2019
The Fast CAT team at the 2019 WVKC Dog Show brought the A Game
Fast CAT at 2019 WVKC Dog Show, Deland, Florida
(full photo feature at end of article)
The 2019 West Volusia Kennel Club Dog Show had thousands of dogs looking their prettiest on the inside arenas, but outside is where they got to show their need for speed. The team of Mark and Maria Avellino brought their team from Dog Sports Unlimited to run this years Fast CAT event at the cluster event in Deland and provided three days of exiting races that ran like clockwork.
When I first met Mark Avellino he was operating the lure far a Fast CAT event over a year ago. He was new to running an event and under a lot of pressure to get it right. A year later Mark and his wife are now running the hottest FAST Cat operation in the country at Dog Sports Unlimited and together with the great team they gathered, ran one of the smoothest events we have seen with great success at the years 3 day West Volusia Kennel Club Dog Show in Deland, FL.
Taking Florida Fast CAT to the Next Level
Dog Sports Unlimited
Maria Avellino and her husband Mark own and operate Dog Sports Unlimited and provided this years Fast CAT for the WVKC Dog Show and really set a new bar for these events.
Everything from the shining new equipment, the friendly team wrangling, registering and guiding competitors and confidence in which the operation ran were about as good as you can get when dealing with mans best friend, but at times the unpredictable rascals.
Mark will tell you his wife Maria was the inspiration and driving force to make Fast CAT the center of their business Dog Sports Unlimited in New Smyrna, FL. While Maria will tell you it was Mark's planning and organizational skills that made it the great service we saw.
The Avellino's raise Cane Corso dogs and were regular competitors in AKC Coursing Ability Test (CAT), but when the new Fast CAT event was added in 2016 Maria was immediately bitten with Fast CAT fever. One probable reason for the feeling of a truly professional operation is Dog Sports Unlimited does not just do a few events a year, but have a permanent track at their 10 acre spread and provide weekly Fast CAT training....at night!
Saturday Night Lights!
In Florida it gets hot most of the year and afternoon showers are common. The Avelinno's have a solution. Night time Fast CAT. Mark built a permanent track on their Dog Sports Unlimited property in New Smyrna, Florida but then they illuminated the entire track and began running weekly Fast CAT training runs.
Its been a huge success and the experience has taught them even more about the details in running a Fast CAT most never consider. At night its harder to see, but how does the lure operator know how fast to run the lure? How do you position the lighting to be both safe but not blind the pups? The logistical challenges increased, but Mark and Maria didn't miss a beat and the night time events have quickly become one of the most talked about in state dog sports in a few short months.
"It's so exhilarating to see your dog to run free, expend all that energy and have a great time for a hundred yards!" - Maria Avellino, Dog Sports unlimited
What is Fast CAT?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) added the new game in 2016 to compliment the already recognized Lure Coursing and Coursing Ability Test (CAT). In Fast CAT a straight track run for speed is the goal and the dogs time to run the 100 yard track is then calculated to determine the speed of that run. The AKC keeps a record of all the fastest times in the country including a list of top 20 fastest dogs by breed.
“Who knows, you many have a national caliber track star sitting next to you. The national rankings by breed will show how your dog compares” Doug Ljungren, Vice President for Sports & Events at AKC
A very notable distinction of the AKC Fast CAT is the breed requirements. Other than the 12 month+ age requirement and need to be in good health, any dog can be added to the AKC Partners program for mixed breeds or Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) for purebred dogs not able to be fully registered and can play and earn Fast CAT.
For Hero Dogz
For those with disabilities.
Fast CAT like Lure Coursing is one of the sports that allows a great deal of access to those with disabilities. Unlike many dog games or sports, there is no need to run, jump or do anything more than either release or “catch” your dog at the end. Fast CAT trials seem to always have people willing to perform one of those with you if needed too. Mark and Maria are eager to bring all to the game they love and we look forward to working with them in the future.
Hero Dogz program If you are a disabled 1st Responder or Military veteran?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and any questions you may have and I will try to help answer those questions or point you in the right direction.
Fast CAT has truly exploded as a popular game for dogs across the country in a few years since announced in 2016. As with any new sport, their are some learning curves and opportunities.
The Avelinno's and their team at Dog Sports Unlimited have tackled those challenges and are taking the sport to new levels with providing top notch facilities, equipment and staff to see our dogs and their humans have the best possible experience.
The night time events are truly unique and may lead the way to even more of our Florida dog families having active and full lives.
(Links to more information below the photo-feature)
** Photo-Feature **
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WVKC Fast CAT 22 September 2019
Bad Azz Dogz By Dogz 4 Dogz
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Dog Sports Unlimited
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