Darcy's Agility Trials1
August 23, 1999: Today, Darcy's AKC Novice Agility Certificate arrived in the mail. Boy, were we proud. And, just think. Darcy finished her title in two trials, gaining 1st and 3rd place rankings as well, and beating 25 dogs in the process!

April 8 and April 9, 2000

It was our first chance to go on for more titles since July 1999. This was a very busy Agility trial (in Owings Mills, MD), and Darcy was a 'crazy lady'! The courses were harder and there were wide open spaces for Darcy to Friendship Darcy Makena AX AXJ CGC - photo taken by Stuart Hamanexplore. And, that's just what she did! But, we did manage to get 2 qualifying runs! in Novice Jumpers with Weaves. On these courses, there are no contact obstacles to slow her down, and Darcy can just run real fast the whole time. That's where she seems to have the most fun.

April 16, 2000
We were busy in the agility ring, and finished Darcy's Novice Agility Jumpers title, her second agility title. That was a real feat as we have only been to four trials now, being unable to travel to shows out of our area. We made more Golden friends, meeting some famous relatives, Agility judge, Chris Miele, and her Golden Piper, Darcy's half-sister.

August 2000
I found out some great news about Darcy's ranking. She actually ranks in the GOLDEN TOP TEN United States ranking in the Novice Jumpers With Weaves class. Yea!!!

April 2001: On April 7th & 8th Darcy had a blast at the Capital Agility Trial in Owings Mills, MD (2 minutes from my house!). Despite a new judge who had courses that were far too difficult and at some junctions, downright dangerous, causing folks to fail right and left (and allowing only 6 folks to even qualify out of an entry of 50 in the class), Darcy managed to come away with earning 3 out of 4 possible legs. She even managed to get a 2nd and 3rd placement, which allowed us to select gifts for her besides that of getting her winning rosettes and ribbons.

June 2001: A trial at our very own club, Oriole Dog Training Club, will be held at the Carroll Indoor Sports Center in Westminster, Maryland on June 16th & 17th. Darcy and I are hoping to finish our Open titles and get into the Excellent ring. That would be an incredible feat, though, as this would only be our fifth trial. Unable to travel distances or work outdoors due to health problems, I am limited to only a couple of hometown indoor trials a year. Wish us luck!!!

Well, the trial is over and boy are we tired. We had to get up at 4:30am so that we could get to the site by the crack of dawn to set up. But, Darcy came away with her Open Agility and Open Agility Jumpers titles. While all my agility friends were congratulating me and expecting me to be really up about this, I was too busy thinking about how hard it will be in the Excellent ring. Oh my!

April 2002
I have just returned from a very exhausting weekend agility trial on April 6th & 7th. Getting up at 5am and not returning home until 5pm is really tough. I just can't figure out how all these folks manage to do it, and actually do it a couple of weekends every month, in fact. Thank goodness my Darcy is so consistent and so wonderful at the sport. The only time she doesn't qualify on a run is when her limited handler (me) messes up, which is, of course, just what I did this weekend! There were loads of gorgeous and incredibly agile Goldens who were a wonder to see. Darcy stood out though, if just for the huge teddy bear that she carried with her while we walked about waiting for our turn in the ring.

We managed to earn three out of four possible qualifying legs this weekend. And, Darcy earned additional Second & Third place ribbons for her Excellent Jumpers runs and a Fourth place rosette for a Standard run. Our next indoor trial in the area will be at the end of September, so we will have to keep up our practice work to stay in shape. Darcy looking silly!

September 2002
Well, this weekend's trial was a true experience. I do not think Darcy had any desire to participate and she was surely not aiming to please. Two out of the four times we were in the ring she decided to ignore me and go do her own thing. Miss Velcro, she wasn't! The other two runs she did well. I made a small boo-boo on a jumpers course and caused her to miss the first pole of the weaves, but she sailed throughout the entire course like a champ. The other run, on a standard course, she was on her game and came away with a Third place ribbon.

June 2003  
Well, it took nearly a year to get back in the ring due to my being ill, but Darcy and I tried our hardest to rise to the occasion. And, we both did work hard, but some of the courses were just impossible. They did not flow and therefore Darcy had to keep turning and stopping and it added to much time. Courses that allowed only 41 seconds took us 47 seconds, which of course wasn't allowed at the Excellent level. And, then on one course where Darcy was doing a perfect job, I forgot where I was going in the middle of the course. How humiliating that was, but it happens to lots of folks. We did manage to come away with a Third place ribbon in Excellent Jumpers, so earning our Agility Excellent Jumpers [AXJ] title. And, it nice to hear folks say that Darcy was really flying and looked wonderful going through the nice flowing course (the only flowing one for the weekend). So, now we will rest up for our next trial in the fall or spring to see if we can finally finish our standard excellent title [AX], as we have only one leg to go (three total legs or qualifying showings are needed to earn a title).

June 2004
Well, it took nearly a year again to get back in the ring due to my being ill, but this time we were successful and Darcy earned her standard excellent title [AX]. She was the only one to qualify in her class, additionally earning her a 1st place ribbon and woobie prize!

Here are Some of Darcy's Training Partners

This is Sharon DeCesare's SR Kiowa's Killian Red CD SH AX AXJ WCX. Killie is a Golden pistol who is lightning in the ring. Harnessing all of this energy though is really something for her mom. Thank goodness for Golden love!




This intense guy is Karen Schimmels' KNB Slice of Life AX AXJ AD NAC NGC NJC. An amazing Corgi, this cute little guy is certainly our group's fastest worker. And, when seen at trials, folks jokingly refer to Slice as the dude with 'rockets in his pants.' Slice is surely a blur as he breezes through the weaves, his favorite obstacle. He is addicted to this piece of equipment to the dismay of his human, Karen, who ceaselessly struggles to keep him on course. She is currently [7/03] working on Slice's MX and MXJ, as they have several several legs under their belt.


Meet CAN. OTCH U-CDX Encore's Westminster Abbey UD Can.CDX MX AXJ AAD EAC EJC NGC. Abbey's human is Mary Webb, our expert obedience instructor. Busy most weekends in one ring or another, she just keeps earning those titles. And, that is pretty tough in the agility ring as speed demon Abbey has got to be a Border Collie in Sheltie clothing. Mary hopes to finish Abbey's MXJ, MAD & Elite titles as well as work on her UDX.


This fine lady is Can.OTCH U-UD Cataway's Carefree Contessa UDX MX MXJ EAC-V OJC OGC P2, another one of Mary's whiz kids. An Energizer Bunny at age 12 [May 2003], Tess continues to love agility and will be allowed to run as long as she likes!

And, this new cutie named Pinewood Acres Clever Trever OA OAJ or "Treve" has recently joined our group. Now working in Excellent A, he recently achieved his very first 1st Place in agility at the 2003 Lansing, Michigan Sheltie Nationals. A guy who loves ice cubes and swimming, Treve is a good buddy to Shelties Duffy and Wiley, as well as boyfriend to pretty Sheltie Cami Magin!