WARREN, NJ - Warren resident Mary Lou Hanlon has been involved with agility training for about 16 years. But on Saturday, Feb. 8, she took it to a new level.
The Westminster Kennel Club brought what the American Kennel Club calls "the most exciting canine sport for spectators" to center stage on Westminster weekend for the first time. Dogs and their handlers took on an obstacle course of jumps, tunnels,and weave poles, in timed competition.
The Masters Agility Championship at Westminster was open to dogs competing at Excellent or Masters level and was held on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Pier 94 in New York City.
Hanlon and two of her Border Collies were there.
Hanlon currently has three dogs, all Border Collies, Snap 12, Wizard 8 and Shazam 5, and has been operating PetMinders, Inc. in Warren Township for 18 years. Both Wizard and Shazam competed in agility at the Masters Agility Champinship at Westminster.
Shazam earned his MACH and came in fourth by .09 seconds, just missing being in the finals. Hanlon said, "This is Shazam's 2nd run at Westminster. Sadly, we missed making the finals by .09, sooooo close!!! However, we did make history on this run with Shazam earning his Masters Agility Championship." To see the run:
Westminster Shazam Rd. 2 Standard MACH run
Earlier this tear, Pat Battle did a segment with David Frei, Director of Communications for the Westminister Kennel Club, and featured some of the agility competitors.
Hanlon said, "Thanks to David Frei and Pat Battle for helping promote the sport of agility. Looking forward to the event."
On Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 10-11, Westminster's 138th Annual All Breed Dog Show will be held at Pier 94 during the day and in the evening at Madison Square Garden.