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Dogs strike gold at Agility event
By Craig Lamb
ESPN Great Outdoor Games staff

RENO, Nev. — In a sport where Jack Russell terriers and border collies typically rule the competition, it was a miniature schnauzer that owned the day in the Sporting Dog Small Agility event at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games.

Kimie, a six-year-old female schnauzer handled by Christine Frank, went home with the gold medal after running the 20-obstacle course with a combined time of 1:26 for the standard and speed rounds. Kimie, whose registered name is Liebchen Kimberly Von Steen, was a Great Outdoor Games rookie but her trainer is a veteran of the sport.

In winning the Large Dog Agility event, Ransom was the only dog to post a flawless score.
"She is just a very athletic dog and is very obedient, said Franks, 51, a school teacher from Chesterfield Township, Mich., who has trained and titled 15 dogs. "Those are two really vital keys to being successful in this sport."

She continued, "This makes it very obvious that agility is a sport that any dog owner can participate and enjoy."

The silver medal went to Sizzle, a male Sheltie handled by Karen Holik, a legal secretary from Chicago. Sizzle finished with a combined time of 1:19, including a medal round run in which she was assessed five course faults for missing a Tire Jump obstacle.

DeCaff, a Jack Russell terrier-border collie mix, earned the bronze medal with a combined run time of 1:28. DeCaff was handled by Susan Garrett, 45, and a professional dog trainer from Canada. DeCaff, the fastest dog in the qualifying round, was assessed 5 course faults for downing a hurdle bar.

In the Large Agility competition, the gold went to Ransom, a border collie handled by Sherry Kluever of Romeoville, Ill., Ransom had a combined standard and speed round course time of 1:14 and was the only dog with a flawless score.

"I'm very pleased, although my biggest concern is always how she comes off the line at the start," said Kluever. "But she is just a great dog and built for this type of competition."

The silver medal went to Static, a three-time Great Outdoor Games performer handled by Jen Pinder of Lapeer, Mich. Static, one of many border collies in the event, ran the course in a cumulative time of 1:17.

Spring, a border collie and the defending bronze medalist, repeated the feat this year after running the event in 1:15. Spring, also the 2001 gold medalist and agility veteran, was assessed five course faults, including a downed hurdle bar.

Eight dogs competed in the Small Agility event and 16 ran in the Large Agility competition.

Final Standings — Large Dog Agility

1. Ransom/Sherry Kluever, Romeoville, Ill.
2. Static/Jen Pinder, Lapeer, Mich.
3. Spring/Julie Daniels, North Sandwich, N.H.
4. Quick/Kate Moureaux, Fillmore, Calif.
5. Secret/Stacy Peardot-Goudy, La Porte, Colo.
6. Luz/Olga Chaiko, North Hollywood, Calif.
7. Spy/Jim Basic, San Jose, Calif.
8. Revel/Barbara DeMascio, Gilbertsville, Pa.
9. Wicked/Nancy Gyes, San Jose, Calif.
10. Echo/Ken Fairchild, North Sandwich, N.H.
11. Vixen/Shannon Miller, Santa Ana, Calif.
12. Remy/Terry Smorch, Lake Elmo, Minn.
13. Sydney/Eric Bobkowski, West Chicago, Ill.
14. Mariah/Chris Hill, Glendale, Ariz.
15. Qwik/Stuart Mah, Bryceville, Fla.
16. Rave/Wendy Vogelgesgang San Clemente, Calif.

Final Standings — Small Dog Agility

1. Kimie/Christine Frank, Chesterfield, Mich.
2. Sizzle/Karen Holik, West Chicago, Ill.
3. DeCaff/Susan Garrett, Alberton, Canada
4. Shimmer/Barb Davis, Newman Lake, Wash.
5. Turbo/Barbara Lombard, Simi Valley, Calif.
6. Taz/Jean Lavalley, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
7. Hamlet/Renee King, Richmond, Texas
8. Puff/Pam Richcreek Sparks, Nev.