Local pairings top performers at international dog agility
Local dog trainer Peter de Wit and heading dogs Quick and Ali were part of a New Zealand "Paw Blacks" team in Adelaide to compete in the Australian Agility Nationals.
A first placing with Ali and a third with Quick in the Open Jumpers final was an impressive result in a class where 270 dogs went through their paces.
Months of planning had taken place ahead of the team's departure but there were still travel complications.
While Quick and Ali travelled to Adelaide, and back, with no problems, two of the team's eight dogs were left behind in Auckland while their owners flew to Adelaide unaware their sporting partners were not with them.
After some frantic phone calls and revamped planning the two canines arrived in good shape to be reunited with their trainers.
Besides the actual competitors, a large number of New Zealanders made the trip, including some who were tournament judges.
"There was also a television crew which ensured those back home got almost live video coverage of the action with posts coming thick and fast on to Facebook," de Wit said.
All the dogs and trainer combinations did well at a warm-up event.
Most notable was de Wit's run with Ali in the afternoon Gamblers competition. The pair earned 105 points in an event which is regularly taken out with scores in the 70s. Quick was the star the next day with three wins.
Bad weather meant the originally planned five-day nationals were reduced to four with as many events as possible crammed into the following day.
During the nationals there were some amazing runs from both the Australian and New Zealand sides.
The Kiwis had big success in both agility and jumper games. Three other New Zealand dogs won finals and all six placed in the top five in other classes.
"All in all it was one of the best results from a New Zealand team," de Wit said.
The Australian nationals are held every second year with the in Melbourne.