Flashing Canines Agility hosts regional championships


By ANNA SMITH on May 25, 2024.

A dog and his handler begin their run in the steeplechase race Friday at the Alberta and Northwest Territories regional championships. – News photo Anna Smith

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Medicine Hat's Flashing Canines Agility Club is thrilled to be hosting this year's Alberta and Northwest Territories Regional Championships for the Agility Association of Canada. Competitors and their four-legged friends gathered at the Redcliff baseball fields Friday for the first series of competitions that will test both the dogs' speed and their handlers' ability to control and lead them off-leash. About 220 competitors from the local area and across the region are here to participate, said Sandra Le Page, a Flashing Canines Club member and volunteer at the event. “I believe we last hosted regional championships seven years ago in 2018,” said Le Page. “Clubs can apply to host regional championships any year. That brings in money for the club and then for the town because there are all the competitors and there are vendors and food trucks on site, so it brings in money here in Redcliff as well.” Those who do well at their regional competition or a neighbouring event if they can't attend the event in their region can then compete in the national competitions being held in Ontario later this year. The event will run all weekend, with competitions starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The event is open to the public, however club member Nicole Ehmann asks that the public not bring dogs that are not competing to come to the field. “A lot of these dogs have a lot of energy and even though they are all well trained, they can get reactive. There's that cute little dog that's walking on a loose leash and that's just not a good idea,” Ehmann said. Both Le Page and Ehmann thanked club president Michelle Larson for all her hard work in getting the course ready for the competition and all the volunteers inside and outside the club who helped with the set-up and tear-down. 10