Dogs ranging from 15-pound West Highland White Terriers, better known as Westies, to 150-pound Great Danes, came from across Texas, along with their owners, to compete in the Bell County Kennel Club’s Spring Agility Trial at the Bell County Expo Center Equestrian Arena Exposition Exhibit Area over the weekend.
The trial began on Friday and runs through today and is free and open to the public. Organizers ask that you leave your pets at home and keep children under control in order to not distract the competitors.
Whether a novice competing for the first time or a three-time master agility champion, each dog charged through the course tackling each obstacle, some more masterful than others, but with just as much fervor as the next.
The participants are separated by skill level — novice, open, masters and excellent. They compete in different classes, a standard agility course, a jumpers with weaves course and a speed or “fast” course.
In the standard agility course, owners navigate their dogs over a series of jumps, teeter totters, platforms, A-frame and narrow bridges and tunnels scoring points for properly running the course. On the jumpers with weaves course, tunnels and bridges and platforms are not included. The fast course is simply a series of jumps in which the fastest time wins.
Also included in the trial were obedience courses where owners would navigate their dogs through a series of commands such as heeling, 90-degree turns, 360-degree turns, sitting, staying and jumping.
The event is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club.