Four paws up for effort

GREEN HILL — Sarah LeBlanc says she’s proud of how her border collie, Caper, did during an agility competition in Spain.

They represented Canada alongside 20 teammates on the 2017 Agility Association of Canada’s (AAC) team that competed against dogs from other countries at the IFCS World Agility Championships (WAC) in Valencia, Spain.

Caper placed 19th among 70 entries in his division and had two top 10 placements.

“He ran as good as he could run,” she said. “There’s nervousness the first time, but it was most nerve-wracking for me. He ran six tries and had five clean runs. I know it will be a good run when he’s barking. He flew well, he travelled well and he ran well.”

The Canadian team came home with 13 medals from the 2016 event in the Netherlands and improved on that this year.

“We broke our record medal count,” she said.

Agility handlers guide their dogs through jumps, tires, A-frames, dog walks, weave poles, teeter-totters and tunnels on a specifically designed and numbered obstacle course. Judges give faults for any knocked bars over jumps, any obstacles taken out of sequence, or any obstacles taken in the wrong direction.

Caper’s run was nearly faultless.

It was LeBlanc’s fifth world competition and the first for Caper, who is five years old.

“He’ll get better,” she said.

Her previous competitor was Bo, who is now nine years old.


Sarah LeBlanc kneels with Caper after a long walk and exercise at her home in Green Hill. (Goodwin photo)

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Steve Goodwin
Steve Goodwin was born in Amherst, N.S. and has been a journalist for more than 40 years. He has been a resident of Pictou County for nearly 40 years.