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Until the Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship!

2005 Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship

<p>Staging a World Championship event of the magnitude of the 2005
Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship would be
impossible were it not for the many volunteers who helped, not only
at the event, but all-year long with regional events throughout this
country and Canada. We were very fortunate to have great weather for
the Open Qualifier and both days of the Worlds.</p>

<p>I think the best measure of the success of an event is the feeling
that you have at the end of the day. Listening to competitors cheer
for each other and root for all the teams who had worked so hard was,
as always, very gratifying.</p>

<p>A total of 112 teams competed in Friday&rsquo;s Open Qualifier and 12 of
those teams advanced to the Worlds. At the Worlds, 70 teams competed
over two days for four world championship titles &ndash; Open Division
(Freestyle and Distance/Accuracy combined), Sport Division (Distance/
Accuracy), MicroDog (Freestyle and Distance/Accuracy combined) and
Pairs Freestyle (Freestyle only).</p>

<p>Competition was stellar as always. As much as I enjoyed the
sensational individual efforts of all of the competitors I have to
say that I was absolutely riveted as the Pairs Freestylers worked
their magic. What fun for a dog to have not one, but two throwers!
All of the Pairs routines were truly world class and chock full of
innovation. No two routines were alike and the crowd went nuts as the
teams battled it out. Every spectator seemed to be wearing a smile
as they watched the Pairs teams perform. I can&rsquo;t wait to see what
next year&rsquo;s routines will look like. I have a suspicion that Pairs
Freestyle will be the next big thing in canine disc sports.</p>

<p>For the duration of the Worlds there was a high level of mutual
support and camaraderie, and when I think of support and camaraderie,
I can&rsquo;t help but think of MADDOGS (Mid Atlantic Disc Dogs), the new
&ldquo;fun bunch&rdquo; in the D.C. area. A warmer more helpful collection of
disc dog nuts you won&rsquo;t find. They offer encouragement and assistance
to everyone they meet. But don&rsquo;t even think about trying to take away
their Skyhoundz Club Cup! They have owned this trophy for two years
and, rumor has it, the Cup serves as their communal drinking vessel
at celebratory functions.</p>

<p>Highlights&hellip; lets see&hellip; Ray Lowman of MADDOGS serving up Mimosas to a
thankful and thirsty pod of disc dog supporters at 11 a.m. during the
Open Qualifier. Who would have guessed that so many disc doggers were
morning drinkers! Watching competitors giving their burger orders to
Skyhoundz judge Greg Perry at the Open and telling him how you wanted
things for a change. &ldquo;Just call me cookie,&rdquo; was his motto. If only
you could order up his freestyle scores the same way. Watching Zac
George wow everyone with a sensational freestyle routine was a nice
moment. I have no doubt we will see great things from him in the future.</p>

<p>Having the time to take a few sightseeing flights during the Open for
photography and fun was nice. Thank you Jen for leaning out of the
Super Cub to capture some nice aerial images. Thanks also to Susan
Jones who trusted me enough to let me take her on the first airplane
ride (large or small) she had ever taken in her entire life&hellip; and with
the airplane doors wide open no less. Without a doubt the most fun
for all of us was presenting World Championship trophies to Mare
Potts and Shannon Bilheimer, our two new women World Champions. The
women were a force this year and judging from the strong performances
of women overall, the men should be trembling with fear.</p>

<p>At Piedmont Park, the turf was golf-course quality and the new field
orientation presented a great view of the event for spectators as
well as a nice panorama of midtown Atlanta for the competitors.
Despite our slow start, things moved rapidly enough that quick
showers were possible before the Awards Banquet at Flying Dog Farm.
At the Banquet, we were honored to present Chuck Middleton with a
Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts in promoting canine disc
sports and encouraging people to adopt shelter animals. His hard work
has long been appreciated by all of us and it was nice to formally
recognize him for his service to our sport. All together, 120
attended the awards banquet. In addition to the long list of
competitors, banquet guests included disc dog perennials, John Misita
and Greg and Carol Tresan.</p>

<p>Our guest speaker at the Banquet, Randy Grim and his dog &ldquo;Quentin&rdquo;
were the highpoint of the evening for many. Some folks, I heard
through the grapevine, were wondering just who would have the
audacity to bring a dog to the awards banquet! All was made clear
when Randy was introduced. I think Mike McKenzie, put it best &mdash;
&ldquo;[Randy Grim] was fantastic, just down home, honest and eloquent on a
very serious subject.&rdquo; For more about Randy and Quentin be sure to
visit the Skyhoundz website. Competitors who attended the banquet
stood in line forever to have their copy of Randy&rsquo;s book, &ldquo;Miracle
Dog&rdquo; autographed by Randy and Quentin.</p>

<p>I could go one forever, I suppose, but I will close by reiterating
our thanks and congratulations to all of the staff and volunteers who
made the event special. If you haven&rsquo;t already checked out the order
of finish at the Skyhoundz website, here are the top three finishers
in each World Championship Division:</p>

<p>Open Division</p>
Tony Hoard &amp; Rory<br>
Frank Buckland &amp; Shiloh<br>
Danny Venegas &amp; Oreo</p>

<p>Sport Division</p>
Adrian Custer &amp; Blade<br>
Danny Venegas &amp; Jumpin&rsquo; Jack<br>
Scott Jones &amp; Bolaero</p>

<p>MicroDog Division</p>
Mare Potts &amp; Scout<br>
Todd Duncan &amp; K-2<br>
Susan Jones &amp; Whoopin&rsquo; Roo</p>

<p>Pairs
Frank Buckland/Shannon Bilheimer &amp; Shiloh<br>
Joshua Grenell/Andrew Yori &amp; Wallace<br>
Joshua Grenell/Andrew Yori &amp; Wazee</p>

<p>We will look forward to our next reunion with you at the 2006
Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Championship.</p>