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Posted on August 13, 2014 | 9:53 p.m.

Annual Agility Dog Show Coming to Santa Barbara

Source: Cary Harrison for the Santa Barbara Flyers Dog Sports Club

Over a 150 dog-and-handler teams from all over the state will once again participate in an Agility Dog Trial at Elings Park on Saturday and Sunday.

The trial is hosted by the Santa Barbara Flyers Dog Sports Club, which was formed in Santa Barbara in the early 1980s. The club’s membership is made up of local dog owners and their well-prepared athletic canine partners who really enjoy training and competing together.

The Santa Barbara Flyers offers on-going classes in both dog obedience and dog agility, and invites interested dog-owners to come and watch the trial and seek information about participation.

Agility has become the new craze in dog sports around the world. In agility, a human handler and his dog work as a team as the handler directs the dog through a course that is made up of hurdles, tunnels, weave poles, a see-saw, and other challenging obstacles.

National and international agility competitions can frequently be seen on TV shows produced by the Animal Planet Channel and ESPN. At an authorized competition, dogs will show in a range of classes ranked according to the dogs’ height and experience in the sport.

The rules are prescribed by the various agility organizations. The American Kennel Club and the United States Dog Agility Association are locally the most well known of these organizations. This upcoming event in Santa Barbara will be sponsored by the USDAA.

“This is the fifth consecutive year that we have held this event in Santa Barbara,” says club captain Cary Harrison, “and it is now officially an annual affair. We are delighted by the number of teams participating. We hope many local dog-lovers will come out, observe the action, and rev up their desire to participate in this exciting sport.

"The Santa Barbara Flyers Dog Sports Club is one of the city’s sources for classes and practices, and we make it very easy to become involved.”

This year’s Santa Barbara trial will start at about 8:30 a.m., and run until late afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday. Visitors are always welcome at a Santa Barbara Flyers event—and entry for observers is free.

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