The Welcome Party was held in this event's official hotel.
It was a BBQ party and there was a long que before the grill.
Harry's master enjoyed dinner with the Romanian and the Dutch Team.
Some people got very drunk and stayed up quite late.
But this is a great part of fun in international agility events.
The national teams marched in the alphabetical order.
About 200 dogs gathered in this event from 17 countries.
Surprisingly, there were so many familiar faces.
No wonder, many of them were also competing in
IFCS World Agility Championships 2006.
They all remembered Harry and we remembered them too!
||The volunteers dressed in a traditional Dutch costume
showed the fork dance from the Amersfoort region.
The wooden shoes were much bigger than ordinary shoes,
and they looked rather inconvenient to dance with.
I asked if it is painful to dance with the wooden shoes.
They answered, "Of course, it is!"
||The competitors brougt a souvenir from their home country.
Harry's master brought a box of traditional Japanese sweets.
She exchanged it with a chili flavoured vodka from Ukraine.
The Ukrainian competitor instructed her
to mix it with tomato juice and a squeeze of lime.
||Trophies and Prizes
Golden trophies were shining so bright.
They were all placed on the table at the corner of the ring.
The prize of Royal Canine 40kg Pack would not be easy to carry home.
Who are going to get those trophies and prizes?
IMCA regulations are the same as FCI regulations.
There are three height classes:
Small, Medium and Large.
Each class has its own course.
There were about 50 competitors in each class,
so the walk was split into two groups.
They had 5 minutes to walk the course.
||The photo shows the walk for para-agility competitors.
There tends to occur a big congestion around tricky places
because of the wheelchairs and other supporting devices.
So they have about 15 minutes to walk the course.
The competitors are divided into the following 4 groups:
1. Disability in upper body, 2. Disability in lower-body,
3. Manual supporting device and 4. Electric supporting device.
The distance between the obstacles are much shorter
in FCI courses than in IFCS or USDAA courses.
There require lots of sharp turns in FCI courses.
Big dogs like this were particularly having difficult time
at sharp turns because of the slippery carpet floor.
Weavepoles are often placed just beside the wall.
That makes it hard for dogs to find the right enrance.
At IMCA, Harry's goal was once again to run clean!
||PAWC competitors's handling skills were amazing.
They must have spent lots of time to train their dogs.
Some of them ran clean, but many got faults from
dropping bars or popping out from weavepoles.
But it is completely fine!
Even if they went off course, they handled the dog to the end.
And when they finally reached the goal,
they received huge applause and cheers from the audience.
||This Austrian competitor's legs are both artificial.
He handled the dog slowly but accurately.
It took almost two minutes for him to negotiate 16 obstacles,
but it looked he was enjoying from the beginning to the end.
Some para-agility competitors have disability since birth.
Some others recently had an accident and became disabled.
So many different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common.
They all have come a looong way to be able to enjoy agility.
The agiity ring was quickly transformed to a dance hall.
When Macarena was played, everybody jumped in the ring
and started dancing together.
Macarena can be danced by people on a wheelchair too.
It is easy for someone new to Macarena to pick up the dance.
Some people danced too much and looked rather tired afterwards.
Afterall that is really the intermission is for, isn't it!?
Harry was the only dog from Japan.
But when he stood on the start line,
the audience started chanting loud
"Nippon! Nippon! Nippon..."
That made Harry's master think
"Ooh, we cannot make any stupid mistakes..."
Harry ran both Agility and Jumping without mistakes.
He came in 7th place in Individual Small.
The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Italy
mostly dominated the top placements in IMCA.
Those three teams consisted of the members of
the FCI Agility World Championship
to be held in October in Basel, Switzerland.
But except the mixed-breed dogs.
It was very interesting to see their runs.
||This is a mixed-breed dog from Slovenia.
She placed 1st in Individual Medium.
Both mixed-breed and pure-bred dogs are
doing well in this agility championship.
It really proves that any dogs,
regardlress of breeds, can do agility!
||The Netherlands, Hungary and Spain teams
did extremely well in PAWC and won many trophies.
Para-Agility is still pretty much unknown outside Europe.
Hope it will become popular in Japan and the US soon.
||New Agility Friends
All national teams had a waiting room to keep their dogs.
But Harry was the only dog from Japan.
So he shared a room with the Romanian team.
It was very nice to make friends from all over the world.
The Belgian team was particularly kind to Harry and his master.
They always visited Harry's master to see if she is alright.
They gave her a ride between the hotel and the sport-hall every day.
Harry and his master very much appreciated their hospitality!
||Harry visited Utrecht for a sightseeing.
It takes only 16 minutes from Amersfoort to Utrecht by train.
Utrecht is the town where the famous rabbit "Miffi" was born.
Please also check Holiday in Utrecht, Holland in
Harry's World Jouneys!