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UKI U.S. Open has 250 furry competitors in Perry | News

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UKI U.S. Open has 250 furry competitors in Perry

250 folks plus their best friends are in Perry this weekend.

Dogs and humans have paired up to compete in the UKI Open. It's an agility competition. You can think of it in terms of racing.

The Peach Cluster dog show is put on by the American Kennel Club every year. That's like NASCAR but think of this level as Formula one.

Welcome to the UKI US Open of agility, where treats are plentiful but prize money for winners is scarce.

Jan Padgett and her husband run the show, and there is a perk to peaking at the right time.

"No paychecks, no champagne but we give some ribbons and medals," she said. "Winners will go to the World Championships is in Great Britian this year."

Hence the name. But to get across the pond, the pooches must perform some tough stuff. Well, it's tough if you're a dog.

The dogs will naturally run and jump they'd do that out in the woods on a hike with you, but the weave pulls that's the harder one for them to train, because it's not natural for them to weave in and out of some sticks.

And every good athlete needs an on Deck area. They can get a quick snack here but no treats on the course.

Meet three-year-old Sweets. Don't let her name fool you.

(I hope) Sweets can have a smooth run, because any missed paw print can have consequences," Shane Grant, of Columbus, Ohio, said. "It is accuracy, and there's time so the fastest 100 percent accurate dog. Basically if you make a mistake. you're pretty much out of the running. Each bar down is five points off your score. There are a lot of tricky elements to this course but you can do it right Sweets? Good girl."

The younger pups have to ride the pine waiting for their chance to climb into the ring.

Sweets got off to a good start, but no matter her score or the lack of a check at the end of the weekend, Shane will go full throttle until they're both dog tired.

"It's having fun with your best friend," he said. "So we go out there and we have a good time."

This event has happened for the last five years, but this is the first time they've set up shop in Perry. With 250 dogs they needed extra space and the fairgrounds could give them four separate rings. It's too late to enter your dog, but it's free to watch the competitions Saturday and the Championships on Sunday.


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