The 2018 World Agility Open (WAO) Championships are scheduled to take place from May 18-20 at the National Hippic Centre (KNHS) in Ermelo, The Netherlands. Every year, the WAO brings together the best agility athletes from across the globe, making it a highly anticipated event for competitors and spectators alike. Each country involved in the event is responsible for selecting its own team, the process of which is coordinated by a “team manager.” Individuals interested in becoming team managers must submit their resumes to the WAO Board for approval. Those selected to act as team managers must then each create a document detailing the selection guidelines for members of their respective teams. In addition to ensuring that said guidelines are non-discriminatory with regard to both handlers and dogs, team managers must make it so that at least one dog from each height wins its way on to the team. More than 40 countries are set to participate in this year’s event, making the competition all the more fierce. On May 17, the opening ceremonies will be held, and teams competing in the event will have time throughout the day to practice with their canine companions. The following morning, competitors will be navigating the twists and turns of the various courses, doing their best to earn a coveted first place medal. The WAO Championships will be awarding four titles in total—three individual (Pentathlon, Biathlon, and Games) and one team.
- Pentathlon Championship- Competitors will go through two rounds of Agility, two rounds of Jumping, and one round of Speedstakes. One Individual Pentathlon Championship will be declared in each jump height by combining the results of all five classes.
- Biathlon Championship- Competitors will go through one round of Agility and one round of Jumping. One Individual Biathlon Champion will be declared in each jump height by combining the results of the two classes.
- Games Championship- Competitors will go through one round of Snooker and one round of Gamblers. One Individual Games Champion will be declared in each jump height by combining the results of the two classes.
- Team Competition- Teams will go through two rounds of Agility, two rounds of Jumping, and one round of Speedstakes. The Team Speedstakes is a four-dog relay, with one dog of each height chosen to represent the team in the finals. The winning team will be declared by combining the results of the five classes.
As a sponsor of the USA team, 1TDC will be watching as the American contestants, outfitted in 1TDC-branded attire, complete their runs. During the event, 1TDC will be documenting the trials, taking photographs, and following up with competitors such as Jessica Ajoux. We’ll be posting the photos we take to the 1TDC Facebook page so that those who are unable to attend can still see the goings-on at the event. Those who haven’t already done so are encouraged to “like” our page so as not to miss out. Additionally, a company called 4 Legged Flix will be live-streaming the event, starting with team practice and the opening ceremonies on May 17. The live stream can be found at http://livestream.4leggedflix.com or on the YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/user/4LeggedFlix/. This year’s WAO will undoubtedly be a great event, and 1TDC is excited to be a part of the action!