Your chance to represent your country
IMCA – PAWC Team Leave for Switzerland
The largest team ever fielded by the UK leaves for the IMCA – PAWC competition in Fraschels, Switzerland on Monday, 30 August and returning on the following Monday. The show itself will last from 2-5 September 2010.
The UK are fielding a team of six handlers comprised of three Small dogs and four Large in IMCA and two in Paragility.
The IMCA Team consists of:-
Paragility competitors are:-
IMCA – PAWC is notable that it not only gives opportunities for all dogs, including cross-breeds to take part in genuine international competition, but also for disabled handlers to pit their skills against similarly disadvantaged people - all in an atmosphere of enormous friendship and with a great spirit of support.
IMCA and PAWC 2010 News
International Mix & Breeds Agility Championship (IMCA) and Paragility World Cup (PAWC) will take place near Bern in Switzerland from 2-5 September 2010.
The IMCA competition attracts the very best handlers and dogs from several counties including Switzerland, Holland, Germany and Hungary where it is regarded as a prestige event. In the UK it is not held in the same esteem and, therefore, gives an opportunity for lower grade but enthusiastic and adventurous handlers to enjoy top flight International agility.
PAWC is probably the only agility Competition where disabled handlers compete against others with similar disabilities. There are 5 grades including wheelchair users and people with prosthetic limbs, etc.
Currently several people from the UK planning to go to this event. The Team thus far consists of seven Small dogs and two Large dogs to represent Britain at IMCA and two 2 wheelchair-bound handlers to enter PAWC. The total number we can enter is 15 in IMCA, unlimited in PAWC.
If you would like to join us please contact Richard Partridge at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note if you do not have a pet passport, there is not time to obtain one for this year.
The whole event is live on the computer at http://imca-pawc-2009.fw.hu/ .
& PAWC 2008 - A Personal Report
Tuesday, 26 August had not yet dawned when we loaded ourselves -Sue Drakely, Annette Foulkes and me together with our dogs, Murphy, Smokey, Lexie, Tammy and Tanya - into the car and set off. Sheila could not make Italy this year due to family commitments, so I took her dog.
As the caffeine from our first cups of coffee reached the vital parts, we came to realise that at last it was here! Today we are going to Voghera in Italy to take part in the 9th IMCA & 7th PAWC Agility Competition.
As neither of the 'girls' had travelled on the Continent before, they were both excited to see the scenery as it unfolded, especially when we travelled through the Alps on the French/Italian border.
We were naturally rather concerned about how the dogs would travel these distances - the first day 500 miles, 300 on the second. Amazingly they all settled down and did not murmur, although for their comfort and our own, we didn't drive more than two hours at a stretch and got them all out for a break.
Upon arrival we were shown our camping spot, just opposite the Swiss Team who proved to be excellent neighbours, We set up camp and then explored the Cowboys Guest Ranch which would be our home and competition venue for the next four days.
We checked the arena where the competition would take place. It was a covered sand floored area with the surface very well prepared, well watered, levelled and rolled to a firm surface. Due to the high level natural ventilation, it was surprisingly cool, a great relief to us northern Europeans. A short distance away was another covered area with equipment set up as an informal training site and the tents for the other competitors. Generally it was all well thought out and executed.
We then found the bar, which was comfortable, offered reasonably priced refreshments and was air conditioned. It also welcomed dogs so, if only for their welfare, we found that frequent visits were necessary!
Thursday was taken up with training and vet checks. Luckily all of the dogs passed the check and the training went well.
In the evening we attended the Gala which was held in the restaurant on-site. There was no need to drive there or back for most of us, and it proved to be a very enjoyable way to get to know each other. Since the wine and beer were delivered to our tables by the jug full, it takes little imagination to see that the evening became fairly noisy, laughter filled and robust. Our excuse is that we were next to the Dutch team who seemed hell bent on leading us astray! In the spirit of comradeship, we only partially resisted.
9th IMCA & 7th PAWC 2008 Report
The 7th ParAgility World Cup (PAWC) took place, along side the 9th International Mix & Breed Championship Agility (IMCA) on 28-31 August 2008 in Vogera in Northern Italy. IMCA is a championship Agility competition for able bodied handlers and dogs of all breeds (pedigree and non-pedigree) while PAWC is for handlers with a disability.
More than 150 competitors and their dogs came from 14 countries to take part in the IMCA competition including Austria, Belgium, Czech republic, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom. This year there was even a competitor of the Republic of San Marino( Italy).
For PAWC, there were 29 handlers with 35 participating dogs from the countries such as Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.
At this moment, there are five groups of disability for the competition, but we hope to extension in future!
For Susan Rekveld's own report and more pictures, go to www.para-agility.nl
Friday dawned bright. After the opening ceremony the competition started. Arnaldo Benini from Italy and Arpád Tóth from Hungary, two expert judges, have judged very enthusiastically.
First up was Small Dog Jumping. First dog in the ring was yours truly with Smokey. Fortunately we completed the course clear, and finished in 17th place. Sue followed soon with Lexie, also getting a clear.
Following this was the Paragility. This, I believe, is the great strength of this competition. If we able-bodied handlers think we have it tough, just to watch most of these people is a reality check. Most disabled handlers have additional problems, for example, users of electric wheelchairs need their right hand to control the chair, so only the left can be used to control the dog; manual chair users have none. Try not to be overcome with emotion seeing a completely paraplegic teenage girl carried by her father around the course, but controlling the dog with minute hand movements and tiny sounds. We were asked for total silence during this run which added to the emotion. Even the judge wiped his eyes after this.
There is a Frenchman named Bruno Menoncelle who was active in agility when an accident robbed him of his sight. Not to be thwarted, he now has a friend run (literally) holding and guiding him while he instructs his dog Sun. Our admiration for these people is boundless, and at this competition they have an opportunity to compete with their peers, a truly remarkable event. To see Bruno's run, click here. It was impressive!
Friday afternoon saw the large Jumping. Suffice to say that Annette ran both her dogs, I ran my one all with enthusiasm, but without distinction.
Saturday was for the teams. As we did not have an entry in this we had a day off. Cowboys, unsurprisingly, offers horse riding. As Annette and Sue are keen equestrians they had a merry afternoon riding, while I took it upon myself to keep the dog's temperatures down in the afore-mentioned air conditioned space. I did, however, go to watch some of the team competition. The atmosphere was electric, and the Agility was of the highest standard, naturally the best handler/ dog combinations were selected for the teams.
On Sunday there was the Agility. First up small dogs, where I got a silly E with Smokey (he saw a tunnel which was toooo tempting and I failed to call him off in time. Sue had a nice run with Lexie, but picked up a five. After the Paragility we had the large dog agility. Unfortunately Annette and I both got E’d, although at the end of our run I really felt we had done well bearing in mind the complexity of the course. (Our E was because they use a tyre like our old ones, a motor-cycle tyre suspended on chains, which Murphy did not recognize and showed his contempt by running under it; then straight on and over the last jump)
The running order for the agility is based on the score in the jumping, with the highest scoring runner going last. This means that as the competition progresses so does the skill and expertise of the handlers. The cheering gets louder and the excitement grows as competitors from each country have their runs because the final scores are not settled until the end of this competition.
All in all it was an excellent show. We were speaking to one of the Dutch team who has entered most of the Internationals and he is definite in his opinion that IMCA – PAWC is the friendliest of all, but is just as competitive.
IMCA is a genuine International Championship of the highest order. Some of the Continental competitors have achieved high placings at our own prestigious events such as Crufts and Olympia as well as other major Internationals. The courses very challenging with lots of traps, twists and turns and very few straight runs. I’m told these are typically Continental. Course plans and results can be found at http://www.nazionaleitalianameticci.it/RISULTATI_IMCA_E_PERCORSI.html
PAWC is a unique opportunity for disabled people who are keen on Agility to compete on specially designed courses against their peers. It is also an opportunity for people with a common interest from all countries to meet and exchange views in a relaxed atmosphere except, of course, when we are in the ring.
We are keen to promote this competition, especially among the higher level competitors who could give the other countries some serious competition, but also to maintain the relaxed entry requirements to allow non-pedigree dogs and less experienced but adventurous handlers to experience the special thrill of high level International Agility. And naturally it is our aim to increase the entry of Disabled Handlers.
Next year the event is in Hungary, which is, admittedly, a daunting prospect with a journey of 1200 miles each way, but in 2010 it will be in Switzerland, a much more reachable country.
I understand that in Hungary there will be an English judge of high standing, and this will be the fourth time in ten years that a judge from this country has officiated. This, to me, makes it even more surprising that the event receives so little support from the Agility Establishment, the Organisers obviously hold this country in high regard, yet on the whole we ignore them.
Show Photos: Susan Rekveld
Planning is well under way for the UK entry for this IMCA and PAWC competition on 28-31 August 2008. However, there are still places on the team available. The competition is open to all dogs, pedigree and cross-breeds, all sizes and all grade, so if you are interested contact Richard or Sheila Partridge. The final entry has to be in at the end of June.
We will be Ricahrd said, 'We will be especially ally pleased to hear from disabled handlers who have their own events within the main competition (PAWC).'
The venue is in Northern Italy, close to Milan, on a holiday camp called Cowboys Guest Ranch. Information about this is on their website www.cowboys.it . They are offering free camping, just a charge for electricity. Hotel accommodation can be arranged close by.
Further information about the event is on http://www.nazionaleitalianameticci.it/imca-pawc_home_eng.html. If you want further information on the UK entry, email email@example.com.
Please note, if you do not have a passport for your dog it is too late now to enter this year, but the competition is held annually in a different country so there is always next year.
Source: Richard Partridge (28/05/08)
There are still some places available for this International competition. Entry is open to all breeds and cross breeds, and to handlers of all classes. The competition is what we in the good old days called an Open. There are separate classes for Small, Medium and Large dogs.
This is an wonderful opportunity to experience International Competition and to meet new agility friends as well as having a Spanish holiday with something more than just sitting on the beach! We will be especially pleased to hear from disabled handlers.
The closing date for entries is 30 June 2007. The entry fee is 40 euros per dog. Dogs must already have Pet Passports.
If you want more details please email Richard Partridge , email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website for the 2007 VIII IMCA and VI PAWC in Girona, Spain is now up and running on http://www.imca-pawc.net/. There you will find all the information regarding venue, classes, rules etc.
The competition will take place at the Complex Esportiu de Palau (Girona- Spain), in a closed pavilion with a carpeted surface.
One of the judges has been named as Relinde Peschier from Holland.
I won’t grind my axe on this except to say that eight years ago an Italian lady decided that it was patently unjust that only 'posh' dogs could enter Internationals, so, unlike others, she did something about it. She went off and invented IMCA, or to give it it’s full name, International Mixed Breeds Championship Agility which was only for mixed breeds.
After a couple of successful years, the competition was opened to pedigree dogs and the name cleverly changed by adding a simple little ampersand to International Mixed & Breeds Championship Agility.
At the same time the Para Agility World Cup (PAWC) was launched, allowing disabled persons also to enjoy the challenges and fun of International competition. To the amazement of its organisers, this event has been almost completely overlooked by the inventors of Agility, namely us lot in the UK.
Last year my wife Sheila and I took part in both IMCA and PAWC which were held at Amerfoort, Holland. We had a wonderful time.
I entered our collie-ish in the large class in IMCA. The competition was effectively an Open. For example, in our class we competed against some 120 other dogs and handlers ranging in ability and experience from us (Elementary) and three youngsters from Rumania where there are very few clubs and only a couple of competitions each year to the larger teams from counties where the popularity is such that they have qualifying competitions. This pitted us against the top flight handlers from Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy etc. In fact, some of these were at FCI in Basle, Switzerland.
The set up is similar to FCI in that each country can enter up to four dogs per class - Small, Medium and Large - with three plus a reserve in the Team event. All dogs run one Agility course and one Jumping course plus, if they are entered, the same in the Team Competition. It is not necessary to enter a full team, as I have said. Last year I was the sole UK entrant in IMCA!
Sheila entered our Papillon, Smokey, in the Para-agility competition on account that she has arthritis in her knees and is quite disadvantaged in her own agility. The Para-agility entrants have two Agility and one Jumping competition, with different categories according to the individual disability. All of this is run over four days, which obviously leaves plenty of time for meeting people, chatting, sightseeing and perhaps even a little sampling of local brewing and cuisine!
This year the competition is to be held in Girona, Spain from 6-9 September 2007. We are planning to go and would be very interested to hear from anybody else who would care to join us and make up a team.
More information at www.para-agility.nl. This may seem a strange link, but the explanation is that in 2006 Susan Rekveld, a disabled Dutch handler, organised the whole event and all the information is on her web site.
If you are interested, please contact me soon and I will try to help as much as possible. Don't forget however, that even though it is only early February and September seems a long way off, it can take a long time to set your dog up with the proper pet passports etc. so there is some immediate urgency.
For more information, email Richard Patrick on email@example.com
I have just had a look at the agenda for the Liaison Council meeting and have notice an item regarding sending a team to the International Mixed & Breed Championships for Agility.
I remember reading an article a little back regarding cross/mixed breeds/rescue dogs and pedigrees where it said that only pedigrees could take part in International competitions. I followed up the articles in Speak Out regarding this issue and am a little confused. Are competing dogs supposed to be pedigrees only or can non pedigrees be entered. It is not likely that I will ever be elevated to International Competition but as I prefer non pedigree dogs it would be nice to know that if ever it did come about then I would not be penalised for not having a pedigree dog.