Posts Tagged ‘Belmont’

Responsibilities of Canine Agility Competition: CPE Agility Nationals Update

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Cy flies out of the tunnel at a full gallop at a 2011 CPE trial.

Raja and I are really disappointed because our dear friends Carolyn and Cy will not be competing in the CPE Nationals in Altamont, New York this upcoming weekend.  BUT, we are so proud of Carolyn for making the challenging decision.

Yesterday afternoon, Cy yipped and cringed.  His tail dropped; his behavior indicated he had neck pain again.  A visit to the vet this morning revealed nothing significant in the x-ray, but his vet did caution that Cy’s previous injury may give him trouble from time to time.  Cy will continue to do agility, but when the injury shows up, he should take ibuprofen, a prescribed muscle relaxant and he should not jump for a few weeks.

Cy and CT pose for a publicity picture.

There’s the rub.  To complete an agility course, jumping over low jumps, off a low teeter incline and off a low ramp are required moves. Maybe it would all go OK, but if it didn’t, Cy would be seeing a new vet in a different time zone far from home. Almost all active animals, like people, sustain little injuries from time to time.  Maybe a human athlete can make the personal decision to compete when not in tip top form, but to make the decision for a beloved pet, a pet who would literally walk a plank cheerfully if asked… well, it’s not ethical to ask.

Last week, a similar decision for the racehorse I’ll Have Another pulled the champion from the Belmont Stakes, the last race in the elite winner’s circle of Triple Crown contenders.  I’ll Have Another had the beginning of tendonitis in his left front leg.  Owner J. Paul Redman said that he and the horse’s team were unanimous.  I’ll Have Another will retire to a nice life at stud, so, snarking and speculating from the wings aside, the decision averts another racecourse-side tragedy.

Big expectations and high exchanges of money often accompany animal competitions.  Canine Agility is high value on the side of expectations, while nurturing animal/human companionship and genuine fun, unlike horse racing that probably is a lot lower on the expectation of animal / human fun and higher on the finance side.  Nonetheless, animal competition as a sport is an expensive hobby at many levels. Carolyn made the best decision for Cy at this time.

Cy’s probably disappointed too.  Carolyn considered bringing him to Altamont anyway just for an outing, but she knows he’d spend the whole time straining at the lead expecting his turn to run the course.   Our guess is he’ll get an ice cream party at Stewart’s Root Beer and an opportunity to compete at the state-of-the-art agility facility Think Pawsitive in New Berlin, Wisconsin as soon as his vet gives him the go ahead.

Cy and CT pose with some of their prizes and ribbons.