Parkes to host Dog Agility and Jumping trial this weekend

STEELY FOCUS: Leilani the pug, trained by Parkes' Sharon Jeffries, will be one to watch at the trials this weekend.

STEELY FOCUS: Leilani the pug, trained by Parkes' Sharon Jeffries, will be one to watch at the trials this weekend.

The Parkes and District Kennel Club will host its annual Agility and Jumping Trial this weekend, with dogs from Parkes and all over Australia ready to strut their stuff.

This will be the second time Parkes has hosted this event with the 2020 trial cancelled due to COVID-19 - and it's safe to say spectators, trainers and their four-legged friends are excited about the weekend..

Dog Agility is a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy.

Dogs run off leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler cannot touch either the dogs or the obstacles.

Consequently, the handler's controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals, requiring exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler.

The event is shaping up to be an enormous success with 100 competitors entered with 975 runs over the weekend.

Kennel Club president, Denise Gersbach, is thrilled with the number of entries for the trial.

"We actually had to close the nominations early as we reached capacity well before the closing date," she said, with the club not initially knowing what to expect.

"We have received great support from the agility community with competitors travelling from all over NSW and the ACT as well as South Australia."

Sharon Jeffries and her pug Leilani.

Sharon Jeffries and her pug Leilani.

The Parkes Club will be well represented with 12 members competing in the Novice, Excellent and Masters divisions, and Denise is confident of bringing home some ribbons.

"We are expecting some great results over the weekend.

"Lynn Madden has been in stellar form with her dogs Stormy and Rain the border collies, who are both competing at the top Masters level in Jumping after gaining their Excellent title in recent weeks."

"Sharon Jefferies and her pug, Leilani, are definitely ones to watch over the weekend as well as Fiona Watts and her border collies, Indie and Willow."

Leilani hammed it up at the Parkes Champion Post's mini photo shoot on Wednesday, and although, like most pugs, she is an absolute clown, when it comes to down to business she is fully focused - and it is easy to see why she is already a champion.

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The weekend will provide great entertainment for the local community with action commencing at the Kennel Club grounds in Victoria Street from 8am each day. There will also be a great raffle running over the weekend with 20 prizes to be won.

Denise acknowledged the very welcome support of both the Parkes Shire Council (for maintenance of the perfectly manicured grounds) and the Northparkes Community Investment Grant program.

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