COURTESY Steve Surfman/WKC
NEW YORK, New York (NEWS CENTER) - Mainers have a new champion we can be proud of. Trainer Delaney Ratner and her 7 year old border collie Kelso have won the first-ever agility competition at the Westminster Kennel Club show.
Delaney and Kelso competed against 225 other dogs in the first ever contest held by the club. Kelso and the other dogs raced through a course of jumps, tunnels, ramps, and other obstacles as handlers guided them with signals and calls. The dogs were judged on both accuracy and speed.
Delaney Ratner and mother Cindy Ratner, both of Cape Elizabeth, are avid dog trainers. Cindy Ratner teaches dog agility at Finish Forward in Saco, Mainely Agility in Raymond and Tree Frog Farm in N. Yarmouth. Delaney, a Managerial Economics major at UMass Amherst, teaches in Maine in the summer. Mother and daughter have trained together for almost 15 years. Both participate in teaching workshops and seminars across New England.
The Westminster Kennel Club, most widely known for its Best in Show completion, added the agility contest this year. The agility contest also marked the first time in almost 138 years mixes have appeared at the nation's premier dog show.
This is not the first award for Ratner and Kelso, they won the 2012 USDAA Agility National Championship. Cindy Ratner said "It's been incredible to share a sport with my daughter and the agility community is a wonderful 'village' in which to raise a child."
The pair also share running other dogs including Jonesy, a Miniature Schnauzer and Zep, a Shetland Sheepdog and their oldest guy, BAM!, a Border Collie.