July 8, 2022

Episode 309: Post Westminster Interview with “Team Bee”

In this episode (58:44)

In this podcast, Sarah and Esteban talk with Jennifer Crank and Jean Lavalley about Bee’s record setting Westminster win.

You Will Learn

  • Why it is harder for the 16″ dog to be named the overall winner than it is for the 20″ dog.
  • What Westminster records Jennifer has set and which record she has her eye on.
  • For more on the math behind the Overall winner, see this article: https://baddogagility.com/bad-dog-agilitys-2019-westminster-wrap-up/
  • The story behind “Team Bee” throwing out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game!

Mentioned/Related

Pictures!

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(upbeat music) - Welcome to Bad Dog Agility, a podcast helping you reach all of your dog agility goals. Whether it's competing under the bright lights of the televised finals at Westminster or successfully navigating a homemade course in your own backyard. We'll bring you training tips, interviews and news about the great sport of dog agility. Are you ready? - I'm ready. - I'm ready. - I'm ready. - The

show starts with your host, Jennifer, Esteban and Sarah. - I'm Jennifer. - I'm Esteban. - And I'm Sarah and this is episode 309. - Today's podcast is brought to you by Synovetin OA. Is your agility dog suffering from elbow osteoarthritis? Synovetin OA can help. It's a different way to relieve the pain that causes limping and lameness. Just one simple quick nonsurgical treatment can provide pain relief for up

to one whole year. So if you're a dog's elbow pain has been keeping you off the agility course, ask your veterinarian about Synovetin OA or visit activedognow.com/learn-more. - This procedure can only be performed by licensed veterinarians of veterinary hospitals, permitted to use internal radiation therapy. On rare occasions discomfort in the treated elbow has been seen in dogs that can last up to 72 hours after treatment. Short term

home care instructions must be followed after treatment to minimize extended close contacts such as co-sleeping. To review the full veterinary prescribing information, visit activedognow.com/cpinfo. Today's podcast is also brought to you by hitaboard.com and the new teeter teach it, an easy to use tool that controls the amount of tip on your teeter. So you can introduce motion to your dog in a gradual way, go to hitaboard.com for the

new teeter teach it and other training tools and toys. Use discount code BDA 10, to get 10% off your order. That's hitaboard.com. Today we are back on the podcast after our yearly summer break, and we are celebrating the results of the Westminster Master Agility Championship. We have on the podcast as always our co-host Jennifer Crank but she is also doubling as guest of honor after her recent Westminster

win. And then also joining us is Jean Labali. Jean co-owns Bee with Jennifer. And so we wanted to talk to both of them about this amazing win and a lot of the fun things that have happened after her Westminster win. Welcome to the podcast, ladies. - Thanks for having us. - Thank you. - All right well, let's start right away with the event itself. So Jennifer, you have

been to Westminster how many times? - This was my sixth year attending. - Excellent. And this year, like last year it was scheduled for February and then had to be moved because of the COVID wave that was happening in February, had to be moved in date from February to June. And that meant it had to be moved in location from the pier in the middle of New York

City to Lynnhurst mansion. So now that you've had two years at the mansion, how do you feel about those two different venues? What do you think, would you prefer one versus the other? - I really like any event that repeats the location, because it just comes with a sense of security, you know where parking's gonna be, you know what to expect with training you know where the rings

are. Everything was set up the exact same. I saw no changes from last year to this year. So in terms of the different sites, I do think this year's site is better for the dogs. It's better for the exhibitor. You have tons of space, there's tons of grass. It's just, it's really nice. I find the hotels to be a little bit easier, but I will also add to

that, that we've been very lucky with weather. So the last two years we've had great weather and this year was particularly amazing because it was not as hot and not as buggy as it was last year, so it was way more enjoyable. We actually had a lot of wind, almost so much wind that we're struggling a bit with our tents that we were using. So I really enjoy

it, but I just keep thinking, like what happens the year that we get a lot of rain or we really get bad weather? The one other thing that's a bit difficult from the perspective of the event is that we do have two rings on two different surfaces. So you have one ring that's inside on AstroTurf, really great. And then you have the outdoor ring on grass. And I

would say that this year, more than last year, it was just the year of knocked bars. I mean, dogs were struggling and I think it's just because the grass isn't great. I mean, there were still holes that they were filling with sand and a lot of dogs that aren't used to training on grass. So I would be totally 100% okay with them going back to the Lynnhurst mansion.

I have no complaints there. I do think that edge and that excitement is taken off a little bit. You don't have the spectators, you don't have the crowds. And because there is so much space, everybody's more spread out. So when it is at the pier, everything's a lot closer. They have the meet the breeds added on, they have the vendors added on which they did not have for

this. So the excitement and the high is a little bit greater. And then because I have the privilege of going to Madison Square Gardens when I won in the past, that was very different than the finals this year in terms of how the groups are run and the excitement and the size of the event there. - Right, from our perspective, we were watching, we only got to watch

the finals on TV and I thought it looked like a fair size of crowds. Was that tricks of the camera, or did they have crowds on all four sides? - For the agility I think the crowds that you saw were accurate. I mean, there was good crowds. I mean, there was very good crowds. When we went back for the awards on Tuesday, which was the confirmation groups, it

was dead, there were tons of empty seats, I was very surprised, but no, the agility was great. I mean, they had a good turnout. I actually think they probably had more people that wanted seats than what they could sit. So it wasn't quite the size, but they did have seating on all four sides, which was unique from the pier where they don't have that. - That was my

question. Because at the pier, the spectating is actually quite limited. Like it's hard to get seats and it looked like maybe it could accommodate more overall people at the Lynnhurst mansion for the perspective of the spectator. - Yeah, that was, I don't know the numbers, but possibly the case. There was definitely, you had all four sides, but it didn't go as deep. And most of the people that

were watching, it seemed like for finals were the competitors there wasn't a lot of, it did not seem a lot of spectators that were coming in that evening, which is a bit different than at the pier. I feel like a lot of local spectators come in for the evening finals, the big finals are the big event and it didn't seem to be that as much. It seemed like

most of the spectators were participants from throughout the day. - Right. So tell us about who you ran, 'cause it wasn't just Bee, in fact, you had two dogs in the finals. So tell us about who you took to Westminster this year. - So Westminster is one of the few events that actually controls and dictates the quantity of dogs you can take for those of you that follow

along. You know, it's no big deal for me to have a lot of dogs, but Westminster actually says four, no one handler can have more than four dogs. So I do have to pick and choose who gets to go. They also have the condition that you had to have the mock this year, which was different than last year. So that kind of affected things as well. So I

took four dogs. I took Taylor, who is my aged Sheltie who ran in finals last year. She actually did not have her mock when we entered for it in February. And then when it got postponed to June, she earned her mock in that time and was eligible to reenter. So it was kind of funny that she made finals last year, but then almost couldn't go this year. I

took Rio in the 12 inch class. I took Bee in the 16 inch class and then Jack Daniels in the 20 inch class. And those that maybe did the nationals before and after got a little bit more familiar with Jack Daniels. So the nice part was that I didn't have any two dogs in one height, so I had no competition against one another, but it also meant more

conflicts because I was in like every height except 24. And for Westminster, there is no 24C. So obviously I wasn't there. So we had a great, I say we, me and my dogs, me and all my helpers and everybody that was there to support had a great day. I went seven for eight in the preliminaries, which is incredible. I had one NQ and that was with Jack and

jumpers and it was the bars. It was the outdoors on grass. Clearly we didn't do enough prep on that. So I was thrilled with my dogs and the way that the scoring works out. Rio and Bee both made finals. So that was super exciting to just not only to get to finals, but then to have two dogs. I have gone to Westminster six years. I have made finals

six years. I have placed in finals for six years. And out of those six years, I actually won my height for four of the six. And then two of the six was the overall winner. So my Westminster streak is great. I kind of feel like maybe I should just stop now. - No, no, no stopping. We wanna see you repeat and repeat and repeat again. - Yeah that's

amazing. - Yeah, it's unbelievable. And I just wanted to remind our listeners that Rio just won nationals at 12 inch this spring. And of course we've been following Bee very closely. When did Bee get her mock because she's on the younger side, and has just come out and made international teams and making to the challenge round in nationals and doing all these amazing things. - Jean, maybe you

can back me up on exact dates. You're the, the statistician of the team, but I believe it was last like October or November, we were on a big push. I will be completely transparent. We were on a big push to try to get her mock so that I could take her to Westminster. So last fall we were doing a bit more traveling than I maybe normally would because

typically Westminster opens like early December and you have to have your mock at the time of entry. So usually like opens in December for the February event. So we were out trying to campaign and get her mock. So is that correct Jean? - Yep, that's right. And do you wanna talk about the other way to get to Westminster that we did all within about a week? - Yes,

I forgot about that. So in addition to trying to get the mock, we were also had the privilege to be invited to the incredible dog challenge and the winner of each height for the incredible dog challenge gets an automatic invite to Westminster. So we were out campaigning and running around and trying to get her mock. We were sitting on 19 double Qs and she went out and won

the incredible dog challenge. So it was great because she got that by, but it was like all that effort and all that work to get the mock and it turns out we didn't need it. So I did forget about that, Jean. So yeah, we actually kind of got the mock and then won the incredible dog challenge last October. - But you know if you hadn't gotten the incredible

dog challenge, maybe you would've been stuck at 19. I don't think so. You're not the type to get stuck at 19, but you never know. - No, I love it you had a plan A and then you had a plan B. That's my kind of planning. - Yes. - Yeah. - Me too. - Well, Jean, can you tell us a little bit more, tell us more about how

this all got started between you and Jennifer and Bee, tell us more about Bee. - So I got Bee, I got her from Jennifer's mom, Susan, and I was just gonna raise her up to be my next agility dog. And I also had her brother Mookie from Rio's litter and it was just really apparent to me very quickly that she was probably the most gifted mentally and physically

Sheltie I had owned before. And I've had a lot of really nice Shelties. - Really? Yes let me interrupt just a moment for some of our newer listeners who are not familiar with Jean's resume, Jean is a long time competitor, big time winner, appearances at the biggest events on the biggest stages, FCI agility world championships. So, a great handler and for you to sit here and say that

this dog was special amongst all the dogs that you have had in this breed is a remarkable thing. And you're a vet. So I think we should throw that out there. So people can understand what that means. Okay now continue your story. - And Bee is a Swift puppy too. Jennifer's, the wonderful dog Swift is the sire. So anyway, go ahead Jean. - Yes. - So as I

was training her, my mother recently moved in with us and my husband and mom and I have been COVID home bound and all that stuff. And as I was training her, I was just like, I really think this dog reminds me so much of Swift and I really don't want to go down that road again, international travel, nationals, doing all the work that's involved. And here was Jen

with Swift getting a little older and Bee being a Swift puppy so much like Swift and Jen had been helping me train Bee. So I was doing the at home with Jen Crank. I was going up for lessons and assistance. And I was just like, this dog really should have better than what I want to do as far as competing. And so I started pushing like, okay, Jen,

when Swift retires. I really want Bee to be your dog. And I want her to live with me. I wanna help, but I want you to campaign her. I want you to try the world team. I want you to do all that stuff if you want to. And she tried to talk me out of it. She was like, you should do it. I'm like, but I don't want

to, she's not gonna do it. I'm not gonna do that again. And she finally relented. - That is-- - Yeah I have to admit, I was hearing how great Bee was and I'm like, of course she's great. All the Swifty babies are amazing. Sure, sure. And she'd come up for a lesson and I'd go, oh, really? Okay send her home with homework and she'd come back. And Jean's

like, but she's really great. And look, and then one day I got a chance to run her. And I was like, oh, I can feel it. I was getting in the driver's seat and hitting the gas pedal. And you're like, oh, this car has power. It was like, and that was when I was like, yeah, Jean has wise beyond her years. She knew this dog was great. She

knew this dog structurally, mentally. And of course pulled at my heartstrings because of being us with puppy. And, and that was one step. I can't even say the start of our relationship and journey, Jean and I have been friends and team members for years, but it was the start of officially team Bee instead of Bee or Jean and Bee, it is now team Bee. So she has given

us more opportunities and presented more amazing times and relationships and memories than we can even imagine, and she's three, she's three that's what's so crazy. - Wow. - Yeah I mean, she is doing remarkable things putting in remarkable times and I think we'll just skip to the punchline here for Westminster and Bee won the 16 inch class. Fantastic, wonderful, wonderful accomplishment. But the other thing that she did

was she won the overall title. And for our listeners who have been on the podcast with us for a while, you know that this is a very difficult thing for a 16 inch dog to do. And it's because of the unique scoring at Westminster. It's based on yards per second and 20 inch dogs get more yards, which means the 16 inch dog has to beat the 20 inch

dog and buy a decent little margin to run the same yards per second. So, Jennifer, I believe you have had multiple years where you had the fastest time of all heights at Westminster but were not awarded the overall, correct? - I don't 100% know the answer to that, but I do believe you're correct. I do think so. There was at least one year where I thought Pink had

the fastest time, but yards for second, she did not win. So I don't know if there were multiple years, but I do think there was at least one. - There's at least one. - And I do recall a year that Lark, Betsy Lynch, and it might have been Ren. I do apologize. Betsy had the fastest time of all of the dogs, but did not win the overall, which

is crazy. - And they have it even harder. They have even fewer yards than the sixteens. So it's an interesting score. We've talked about it in past podcasts. If you wanna listen to especially our review of the first Westminster where we talk-- - Hot take is I don't like it. Just if a small dog is gonna beat a larger dog, in terms of just straight up time in

my personal view, they deserve to win. - Right. But it is the way it's done and I don't see it changing, especially because now you have all of these years. But what it does mean is that it is extra special for a dog to win the overall who is not the 20 inch dog. Jen accomplished that two years ago with Pink won the 16 Pink being a Border

Collie. And now Jen has come back again and done it with a second 16 inch dog, a non Border Collie, a Sheltie winning the overall title. Like this is really groundbreaking record setting stuff on top of all of that. Like it's hard enough to win overall when you're 16. But on top of all of that, Jen is now the only handler to win the overall with multiple dogs.

Two different dogs. That's never happened before. So Jen is setting Westminster records that I think are going to be very, very hard to break. And if you go back and you win again next year, I heard on the broadcast when we were rewatching it, they were pointing out, as dogs were running, as Verb was running, they were talking that no dog has won the overall back to back.

And, they were setting up the fact that Verb could do it. Verb was had a A-frame call, so they did not win, but that could be you next year, winning the overall again with Bee and being the first back to back overall winner. - Yeah, we'll give it our best try, but I will say that even this year blew me out of the water and took me by

surprise. So, we'll see what happens. I do think there's some advantages that Bee has that we train on grass and we practice on grass that helped her out some, but I do have a goal, big goal that the big Westminster trophy that you get your name engraved on. You don't get to keep it goes and sits at AKC, but it does read the rules do state that if

any one handler wins it five times, the trophy gets retired to that handler. So you have all of your lifetime to do it. So I can do it with all of the different dogs, but I'm like, maybe that's a lifetime goal is that if over my lifetime in this sport, I could win it five times. It would be super cool to have a trophy that they really never

intended to go into anybody's hands and to have all those like iconic and famous people's names on there to have, Perry's name, Jess's name, my dog, my two dogs on there. Mine would be really cool. So that is a little lifetime goal is five times to win the overall. - I think it's gonna happen. I think it's gonna happen. I think Jen's gonna do it. If anybody can

do it, Jen can do it. That's amazing, I love that. And I love that you read the rules to know that. - So you have to be the overall winner? - Yes, the overall winner five times. So she's two outta five. So she needs-- - The other nice part with overall winner is that you get your entry guaranteed for life as well. So now-- - I did not

realize it was for life. Oh, I just thought it was the next year. - What do you mean your entry? Like they pay for it or like? - No. - You can enter whatever dog you want. - No, no. - Bee can always go to Westminster, even though remember Westminster fills and it's hard to get in and they have a waiting list. - Oh so once you're the

overall winner, you can go every single year you're invited back. - With that dog, yes. So that's why you've seen dogs that won in the past. John Izentrick has won overall and he's been there almost every year. And Perry with Verb is because those overall winners get that entry, not just the next year, but for all future years, which is huge. 'Cause that trial typically fills up within

hours and is hard to get into. And I think the event could grow. So with her only being three, it's really exciting to know that from here on out, you will pretty much expect to see me at Westminster unless we have any kind of injuries for her and me, but that was really cool to now know. I don't have to sit and wait for that draw and wait

for that email that says you got in. - Wow, that's awesome. I love it, I'm a rule reader too. So I love that you've read the fine print. So tell us about, so now that we've kind of told everybody about the yards per second, being how you are awarded, how did you find out, were you really surprised or were you acting surprised for the camera? Because I know

that even when we're there live, it is very difficult to keep track of, you basically have to do algebra to reverse the time. So as soon as the 20 inch dog goes, or you have to, like, you have to do algebra to figure out what is the 16 inch time that would get you the same yards per second as that dog, that's the time that you need to

beat. It's not apparent and you have to do all of this stuff. So when did you know? - I will tell you that it was complete shock, that what you saw on camera was absolutely accurate. I think there's a couple factors into play. They do try to withhold that information from you. They do want your raw look. So it's not easy to try to figure out. And like

you said, there would be math. In my case, for those that did watch the broadcast. And for those that did not, I'm gonna spoil it for you. I fell flat on my face with my second dog. So I was not in a great head space. I was very upset with myself and I was in the parking lot crying and they're like, texting me, we need you back for

awards. So I didn't really know what was happening with the other heights and the other dogs. I did make it into run twenties. They run 20 inches last, that's not on accident. And there were some amazing dogs in the 20 inch class. So I wasn't really following. I was still like trying to get over the fact that I just had this great high of winning with Bee and

then this great low of falling on my face in front of national television. And they're like, get all the dogs, get all the winners, bring your ribbons line up. And they're just, everything's shuffling really fast. And I did know that Bee had the fastest time, but again, I wasn't doing the math and in my head, the 20 inch dog wins. I mean, yes, Pink one, Pink is an

incredible dog once in a lifetime dog, she was amazing. I knew that there was the potential she could do it. I never really deep down inside ever imagined that a Sheltie, a Sheltie would do it when Border Collies were clean. It wasn't like a lot of the faster dogs faulted, there were clean Border Collies. So I just assumed it was going to the 20 inch dog. We were

all kind of standing there already, almost even talking about it. Like we all kind of were ready for her to win. And so when they said my name, I was just like, oh no, I was not ready for that. So it was shock. I think they tried to keep it from you, but I had no idea, wasn't processing and thinking it. So it was super cool, super exciting.

But yeah, it was fun. It's yeah, it was super exciting. I don't know, it was more the year that Pink won because sixteens run first and twenties run late. They had spoiled it for me. They told me that I had won before awards. So when they didn't tell me this year, I was like, oh, well I must not have won because they didn't tell me. And they did

in the past. So when they said it, I was like blown away and it helped to bring me out of my meltdown that I was having over Rio's run. So that's quite nice. - After you ran Bee, did they interview because they didn't show an interview on the broadcast? - Yeah, they did interview and I don't know what happened. I don't know why it cut. - Was an

interview inappropriate? - It seemed like a good interview. - Did you make fun of Terry's jeans? - I did not. I don't know what happened. I will say that I think my nerves took over and I may have talked a little long. I also did a shout out on the camera, too. Jean I looked right at the camera and I went, hi Jean. So maybe they didn't like

that. - I dunno, I don't see how they cannot include it when you're the winner. My theory, my take is that they purposely removed it with the intention of putting it or a part of it at the end, because they knew this was the next day, they do processing on it. So they knew who the overall winner was. And then they either ran out of time or they

literally forgot that they had meant to put that in because they didn't interview you. They interviewed and yours was the first height to run. - Correct. - So you were the first winner in the broadcast. They did not interview you. So I thought, okay, maybe they're not doing interviews, but then they interviewed all the other heights. So as I was watching it in real time, I was like,

oh, the super observant watcher will be like, ah, they pulled her interview. Maybe she's gonna win. That's just, I guess how my brain works. And of course I also knew the results already. And then they interviewed everybody else. And then they like came back. It was a little disappointing on the broadcast because they came back after the 20 inch winner. And there were like. - And a million

commercials. - And a million commercials. And then they were like, and here they were like here are your winners. And the overall winner is Bee the Sheltie and they showed her take three obstacles. And they showed you hugging her with the ribbon and the trophy. And then they were like, here's her owner just shocked that they won. And when we get back from break, Terry's gonna tell you

why she was so surprised. And then they did more commercials. And then they come back to Terry who they were basically like, so why is it so shocking that Bee won. He tried to kind of, without talking about yards per second, he just said that seven of the last eight years, it's been the 20 inch dog that's won. And so this is a really big accomplishment for Jen

and she wasn't expecting it. And then they were like what was your favorite part of this? And they were all talking about as announcers, what they enjoyed about it. And I was like, but what about like actually talking to Jen, where's the Jen interview? So I thought it was a little bizarre and very abrupt, but of course, you know, it was like, you could see the time ticking

down to the next thing. - And now that I heard your version though, Jennifer, maybe saying hi Jean and then giving a five minute speech, they were like there's no good place we can cut this. There's no way we can fit it in. So we're just gonna cut it out. - That was my theory, I may have talked too long. I didn't seem like it in the moment,

but I just answered their questions. And I was nervous though. So maybe 'cause I was nervous I talked long, but who knows? But I didn't say anything stupid. - Maybe they will contact us and clue us in. - I had a theory that it did have to do with the shout out because it doesn't really play into the image of Jen, her dog, the winner and they play

up the relationship and all that stuff. And it's like, how do they then explain there's two moms, there's two trainers, it's not the normal. - It's 2022, there can be two moms. - That's true. - Well during the interview, did you talk about Jean being a caller and all that? - Yeah, they said how I thought I got, how did she get so great or why is she

so great or what was the key? And I said, you know, she's a great dog, but she has a lot of great training. I've done stuff. She's trained with her co-owner as well, blah, blah, blah. But the way that I looked at it and I guess maybe Jean you're right. But at the Kentucky Derby, the camera goes from the jockey to the owner, to the jockey, to the

owner, to the person that manages the stall. Like it's a team, it is a team. I mean, we all know it's a team. Even if your team is your spouse that supports you going to the shows or it is your coach who walked you through the course plan. So, I was more about like the team effort, but maybe that was not their takeaway. - No, I totally agree.

But now that I hear Jean's version and theory, I think there's something to that. Yeah, because they really do have this narrative, this story that they try to put together about-- - Yeah they wanted to cut my interview because I wanted to thank somebody on national television, then they can cut my interview. - What did they ask you, do you remember? - Two very generic questions. I think

it was one question was like, what was the key, how did you get her so honed in on your emotions and how did you get her to watch so well, and that's when I talked about her being a very natural athlete and very biddable and she had great training between the two of us. There was a second question and I think it may have just been the what

does this mean to you? They're all kind of running together between the Westminster years and the nationals years. And they're all super, super generic. They don't ask about anything on the course. They don't go how did you navigate that backside out of the tunnel? - You mean the backside where you said push push. - Yeah, I don't think the interviewers have enough knowledge about the sport to ask

questions like that. So it's all very generic. What does this mean to you or what's next or, yeah, so maybe they could get. - And this is the first year that they didn't run with Jennifer Hale on the side. So Jennifer had done it several years. Jennifer Hale had done it several years in a row and she obviously builds up some knowledge about the sport, some familiarity with

people, especially some of the competitors she sees over and over again. And I thought her questions got better and better as she understood the sport a little bit more. This year, we had a new guy and clearly didn't know too much about the sport. So anytime you're starting over with new people in the booth or down there doing the interviews, I think it's gonna be a little more

generic on the question side. - Was he the same new guy that did nationals also? - Somebody else asked me that question. I don't believe so. I remember the person at AKC nationals being much larger standing next to me interviewing me. I don't 100% know that, but he was the same person who was doing all of the work for the confirmation as well, because he was back doing

a lot of the interviews and the talking and the presenting on Tuesday night for the group so he obviously was-- - Part of the Spanish broadcast. Yeah. So, well so this year Fox sports announced that they were also gonna run this in Spanish and put that out to millions of homes and your interviewer Rivovlfo Landaros, he's bilingual. And they had, yeah, they brought in a big guy here

to do, we're reading the announcement now, but they had the longest running Spanish sports network in the United States. So they also broadcasted there. So I thought maybe he was doing double duty. He was doing the interviews there, but also doing them in Spanish on the side or speaking in Spanish on the side as the sideline reported there. So I thought that was pretty cool that they were

doing that. Let me go over some housekeeping stuff that I found pretty interesting. And then we're gonna talk about more cool stuff. But the announcing was done by, I believe John Sanders, who did a nice job, in previous years they had the British dude, Graham Partridge, Partridge Graham, the voice, he did that classic voice. - Right, right. - You know the proper Westminster kind of, gives it that

British air of-- - Pomp and circumstance. - There you go. That's a nice way of putting it. Judges and the finals, eight, 12, 16 inch Rhonda Berny and then Ben Gibbs judging 20 and 24 inches. And John Strong, did the announcing not announcing, the play by play and then Terry Simons, of course, with the color commentary as the experienced agility competitor. I know I made fun of Terry's

jeans earlier, but he actually looked quite sharp. - Yeah, no. And he did-- - I like that they were wearing ties and coats and stuff like that. I think Westminster a little dressier up there in the Northeast, that kind of an event. - Yeah we like Terry doing it. We think he does a great job. The joke that we were making earlier, it is a little funny because

if you know Jen, then you know what she's saying. But as Bee came out of the tunnel to go to the backside, Jen's saying, push, push, push, and training with Jen I know that cadence, not just the word push, but the way she says it, push, push, push is how she does backsides. But Terry was like, oh, you know, good, good, good. She's telling Bee's doing a good

job. I didn't actually even catch that the first time I watched the broadcast. But when I was rewatching it, I thought he was talking about something else or he'd heard something else. But then I realized, oh, it's the push he thinks is good. I thought that was pretty funny. Just a little miss cue there on what she was saying, but I thought it was cute. - Yeah, and

then to finish up my thoughts. So for the broadcast itself I think it was pretty good. Every year they're trying new things. This year, they had a weird tunnel camera and it did not look good. Like the video as a dog ran through, it collapsed. - It looks like you're inside of a colon or something. - It was, yeah. It looked like a colonoscopy guys. - Yeah right.

- Looked like something. Yeah, exactly. I mean, I haven't had one yet, that that day is coming, but yeah. And they did show the coolest infographic. So they were comparing the first year, 2014 with 2021. And they were explaining how the yardage for courses went from 165 to 192. The courses were being trending bigger in recent years, the yards per second, the competitors were faster, 5.54 versus 5.86

now, so significantly faster. And even when you look at the champions, the winners, their yards per second, went from a 5.9 in 2014 to a 6.3. - Well, you know why the yardage is bigger. It's because of the move to Lynnhurst mansion. - You think there's more space? - I think the courses are bigger. You don't think so Jen, you don't think that there's more space? - I

haven't been to the new place, so I can't speak to that. Jen, what do you think. - That information is listed on the premium and I did not feel like the ring at Lynnhurst was larger than it was. You're absolutely right it could be, but that's not what triggered in my mind. That wasn't the first thing that came to mind is like, oh, well we have more space

to work with, but it could be, it absolutely could be that, that's why. - Yeah, and then the next one was, they kind of do an agility 101, how does the scoring work? Five faults for, I think they called it a wrong course and then 10 faults for contact bar or weeks, which I think is good because back in the day, if you could get a five fault,

then you could in theory, have a very fast dog, miss a contact, mess up the weep poles or something, or drop a bar and still win and still win it all. So pretty interesting. And I think that that's basically all my thoughts there on the broadcast, except, oh, except to say still coming in too tight. I love the instant replays and the slowmo. That is the time to

come in tight on a dog. It is not the time to do, they basically need a wider view. And I feel like this year was worse than previous years, so maybe a new crew or something, but overall, I want to trend out to a little bit wider, treating it more like a sport, treating it more like professional football, professional basketball. That's why this infographic was so cool. You're

really establishing it here as a sport rather than some kind of circus oddity halftime show. So, that would again be my complaint. And I felt like previously Fox had been doing a better job than say ESPN has. I feel like ESPN has really been struggling with the tight shots and their camera work. Just not very good at all. So I felt like there was a bit of a

drop off this year. Yep. - All right well, let's talk about some of the pomp and circumstance and celebration and what happens when you become a Westminster champion, the overall champion. So first all off Jen. So in addition to the huge ribbon and the pictures and the win itself, you then are asked to come back two days later. So it was Tuesday night, or three days, two days,

I don't know, can't do day math, but basically Tuesday night you came back and then as part of the confirmation side of Westminster, they have a little celebration in between or something like that where they announce you to the general public. And you're not in your tennis shoes, you're all dressed up and everything. So tell us about all of that and how that went. - Yeah so what

happened once I won the overall, they kind of pull you aside and you do all this paperwork and they tell you all this stuff, but one of the things is they really want you to come back during the groups to be presented, basically represented with your awards in between the groups in front of everybody that's there along with doing an interview and a demo. So the event was

Saturday and we won Saturday night and they do say, hey, can you just stick around? But it was Tuesday night, which was three nights away. It wasn't like the next night or even two nights. It was three nights. And I just wasn't gonna be able to swing sitting in New York for three days. I did not have enough dog food with me. I didn't have any dress clothes

with me. I didn't go in expecting to win. So I didn't have any dress clothes with me. I had the seven year old son at home and my husband at home that I had made obligations to get him to a camp that he was at on Monday. So I decided to pack up, leave Sunday morning, actually stop at a show on my way outta town, come home Monday,

and then go all the way back. And for those of you that are not aware of geography for me, it was an eight and a half hour drive one way. So drive all the way back with my husband, who is completely totally supportive, took the day off work, kind of came out with me. So I didn't have to drive by myself to do the awards. And then what

they do is they do four groups on Tuesday for confirmation, and they do the first two groups. And then on the break, they bring out the overall agility winner and the overall obedience winner. They present us, they show some photos and videos on the screen. The obedience person does a demo. They interview her, agility does a demo. They interviewed us, they represent us with awards and take photos,

and then we're excused to leave. So we're not quite in the gowns and the suits that the confirmation people are in because we have to give these demos, but they do like if we dress up a little bit and that's always kind of fun. So we got to go back and have VIP tickets and sit in the front row and do our demo on our presentation. So it

was super exciting to go back and have that honor, like I said, I had the privilege of doing it in Madison Square Garden which I will tell you was really exciting. And being there, this is a little bit different, again, better for the dogs, not quite as thrilling. So we went back there on Tuesday. So that was kind of one of the big, exciting moments after the win.

- Excellent. And then I get a text from Jen or a Facebook message from Jen, and she says, hey, by the way, tomorrow, I'm throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Cincinnati Reds Game. I was like, what? So tell me about this, because let me just say that I have, for a long time, I have felt like the agility winner should get and needs to get, and

there's no reason why they shouldn't get way more publicity than they're getting. When I see that the best in show winner, makes the rounds on every late night show, every Good Morning America, all of that. I'm like there can't be one of those shows that wants to bring in the agility winner, like from my perspective, the agility winner is so cool. The videos that they can show of

you actually doing agility and everything is so cool. So I think this is a step in the right direction, but for anybody who happens to listen to this, I think the agility winner should be like on tour in the same way that the best breed winner is, but tell us how this happened and step by step how it came to be because Jean got to be involved in

that too, and it was a total surprise. So tell us how it all went. I wanna hear Jean's thoughts at every step of the way. - So you would kind of think that knowing the timeline that Bee one, I go get my award. And two days later I'm asked to throw out this ceremonial first pitch that somebody heard that somebody from Ohio won. So why don't we get

the Ohio person to come down and throw it out? And you would think that I got this letter of invite, but actually it didn't happen like that at all. So that's kind of the fun part. So as Jean alluded to earlier, she has a dog named Mookie Bee's brother is named Mookie another Swift puppy named Mookie after Mookie Betts. Months ago, I heard word that Jean was going

with her family to a Cincinnati Reds game to watch the LA Dodgers, which is who Mookie Betts plays for. And I was like, oh, that sounds super exciting. Ethan's never gone to a game, can we come? So we had planned just a family day to the ballpark for the six of us months ago, and along the journey of team Bee, Jean and I shared the training. We shared

the showing. So I was going to meet her at the ballpark for the game, but we are also gonna do a trade off of Bee. I was gonna give her Bee. Post Westminster she was gonna take Bee, get to spend some time with her, do some training, do some showing, and I was gonna have the weekend off. So that's how this was all going to go. And for

all Jean knew that's exactly what was happening. So we need arrangements to meet at the ballpark at a particular location. We were gonna put Bee in the air conditioning. So then I say to Jean, okay, meet me at this place. We're gonna meet, take Bee into the AC. And then Jean shows up. - Take over the story Jean. - Okay, so I show up and I'm like-- -

What were you wearing? - I was wearing a Mookie Betts shirt, of course, for the Cincinnati Reds game. But I wasn't there for the Cincinnati Reds. I was there to see Mookie Betts, who by the way is on the injured list. So I didn't get to see anyway. But so I came up and I was like, oh, hi Bee. And she's so excited. And everybody's sitting around, I

started asking for IDs and putting in a wristband on me, and they're asking my mom for an ID and they're asking Joel, I'm like, what is going on here? We don't need IDs to go into the ballpark, we were already in. So basically Jen just started telling me this story and they start taking us down the ramp through, into our little cool locker room and everything. And I

was like, what is happening here? Because it's also my first ever major league ball game that I was going to see Mookie Betts. So now I'm going out on the field before the game with Jen and my dog. - Wait that is crazy. Wait, are you saying you had never been to a baseball game before? - I have never been to my, I've followed-- - This is the

first major league game you have ever been to? And you're a huge fan. - And I've been a baseball fan my whole life. But when we were young, we didn't have the money for that sort of stuff. We listen on the radio and then just in my adult life, what have I been doing? Running around with my dogs? I didn't have time. - That's right. - But this

is part of why we need team Bee so I can go to ball games. So anyway, yeah Jen asked about going and we got seats together and everything, and yeah, I had no idea. I thought we were going to the ball game and by the way, I was getting Bee for the weekend so that I could show, we had a local show here that weekend. - Right so--

- So you're in the locker room. - And you have-- - Bee's with you. - And yeah you have the dog with you too. So then-- - And my mom. Yeah and my mom and my husband and Ethan and Jason and Jen. So it's like these two family affair with our dog. It was really cool. And then they start taking us down on the field, through the Dodgers

dugout and somebody was like, where are we going? I was like, I don't know, I'm just following my dog. So I'm like following Jen and the dog. And I don't know, it was like I've seen ceremonial first pitches, but having never been to the ball game, I've never experienced it myself. - That's awesome. And when Jen first told me, I just thought it was her doing the pitch.

I didn't realize, so you were catching, right. So you were catching, she was throwing. - In a manner of speaking. - In a manner of speaking. - In a manner of speaking I was catching. - All right so why didn't you tell her? - So since COVID, and I was aware of this, but of course I was withholding all this from Jean since COVID they ask you, if

you're gonna be throwing out the first pitch to bring your own catcher, they don't nominate, they don't bring somebody in. So they don't bring a catcher in to catch for you. You have to bring somebody or they will have the mascot do it because mascots are in suits and in gloves so they can catch your ball. So I knew I was gonna get to pick somebody. So it

would absolutely only make sense that Bee's co-owner co-trainer team Bee be the catcher. So when we get out there on the field, they look at me and they're like, do you know who your catcher's gonna be? And I look at Jean and I'm like, you are. And she's like, wow. So we're definitely a better agility team. Let's just start by saying we're definitely in a better agility team

than we are baseball team. Although I will take most of the blame on that one. It was really cool. They let me run out to the pitchers now with Bee. So when they finally called us out, they're putting it on the jumbo screen, they're introducing, we're standing there. They're showing her photos from Westminster. What she accomplished, photos of her doing equipment. And they say, okay, go ahead out

there. And I was able, I took her off leash and ran outta there. We did some tricks along the way and lined her up in a sit, stay on the pitcher's mound. So that then after I threw, I kind of turned around and asked her to come jump up, like I did at the end of the run. And got to wave around. So it was really cool. Bee

was definitely the shining star. She behaved perfectly. She did her stay, she did her jump, she did her tricks. Jean and I are gonna stick to our day jobs for sure. - Did you practice? - No, no, I do not know the last time I've thrown a baseball. Like maybe when I was in elementary school, I played softball or something. I don't even recall. And I thought we

would have a moment to practice, but when they say we're gonna take you out onto the field, they literally walk you out onto the field. So to practice, I would be like practicing on the side of the field at the Reds stadium with everybody watching. And I was like, is it better to practice or not practice? So I was so nervous. They played music so I'm walking out

there and they're like, whenever you're ready, you can throw it. And then the music that drum roll, like (imitates drum roll) and it's like getting louder and louder, they're like building up for the big like moment that you throw. I was a nervous wreck. I was like, oh my god, I gotta throw it really fast right now because they're waiting on me and they want get me off

the field for the game to start, and I just throw it. And my husband was like, go for height over speed. So he's like, make sure you get enough height because you don't want it to hit the ground. He was worried about me hitting the ground and rolling. - Shorting it and then it just rolls over to Jean. - I got height. I definitely got height right over

Jean's head. - Yes, Jean, how tall are you? - I'm five foot one. And my mom got a steel shot of me jumping with the ball, sailing over my head. You can see the ball. - That is awesome. - Okay, I need that. - The truly funny thing is though my poor little feet are like six inches off the ground. 'Cause I don't jump. I was like, yeah,

I made a good college try, but it was not impressive. - That is amazing. And for the organization to trot you out there, as a catcher, in your LA gear. - In my Dodger shirt. - In Cincinnati. - They were super cool about it. I kept saying, do I need to put on a different shirt? I mean, I was coming for the Dodgers and they were all just,

no, just wear your shirt. It's fine. We're all baseball fans. I mean, I couldn't believe it. - That's so sweet. - I was hoping maybe Mookie would see it from wherever he was watching. - You got to shout at him. You'd be like, Mookie, I'm over here. - Oh I forgot, the most exciting part about it was when they marched, hush Bee, when they marched us out of

the stadium, we went through the Dodger's dugout and the Dodger players were coming in as we were leaving. And my mom loves Justin Turner and Justin Turner literally met us at the stairs. Mom's going down, Justin Turner's coming out and I'm like Justin Turner, Justin Turner, mom, mom, Justin Turner. And he looks up at me and I'm like, I'm pointing at her going, she's your biggest fan. She

loves you, you're her favorite player. And he reached out and shook her hand and told her thank you. It was the coolest moment ever. And my mom's still talking about it. - Oh, that's so great. - I love it, love it. - That's amazing. I can't wait till Jen takes me someplace special and get to meet The Rock. Or something like that. - You can come to the

4th of July parade this week where Bee is being featured as the Westminster winner. - Oh, nice. - Awesome. Are you like the grand Marshall, are they gonna put you on a float? - I am on a float. You're not the grand Marshall, Bee is on. - I was totally kidding and being sarcastic. And then she is going on a float. - And she's gonna sit there with

a sign that says queen Bee because, and then we have photos and signs that say like Westminster winner, 2022. - That is too much. You needa make sure you get video. Lots of photos, send them to Sarah. Get them on the website for everyone to see. - Yeah, absolutely. That is hilarious, I love it. And y'all deserve all of it. All right so real quickly, we can talk

all day swapping stories, but let's talk about the winners from the Westminster championship final round. So in the eight inch class, we have Betsy Lynch with Papillon Lark. So Betsy is our Bad Dog Agility sponsored athlete. So that's really cool that she won. And she's also the winner of AKC nationals this year. So she went back to back one nationals and won Westminster. Fantastic accomplishment. - Yeah Betsy

is amazing. Yeah. - Yep. In the 12 inch class, we have Britney Emhoff with Papillon Bilbo so they're longtime competitors doing lots of awesome things. Adding a Westminster win. Of course, at 16 inch, we had Jennifer Crank and Bee. And Jennifer won nationals with Rio and then won Westminster with Bee. So Jennifer won both events, different dogs. In the 20 inch class was Border Collie Truant with Cynthia

Horner and Cynthia and Truant also won nationals. So this was like four of the five I've given away the 24 inch height class, but four of the five winners of Westminster had just won nationals. - Yeah. - With Jen winning with a different dog in this. - I think that's a big deal for Westminster because it says that you're bringing in the best dogs getting the best dogs

in there on TV, because you always worry about more regional, like obviously Westminster draws nationally, but the actual competitor pool of entrance is mostly regional. Because of the travel that would be involved, heading up to the Northeast. And so you wanna make sure that you've got really good dogs and handlers there, not just in terms of speed, but in terms of sportsmanship to represent our sport on television.

- That's right. And then the 24 inch class, the winner was Border Collie Kaboom with Amber McCune, also the winner from AKC nationals. And just a couple of things of note Kaboom was running 20 inch preferred. So they run against the 24 inch dogs, but they run at 20 inches. She did win by 4.75 seconds. So it's not like she barely eked it out, but she won that

with a really great time. And then the all American dog, the top all American dog was Brio handled by Allie Park and they were in the 20 inch class. - And they finished second. - Then they finished second in the 20 inch class, yeah. And then I had done the math because, so, the dogs that we're looking at of course are Bee at 16 and Truant at 20.

So Truant went 31 seconds, Bee went 29.81. So, and then if I do the algebra, let's see Cynthia, instead of 31, Cynthia would need to go faster than 30.35 to have beat Bee's yards per second. So just to kind of put it in perspective, that means that Jen needed to win by 0.65 seconds to hold onto that win. She ended up winning by, obviously a little bit more

than that, but that just gives you an idea of what that yards per second does. Jen has to, on this particular course, Jen needed to beat the 20 inch dog by 0.65 seconds to take home the overall title. - Right, well, to be devil's advocate, if we wanna look at this, you can say that in 20 inches, the only dog that really came in under that time or

exactly that time 30.35 was Verb. They had two faults, so they had a miscontact and a bar, but imagine a scenario where Verb doesn't drop a bar, they don't miss that contact and they go one 100th of a second faster. So now you have a dog that during the bulk of his career jumped 20 inches, but now they're jumping 16 as the preferred dog. And they would become

the overall winner beating out a really outstanding performance from a 16 inch dog. And so from my perspective, as a competitor and fan of the sport, that's something I don't think that I want to see, but that is something that as Westminster is currently constructed the scoring system, that's a scenario that could happen. - Yeah that actually, that is super interesting. And I'm not sure that everybody caught

what you said right off the bat. So I'm gonna rephrase it and repeat, because I didn't even make that connection until you pointed it out. But basically the preferred dogs run with their measured height. So a 16 inch preferred dog is jumping 16 inches, but gets scored with the 20 inch dogs. The 20 inch dogs get more yardage than the 16 inch dogs. So what you're saying is,

in this specific case, you would have Verb running 16 inches running against Bee running also 16 inches, but Bee gets less yardage, even though they are literally jumping the same height. - You're literally holding Bee to a higher standard of performance in my opinion. - Yeah, that is super interesting. Yeah, as it goes on, you're gonna get more and more of these kind of weird edge case scenarios,

'cause it just depends on who shows up and how everybody runs on any given day. But these are the quirks of the scoring for Westminster. So, all right. Well, I think that about wraps up this podcast. I had so much fun with both of you on the podcast today. I love hearing about y'all's experiences. Jen, we are so, so excited for you and so proud of everything that

you've been doing, and everything that you do for our sport. You just amaze every time, every dog, every event you're just amazing out there. So congratulations. - Thank you, thank you. Yep I'm very, very fortunate. My dogs spoil me. They make me look good and every day I'm very appreciative of everything they give me. - And thank you so much for joining us, Jean. - Thanks for having

me. - All right, and that's it for this week's podcast. We'd like to thank our sponsors Synovetin OA and hitaboard.com. Happy training. (upbeat music) - Thank you for listening to Bad Dog Agility. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. For more information, updates and links to all our socials. Just check out our website, www.baddogagility.com. If you haven't already signed up for our email subscription, we would love to have

you join the BDA community. Until next time, take care. (upbeat music)

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