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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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 writing the show starts with your host,

Jennifer Stevan and Sara. I'm Jennifer And I'm Sarah. And this is episode 309 Today's podcast is brought to you by. Is your agility dogs suffering from elbow osteoarthritis Sonova to, to eight and help. It's a different way to relieve the pain that causes limping and lameness. Just one simple quick non-surgical treatment can provide pain relief for up to one whole year.

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such as co-sleeping to review the full veterinary prescribing information, visit active dog now.com/cp info. Today's podcast is also brought to you by HitItBoard dot com and the new Teeter. TeachIt 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 HitItBoard dot com for the new teacher,

teach it and other training tools and toys use discount code BDA, a 10 to get 10% off your order. That's HitItBoard dot 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 cohost Jennifer crank, but she is also doubling as guest of honor after her recent Westminster win.

And then also joining us is Jean LaVale. Jean co owns be 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. 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,

you know, the pier in middle of New York city to Lynn her 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,

you know, where parking is going to be, you know, what to expect with creating, 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 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 enjoyed 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 services.

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 knock bars. I mean, dogs were struggling and I think it's just because the grass isn't great. I mean, they 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 Lyndhurst 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,

you know, 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, 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,

Right? W from our perspective, we were watching the w 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 do they have crowds on all four sides? The agility, I think the crowds that you saw were accurate. I mean, there was, there was good grounds.

I mean, there was very good crowds. I, 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 data, good turnout actually think they probably had, you know, more people that wanted seats than what they could sit.

So it wasn't quite this size, but they did have seating on all four sides, which was unique from the pier where they don't have that. Right. That was my question. Because at the pier, this, they, 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,

at the Lyndhurst mansion for the per the perspective of the spectator. Yeah, that was, I don't know the numbers, but possibly the case. If 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, you know, the big finals or the big event. And it didn't seem to be that as much. It seems like most of the spectators were participants from throughout the day. Right. So tell us about who you ran. Cause it wasn't just be,

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 the 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 for 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 agent Sheltie, who ran and finals last year. She actually did not have her mock when we entered Ford 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 the in the 16 inch class and then Jack Daniels and 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 and 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 24. See, 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 it. And great day, I went seven for eight in the preliminaries, which is incredible. I had one in Q 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 B 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 final 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 stuffing. We want, we want to see you repeat and repeat and repeat Again. Yeah. It's, it's unbelievable. And I just want to remind our listeners that Rio just won nationals at 12 inch this spring. And, and of course we've been following B very closely when did B get her mock because she's on the younger side,

you know, and it's just come out and, you know, made international teams and, you know, making to the challenge round in nationals and, you know, doing all these amazing things. Jane, maybe you can back me up on exact dates. You're 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 it usually like opens in December for the February event.

So we were, we were out trying to campaign and get her mock. So is that correcting? Yep. That's right. And do you want to talk about the other way to get to Westminster that we did all within about a week? Yeah. 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 buy, but it was like all that effort and all that work to get the mock and that turns out we didn't need it. So I did forget about that,

Jane. 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 have been stuck at 19. I don't think so. You're not the type to get stuck at 19, but you know, and you never know. I love it.

You got a plan a and then you had a plan B, that's my kind of planning, but Jeanne, can you tell us more, tell us more about how this all got started between you and Jennifer and B, tell us more about B. So when I got the, I got her from Jennifer's mom, Susan, and I was just going to raise her up to be my next agility dog.

And I also had her brother Mooky 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 Gene's resume. You know,

Jean is a long time competitor, big time winner appearances at the biggest events on the biggest stages, FCI agility, world championships. So, you know, a great handler and for you to sit here and say that this dog was special amongst all the dogs that you have had, you know, in this breed is a remarkable thing and your events, I think we should throw that out there.

Right? So people, people can understand what that means. Okay. Now continuing And, and the is a swift puppy to Jennifer's, you know, the wonderful dog swift is the sire. So anyway, go ahead, gees. So as I was training her, I, my mother recently moved in with us and my husband and mom and I have been,

you know, COVID home bound and all that stuff. And as I was training her, I was just like, I really think this dog reminds me of 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, and here was Jen with swift getting a little older and B being a swift puppy so much like swift and Jan had been helping me train baby.

So I was doing at home, Jen incurring, I was going up for lessons and assistance and it 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, and one swift retires. I really want me to beat your dog. And I want her,

I want her to live with me. I want to 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. And I'm like, but I want to,

you know, she's not going to do it. I'm not going to do that again. And, and she finally relented. Yeah. I have to admit, I was hearing, you know, how great B 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 go,

oh, it's really, it's good. Okay. Send her home with homework and she'd come back. And Jean's like, but she's really great. And look at it. And then, and then one day I like got a chance to run her. And I was like, oh, I can feel it. You know, it was like 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, Jean has a 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 a swift 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 B instead of, you know, B or gene B, it is now team B. So it is, she has given us more opportunities and presented more amazing times and relationships and memories. And then we can even imagine,

and she's three she's three that's what's so crazy. Wow. Yeah. I mean, she, she is doing remarkable things putting in remarkable times and, and, you know, I think we'll just skip to the punchline here for Westminster and, you know, be one 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, 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 by, you know, 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 There was, There was at least one year where I thought he had the fastest time, but yards per second,

she did not win. So I don't know if there were multiple years, but I do think there's at least one, At Least one. And I do recall a year that Lark, that CE Lynch and it might've been run. I do apologize. Betsy had the fastest time of all of the dogs, but did not win the overall, which is crazy.

They have it even harder. They haven't been a fury artist in the sixteens. Right. So it's a, it's an interesting score. We've talked about it in past podcasts, if you want to listen to kind of, especially like our review of the first Westminster, Because I don't like it just, if a small dog is going to beat a larger dog in terms of just straight up time and in my personal view,

they deserve, 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, right? With pink one, the 16 pink being a border Collie.

Right. And now Jen has come back again and done it with a second 16 inch dog, a nun border Collie, a Sheltie winning the overall title lake. 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.

Right? Two different dogs. That's never happened before. So like 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, I heard on the broadcast when we were rewatching. It, they, 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 you know, they were setting up the fact that verb could do it. Verb was had a, a call, so they did not win, but that could be you next year, winning the overall again with B 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 kind of blew me out of the water and took me by surprise. So, you know, we'll, we'll see what happens. I, I do think there's some advantages that be had is 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 because it 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, you have all of your lifetime to do it. So I can go with all of the different dogs,

but I'm like, maybe that's a lifetime goal. Is that over my lifetime, in this sport, I can win at 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 dogs names on there to have, you know, Perry's name, his name,

my dog, my two dogs on there with mine would be really cool. So that, that is a little lifetime goal is five times to win the overall. I think it's going to happen. I think it's going to happen. I think, I think Jen's is going to 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 and they do that, right? Like That is you have to be the overall winner, The overall winner five times. So she's, she's two, two out of 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, What do you mean your entry? Like they pay for it or like you can enter whatever dog you want. You can always go to Westminster, even though remember Westminster fills and it's hard to get in and they have a waiting list. The overall winner, you can go every single year. You're invited back With that dog.

Yes. So that's why like you've seen dogs at one in the past. John nice and trick has one overall. And he's been there almost every year and Perry or verb is because those winners get that entry, not just the next year, but for all future years, which is huge because that trial typically fills up within, you know, hours and it's hard to get into.

And I think, you know, 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, you know, you know, 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 rural 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 where 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. You basically have to do algebra two to reverse the time. So as soon as the 20th story 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. Is that dog, that's the time that you need to beat.

It's like not a parent 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 of factors into play. They do try to withhold that information from you. They do want your raw like 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 going to 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 with the other dogs, I did make it into run twenties. They run 20 inches last that's not on accident. Right. And there were some amazing dogs in the 20 inch class. So I wasn't really following. I was still like,

you know, trying to get over the fact that I just had this great high of winning with B and then this great low of falling on my face in front of that national television. And they're like, get all the dogs, get all the winners, bring your ribbons lineup. And they're just, you know, everything's shuffling really fast. And I didn't know that we had the fastest time,

but again, I wasn't doing the math and in my head, that's when HR went, right? 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 dark spots that they were clean border high. So I just assumed it was going to the 20 inch dog. You know, we were all kind of standing there already, almost even talking about it. Like we were, 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 shocked. I think they try to keep it from you. But I had no idea it wasn't processing and thinking it. So it was super cool. Super exciting. But yeah, it was, it was fun. It's it's it's yeah, it was super exciting.

I don't know. It was, it was more the year that the, the year that pink one, because 16 is run first in 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 was that's quite nice. After you ran deed, did they interview you 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. It was an interview. It seemed like a good interview. 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 to Jean. I looked right at the camera and I went kind of cheat.

So maybe they didn't like that. I don't know. I don't see. I don't see how they can not include it when you're the winner. My, my theory, my, my take is that they purposely removed it with the intention of putting it or a part of it at the end, because when you were, cause they knew when they, this was the next day,

right. 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 hadn't meant to put that in because they didn't interview you. They interviewed and yours was the first height to run. Right. 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, the super like observant watcher will be like, ah, they pulled her interview. You know, maybe she's going to 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 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 be the Sheltie. And they showed like her take three obstacles. And they showed you hugging her with the ribbon and the, the trophy. And then there are like, you know, you know, here's, you know, her, her owner just shocked that they won. And when we get back from break, Terry's going to tell you why she was so surprised.

And then they did more. And then they come back to Terry who they were basically like, so why is it so shocking that, you know, that B one, he tried to kind of, without talking about yards per second, he just said that, you know, seven of the last eight years it's been the 20 inch dog. That's one.

And you know, so this is a really big accomplishment for Jen and she wasn't expecting it. And then they were like, what do you, what was your favorite part of this? And they were all talking about as announcers, what they enjoyed about it now. It's like, what, what about like actually talking to Jen and where's the interview? So I thought it was,

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, you know, to the next thing. So, And now that I heard your version though, Jennifer, like maybe saying hygiene and then giving a five minute speech, they were like, you know, there's no good place we can cut.

This is no way we can fit it in. So we're just going to 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, maybe, cause I was nervous. They talk long, but who knows?

But I didn't say anything stupid. Maybe they will contact us and clueless 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, you know, like the winner and they play up that 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. Well, and during the interview, did you talk about Jean being a co-owner and all that? 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.

You know, 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 junior, right. But you know, 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, you know, I was more about like the team effort, but maybe that was not their takeaway. Oh,

I totally agree. But now that I hear Gene's version and theory, I think, I think there's something to that. Yeah. Because they really do have this narrative, this story that they try to put together about, I wanted to find my interview because I wanted to thank somebody on national television. Then they can cut my interview. What did they,

what did they ask you? I don't remember two very generic questions. I think it was, it was one question was like, what was her the key? Like, how did you get her? So honed in on your emotions and like, how did you get her to watch so well, and that's when I con talked about her being, you know,

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, like, what does this mean to you? You know, they're all like, they're all kind of running together between the Westminster years and the nationals years. And they're all full of your word generic.

They don't ask about anything on the course. They don't go. Like, how did you navigate that backside out of the tunnel? You mean the backside when you said, Yeah, I don't think the interview, 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, so maybe they could get, I think this is the first year, right? That they didn't run with Jennifer Hale on the side. Right. So Jennifer had done it several years. Jennifer Hill 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 like clearly didn't know too much about the sport. So anytime you're starting over with new people in the booth or are down there during the interviews, I think it's going to be a little more generic on the question side,

Same new guy that did nationals. Also As 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 want that. But he was the same person who is doing all of the work for the confirmation as well, because he was back to doing a lot of the interviews and the talking and the presenting on Tuesday night for the group.

So he obviously, If he was doing broadcast so well, so this year Fox sports announced that they were also going to run this in Spanish and put that out to, you know, millions of homes and your interviewer Rodolfo. Landero like, he's a bilingual. And they had, yeah, they brought in an, a big guy here to do we're reading,

we're reading the announcement now, but the, they had the longest running Spanish sports network in the United States. So they also broadcast it there. So I thought maybe he was doing double duty. You know, he was like doing the interviews there, but also doing them in Spanish on the side or speaking in Spanish on the, on the side as the sideline reporter 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, and then we're, 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, right? Gram grand Partridge pressures,

Graham, the voice he did that classic voice, you know, the, the, the proper Westminster kind of that it gives it that British air of a And Circumstance. There you go. That's a nice way of putting it judges and the finals 8, 12, 16 inch Rhonda Berkey, and then Ben Gibbs judging 20 and 24 inches. And John Strong, did the announcing not announcing the like play by play.

And then Terry Simon's of course, with the color commentary, as the experienced agility competitor know, I made fun of terrorist James earlier, but he actually looked quite sharp. Yeah. I liked that they were wearing like ties and codes and stuff like that. I think Westminster a little, little, little gesture up there in the Northeast, you know, that kind of an event.

We like Terry doing it. We think he does a great job. The, 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, as B came out of the tunnel to go to the backside, Jen saying, push, push, push, and you know,

training with Jen. Like I know that cadence, not just the word push, but the way she says it, Bush, Bush, Bush is how she does backside. But Terry was like, oh, you know, good, good, good. She she's telling B B'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, like 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, little miss, miss a cue there on, on what she was saying. 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 like the video that's the dog ran through it like collapsed Inside of a colon or something. It was, it was not. Yeah. It looked like a colonoscopy guy.

Right. Looked like something, you know? Yeah. I mean, yeah, you're right. I mean, I haven't had one yet. You know, that that day is coming, but yeah. And they did show the coolest infographic. Right. And so they were comparing the first year of 2014 with 2021. And they were explaining how the yardage for courses went from 1 65 to 1 92.

Right. The course has been trending bigger in recent years, the yards per second competitors were faster. 5.5, four versus 5.8, six now, so significantly faster. And even when you look at the champions, the winners, their yards per second, went from a 5.9 and 2014 to a 6.3. Well, You know why the yardage is bigger. It's because of the move to Lynn mansion.

I think, I think the, I think the courses are bigger. You don't think so. 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 Lyndhurst was larger than it was.

You're absolutely right. It could be, but that's not what triggered in my mind like 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, that's why. Yeah. And then the next one was, you know, they kind of do an agility.

One-on-one how does the scoring work? You know, five faults for, I think they called it a wrong course and then 10 faults for contact bar or weights, which I think is good. Because back in the day, if you can get a five fault, then you could in theory, have a very fast dog, miss a contact, mess up the weed poles or something,

or drop a bar and still win, still win at all. So pretty interesting. And you know, I think that that's basically all my thoughts there on the broadcast. Is that all except to say still coming in too tight, I love the instant replays in the slow-mo. That is the time to come in tight on a dog. Right. It is not the time to do they,

they basically need a wider view. And I feel like this year was worse than previous years, so maybe a new career or something, but overall, like I want to trend out to, to a little bit wider Cine and more like a sport cheating and more like professional football, professional basketball. That's why this infographic was so cool. You know, you're really establishing it here as a sport rather than some kind of circus oddity halftime show,

you know? So that, 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, the tight shots and, and their camera work. Just not very good at all. So I felt like there was a bit of a drop-off this year.

Yup. All right. Well, let's talk about, let's talk about some of the, the pomp and circumstance and celebration and what happens when you become a, a Westminster champion, the overall champion. So first all off Jen. So in addition to, you know, the, the huge ribbon and the pictures and the win itself, you then are asked to come back two days later.

So it was shoes day night, right? Or three days, two days, I don't know, can't do, 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 all,

you know, 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 like 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 went Saturday night and they do say, Hey, you know, 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 going to be able to swing sitting in New York for three days. I did not have enough dog food with me. I, 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, you know, my, my 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 stopped at a show on my way out of 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 was completely totally supportive,

took the day off work kinda 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'd be 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 a agility, does a demo. They interviewed us, they re present 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 to sit in the front row and do our demo and 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 gardens, 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, when. 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, I'm throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Cincinnati reds game.

I was like, so tell me about this, because let me just say that I have, for a long time, I have felt like the, 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, like makes the rounds on like every late night show,

every, you know, good morning America and all of that, I'm like, there can't be one of those, those shows that wants to bring in the agility winter, like from my perspective, the agility winner is so cool. They can, the videos that they can show of you actually doing agility and everything. It's 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 winners should be like on tour in the same way that the best fried winter is, but tell us how this happened. And, and like, step-by-step what, how, how it came to be. Because, because Jean got to be involved in that too. And it was a total surprise.

So tell us how it all went. I want to hear, I want to hear Jean's thoughts at every step of the way. So you would kind of think that knowing the timeline that be one, you know, I go get my award. And two days later I'm asked to, you know, throughout the 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, the fun part. So as Gina alluded to earlier, she has a dog named Mooky. These brother is named McGee, another swift puppy named Mooky after Mooky bets months ago,

I heard, I heard word that Jean was going with her family to a Cincinnati reds game to watch the LA Dodgers, which is who Mooky 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 BTBY 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 going to do a trade-off of the, I was going to give her beat post Westminster. She was going to take B, get to spend some time with her and do some training, do some showing, and I was going to have the weekend off.

So that's how this was all going to go. And for all G knew that's exactly what was happening. So we made arrangements to meet at the ballpark at a particular location. We were going to put B in the air conditioning. So then I say, did you know, okay, meet me at this place. We're going to meet and take the into the AC.

And then Jean shows up, Take over the storage. Yeah. Okay. So I show up and I'm like, oh, I was wearing a Mooky bet 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 sick anyway.

But so I came up and I was like, oh, hi, Ben. And she's so excited. And everybody's sitting around and I started asking like for IDs and putting an wristband on me, and they're asking my mom for an IB, 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 I 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 majorly ball game that I was going to see Mickey bets. And 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 the major league you've ever been to and your, 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 listened 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, but this is part of why we need team B so I can go to ballgames. So anyway, yeah. Jen asked about going and we got seats together and everything, and yeah, I had no idea. I didn't. I thought we were going to the ballgame and by the way, I was getting beat for the weekend so that I could show,

we have a local, we had a local show here that weekend. So In the locker room And you have, and yeah, you have the dog with you too. So then, 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, it was really cool.

And then that we start taking us out on the field, through the Dodgers dugout and, and somebody was like, where are we going? Where are we? I was like, I don't know. I'm just following my dog, following Jen and the dog. And I don't know. It was like, I've, like I said, I've seen ceremonial first pitches,

but having never been to the ball game and 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 it. So you were catching, right? So you Throw it in a manner of speaking. I was catching. All right. Yeah. So since COVID, and I was aware of this,

but of course I was withholding all this from gene. When, since COVID date ask you, if you're going to 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 pitch. They don't bring a catcher in to catch for you. You have buddy, they will have the mascot do it because mascots were like,

you know, in suits and in gloves so they can catch your ball. So I knew I was going to get to pick somebody. So it would absolutely only make sense that B's co-owner cone, train or TB team B 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 going to be?

And I look at Jean and I'm like, you are. And she's like, we, we weren't, we weren't really, we were definitely better. And 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 pitcher's mound with me.

So when they finally caught us out, you know, 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. I was able, I took her off leash. She ran out and we did some tricks along the way and lined her up in a sit,

stay on the pitchers now. 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 wait around. So it was really, Colby was definitely the shining star. She behaved perfectly. She did her stay. She didn't jump. She did your tricks,

Jean and I are going to stick to our day jobs for sure. Did you practice? No, I will 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 going to take you out onto the field,

they literally walked you out onto the field. So to practice, I would be like practicing on the side of the field at the red stadium with everybody watching. And I was like, is it, is it better to practice or not practice? So I didn't, 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, 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 go. I gotta throw it really fast right now because they're waiting on me and they want to get me off the field for the game to start.

And I just throw it in. 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 like hit the ground. Like, he was worried About me Getting the ground and like rolling. And then it just rolls over to, I got height. I definitely got height right over Jean's head.

Jean. How tall are you? I'm five foot one. And my mom got a still shot of me jumping with the ball, sailing over my head. You can see the ball picture. Okay. I need that. Currently. Funny thing is though my core little feet are like six inches off the ground. Cause 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 in Cincinnati, Super cool about it. I kept saying, do I need to put on a different shirt? I mean, I was coming for like for the Dodgers then. 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 sweet. I was hoping maybe Mooky would see it, you know, from wherever he was watching. You gotta, you gotta shout. Okay. Over here, I forgot most exciting part about it was when I, when they marched me, when they marched us out of the stadium, we went through the doctor's dugout and the doctors flyers were coming in as we were leaving.

And my mom loves Justin tarter and Justin Turner literally met us at the stairs. Mom's going down just in terms coming out. And I'm like just the dirt, just the dirt. And he looks up at me and I'm like, I'm pointing at her going, she's your biggest fan. She loves you your 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. That's so great. Love it. Love. That's amazing. I can't wait till Jen takes me someplace special to meet the rock. You can come to the 4th of July parade this weekend. We're B as being featured as the Westminster winter. Oh, Are you like the grand Marshall?

Are they going to put you on a float? I am on a float. You're not the grand Marshall. Totally kidding. You being sarcastic. And then she has a Float and she's going to sit there with a sign that says queen bee. And then we have photos and signs that say like Westminster, winter 20, 22. You need to make sure to get video lots of photos and 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 where we're, you know, 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 on 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 won nationals and won Westminster fantastic Accomplishments In the twelve-inch class. We have Brittany Imhoff with Pappy on 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 B and you know,

Jennifer won nationals with Rio and then won Westminster with B. So Jennifer one, both events, different dogs in the 20th class was border Collie truant with Cynthia foreigner and Cynthia and Truet also won nationals. So this was like four of the five have given away the 24 inch height class, but four of the five winners of Westminster had just won nationals with Jenn winning with a different dog.

And then It's a big deal for Westminster because it says that you're bringing in the best dogs getting the best eyes in there on TV, because you always worry about a more regional like Westminster draws nationally. But the, the actual competitor pool of entrance is mostly regional. Right, right. Because of the travel that would be involved, heading up to the Northeast.

And so you want to make sure that you've got a 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 eat it out, but you know, she, she one that with a really great time, and then the All-American dog, the top All-American dog was Breo handled by alley park and they were in the 20 inch class And they finished second.

Then they finished second in the 20th class. Yeah. And then I had done the math because, so, you know, the dogs that we're looking at of course are B at 16 and truant at 20. So Trent went 31 seconds, B went 29.81. So, and then if I, if I do the algebra, let's see Cynthia, instead of 31,

Cynthia would need to go faster than 30.35 to have beat B's yards per second. So just to kind of put it in perspective, that means that Jen needed to win by 0.6, five seconds to hold onto that when she ended up winning by, you know, obviously a little bit more than that, but that just gives you an idea of what that yards per second does.

Jen has on this particular course, Jen needed to beat the 20 inch dog by 0.6, five seconds to take home the overall Right. Well, to be devil's advocate, right? If we want to look at this, you can say that in 20 inches, the only dog that really came in under that time, or exactly that time, right? 30.35

was forever, right. They had two falls. So they had a misconduct 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, 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, you know, from my perspective, as a, 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, like 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, the preferred dogs run with their, with their measured Heights. So a 16 inch preferred dog is jumping 16 inches,

but gets scored with the 20 inch dogs. The 20th dogs get more yardage than the 16 inch dogs. So what you're saying is, you know, in this specific case, you would have verb running 16 inches running against B running also 16 inches, but B gets less yardage, even though they are literally jumping the same height, You're literally holding B to a higher standard of Performance,

in my opinion. Yeah. That is super interesting. Yeah. As, as it goes on, you're going to get more and more of these kinds of weird edge case scenarios. Cause it just depends on, 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, you know, when everything that you do for our sport, you just amaze every time you,

you know, every, 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 everyday 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. So Novaton and HitItBoard dot com. Happy training. Thank you for listening to bad dog agility. We hope you enjoy today's episode for more information, updates and links to all our socials. Just check out our website, www dot bad dog, agility.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.

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