A Shetland sheepdog named Bee went bzz bzz bzz through the obstacle course, dodging weave poles, clearing hurdles, dashing through a tunnel and jumping right into handler Jennifer Crank’s arms to win the 2022 Westminster Masters Agility Championship.
Bee, who was buzzing from her win with spirited barking, managed to complete the agility course in just 29.81 seconds at the 146th Westminster Kennel Club dog show (see video below).
The dog won the 16-inch class before becoming queen bee — the overall agility champion.
It was a return victory for Crank, of Pickerington, Ohio. The dog handler, who runs IncrediPAWS Dog Training in Pataskala, Ohio, previously won the Westminster agility championship with her border collie P!nk in 2020.
There was another Westminster repeat when it came to the time and venue. For the second consecutive year, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show was postponed, relocating from winter to June and from Manhattan to large tents at the Westchester County estate because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agility competition, the first event of Westminster week, took place Saturday on the grounds of the Lyndhurst estate in Tarrytown, New York and aired Sunday on Fox. The Westminster Kennel Club dog show, which spans several days, ends Wednesday, June 22 with the naming of best in show. More than 160 New Jersey dogs are expected to participate.
Agility dogs compete in five jump height classes at Westminster: 8-inch, 12-inch, 16-inch, 20-inch and 24-inch.
Several were repeat winners, like returning 2021 class champ Lark, a papillon handled by Betsey Lynch of Delaware, Ohio, who won the 8-inch class for the second consecutive year, this time with the speedier time of 32.63 seconds.
Kaboom, a 9-year-old border collie from Bedford, New Hampshire who won the 24-inch class in 2017, 2018 and 2020, finished the course in 31.93 seconds to win that title a fourth time with handler Amber McCune.
Border collies have won the agility contest in seven of the nine years agility has been part of Westminster. In 2018, a Jersey border collie named Fame(US) handled by Jessica Ajoux of Sparta emerged as top dog. Last year, a Pennsylvania border collie named Verb won the competition for the second time after first triumphing in 2019.
Another border collie, Truant, handled by Cynthia Hornor of Ellicott City, Maryland, arrived at the finish line earlier than most to win the 20-inch class in just 31 seconds this year.
Bilbo, a papillon handled by Britney Imhof of Roseland, Virginia, won the 12-inch class with 34.39 seconds.
Virginia’s Brio, an all-American dog — what Westminster calls mixed-breed dogs — who competed with handler Ali Park, was named all-American agility champion after completing the course in 33.69 seconds. Agility is one of two Westminster events that allow mixed-breed dogs – the other is obedience.
Not every dog was so fleet-footed.
Elvira, a leggy bracco Italiano, or Italian pointer, from North Stonington, Connecticut, may have been a first in her breed to make it this far in agility competition, but she didn’t become a fan favorite for her speedy run time.
Completing the course with handler Debra Pereira in 46.9 seconds, Elvira, a dog in the 24-inch class, took the time to smell the flowers, as it were — to sniff nearly every weave pole, to carefully and steadily move through each obstacle at her own pace.
That pace may not have put her in contention for a title, but she got her share of applause nonetheless.
the 2022 Westminster Kennel Club dog show continues with obedience competition, breed judging and group judging Monday, June 20, Tuesday, June 21 and Wednesday, June 22. best-in-show will be named June 22. See our watch guide and full schedule.
Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a subscription.
Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @AmyKup on Twitter.