Tidbits - 5/16/2015


As I was going through the calendar updating tentative events to scheduled events, I noticed a couple of former four day trials have been reduced to three day trials. The Pals & Paws October event is now three days and the Palm Bay Agility Club January event is now three days. 

Third Anniversary

I started this project in March of 2013 so this is a belated third anniversary. Things are quiet and there are not many premiums due to be published (Florida Premium Dates) with most of them being over a month away.

Agility continued to grow in the number of trial weekends and trial days between 2014 and 2015 (Agility Trial Stats). CPE and UKI had the biggest gains. The first UKI trials in Florida were in 2014 and in 2015 it grew to challenge USDAA for third place. UKI had one more trial weekend but USDAA had more trial days so I give third place to USDAA. I am guessing that 2016 will probably grow even with the loss of a club doing NADAC trials.

The Floridaagility Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/floridaagility/) is approaching 400 likes. The age distribution remains pretty consistent:

That is probably pretty representative of what you see at a show. The last time I looked at it the 55+ female crowd was at 50%. The actual percentages are 31.3% for the 55-64 and 18.5 for the 65+ so the combined would round up to 50%.

Number of days for a trial weekend

The reduction in the number of days for the Pals&Paws and PBAC trials caused to me to reflect on what is a good number of days for a trial weekend. For the major organizations (AKC, CPE & USDAA), three days seems to be the ideal amount. 

The major reason to go for more than three is to attract people from a greater distance. For example, the Palmetto Christmas-New Years cluster attracts people from a greater distance with a lot of northerners coming down for the holidays. 

It can also be used to attract more people to a remote facility. For example, the upcoming five day cluster in July in Perry, GA. The clubs that hold the trials are based in Atlanta which is about a 2 hour drive (give or take a bit depending on where in the Atlanta metro area) to Perry. There is not much of an agility presence in Perry, so you have to have a reason for people to travel that kind of distance for a trial and make it worth the trip. Making if five days and the outstanding facility make it worth the trip. They are even trying to attract top competitors by only offering Premier Standard and Jumpers as the only optional classes for all five days. 

I don’t think that the reduction will make much difference to PBAC. Most Vero trials are 3 days. I think Vero has some of the best RV facilities but the arena itself lacks compared to most of the other covered arenas. 

On the other hand, P&P may lose entries on the remaining three days by dropping the fourth day. Jacksonville is somewhat isolated in the corner of the state and has to draw from Georgia as well as Florida. The first P&P trial that we went to was at a park in Orange Park in the outfield of a baseball diamond. In February we opted to go to Fort Pierce instead since it was about an hour less and hopefully the weather a bit warmer. That was probably one of the first times they had competition from another part of the state. 

On the downside, trials more than three days give you less time at home between consecutive trial weekends.

Pet Peeve

If it wasn’t for agility, I could almost get rid of my checkbook. It seems like at least 95% of the checks that we write are for agility. Just about everything else can be handled electronically. Between training, trials and RV parking it is a lot of checks. It particularly irks me that I often have to write separate checks for the entries and RV parking to the same club.

At least UKI has streamlined things a bit by letting you pay by check or PayPal. You have to pay the PayPal fee but it is not as steep as the fees charged by AKC. When you consider the cost of the stamp, the envelope, the check and the time involved it is probably not that bad.

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