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2020 Agility Awards

Agility Springer of the Year


- Dot -

Owned by Jennifer Carl-Howard, Bonnie Massie, and Tychea Stantz

YPS: 5.291

Tanya Lee Photography

All I wanted was a dog to learn agility.

I was introduced to agility basics with my aging GR when this little ESS firecracker landed in my life.
I was inspired to take her on at a pivitol time in my learning and embraced training in a reinforcement
based program. She loved to run, for the sheer joy of running. She was quick and athletic. We were
going to have fun!

A quick learner, with an independent opinion, we struggled to come to agreement on courses.
Lamenting to a training friend, “How do I slow her down, I cannot keep up” came the sage advise
“ Running a slow dog is no fun”. So, we persevered. Trial and error, lots of errors, tears and
frustration. Slowly we began to gel and began to earn qualifying scores. In 2020, my protege was
named #1 fastest 16” Springer! Wow! Then finally, in the fall of 2020, Dot earned her MACH!

This prestigious award was never on our radar. We were fast, but lacked accuracy. There are a lot of
good Springers competing in agility with much more consistency. I was thrilled to learn she was
named the 2020 Agility Springer of the year! My very special little teammate, my Novice A in agility,
in the hunt field, tracking, in scent work and obedience, is my lifetime heart dog. I am grateful to
Bonnie Massie and Tychea Stantz for the opportunity and trust to pursue my dreams with this girl.
I am also grateful and wish to thank ESSFTA for recognizing team Dot.

Novice Agility Springer of the Year

Starstruck N Cedarwood's Ready Or Not NA NAJ

- Frannie -

Owned by Jan Baker and Jackie Alschuler

Photo by Jackie Alschuler

Like so many things during the pandemic, Frannie’s debut in agility was postponed. We entered her first trials at the end of March 2020 after my recovery from toe surgery was complete. But it was not to be.

Finally it felt safe to do a few trials in the fall of 2020 and Frannie made it worth the long wait. She finished her Novice Standard title in 3 runs and her Novice Jumpers title in 4 runs. It will be fun to see what the future holds for us in agility.

Outside of agility, Frannie loves laying in the sun, even on hot and humid 95 degree days! She also enjoys riding in the bow of our canoe for trips around the lake in northern Minnesota. We call her our bow-wow in the bow!

Many thanks to Frannie’s breeders, Joan Rollins and Pat Welch, for this sweet, silly girl.

Thank you to the ESSFTA for honoring Frannie with this award.

Open Agility Springer of the Year

Wyldwoods Bright Lightening Bolt Jetson OA OAJ NF

- Jetson -

Owned by Cindy Smith

YPS: 3.41

Photo by Randy Gaines

Wyldwoods Bright Lightening Bolt Jetson OA OAJ NF was born 12/03/17; weighing 5 oz. His breeder contacted me, letting me know she had a little guy that she believed would fit nicely into an agility home.

So, into our home came Jetson, also known as “Me Too!,” “Me First!” He never failed to compete to keep up with his then six year old half brother.

Jetson can be quirky, wild, sweet, focused, full of energy and exhausting. Most of the time I appreciate his wild side because I remember when we almost lost him to food bloat. Fortunately we live close to his vet and thankfully his vet saved him. She restored him back to his energetic self.

I believe Jetson makes me dig a little deeper, train a little harder. He is definitely work, and continues to show he is worth it. I know it’s about the journey, and I know for certain Jetson will continue to make sure his journey is never boring!

To my little velcro Springer, who can drive me crazy and still have my heart - congratulations on your award!

Excellent Agility Springer of the Year

Gibson SchreinerVandeHei AX AXJ ACT1 TKN

- Gibson -

Owned by Laura Schreiner and Adam VandeHei

YPS: 3.8118

Photo by Lynn Busse

Gibson is my first sport dog and he has definitely been a challenge. However, I have learned so much from him and he is the most loving, devoted friend anyone could ask for.

I met Gibson in 2015 at Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary in Green Bay, WI. The rescue had taken on a group of Springers from a hoarding situation and he was born after the dogs were taken in to the rescue facility. He was 6 months old and the last puppy left. When he was brought into the meet and greet area to meet me, he jumped into my lap and licked my face. Without knowing anything about Springer Spaniels, I decided to take him home.

I knew I wanted to get involved in agility, however, did not know where to start. I dabbled with trainers for a few years until I found instructors actively competing at AKC trials and started working toward my goal of competing. Gibson is smart, athletic, and biddable but also very anxious and sensitive. In order to deal with his nervousness and for us to have success in a trial environment, he taught me a very valuable lesson: to forget about the Q, and to just have fun.

Gibson was my gateway into the “dog world” and I am very grateful to have him in my life. He pushes me to become a better handler and brings us so much joy. We are working towards our MACH title, but when I get too serious, Gibson will remind me to step back and have fun. Outside of agility, he loves dock diving (his record is a whopping 7ft – but he loves the water!), going on hikes, and naps on the couch.

Thank you ESSFTA for honoring Gibson as the 2020 Excellent Springer of the year.



- Dragon -

Owned by Sheila Jweid-Webber

YPS:  4.0775

Photo by David Cerilli, Agility Pics

Please accept my sincere thank ESSFTA for the honor of this award. Dragon is my third generation of Moonhill ESS to do agility, preceded by his Grandmother, Legend of Moonhill UD MX AXJ OAP OJP., and his father, CH MACH 2 Moonhill’s Magic Merlin CD RN MXS2 MJS2 OAP OJP. He started training at 6 months and earned his first Q 1/15/2010. From that date we were off and running. In addition, Dragon competed in Conformation finishing his Championship 2/24/13. His first Mach was earned 1/13/14, MACH 2 5/16/15, MACH 3 6/4/16, MACH 4 6/3/17, finishing his MACH career 10/12/2018 with MACH 5. Then he started his Preferred Agility career earning first his PAX 10/11/2019 and his first PACH 11/3/2019. He’s one double Q from PAX 2.

Dragon has competed in two AKC National Agility Championships (this year would have been his third), Westminster Master Agility Championships 3 times, The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge and the AKC Invitational for Dock Diving. He competes in many different dog sports including Obedience, Rally, Dock Diving, Coursing Ability, Trick Dog, Barn Hunt and he has his CGCA.

Dragon is more than a canine athlete; he is my closest companion. He was emotional support as I went through a second diagnosis of breast cancer. Competing through chemo, and radiation treatments gave me something to look forward to getting me through one of the worst times of my life.

Dragon has had an incredible career. At almost 12 years old he is still competing in the Preferred class working to PACH 2 Thank you again for this honor