Agility Training was introduced to Zone 3 by Arty Knapp who arrived at the rear of Avalon Canine Obedience Club training grounds in Alicetown with 2 or 3 jumps, a tyre and a table. We all began running our dogs over this equipment (at Maxi height). Needless to say it was strictly informal and nameless. An unofficial meeting was held at Central Allbreeds Dog Training School clubrooms with the name Zone 3 Canine Agility Club being suggested. We then decided to hold an inaugural meeting with the then Zone 3 Representative, Rosemary Cleator, in the chair. The club’s name was finalised as Zone 3 Agility Club (Dog was added at a later date).
The initial office holders were:
Training commenced in the NZKC Exhibition Centre at Porirua on 25th March 1987. Training was held in the main area and all members started at the same level. Fees consisted of $1.00 per dog (no matter how many dogs). After 8th April 1987 training changed to Thursday night and has continued on that night ever since. However expanding classes mean that from June 1997 classes will be held on Monday and Thursday.
A fun day was held at the Kapiti Dog Obedience Club grounds on New Zealand Day in 1988 with scent hurdling, obedience and agility. Until 1994 events were held at a number of different sites in Wellington, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Wairarapa.
The aim of the club was to assist in the spread of agility to all Zone 3 clubs (Taranaki, Manawatu, Wellington and Wairarapa Districts). Carol and Len Parker were the mainstays in the northern part of the Zone. Agility spread in leaps and bounds. The club did not progress without problems - “Zone of Influence” was quite a thorn in our sides at the time.
Zone 3 Dog Agility Club was a prime mover in the introduction of Midi height. When we realised that our recommendations had not reached competitors from Zone Meetings a saturation campaign was begun with all Obedience Clubs in the Gazette receiving flyers with our suggestions. Mid height was born !!!!!
It is interesting to note that some of the original National Team Members have returned to training, not the least of which is Jane Allen who competed with what we termed a couple of “Prairie Dogs” (They spent the entire training period on their hind legs barking for the return of their partners).
Tux Wonder Dogs was not the first time agility appeared on TV. We were approached by Mark Leishman to appear and we appeared with a much slimmer and younger “Dexter” being coaxed through the tunnel by Mark.
Now there are obedience clubs providing agility in New Plymouth, Hawera, Wanganui, Feilding, Levin, Carterton and Lower Hutt.
Z3DAC activites are now centred on events and training at Porirua. In 1996 the club affliated with the NZ Flygility Dog Association as the Wellington Hurricanines
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