Friday, 30 March 2012

Big problems before the World Agility Open

The behind the scenes of the World Agility Open Championships never cease to amaze. Here's the latest news before the event to be held in May in Belgium

FROM: Monica Percival & Greg Derrett, World Agility Open

For the past year, the Agility Section of the Belgium Kennel Club has
secretly threatened to ban handlers from participating in Kennel Club
agility events if those handlers participate in a non-FCI event such as
the WAO, but they have never put anything in writing that could be
pursued legally. As this year's event draws closer, they have escalated
their efforts and privately confronted an individual handler to scare
him into withdrawing from the Belgium WAO team. The handler was told
that although the Belgian Kennel Club would likely lose a legal battle
if they banned the individual from Kennel Club agility competitions,
they didn't care. The Kennel Club would just pay the fine and then make
sure that judges would make calls that will prevent that agility handler
from ever having a clean run again in Belgium. Like agility handlers
everywhere, people in Belgium just want to pursue their favorite sport
on the weekends. To stand up to the current agility system and be banned
from participating in Kennel Club events would mean they wouldn't get to
do agility or see their friends. Unlike the U.S., Canada, England, and
some other countries, there are not multiple forms of agility for
handlers to choose from.

But the Belgian Agility Section has decided to go a step further now.
This week on a Belgian Facebook page after the WAO asked someone to post
a request for helpers for the event, the Kennel Club actually went so
far as to threaten to ban anyone who even helps out at the WAO. What
will be next? Will they ban Belgian agility handlers from coming to the
WAO to watch?

The WAO committee is trying to find legal counsel in Belgium to address
this issue, but meanwhile we hope that members of the agility community
from around the world will take a moment to write to the members of the
Agility Section and members of the assembly of representatives and
express their opinion on this issue --

Wilfried Claes --
Ronny Gilissen --
Michel Liekens --
Van den Bosch Alfons --
Joel Vanlerberghe --
Joseph Van Hummelen --

WAO official website:


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