SCV Aussies make their mark at international finals and nationals in agility

Left to right: Corey Benoit winner of the Open division with Taz, trainer of SCVDAC Tammy Robinson and Alycia Wise winner of the Novice Division with her dog Abby. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
Left to right: Corey Benoit winner of the Open division with Taz, trainer of SCVDAC Tammy Robinson and Alycia Wise winner of the Novice Division with her dog Abby. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
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Breezy, Arrow, Diva and Mariah from the Santa Clarita Valley Dog Agility Club have made their pawprints in the Texas dirt at the Australian Shepherd Club of America National Finals alongside their human trainers, Charlene Lewis and Tammy Robinson.  

Robinson is the primary trainer at the SCV Dog Agility Club while Lewis has taught the introductory classes since its opening in 2010. The club now has approximately 60 members.  

Charlene Lewis' dog Breezy almost made top 10 in Standard Elite but ended up with the dreaded 11th, missing 2nd place by dropping one jump. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
Charlene Lewis’ dog Breezy almost made top 10 in Standard Elite but ended up with the dreaded 11th, missing 2nd place by dropping one jump. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.

Robinson and Lewis competed in multiple competitions to qualify for the international finals in which the top 60 agility Australian shepherds in the world are invited to race for the blue ribbon.   

This was Lewis’ first time competing in the finals with her mother.  

Winner of the Novice division Abby. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
Winner of the Novice division Abby. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.

“My nerves were killing me,” said Lewis. “I competed a lot, but I’ve never been to finals. This is my first dog in finals … It was a lifelong dream because I watched my mother compete and my mom always wanted to be there …. This has been a huge, huge deal for me. I was on top of the world. Just to be here to qualify, just to be there … I couldn’t have been any happier.” 

Lewis and her dog Breezy came home with 11th place in Standard Elite. She said that Breezy’s speed caused him to miss one of his jumps and the second-place spot.  

Charlene Lewis' dog Odin won a few classes in Open but ended up in 4th place behind Taz. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
Charlene Lewis’ dog Odin won a few classes in Open but ended up in 4th place behind Taz. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.

“Really I was super proud of my dog,” said Lewis.  

Robinson’s trio of dogs placed as follows: Mariah in 15th place in Standard Elite, Diva in 19th place in Standard Elite and Arrow in 9th place in Elite Veteran.  

Kim Koch placed in 2nd with her dog Seamus behind Alycia Wise in the Novice division. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
Kim Koch placed in 2nd with her dog Seamus behind Alycia Wise in the Novice division. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.

Arrow is Robinson’s prize dog with six top 10 placements in the finals. She has never won but placed second in 2021. This year was just as special because last year Robinson had almost lost her to an autoimmune disease.  

Four club members followed the mother-daughter duo to Nationals shortly after.  

Corey Benoit and his dog Taz placed first in the open division. Lewis and her dog Odin followed in fourth in the same division.  

Winner of the Novice division Abby. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
Winner of the Novice division Abby. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.

Despite being in heat and having to wear a diaper, Alycia Wise’s dog Abby placed first in the novice division.  

Kim Koch’s Seamus followed behind, snagging the second-place spot in the novice division.  

Cheri Preciado took home a few blues but placed 4th in Novice division with her dog Mercy. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
Cheri Preciado took home a few blues but placed 4th in Novice division with her dog Mercy. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.

Cherri Preciado and her dog Mercy placed fourth in the same division.  

“I’m extremely proud. It makes me want to cry right now,” said Lewis. “Just to see the smiles on everybody’s faces and to have watched all the hard work throughout the year.” 

Corey Benoit placed 1st in the Open division with Taz. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
Corey Benoit placed 1st in the Open division with Taz. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.

Robinson’s Arrow came back better than ever to race her way to sixth place in Nationals in the Elite Veteran division.  

To see The Signal’s October feature on the SCV Dog Agility Club, visit tinyurl.com/3jv9b7uf. 

The trainer of SCVDAC, Tammy Robinson, placed in the top 10 in both Finals and Nationals with her dog Arrow. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.
The trainer of SCVDAC, Tammy Robinson, placed in the top 10 in both Finals and Nationals with her dog Arrow. Photo courtesy of Charlene Lewis.

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