Introducing IGW's Featured IG, "MACH5 Al"!
Al competes in Agility, mostly in AKC and occasionally in USDAA. He was the #1 dog (AKC’s Top Dog in Agility) for IGs for 2005 and 2006, and is leading in this competition for 2007. He has earned the Master Agility Championship title (MACH) from the AKC three times. He was the second IG to ever have earned the MACH2 Title; and is the only Italian Greyhound to have earned a 3rd MACH! He has accumulated the all time highest career points total for any IG that has ever done the sport. He has earned over 3000 MACH points since the Fall of ‘04. He has competed in 2 AKC National Agility Championships, Tampa (’06) and Columbus, OH (’07) and in ‘07 just missed getting into the finals for the National Championship for 12 inch dogs. He finished 27th out of the 235 best dogs in the country that were entered in his class. Al was the first invitee (#1 dog)) for IGs to the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational Championships in Long Beach in Dec’06 . He is the first invitee again in ‘07 and will be competing again in the Invitational which is in December ’07 in Long Beach. (5 dogs are invited from each AKC recognized breed). He will also compete in the AKC National Agility Championships in Tulsa OK, in March 2008. If there is a record for IGS doing anything in AKC agility, Al probably holds it. He has set the bar so much higher than dogs that came before him, and has singlehandedly changed the way “Agility People” perceive IGs. It’s hard for them to ignore a dog that consistently beats the “Agility Breeds” like Shelties.
He’s a crowd favorite when we compete, even at National events. Al particularly loves competing at the “big” events, and loves the big crowds, the noise, and the intensity. He is a real show off. People are amazed at how happy he is when he runs, and then they see how skilled and fast he is, and when he rips through the weave poles; they always start cheering and clapping. Which Al loves, and it just makes him go faster and love it more.
He’s an amazing little guy, who has given me much much more than I have ever given him. His most endearing qualities are his incredible enthusiasm, his ability to instantly put a smile on my face, especially when he grabs a squeaky toy from me and wants to play; and his unconditional love and willingness to try almost anything.
Meet Al's "dad" Ken, and be sure to visit his website KenAndAl.com!
UPDATE: Sept 11th, 07:
"This past weekend Al earned his MACH3 Title at the PDFC trial (Peninsula Dog Fanciers Club) in Bremmerton, Washington. That means he has earned his Master Agility Championship from the AKC 3 times. No other IG has more MACHs and Al is only the 3rd Sighthound ever in the history of Dog Agility to reach MACH 3.
I'm so very, very proud of him for this achievement as he earned his 3rd MACH in an amazingly short period of time. Al earned MACH 2 on April 13th, 2007 and 4 months and 3 weeks later, he completed the requirements for his 3rd MACH by earning the final required Double Q (20th). Most agility dogs never earn a MACH in a lifetime of competing. Fewer than 5 % of dogs that compete in Agility ever earn one MACH title.
It's been an amazing summer and year for us. Al is running with a lot more drive and consistency. I won't bore everyone with a lot of numbers, but during the two months of July and August of this year, Al earned 509 MACH Points and had 13 Double Qs.
I'm very very proud of my little man for coming with me on this journey. He's been an incredible partner. Patient, forgiving, and always willing to try. I don't think I'd do what I've asked of him so many times if the tables were turned and I were the dog and Al was the human.
I've finally had some time to update my website with a description and video clip of our runs. If you are interested in more details please visit MACH 3 Al or you can link to this info from the web site www.KenAndAl.com.
It's funny to me, but it feels like after earning Al's 3rd MACH Title, that were are just starting to come together as a team. We're running "together", and it feels great. I'm hoping that we are fortunate and have the opportunity to have many, many more fun and fast runs together."
Update September 2008
On August 29, 2008, Al earned his 100th Double Q and finished the AKC’s requirements for the title, Master Agility Champion 5, better known as MACH5.
Al is the only Sighthound in the history of the AKC Agility to have reached this level of achievement.
Please read all about Al's continued success at this link: http://188.8.131.52/MACH5%20Al.htm