Frisbee Dog World Championship

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The Frisbee Dog World Championship (also known as the Ashley Whippet Invitational World Championship and the Canine Frisbee Disc World Championship) is an annual competition for disc dogs.

Origin[edit]

In 1975, Irv Lander, Alex Stein and Eldon McIntire first organized a World Championship for flying-disc (Frisbee) catching dogs and their handlers.[1] The event continued annually. Stein and his disc dog, Ashley Whippet, won the first three championships in 1975, 1976 and 1977.[2] McIntire was the owner of another disc dog named Hyper Hank.[3] Lander worked for Wham-O, the maker of the Frisbee, which is a registered trademark of Wham-O. He was a promoter of the Junior Frisbee Disc Championships, an event for humans.[3] In the early years the championship took place alongside the "human" Frisbee championships, sponsored by Wham-o, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Eventually, it turned into a contest series and, in the early 1980s, was named the Ashley Whippet Invitational (AWI).[3] The competition series included local and regional events where dog and handler pairs would qualify for the Ashley Whippet Invitational World Finals Championship. Until the mid-1990s there was only one organization for disc dog competitions. For many years the AWI World Finals was the only championship event.

Qualification[edit]

The final event was contested as a one day, "winner take all" type event. The early qualifying format included 4 to 6 regionals with the 1st and 2nd place teams each earning a trip to the World Finals Championship. It was a closed regional system, meaning that the dog and handler team had to live and compete in the geographical area of the regional qualifier competition.[3] Anywhere from 8 to 16 teams would qualify, depending upon the format and number of regional qualifiers that year.

Format[edit]

Early tournaments were "Throw and Fetch" contests. Some were judged on style points, others on distance, others on standing in a circling throwing out, and still others on throwing into a circle.[3]

Peter Bloeme got involved with the disc dog sport in the early 1980s, after winning the 1976 Men's World Frisbee Championship and won a Frisbee Dog World Championship in 1984. He then "retired" from competition and began to work for AWI as a judge and event coordinator. Peter Bloeme pushed the sport in the direction of multiple disc "Freestyle" contests, which changed the disc dog game forever. Over time the World Finals Championship was modified to include a freestyle event (sometimes known as "Freeflight"), and a timed throw and catch event (known as "MiniDistance," and later as "Distance/Accuracy").

Lander Cup[edit]

In the late 1980s a trophy cup was introduced by Peter Bloeme, Eldon McIntire, Jeff Perry, and Alex Stein to commemorate the yearly AWI World Champions. The large silver cup is mounted on a wooden base, which is covered with small plaques inscribed with names of the winners. It is called the "Lander Cup" in honor of Irv Lander, then the Executive Director of the AWI tournament series.

Changes to the World Championship[edit]

Lander died in 1998 and left the AWI tournament series and the related business to his son, Steve Lander. Many involved in the disc dog sport and the AWI organization had expected Peter Bloeme, then director of the AWI series, to be Irv Lander's successor.[3] That year was the first time the AWI World Finals Championship was filmed for TV. The event, sponsored by ALPO, was presented on Animal Planet as the ALPO Canine Frisbee Disc World Championship.[4] Peter Bloeme was the "on screen" announcer for the event. After the 1998 World Finals, Bloeme left AWI and did not renew his contract.[3]

Skyhoundz[edit]

In 2000, Skyhoundz staged its very first World Canine Disc Championship, sponsored by Hyperflite (www.hyperflite.com). The Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship Series (www.skyhoundz.com) is now the largest disc dog competition series in the world and features, each year, more than 100 free Local Championships held in the U.S. and other countries, as well as U.S. State Championships, nine U.S. World Championship Qualifiers, seven International World Championship Qualfiers, a European Championship, a World Championship, Xtreme Distance Challenge events, and DiscDogathon competitions. In 2011 the Hyperflite Skyhoundz Series will be expanded to include a week-long World Championship extravaganza that will include a World Canine Disc Championship in five Divisions (Open, Sport, Pairs Freestyle, MicroDog, and Youth) as well as an Xtreme Distance World Championship (and associated Last Chance Open Qualifier), and a DiscDogathon World Championship (and associated Last Chance Open Qualifier). Participants in the week-long Skyhoundz World Championship will have at least three opportunities at various Last Chance Open Qualifiers to qualify for the remaining invitations to compete for World Championship titles.

AWI[edit]

The AWI World Championship ceased in 2000, and there was no AWI World Championship in 2001 or 2002. The AWI reorganized in 2003 and once again began running a World Championship, without a supporting series. Previous AWI staff and judges Mark Molnar, Eldon McIntire, and Gary Suzuki were the leaders of this renewed event. The 2003 event was held in La Mirada, California and was an "all comer" meet (with no qualifier). The winner was invited to a special "Ashley Whippet Championship" event that took place in Japan later the same year. The newly reformed AWI Championships event was held again in La Mirada in 2004. In 2005, the same group of organizers took their event to Scottsdale Arizona, In 2006 the AWI World Championship event was run by another disc dog competition organization, the UFO. The UFO ran the Ashley Whippet Invitational World Championship as the final event of its season.[5] Competitors qualified for the UFO Finals - AWI World Championships by earning points in the UFO World Cup Series or by finishing in the top 15 at a semi-final event.

In 2007, the UFO ran its own Final event, in Dallas, Texas.[6] The AWI World Championships returned to Scottsdale, this time with Hero Disc running the event. The event in 2007 featured a qualifier in Naperville, Illinois on September 1. The top 25 teams qualified for the final event. There was a second qualifier held in Scottsdale on Friday November 2. The top 25 teams from this qualifier joined the qualifiers from Illinois and Japan.

In 2008, Hero Disc moved the AWI World Championship to La Mirada California, with the final day of the event being held at Knott's Berry Farms in Anaheim, California. The event was once again supported by 2 USA qualifying events-Naperville, Illinois and the Friday qualifier at the finals event. A qualifying event in Japan supplied several Japanese teams as well.

In 2009, the AWI World Championships was moved to Naperville, Illinois, where it was held on Labor Day weekend in conjunction with a UFO Major. The event was held without any qualifying events, and was once again an "all comer" meet.

List of World Champions[edit]

The following teams of dog and owner (handler) have been awarded the Lander Cup.[7]

Year Owner/Handler Dog Breed
1975
Alex Stein
Ashley Whippet
Whippet
1976
Alex Stein
Ashley Whippet
Whippet
1977
Alex Stein
Ashley Whippet
Whippet
1978
Jim Strickler
Dink
mixed
1979
Jim Strickler
Dink
mixed
1980
Frank Allen
Kona
Vizsla
1981
Bob Cox
Belmond
Labrador Retriever
1982
Bill Murphy
Bouncin' Boo
mixed
1983
Bill Murphy
Bouncin' Boo
mixed
1984
Peter Bloeme
Whirlin' Wizard
Border Collie
1985
Bill Murphy
Bouncin' Boo
mixed
1986
Chris Barbo
Kato
mixed
1987
Jeff Gabel
Casey
Labrador Retriever
1988
Jeff Gabel
Casey
Labrador Retriever
1989
Jeff Perry
Gilbert
mixed
1990
Lou McCammon
Scooter
Australian Shepherd
1991
Ron Ellis
Maggy
Border Collie
1992
Lou McCammon
Scooter
Australian Shepherd
1993
Gary Suzuki
Soarin' Sam
mixed
1994
Gary Suzuki
Soarin' Sam
mixed
1995
Gary Suzuki
Soarin' Sam
mixed
1996
Pon Saradeth
Owen Boy
Border Collie
1997
Melissa Heeter
Ariel Asah
Border Collie
1998
Bob Evans
Luke
Australian Shepherd
1999
Ken Cooper
Gabby
Border Collie
2000
Bob Evans
Nick
Australian Shepherd
2003
Bob Evans
Nick
Australian Shepherd
2004
Bob Evans
Nick
Australian Shepherd
2005
Steve Malmlov
Foster
mixed
2006
Yoshihiro Ishida
Rusty
Border Collie
2007
Yoshihiro Ishida
Rusty
Border Collie
2008
Lawrence Frederick
Harley Davidson
Border Collie
2009
Todd Murnan
Bella
Belgian Malinois
2010
Lawrence Frederick
Harley Davidson
Border Collie
2011
Chuck Middleton
Bling Bling
mixed
2012
Chuck Middleton
Bling Bling
mixed
2013
Chuck Middleton
Bling Bling
mixed
2014
Andrew Han
Solar
Australian Shepherd

Skyhoundz World Champions

Open Division (Freestyle/Distance/Accuracy Combined)
00 Nick (Australian Shepherd), trainer Bob Evans, Dallas, TX
01 Chico (Border Collie), trainer David Bootes, Ketchum, ID
02 Donnie (Mix), trainer Chuck Middleton, Dallas, TX
03 Cory (Australian Shepherd), trainer Jeff Stanaway, Gloucester, VA
04 Nick (Australian Shepherd), trainer Bob Evans, Dallas, TX
05 Rory (Australian Shepherd), trainer Tony Hoard, New Castle, IN
06 Guinan (Border Collie), trainer Danny Eggleston, Osceola, IN
07 Jumpin' Jack (Border Collie), trainer Danny Venegas, West Palm Beach, FL
08 Rory (Australian Shepherd), trainer Tony Hoard, New Castle, IN
09 Gipper (Border Collie), trainer Mark Muir, Williamson, GA
10 Flash (Border Collie), trainer Lawrence Frederick, Jacksonville, FL
11 Torch (McNab), trainer Kirby McIlveen, Huntington Beach, CA
12 Psych (Border Collie), trainer Penny Mahon, Cypress, TX
13 Flower (Border Collie), trainer Matteo Gaddoni, Forli, Italy
14 Zorra (Border Collie), trainer Lawrence Frederick, Jacksonville, FL

MicroDog Division (Freestyle/Distance/Accuracy Combined)
04 K-2 (Mix), trainer Todd Duncan, Cumming, GA
05 Scout (Mix), trainer Mare Potts, Aurora, IL
06 Seven (Australian Shepherd), trainer Tony Hoard, New Castle, IN
07 Tallulah (Mix), trainer Katherine Ferger, Queensville, Ontario, Canada
08 George (Rat Terrier), trainer Al Erikson, San Diego, CA
09 George (Rat Terrier), trainer Al Erikson, San Diego, CA
10 Gracie (Australian Shepherd), trainer Lee Fairchild, Goldsby, OK
11 George (Rat Terrier), trainer Al Erikson, San Diego, CA

12 Gracie (Australian Shepherd), trainer Lee Fairchild, Goldsby, OK

Sport Division (Distance/Accuracy)
02 Donnie (Mix), trainer Chuck Middleton, Dallas, TX
03 Passer (Border Collie), trainer Sayuri Norose, Japan
04 Bowditch (Border Collie), trainer Larry Beatty, Portsmouth, VA
05 Blade (Mix), trainer Adrian Custer, Milford, OH
06 Beamer (Australian Cattle Dog), trainer John Bilheimer, Glen Burnie, MD
07 Brigit (Border Collie), trainer Robert Walkley, Tampa, FL
08 Brook (Border Collie), trainer Kevin Eroskey, Kennesaw, GA
09 Gipper (Border Collie), trainer Mark Muir, Williamson, GA
10 BamBam (Australian Shepherd), trainer Chuck Middleton, Dallas, TX
11 Hippie Chick (Australian Shepherd), trainer David Gosch, Baltimore, MD

Pairs Freestyle (Freestyle)
05 Shiloh (Mix), Frank Buckland, Pasadena, MD/Shannon Bilheimer, Glen Burnie, MD
06 Shiloh (Mix), Frank Buckland, Pasadena, MD/Shannon Bilheimer, Glen Burnie, MD
07 Shiloh (Mix), Frank Buckland, Pasadena, MD/Shannon Bilheimer, Glen Burnie, MD
08 Shiloh (Mix), Frank Buckland, Pasadena, MD/Shannon Bilheimer, Glen Burnie, MD
09 Rally (Pyrenean Shepherd), Rick Rauwerda/Angela Ewtushik, Harriston, Ontario, Canada
10 Shiloh (Mix), Frank Buckland, Pasadena, MD/Sally Zinkham, Phoenix, MD
11 Shiloh (Mix), Frank Buckland, Pasadena, MD/Sally Zinkham, Phoenix, MD 12 Spencer (Mix), Jim Thomas, Jacksonville, FL/Michelle Thomas, Jacksonville, FL

Youth Division (Freestyle/Distance/Accuracy Combined)
10 Hazel (Border Collie), trainer Scott Avick, Cutler Bay, Florida
11 Elsee (McNab), trainer LylaClare Kosobucki, Riverside, California

UFO World Cup Champions [8]
Overall/Combined World Cup Series Champions
01 Nick (Australian Shepherd), trainer Bob Evans, Dallas, TX
02 Nick (Australian Shepherd), trainer Bob Evans, Dallas, TX
03 Levi (Mixed Breed), trainer Todd Duncan, Atlanta, GA
04 Ben (Mixed Breed), trainer Karin Actun, Dusseldorf, Germany
05 Levi (Mixed Breed), trainer Todd Duncan, Atlanta, GA
06 Maggie (Border Collie), trainer Matt DiAno, Littleton, CO
07 Maggie (Border Collie), trainer Matt DiAno, Littleton, CO
08 Maggie (Border Collie), trainer Matt DiAno, Littleton, CO
09 Guinan (Border Collie), trainer Danny Eggleston, Osceola, IN
10 Maggie (Border Collie), trainer Matt DiAno, Littleton, CO
11 Maggey (Border Collie), trainer Mike Hanson, Littleton, CO
12 Bling Bling (Mix), trainer Chuck Middleton, Dallas, TX
13 Torch (McNab), trainer Kirby McIlveen, Huntington Beach, CA
14 Flower (Border Collie), trainer Matteo Gaddoni, Forli, Italy

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of Ashley Whippet," Hero Disc USA. Retrieved from http://www.herodiscusa.com/store/index.php?act=viewDoc&docId=11 on 2007-03-20.
  2. ^ "Our History," AshleyWhippet.com. Retrieved from http://www.ashleywhippet.com/history.htm on 2007-03-20.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g David (2005), "Canine Frisbee History," K9 Disc Thrills. Retrieved from http://k9discthrills.com/news.php on 2007-03-20.
  4. ^ (1998-09-20) "1998 Friskies ALPO Canine Frisbee Disc World Champions Crowned; First Time a Senior Citizen and His Dog Win the World Title," Business Wire. Retrieved from http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1998_Sept_20/ai_53016715 on 2007-03-21.
  5. ^ "UFO Finals & other great new events," UFO. Retrieved from http://www.ufoworldcup.org/News.html on 2007-03-20.
  6. ^ ufoworldcup.org. Retrieved from http://www.ufoworldcup.org/contentpages/results/2007/2007results.html on 2010-06-30.
  7. ^ "Ashley Whippet - Past Results," AWI. Retrieved from http://www.ashleywhippet.com/history/past-results.html on 2010-06-30.
  8. ^ UFO History - retrieved from http://www.ufoworldcup.org/content/history.php on 2014-09-29