Choice taken away from me after all. The World Agility Open, according to the feedback of some very strange team managers, has decided to lower the jump height and cutoff for the 2nd highest height division. Click here for the new jump heights.
I applaud raising the cutoff for smaller dogs, as I do feel that the 300mm (12") jump height was too restrictive, and I feel that smaller dogs have a harder time with higher jumps. However, they also made the former 550mm height (about 22") much more difficult to get into, by lower the jumps to 525mm (about 20.5"), and lowering the cutoff to 485mm/19.09". That means essentially only rather small border collies will be in this jump height, and all medium and large BC's and other breeds will have to jump the standard FCI height of 650mm/26". I think this is silly. Make your event MORE inviting for small dogs, and LESS inviting for smaller big dogs. Many of the competitors at the 550mm height were over 19", and won't be able to compete at the similar height now, and instead will have to do 650 if they return. I won't be returning. This seems awfully ridiculous after they just openly invited us to return if we won a medal. Now they tell us "oh, you can come back, but you have to jump 4" higher!"
Reasoning seems to be some nonsense about how all the Europeans have to jump 26" anyway, so what's the big deal. And that it's more fair for the dogs on the lower end of the spectrum. I think that's silly because in my experience, there simply aren't all that many dogs on the lower end of the spectrum that do really well at even 20.5" jumps... so basically they are severely limiting this new 525mm division, and saying "screw you" to all of us who were on the upper end of 550 this year. Drifter will be NINE AND A HALF and no, thanks very much, we won't be returning at the higher jump height. If I'd wanted to jump that height, I would have. Or perhaps I would have gone to the EO where we already HAVE an open event with FCI oriented jump heights. Why do we need another one? This new system does not encourage the nicey-nice friendly competition they seemed to be aiming for.
We shall see what develops. There does seem to be a lot of negative backlash occurring about making one height more restrictive but the others bigger and easier. It almost seems to be sort of a "screw the north american dogs" mind set. Hmmm, and the USA DID have the most medals....
(I dont' believe it's anti-US sentiment, but it sort of ends up BEING that way, whether it was the intent or not)