Posted by: jility | July 10, 2011

FAST! FUN! Technical?

There is an oxymoron in that title somewhere.

Coming from a horse background, I understand the difference between a Grand Prix and a Steeplechase. I rode a lot of jumpers in my young skinny days. I rode in everything from very technical Grand Prix jumping classes to open and FAST Steeplechases to all the rest in between. Sadly, it would now take a heavy duty crane to get me ON a horse and a secure harness to keep me there, not to mention I would need a Clydesdale to hold me… but that is for another blog.

The equine Grand Prix is about jumping huge fences that are set to show control, speed, jumping and the rider’s ability to think and react. Steeplechases are full out races over fences with nothing but a turn once in a while that is so slight, you hardly notice it. It is all about SPEED with very little thinking or control! You just take a deep seat, a long rein and may the fastest horse win.

Dog agility was patterned after the horse world. I am fairly new to agility (only 10 ½ years in the sport) but I can recall what the Steeplechases were like 10 years ago, HECK 3 years ago! They were FAST AND FUN! Courses now are getting more and more technical and the speed factor of the game is getting designed right out of it. Going balls to the wall is pretty difficult when there are a bunch of TIGHT turns and potential off courses in the run! Steeplechase in horses has little to do with handling and everything to do with the ability to hang on and enjoy the rush!

Judges seem to be trying to outdo each other to see who can design the most technical courses for Steeplechase. What they are really doing is sucking the FAST and FUN right out of it!

I say:


After I wrote this blog I walked out to the rings and saw the Steeplechase finals today at the NW Regional! JUST LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!! GREAT JOB SCOTT L! That course WAS FAST! FUN! AND FABULOUS!


  1. It was a blast to run!! Very, very nice to have a GO FAST course 🙂

  2. I am all for fast and fabulous.

  3. No kidding . . . that Rd 2 in Canby was silly. Steeplechase is not an event that the slow dog should win because it was the only one that was clean.

  4. I say bring Helen back to agility!!!

    • Naci! Aren’t you afraid I will kick your ass? LOLOLOLOLOL

  5. And I agree with you absolutely!!

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