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My Camp Bandy Experience

ABMR Rescue 2010 Agility Trial

© 2010 Joe Roundy



Event Number-2010418215 is how it's listed on the AKC Events search web page but to our beloved Mals in need it is much more than a number. Nestled in central Wisconsin more specifically Portage County sits the little town of Amherst Junction. As Wisconsin's leading producer of carrots, snap beans, and potatoes, it also serves as the location of a very important ABMR sponsored agility trial to benefit Malinois rescue. Having never been to an ABMR event, my wife and I decided it was time to pack up our new mini van the "Belgian Bus" and check it out. My wife, Sharon Roundy, had volunteered "us" to help out at the rescue raffle table on Saturday and Sunday so we loaded up our own rescue Mal "Tate" and our two Belgian Sheepdog girls and hit the road Northward. We were looking forward to seeing some known acquaintances and making new friends too. We had corresponded with many "Mal" people on "Mal Pals", via email, and on Facebook since adopting Tate but now we had the chance to meet them face-to-face.

Camp Bandy Training Building - 30KB

The first "Camp Bandy" ABMR Rescue agility trial took place in 2007 and was the brainchild of ABMR member Linda Redfield. Because Linda and husband Jared have a local business and are actively involved in their community they were unable to travel far from home and enjoy their love of agility. Fortunately there is a great facility where they do their agility training called Camp Bandy. Because of a long period of time in the summer when Camp Bandy had no scheduled trials, Linda approached Laurie Bandy the owner of Camp Bandy and suggested that Laurie work on getting a trial in late July to fill the Agility dry spell. Laurie urged Linda to organize a trial and see if the ABMR would sponsor it to benefit Malinois Rescue. Linda's initial reaction was "could I really do that ?" and thinking "wow that's a great idea!". Laurie had already done something similar for the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America to raise money for their national specialty, so Linda decided why not give this a try.

Working as fast as possible, Linda emailed Marcia Tokson who was the coordinator for both of Linda's rescue mals at the time. Through a series of emails, Linda found Christine Clark who helped present the idea to ABMR and get permission- the trial needed to be run under the auspices of the national breed club in order for it to be AKC sanctioned. Linda did the AKC applications and got the first trial approved in early 2007. Once the AKC approves a trial it automatically is scheduled for the same weekend of the year next year. The AKC has now assigned the ABMR Agility trial to the 30th weekend of the year. This year's event held on July 30th - August 1st 2010 was the 4th annual. Linda had never been a trial chair before, but with Laurie's help in getting through the first year she knew she could do it. Linda did all the applications, hired judges, arranged for a trial secretary, got a committee together, reviewed the premiums, ordered ribbons, arranged for treats and toys for the dogs and handlers entered, coordinated the food and menu. The first year the trial filled, there were 200 runs on Friday and 330 runs on both Saturday and Sunday. Each dog generally runs twice a day, so you can do the math on how many dogs. After all expenses the first trial made about $5,000. Unfortunately entries have been down slightly mostly due to the economy,(the trials have been at about 80% of capacity lately) but the raffle has grown a little each year to make up for that. The trial benefited greatly from Jona Decker's offering to be the trail secretary at no fee for the first two trials and Joan Mullen discounted her judging services. Our current trial secretary charges a fee, but at a very nice discounted rates. Rebecca Bronk has prepared food for the last two years and gave us a generous discount last year. In the first three years Linda sent checks totaling $13,900 to Jim Moses, the treasurer for the ABMR Charitable Trust for ABMR Rescue.

While being a benefit for Malinois Rescue, the trial is of course open to all breeds and that was surely the case in 2010. There were rescue Mals participating but there were also many other breeds involved in the trial. Armed with my camera and two large storage cards I took almost 2000 pictures over the three day trial. I knew some of the breeds but also saw breeds I was not familiar with. Everyone was extremely friendly and were willing to not only tell me name of the breed, but also give me specific details about each dog. Every dog that made a "run" was exciting and fun to watch along with the reaction of the spectators and especially the expression of the handler as their dog ran the course. Reviewing the pictures and seeing the reactions of dogs and handlers brings a smile to my face whenever I look back at them. Here are two of the rescued Mals that are now successful agility dogs, Grinner(left) and Koa (right) trained and expertly handled by the Redfield's.

Grinner doing agility jump - 18KBKoa doing agility - 17KB

One of the many highlights of trial was the raffle. The first year of the trial Mary Phillips volunteered to do a raffle so Linda solicited local donations. The donated raffle items are always too numerous to count! There have been several raffle chairs over the four years including Mary Phillips, Nancy Schaal and in 2010 Lin Karrels and Christine Clark. While Linda has solicited local donations (highlighted by beer and potatoes), all the volunteers have done a stellar job of getting most of the donations and organizing and running the raffles at the trials. The raffle has grown every year and people just love the chance to win something!

The 2010 raffle was no exception and the table and any nearby available space holding the raffle prizes was to say the least overloaded with items. Ticket sales were brisk all the way up to the minute before the drawing. The excitement of the raffle filled the air and everyone at the trial made at least a dozen or more trips to check out the raffle items and see what new items were arriving but especially to boast how they were going for an item and that they would surely win. The walls of the "raffle room" were covered with raffle ticket bags and just about every bag had a load of tickets in it that threatened to rip the taped bag from the wall. Of course, cash donations are always accepted and there have been a few of those as well. Raffle winners were of course happy and everyone whether a winner or not had the satisfaction of helping out a great cause. Jeannine Daugherty and Mary O'Malley have also been of great service in helping out.

Agility Prize TableAgility Prize Table, Something for Everyone

Laurie Bandy is always most accommodating, helpful and supportive. We know she certainly purchases lots of raffle tickets! The club does pay the standard rental fee to Camp Bandy for the use of the facilities and equipment but the hospitality and perks we get are well worth it. The support for Malinois Rescue at this trial is truly amazing. Linda sent another $5,000 to Mal Rescue from the 2010 trial and is proud of the $18,900 contributed in the four years the trial has been running. There has always been several rescue mals in attendance and some truly dedicated Malinois Rescue workers there. This year there were eight rescue Mals in attendance at the event.

Not only were we personally blessed by Mal Rescue to be selected as Tate's forever home but we also were reunited with Nicci who fostered with us in March and April of 2010. Nicci was doing great and I was very happy to see her and hug her once again. Overall we had a great time at the event!

8 Rescue Malinois at the Agility Trial - 43KB

Everyone, and I mean everyone was friendly and helpful, the facility was nice and comfortable, the weather was good, and we were there to support a great cause that was near and dear to us. Even if you don't participate in the agility event there is always the need for volunteers and if you just want to come and relax you can find a spot and help cheer on your favorites, have something to eat, and support the raffle and Malinois Rescue. Remember, the 30th weekend of 2011, Camp Bandy - Amherst Junction Wisconsin.

















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