Archive/ Past Results
- World Championships
- Sep 29. 2012
2012 AWI World Championships
The 2012 Ashley Whippet Invitational World Championships held at beautiful Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Missouri was such an amazing event in more ways than one. The weather was gorgeous all weekend with temperatures in the 70s. As the sun rose over the competition field each day, the evenings met the day with a cool breeze. The wind was barely noticed by competitors as they threw down their best stuff round after round for the 35th anniversary of this spectacular event!
A small group of folks who arrived early on Thursday hit the ground running while AWI World Finalist player packs were prepared with goodies from our two main event sponsors, Purina ProPlan and Hero Disc USA.
The field setup was underway Friday morning after a few early morning showers rolled through to soften up the turf for the weekend. Purina Farms staff dropped off several event tents, tables, chairs, ring gating, banners, gators and more to help with setting the stage for the championship weekend. Competitor’s tents started popping up along the field’s sidelines. Practice throws and preparation soon followed.
Friday evening was reserved for the AWI Welcome Reception which was co-hosted with the St. Louis Disc Dog Club in the Checkerboard Café at the Purina Event Center. All competitors, staff, special guests and STLDD club members enjoyed assorted desserts, veggie trays, gourmet dips, cheese trays and a variety of beverages while meeting and greeting everyone. Local club members had a chance to rub elbows with previous world champions and players they may have seen at other competitions but never officially met. World Finalist player packs were handed out and qualified handlers signed their competitor waiver to help reduce the time for registration the following morning. A few donated raffle packs including some dog and disc golf discs from Hero Disc USA were awarded to several different winners to end the evening!
Saturday morning started off with coffee, juice, donuts, bagels, bananas, and granola bars courtesy of Hero Disc USA. Competitors were filing in one by one, warming themselves and their amazing canine athletes up for what would be one of the most epic running orders ever compiled. There was a slight delay due to the wet grass from the morning dew. The continuous rumble of the Purina Farm gators could be heard running up and down the hill loading and unloading player’s gear. The sanctity of the Purina Farms plush green grass was intact and the Championship Field laid waiting.
The event kicked off with an introduction of the World Championships judging panel; Julia Zimmerman from Germany, Angela Ewtushik from Canada and Tom Wehrli and Heather Bednar from the USA. AWI European Tournament Director, Julia Zimmerman, made a special presentation to the 2012 European AWI Champions, Christina Weiss and Ronja. The team was awarded a $1,000 prize for their huge win in Germany less than a month ago. An incredible act of camaraderie soon followed as Christina made the announcement that she was splitting her award with fellow European competitor, Bettina Koch, to help cover Bettina’s travel expenses so she could experience a world championship event!
The wet grass seemed to have no affect on team after team in the morning. Matt Bilderback and Bazooka took the field first and demonstrated exactly why they were invited with a great innovative routine. The freestyle judges were in the toughest seats all weekend because the running order never stopped and was unbelievable with the likes of two returning AWI World Champion teams, Lawrence Frederick and Harley Davidson along with Chuck Middleton and Bling Bling. The field also consisted of the recent Skyhoundz World Champions of Pennie Mahon and Psych, the reigning UFO World Cup Champions of Mike Hanson and MaggEY and not to mention the current European AWI Champions, Christina Weiss and Ronja!
DiscDogNation.com and BarkNetwork.com captured every moment on Saturday for online spectators to enjoy. Multiple camera angles, online commentary by Ron Watson and competitor interviews added to the excitement throughout the livestream coverage. Hundreds of online viewers from 29 different countries tuned in for a total of nearly 1,500 viewing hours proving that if you build it they will come. Broadcast stats spiked when Andrew Han provided his dance version of the Gangnam Style as he entered the field before each round.
Later in the afternoon, a special shipment of discs dropped off via helicopter in the back 40 of Purina Farms made its way to Mr. Alex Stein for a special presentation in between rounds. The box consisted of full color collector discs with a collage of historic pictures of Alex and Ashley Whippet honoring the 35th anniversary of the Ashley Whippet Invitational World Championships. These were immediately made available for sale including an autograph from Alex and the paw stamp of Ashley.
When the dust finally settled on Saturday, 103 remarkable rounds of competition had been logged and scores were triple checked. Full color custom logo award discs were presented to the top ten finishers representing the Who’s Who of the disc dog world. In 4th place, the top European team, Bettina Koch and Tabasco, proved that they are more than capable of competing with the best talent from around the world. Also newcomers to the AWI World Finals, Andrea Rigler and Moxie, finished in 3rd place with some amazing rounds of freestyle and double digits in throw and catch. In 2nd place, Former World Champion Lawrence Frederick and Flash captured the highest score in each round of freestyle, but left the door slightly open in throw and catch.
Chuck Middleton and Bling Bling rose to the lead after the highest throw and catch round of the day with a 20 point effort and then never looked back. It was heart warming to hear the European competitors begin to cheer them on as they started the last round of freestyle for the day. Others joined in and Chuck seized the moment to just relax and do what he does every time he practices at the park and jam with his best friend Bling Bling!
Chuck Middleton and Bling Bling are the 2012 Ashley Whippet Invitational World Champions for the second year in a row!
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Ashley Whippet Invitational
|Place||Handler||Athlete||Total FS1||T&C||Total FS1 + T&C||Total FS2||Total|
|14||Lawrence Frederick||Harley Davidson||36||9||45||35||80|
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