Photo: Kickan Nikolic
The first ever Swedish Open will be held next weekend (March 29 – 31) in Vårgårda, Sweden. It’s going to be a big 3-day agility event, in which competitors of all classes get to compete! The agility competition, an idea of the Swedish power couple Jouni and Isabelle Emanuelsson Orenius, will be held in Tånga hall, in Western Sweden.
In addition to four Swedish judges, Jocke Tangfelt, Fanny Gott, Renée Uhlan and Viktoria Lundh, Finnish Sari Mikkilä, who is also one of the AWC 2019 judges, and Danish Bonnik Bertelsen, will be judging the Swedish Open.
Heidi Penttilä will be attending Swedish Open with all her poodles
Heidi Penttilä is a 28-year-old with a master’s degree in economics, who has been doing agility for over 10 years. Heidi has three amazing poodles and is the ruling Swedish Champion. At the moment, she works as a fulltime agility coach.
Photo: Annika af Klercker
Heidi Penttilä is looking forward to Swedish Open, because it will be their first big competition of the season! Her team consists of 9-year-old Vicky and 4-year-old Rosey, who have both been part of the Swedish national team, as well as her youngest dog, 2-year-old Ivy, competing in class 2. “What I look forward to the most, is competing in one competition with all my girls, which is very rare in Sweden”, Heidi says.
You’re in for inspiring and challenging courses
Heidi says that the Swedish Open judges always create inspiring courses with nice challenges. “I’m looking forward to Sari Mikkilä´s courses, in particular, because I competed on her courses a lot when I started agility and this year she is also one of the AWC judges. She also creates good lines for the dogs, with a lot of speed and if you have a well trained dog you can manage her courses.”
Swedish Jocke Tangefelt is one of the three judges whose courses are, according to Heidi, always inspiring, long and challenging! Heidi firmly believes she will be able to run Jocke’s over 200m long courses with all three dogs, thanks to starting the training program Speed Up All Stars this winter.
Heidi is also looking forward to the new Swedish judge Fanny Gott’s courses, which she hasn’t had a chance to try before. “I have seen some of her course profiles and they look very nice and have a good flow.”
All Swedish agility competitors know Tånga Hed
Even though Swedish Open is held for the first time ever, according to Heidi, Tånga Hed is well-known to all Swedish agility competitors: “Tånga Hed has an excellent surface, which I think suits all dogs and handlers! It’s elastic enough, has just the right amount of grip and because of its large space, it has a big event feel! The hall has a good stand, where you can follow and cheer others on.” Heidi also praises the surroundings of the competition hall, which are good for warming up and cooling down, and mentions that there are cottages for rent nearby.
Heidi Penttilä prepared for this season in a new way
Heidi says she has three amazing dogs and competition courses are getting longer all the time: “Last season I felt I wasn’t able to run and focus an entire competition weekend and I wanted to change that!” The greatest change Heidi made in preparing for this season has, in effect, been participating in the training program Speed Up All Stars for agility handlers. Before, Heidi has put more effort in training her dogs to become as good as they can be, but now she also wants to improve herself and her fitness.
“In Sweden we have several 2 to 4-day agility events, which make focusing on both your own and your dog’s fitness very important. In addition to getting fit, I’m also focusing on improving my dogs’ fitness more than before this season”, Heidi says.
Dogs’ fitness training part of preparation
In addition to training both her own and her dogs’ fitness, Heidi has also prepared for this season by improving her dogs’ agility skills: “This winter I have focused on verbals and weaving skills with Rosey and Vicky. I have taught them a new command for flicks and also improved my cues for turning,’in’ and ‘come to me and take no obstacles’”. With her youngest, Ivy, Heidi has focused on obstacle skills, contacts and weave poles, in particular.
I can’t wait for the competition report and I wish Heidi and all participants an enjoyable and rewarding agility competition weekend.
All the best,
If you are more interested about Swedish Open 2019 check out the event here.
Do you also want to take your agility to the next level? Speed Up All Stars will give you the courage and confidence to do so. Next Speed Up All Stars – course starts in May 2019. Read more here.