Almost 200 little dogs took over Taneytown Memorial Park last weekend for tests of agility and other traits in the second Taneytown Terrier Trials.
Erich Bender and Jenn Carr co-chaired the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America-sanctioned event on the weekend of July 13 and July 14. Both days saw a full schedule of events, including categories for racing, conformation, trailing and locating, GTG/SE, rat roundup, agility, lure coursing, and Outlaw Terrier games.
Bender, a Taneytown resident, confirmed that 188 dogs entered the trials this year, an increase over the 129 who showed up for the 2018 inaugural Terrier Trials. Outlaw registrations (non-Jack Russell terriers) numbered 32.
According to their website, The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America is the National Breed Club and Registry for the Jack Russell Terrier in the United States and is the largest Jack Russell Terrier club and registry in the world. The purpose of Jack Russell Terrier Club of America is “to protect and preserve the unique characteristics and working heritage of this great little terrier.”
Terrier Trials is not a dog show but a show of abilities, agilities and qualities that make the breed unique. Events include agility, conformation, go-to-ground, obedience, racing, and trailing and locating.
Bender indicated that the event was well attended. “We drew people in from all over, [including] Stephanie Lafond from Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, Canada. Others came from Rhode Island, Missouri, West Virginia, Georgia, North [Carolina] and South Carolina, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and of course Maryland,”
Kristine Poulin traveled with her husband Josh from Readfield, Maine, with their Shorty Jacks named Lily, Rooney, and Violet. They ran all three in the trials.
Poulin indicated they were drawn to the Terrier Trials after their breeder convinced them it would be a lot of fun. Kristine said, “We packed up our terrier, Lily, and off we went. We got hooked watching all the dogs do what comes naturally to them, and seeing the excitement and pride on everyone’s face.”
After that first event, the Poulins added three more terriers to their family.
They met Bender three years ago while at a trial in Connecticut. “Erich made a strong impression as he cooed to our dogs, telling us that he just loved Shorties,” Kristine said.
When Bender indicated he was hosting a fun trial in 2018, the Poulins decided to attend.
“Last year was an amazingly well-run first trial.” Poulin said. “This year was just as well run. It’s our favorite event of the year.”
Susan Bulanda, a resident of Westminster, and author of several books, including “Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors Stories of their Pets; God’s Creatures: A Biblical View of Animals,” attended with her husband and outlaw dogs, Babs (border collie), and Riley (Parsons Russell errier).
Babs and Riley were entered in the outlaw events (for lure coursing and rat hunt). Bulanda has been involved with the Terrier Trials for two years.
“It is a great event, very well organized and fun for everyone, even spectators” she said.
This year, Oscar Delarussel, Taneytown’s unofficial Jack Russell terrier ambassador, was accompanied in the ring by Natali Bollinger, Nicole Bollinger, and Amy Barfoot, residents of Taneytown and members of the ambassador program. This was their first official show as handlers.
Bender, who owns Oscar, said, “It is appropriate that all of them [the handlers and Oscar] are official ambassadors for the City of Taneytown, it shows how well we all try to promote our town.”
Bender wanted to bring a trial to Taneytown for several reasons. Memorial Park is a great site to hold a trial, the community is supportive, and Bender found it was a way to give back to the community that has supported him as owner of Taneytown Service Center, he said.
He also wanted to share his passion with his neighbors, friends, and customers. “Oscar is one of many reasons to bring a trial here but mostly, I wanted to invite all my dog friends to my home, so to speak. Taneytown is a great place with awesome people, and I wanted to share this town with everyone.”
Of course, no event like this would be successful without the many volunteers who came out to work the booths. The trial team included Jenn Carr, Kim Loar, Pat Marchetti and Bender. The Taneytown Lions Club provided breakfast, lunch and beverages.
Proceeds from this event benefited Russell Rescue (www.russellrescue.com/) to help with the care and fostering of unwanted and abused Jack Russell terriers.
Gabrielle Schoeffield covers Taneytown, Union Bridge, New Windsor and surrounding areas. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.