By Shelley Widhalm
Four middle- and high-school girls from Berthoud placed
first in the team rally event at the 4-H Colorado 4-H State Fair in Pueblo.
âAll of the girls compete against each other, so it was
really fun to see them working together and celebrating their win as a team,â said
Susan Kamm-Worrell, mother of one of the girls, Kathryn Worrell, 17, a 12th
grader at Berthoud High School (BHS).
The girls are Turner Middle School student Emma Harris with
her dog, Ginger, an Australian cattle dog, and BHS students Kaylee Brown with
Koda, a border collie, MacKenzie Harris with Teddy, a Labrador retriever, and
Kathryn with Rocky, a mixed breed.
The four girls qualified for state by placing as the top
four winners at the rally event at the Larimer County Fair 4-H Dog Obedience and
Rally Show in March. Emma, MacKenzie and Kaylee are part of the Wind Dancers
4-H Club in Loveland, and Kathryn is part of the Sagebrush Riders 4-H Club in
âIn past years Kathryn and Rocky have competed in team
rallies with other kids and dogs from Larimer County, but âŚ what was really
exciting was to have a team of all Berthoud kids. It was really fun everyone
was from Berthoud and we all knew each other,â Kamm-Worrell said.
In the county and state rally events, 4-H members demonstrate
the level of dog training and the teamwork between handler and dog in a timed
event as they navigate a course side-by-side. The handler steers the leashed dog
through the course of 14 different signs that provide instructions on the next
skill to be performed. With a team rally event, teams of four handlers and dogs
maneuver the course individually while the team time runs simultaneously.
Kaylee served as the anchor leg for the Berthoud team,
moving in the final position as the teamâs strongest competitor with perfect
scores on her individual competitions. The team earned 397 out of 400 possible
points, finishing in 6 minutes, 21 seconds.
âThey were almost perfect,â Kamm-Worrell said. âI thought
most of them competed better as a team than individually, so they had very high
Kaylee and the other girls also showed individually in the
4-H State Fair rally events. Kaylee and Koda, 2, won grand champion in the
Intermediate Rally Classes in
Rally Advanced B. MacKenzie and Teddy placed fourth and Emma and Ginger, sixth.
Kathryn and Rocky won grand champion in the Rally Excellent Classes, the second
from the highest level with the course signs pointing out more complicated
maneuvers in a harder competition.
In the other 4-H State Fair dog trial events, Kaylee and Koda
won grand champion
in the Novice Obedience Classes demonstrating obedience, and Emma and Ginger
placed seventh in Intermediate Open Showmanship, where the dog trots alongside
the handler to show off the dog to the best advantage.
âThe kids have to be dressed up, too, because they were
doing showmanship. Youâre like a professional dog handler,â said Kamm-Worrell.
âNot only is the dog dressed up, the person is dressed up, too. âŚ You want to
show the dog the best you can.â
Kathryn began working with Rocky seven years ago when she
was in the sixth grade. She learned responsibility in caring for Rocky and the
cost associated with a pet, since she was required to keep a record book of her
expenses. Kathryn trained Rocky both at home and in Wellington once a week with
4-H volunteer Denise Preuit to practice the higher levels of obedience, rally
âBy having an animal as a 4-H project for several years, she
can continue to train him through the various levels of 4-H,â Kamm-Worrell
said. âThe hardest obstacle is when the dog must go off leash in obedience,
rally or agility, since the dogs have a limited number of years when they can
be shown on leash.â
Kathryn and Kaylee learned leadership skills by helping to
train younger 4-H members in the dog project at the weekly county fair
workshops in the spring and summer months. Kathryn also participated in the
leadership project this year, serving as
the chair of the bylaw committee for her club and helping the dog members in
the club with their demonstrations, records books and basic dog obedience
training. She placed as champion in her leadership project at both the county
and state fair.
âKathryn has put in a lot of hours over the years training
Rocky, so itâs gratifying as a parent to see them do well at state fair,â