While attending the Fourth Grade Farm Fair, Mackenzie Spillman saw Kenzie Mott and Andrea Bauer’s dogs work an agility course. The fast paced action caught her attention. She knew then she wanted to show dogs in 4-H.

“It just looked like a lot of fun,” said Spillman who along with her Corgi, Mason, have collected multiple accolades at the Daviess County 4-H Show as well as the Indiana State Fair over the last five years.

In the duo’s first year out, they placed first in the county for agility and took sixth at the state fair. They also top top honors in the county and at state for obedience. Since then, the high flying Corgi and his handler have consistently placed in the top three in both events locally and the top 10 at the big show in Indianapolis.

“We’ve done all our training through 4-H,” said Spillman who works with Mason at least a couple of times at week during the off season and about every day when they are preparing for contests. “It is something you have to work at and if you aren’t willing to do that, this probably isn’t a good project for you to take.”

Spillman is quick to point out that to be a part of the local dog club, known as the Underdogs, you don’t have to have a certain breed of dog.

“You could have any breed of dog to be a part of the club,” said Spillman who said it’s not so much about what type of dog a participant has but more about how much effort is put into working with the dogs. “If you don’t have an obedient dog, you won’t have a good agility dog.”

Mason was around two when Spillman training him.

“You don’t have to have a puppy. You can teach an older dog new tricks,” she said.

Agility, Spillman said, is based on points rather than time like many would expect.

“Time only comes into play if there is a tie on the points,” she said.

Mason and Spillman have scored a perfect run on the agility course before but dogs, she said, are much like people and also have off days.

“It’s a lot of fun. You just need to be patient, committed and don’t give up,” she said.

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