Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club Hosts Fast CAT Event

WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WHSV) — The Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club hosted a three-day Fast CAT event this weekend at Weyers Cave Community Center.

In this case, CAT stands for “Coursing Ability Test”. It’s like the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, but this event is a 100-yard dash for the dogs.

“The dog loves it, it’s one of the most fun things we do and we go to various places across the state sometimes, even all the way to Maryland. The level of excitement that dog has and doing that and running feels like she’s always trying to beat her best time,” said Chris Manzella, participant and owner of the dog.

A controlled lure is fired across the marked course and dogs of all breeds chase it to measure their time and speed.

“What you gain is a better understanding of how to take care of a dog because as they enjoy this kind of activity and exercise it is so important to them. They really benefit from it a lot , and you too, because you meet a lot of nice people,” Manzella said.

This sport brings dog owners from all over Virginia to compete, and some hold national rankings.

“At one point when we started doing this, she was ranked number three in the United States for Rat Terriers in speed, so I think that’s going to help her because it’s going to bump up her ranking,” said Manzella. “You know, if you don’t do it for a long time, sometimes the others will catch up with you, so you have to get back out there and let them get back to the top.”

There is a national competition for the Fast CAT event held in Orlando every December, where the fastest dogs of each breed compete to be #1 in the country.

The Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club is looking for more volunteers to run events like the Fast CAT. Attendees at Sunday’s event say they hope more youngsters will start training and competing with their dogs.

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