The Mattaponi instructor group was formed in 1992 just as agility was beginning to explode upon the US. The first AKC agility advisory committee meeting was held in August of 1993 and the first sanctioned match was held in 1994. In short order, AKC agility trials were filling on opening day and competitors were exploring USDAA and NADAC to fill their agility needs. In 2008, there were 2178 AKC agility trials (up 133 from 2007).
The Mattaponi agility instructors are an eclectic group of volunteers. The group includes UKC judges, professional educators, Federal government employees, some retirees and those involved in animal rescue and veterinary care. Many of our instructors have been around since the beginning and also have many years of prior experience in other canine sports, such as conformation, obedience, tracking and hunting.
The instructors have a wide variety of dog breeds, from some of the smallest toy dogs to large herding and working dogs. Mattaponi instructors continue to show their own dogs in all the various canine sports, and they have placed agility championships on a number of different dog breeds. Some of the instructors have competed (and even placed) at national and regional events like the AKC Invitational and National Agility Championship.
As a result of their extensive experience with dogs, they know how to work with a variety of breeds and sizes of dogs; outside of the class situation, they may also be able to help with non-agility questions regarding your dogs, such as socialization, manners, problem solving, etc. Mattaponi encourages a positive approach to agility training, and allows each dog and handler to progress at their own speed.