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Mequon dog trainer named to canine version of Olympics called Agility World Championships

Evers will be in Austria in September for the Agility World Championships with the American Kennel Club.
Posted at 3:15 PM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-27 13:18:09-04

MEQUON, Wis. — One of the best dog agility trainers in the country lives in Mequon. For the first time in her career, Rachel Evers is a member of Team USA and will be at the Olympics-equivalent for dog agility competitions.

Evers will be in Austria in September for the Agility World Championships with the American Kennel Club team.

"To be able to be named to both the European Open and Agility World Championship teams for the American Kennel Club really has been the honor of a lifetime," she said.

She and Vex traveled to Belgium for the European Open in July where she was the team alternate. She is also the alternate for the competition in Austria.

These are just the ribbons Evers has won this season.

"Every morning, (Vex) wakes up, says get up. We're going to train. (She) wants to run in the arena," Evers said.

Evers has been competing in agility competitions for about 15 years. Her introduction to owning dogs and being an agility trainer happened unexpectedly.

While living in San Francisco, she was held at gunpoint. That made her want to get a dog to feel safe. That dog happened to be extra energetic. To have her "spunky" dog run off some of that energy, she enrolled in an agility class. It just so happened that she joined a class with instructors that were world-class trainers.

Training Facility
This is Ever's at-home training facility in Mequon.

"When you're around that excellence, that helps you understand what is required to prepare for (competitions)," Evers said.

She participated in a few competitions and was hooked from the start. Now, she is a member of Team USA competing at the highest level possible.

"It's just a mix of preparation and luck, and really putting the time in, and working towards that goal," she said.

She has been pretty successful so far too. Evers has hundred of ribbons and trophies in her Mequon house.

"I can’t hang them all out 'cause I wouldn’t have wall space left, but it's a pretty fun thing."

Evers and her dog
Evers and her dog Vex will be in Austria for the Agility World Championships in September.

As to what makes her so good, she credits the dogs she has trained with. After all, it's a team sport. It's kind of like a coach-player relationship.

"I'm responsible for setting Vex up in scenarios where she can learn to predict what is going to happen."

She trains Border Collies, Labradors, and other breeds, but Border Collies are the most common dog used in competitions. She said they have the right body build and genetic makeup to be good at agility competitions. It's similar to good basketball players. Anyone can play basketball, but the ones who make it to the NBA tend to be those who are taller than the average person.

"It's a team sport, so you need a partner with you that really really wants to do it too," Evers said.

Her dog Vex clearly loves the training in their at-home arena and wants to run the course over and over again.

We're all rooting for you Rachel! We know you will do great!

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