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U-FLI Championship Pre-Racing Details

Friday, November 05, 2010

U-FLI Championship Wrap-Up
(an interview with Steve McAvoy, U-FLI Committee Chair)

Several e-mails with important information about the upcoming championship in St. Louis have been sent out recently.  Information including last minute hotel details to the Saturday night banquet menu to some general Purina Farms tips to know, before you go, have been sent out.  Here is just a little more information from Steve McAvoy, who has been working on the championship details for the past year.

Q:  You recently visited Purina Farms and toured their new Event Center where the U-FLI Championships are being held.  What was your first impression?

A:  I was overwhelmed.  The sheer size of the Event Center (84,000 square feet) is more than impressive.  I was almost awe struck that someone would build a structure like that just for dog shows and competitions.  They've worked on it for a number of years and I was pleasantly surprised to see the extent that they went to in making it a reality.  It's the nicest facility I've ever seen, and I've seen my share.

Q:  Tell us a bit about the Main Exhibition Hall where the flyball racing will take place.

A:  The main hall is 45,000 square feet with a special alpha-sport padded flooring that is so comfortable.  The building is climate controlled so the weather outside won't be an issue.  On the second floor is an observation area where you can relax and watch the racing while grabbing a bite to eat.  It's pretty amazing actually, especially as far as flyball racing goes.  This is not a pole barn in the middle of a farm.  It's an exceptional racing facility.

Q:  What is the runback situation like, and is there enough room for our props and boxes?

A:  Room will not be an issue in this facility!  We will be running three rings simultaneously and the rings will run north and south, the long way in the building.  We'll have 70 feet of matted runback and a bit more room beyond that on their rubberized floor, if needed.  The box/prop area has plenty of room for everyone.  There is no reason anyone will be cramped in this place.

Q:  Crating is always a concern, as you know.  What is the crating situation like at Purina Farms?

A:  There is more than adequate crating in the building that is separated from the racing by a hallway.  The crating room is easily accessible and will make getting into the ring on time very easy.  Crating spaces will be assigned.  There is electricity in the crating building, but you might want to bring an extension cord just in case.  There is no charge to have electricity in your crating area if you'd like to run a fan or need to charge a camera or laptop.

Q:  Will there be any issues moving into the building when we arrive on Thursday and Friday?

A:  There are a number of ways to get our equipment into the building.  Most likely, we will roll up the outside doors so that everyone can drive up, unload, and move into the crating area and into the event center easily.  There is parking all around the building so that will make it easy for everyone to move in without any trouble.

Q:  I've heard that Purina Farms is not within close proximity to fast food places or restaurants for a quick bite.  What is the food situation while we are there?

A:  Purina Farms has taken care of that by having a cafeteria/café on-site.  They have a cafeteria that serves breakfast staring at 7:00am and lunch up until 4:00pm so everything you need is right there.  You can sit down and eat or take advantage of their "grab-and-go" meals, which are really good and priced very reasonably.  This isn't your typical dog show food, so the quality is really good, and the prices are too.  You can even eat while watching the racing from the observation area.  It's important to know that since Purina Farms provides food on-site, we cannot bring outside food into the building or crating area, but you can bring your food from the cafeteria back to your crating area to eat.  Water is allowed, but they prefer that we utilize the services of their food vendor for everything else. 

Q:  The banquet Saturday night sounds like something "not to be missed."  What is that all about?

A:  There is a banquet room on the second floor that overlooks the racing area that seats 350 people.  We've put together a great menu and the Purina Farms caterers are handling everything for us.  What is so great about Saturday evening's dinner is that you don't have to worry about getting your dogs back to a hotel or leaving them in the car because you can feed them and then leave them in the crating room where they will be safe and comfortable while you're enjoying dinner right upstairs.  The Saturday evening dinner is your time to relax after the first day of racing is over with, meet new flyball friends, and have a great meal, all within steps of the racing lanes.

Q:  For those of us who are camping, I've heard that the facilities are quite nice.  What else can you tell us about them?

A:  The RV camping is about 50 yards from the Event Center.  Each spot is lighted and has power for the biggest RV out there, water and its own sewer hookups.  The showers are located in a brand new facility close to the camping; they're available 24 hours a day.  And, we know how much everyone is spending just to get to the event, so in keeping costs down, we are only charging what Purina Farms charges for camping.  All camping money will go directly to them.

Q:  With the facility being so new and nice, will there be a problem with pottying our dogs nearby?

A:  Purina Farms couldn't be any more dog friendly.  And keep in mind that it is situated on a farm, so there are plenty of places for you to potty your dogs.  There are even several fenced areas where you can let your dogs off leash safely.  However, common courtesy is always called for and we ask that you not let your dogs use the grassy areas in front of the building and certainly avoid the landscaped areas, the decorative topiaries, and other newly planted areas.  I think most flyball people know to take their dogs away from the buildings whenever possible.  In other words, use the topiaries for fun photo opps, but take your dog across the path to do its business.

Q:  What will the racing schedule be like?

A:  We'll be running the Singles and Pairs Championship as well as the Dream Teams on Friday.  We have 27 singles, 12 pairs and 25 Dream Teams to take care of on Friday.  On Saturday and Sunday we have 89 teams running which includes the Championship teams and regular team racing.  We plan on starting off Saturday morning with championship racing and then shutting that down for a while at which time we will start Regular team racing.  That way handlers can concentrate on one team at a time rather than being spread too thin between their Championship team and their Regular team, if they are running both.  We have a lot of racing to get through, but with three rings we feel we will be able to get done at a reasonable time each day so that you can enjoy your evenings.

Q:  Any last tips or information you'd like to provide before we get on the road to St. Louis?

A:  This is U-FLI's 5th Anniversary and we want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves like never before.  We are very proud to be having the Championships at Purina Farms and to be among the first to be competing in their new Event Center.   It is a truly impressive facility with great amenities.  It really isn't like anything you've seen before and we want you to enjoy it.  This is a perfect time to make new friends, visit with old friends you, and to watch and be part of some great flyball racing.  We're glad you're making the trip to St. Louis and we can't wait to see you there!

Last Updated Monday, June 05, 2023 - 08:14 PM.
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