Reiley Wells, 9, and her beagle, Snickers, poised at the starting line of the 4-H agility course.

Reiley Wells, 9, and her beagle, Snickers, poised at the starting line of the 4-H agility course.
"Timer ready?"
"Go."
Wells and her dog were off over the first jump, through the tunnel made of hula hoops and on to the next jump in matter of moments.
"[Agility] is really fun," Wells said after her run. "I think Snickers really likes it more than I do."
Wells of McPherson is in her first year participating in 4-H dog agility. She and others participated in a dog agility event Wednesday night at the McPherson County 4-H Fair in McPherson.
Wells said she took up the sport to help Snickers get out some of her extra energy.
"It is something fun to do with your dog. You learn to do obstacles, and it is a fun thing to learn to do with your dog," she said. "It is better than just sitting or taking her on walks."
Wells competed in the on-leash, small dog agility one class. There are three classes in agility based on skill level. The classes are also broken down into on-leash and off-leash, as well as small, medium and large dog.
Seth Yenni, 14, of Lindsborg and his family have been competing in agility for several years.
Yenni won the championship for small dogs at the state fair last year in agility one with his dog, Zippy, a poodle shih tzu mix.
Yenni's mother, Kim, said agility in McPherson had been popular years ago, but had fallen out of favor.
Within the last several years, local volunteers have raised money to try to build the sport back up in McPherson County.
Seth and his father, David, are members of the Mac Lucky 4-H Dog Club. They spent the winter building obstacles to add to the club's agility course, including a number of jumps. Seth and David went to training to become leaders for agility, and Seth is now and junior leader.
When Zippy and Seth are not competing, they practice at home. Seth sets up obstacles one or two at a time.
The participants in agility have to maneuver their dogs through an obstacle course. Failure to correctly complete an obstacle can result in penalty points. The youth try to complete the course as quickly as possible with the least number of penalty points. Each course is different, so the times vary depending on the set up of the course.
4-H youth with dogs also can participate in obedience and showmanship at the fair, but Kim Yenni said the agility is a more laid back, fun option for the kids and their dogs.
Seth seemed to think so.
"It's fun for you and your dog," Seth said. "I think my dog likes it at least."