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Crystal's Spirit Award  Crystal Weaves

This award first started at the August 2006 CPE trial held at Sugar Bush Farm in Stephentown, NY, just one month after Crystal's passing; this is an annual award which is given to a dog/handler team that isn't necessarily the fastest, but that has the most fun and the handler gets the most out of the dog - you know, like Crystal was in her day.

In August 2006, Ray Wheeler was our judge, and he selected Wendy Carey and Nana to be the first recipients of this award.

         Celebrating after one of her runs!



Wendy and Peter with Nana, after discovering that Ray Wheeler was talking about them when he spoke of the incredible bond between human and dog, and the wonderful teamwork and team spirit that they exemplified.

(photo courtesy Barry Rosen Photography)

Wendy's cat, Bailey, enjoying the dog bed that was part of the prize package

In August 2007, Jennifer LaPierre was the judge, and here's who she selected:

Congratulatons to Keith St. John and his Aussie, Amaia, who won the second annual Crystal's Spirit award!

- photos courtesy of Barry Rosen Photography -



And, in August 2008, Mary Beam selected Paul Stusalitus's Chili to receive the award.  Here's what she said afterwords:

 "I think choosing the recipient of this award was the hardest thing I've done in dog sport.  There were so very many good dogs and handlers who were exhibiting aspects that applied.Chili Stusalitus
I was in the air when the email came about Chili.  I arrived expecting to see this exuberant golden that I remembered from two years ago.  I wanted to see how he and Paul were coming along because I knew that a team with such a positive attitude would become great.
     "It was something of a shock when I heard the news.  Two years ago, August 29, 2006, I lost my heart dog, the first performance dog I'd ever had.  He had drug me, and I mean that literally, into the agility room at Gem City and demanded that I learn to do it because he certainly was going to.
     "I am where I am and I am who I am because of that dog.
     "When it came to making a final decision, I knew Chili was so representative of the meaning of the Crystal Spirit, as is Paul so the decision was made.
     "Congratulations again, to all, for such a great trial.
     "And, thank you all again,
Mary Beam"

In August 2009, our judges were Sonja Davis and Doreen Lucius. 

They selected this year's winner to be Pat Wright and Will
(Will is Thomas Wright's English Bulldog; his mother Pat runs the dog for him, so credit goes to both Pat and Thomas!)


Pictures Courtesy Barry Rosen Photography

For the August 2010 trial - which was the 5th anniversary of this award - judges Lesa McCann-Layman (pictured on right below) and Bobbie Kurivial (pictured on left) consulted long and hard and then unanimously announced the winner:

Shanon Waddingham and Siddartha ("Sidd") !


Pictures Courtesy Canines In Action

For the August 2011 trial, the judges were Pat Saito and Ray Wheeler picked Jill Nestor and Hopper as the winner!


Pictures Courtesy Canines In Action


In August 2012, our judges were "the Marys", Mary Beam and Mary Phalon. They thought long and hard and came up with an excellent choice; a handler that had a great attitude all weekend long, was great and positive, plus a great volunteer worker. And he was only 11 years old! It went to Erik Kessler and Desi, his Australian Shepherd.


For 2013, our judge was Mike Conroy. He selected Kathy Chittenden for all her hard work and positive attitude in running Pistol Pete, or Petey as he is also called!