Image courtesy of Kimberly Sisak
Agility competitors are bidding farewell to the chute, an obstacle that has come under fire for its role in causing various canine injuries. While most organizations haven’t declared a permanent ban at this time, organizers are calling for a major redesign before reinstatement. The time and effort of creating and testing a new version of the obstacle is fairly overwhelming and probably ensures that it will not return to widespread use.
A few organizations have not yet made a final statement on the subject, although many of those already have the chute listed as an optional obstacle. This means that clubs can simply remove the chute from the list of available obstacles, effectively eliminating it from use.
This is not the first time an agility obstacle has gone by the wayside. The crossover was used in agility’s early years, as well as some hurdle-type obstacles that have been eliminated. But those obstacles faded from use over time instead of being suddenly dropped, making this an unprecedented occurrence in agility history.
If you compete in United Kennel Club agility or another organization that still has chutes in play, you might want to hang onto yours (or look around and buy one at a deep discount!). But for the rest of you, how are you planning to recycle your chute?