Extreme Vertical World Champion Interview – Lianne Hassen & ‘Rex’

2010 Extreme Vertical World Champion Rex

How did Rex perform in the qualifying rounds in the Stihl DockDogs World Championships this year? 

Rex was a busy boy at Worlds and probably jumped over 50 times over the course of the weekend. On Friday, we tried to qualify for Extreme Vertical, Speed Retrieve and Iron Dog.  He qualified for Speed Retrieve in that first qualfying round, which was very exciting, plus I knew he could sit the rest of the Speed Retrieve qualifying rounds out and catch some rest.  They took the top Extreme Vertical dog, which was Puma, so that was very exciting for Sit Means Sit.  Rex and I were still making some tweaks on where to position him in EV and seemed to have it down because later in the day when we were in the Iron Dog qualifying round we hit 7’7″, which was a personal best, he also had a 5.2 seconds in Speed Retrieve which was super fast for Rex.  A dutch shepherd, Jager and Rex had the crowd really going in the Iron Dog EV, but those Big Air dogs Henry and Baxter were just too much for us.

On Saturday we qualified for EV which was good because the EV rounds take a lot out of him.  We competed in the Iron Dog qualifying round and made the cut along with Remy so we were thrilled to be in the top 4 Iron Dogs!  We also competed in the Speed Retrieve Quarter Finals, taking the top 8 down to the top 4 and again made the cut.

On Sunday, it was all about the Finals and there was some real pressure from the huge jumping dogs.  We were lucky enough to take 1st in Extreme Vertical winning the big cup.  Baxter was hot on Rex’s tail hitting a 7’6″ and pushing Rex up to a 7’8″ to take the win.  A very exciting competition for us and the crowd!  We took 2nd in Speed Retrieve against the World Record holder, Jordan, and she actually broke her record on us on her last run which was super exciting and a moment I will never forget.  We placed 4th in the Iron Dog overall.

How did Rex do overall in the World Championships this year?  Any new personal bests?

1st Place Extreme Vertical World Championship
2nd Place Speed Retrieve
4th Place Iron Dog

We hit 7’8″ twice during the event which is a personal best.

What are some of your favorite things about the World Championships this year?

Meeting new teams and seeing old friends.  It was great competing against new teams I’d never met in EV and they gave Rex a workout.  Jager and Baxter both went into sudden death jump offs with Rex which was very exciting.  Seeing all of the 7 Sit Means Sit dogs make the cut in the qualifying rounds.  Seeing Tony’s Baxter win the Iron Dog.  Melissa and Smoke (Rex’s boyfriend) win Big Air and being at the side of the dock when Sean and Jordan broke the World Record in Speed Retrieve.

What did you think about the Outdoor Channel filming at the World Championships and them having the big Jumbotron there?  Did you see (insert your dog’s name) on the Jumbotron?

The cameras were everywhere and when they put that big Jumbo-Tron up, it really increased the energy about the place.  I can’t wait to see the show on the Outdoor Channel.  They put a mic on me during a couple of my finals round so I’m a little embarrassed about them airing my pep talks to Rex on the dock.

What did you think about the crowd at the World Championships?  What kind of vibe did you feel from the crowd?

The crowd was one of the best!  It was so much fun reading all of the signs to cheer the dogs on.  I’ll have to get Rex his own cow bell now ; )

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