A New Athens teen recently returned from a trip to Finland for the Junior Open Agility World Championship.
Deltin Cinotto started participating in dog agility at a young age when much of his family also gained an interest in the sport, which involves a handler guiding a dog through various obstacles.
According to Deltin’s aunt Vicki Cinotto, Deltin and his dog Rascal have had a knack for the sport for a long time.
“He and Rascal work as a great team,” Vicki said. “They seem to know what they want from each other. It’s hard to explain, but he and Rascal just connected and they just do well together.”
Deltin said that prior to the trip he had been nervous about getting selected to participate, though was quite excited once he heard he had been chosen, adding training sessions to his usual regiment at an agility field outside New Athens.
He said he was looking forward to being able to present his and Rascal’s skills to the world on top of going to a foreign country.
“It is great being able to travel to new places and make new friends, and the JOAWC was the next step,” Deltin said.
While the pair were unable to participate fully in the championship due to an injury suffered by Rascal during practice, Deltin’s father Pete Cinotto said he was given the honor of being flag bearer for the event’s opening and closing ceremonies.
With college on the horizon and Rascal getting older, Deltin said he’d be stepping away from the sport for a time – possibly training a new dog after he graduates.
“I plan to put agility to the side while I attend college to give it my full attention,” Deltin said. “Rascal is about at the end of his competitive career, so he will be put on light activity after the JOAWC.”