Paradise Valley Park
Two out of Five Paws
This is a hard one to review so poorly, as it is a park that used to be very nice. The location is very central in Arizona and has easy access off the freeway making it very convenient. There is ample parking, and plenty of space for setting up canopies. However, it seems the city has cut the water budget, or park maintenance budget, or both, as the condition of the field has greatly deteriorated over the years. The footing is still pretty level, however, the condition of the grass is horrible. It is quite common to run on dead, dry, or dormant grass in the winter in Arizona, but the condition of this field has gone far beyond that. The surface is nearly scalped leaving nothing but a slippery top-soil of broken dry grass. I witnessed multiple handlers slipping and even falling at the last event I attended hosted by the Cactus State Miniature Schnauzer Club (read my review on this club here). My own dog was running very short-strided and ending up with times five to ten seconds off her averages.
The difficult thing about agility is that no surface will be perfect. No equipment will be perfect. No course will be perfect. We are meant to embrace the challenges and handle each as an opportunity to run the best we can. Given the choice to trial at Paradise Valley Park or another location (indoors or outdoors), I would choose another location. However, I can not say that I would never attend another show here, as it was not so unsafe as to cause injury to my dog or myself. Hopefully the park will start receiving some much needed maintenance and it can go back to the park it once used to be.