top of page


1994 – 2024


In the winter of 1993 (December), Billie Rosen gathered together twelve people at her home to discuss training dogs in agility.  Billie had seen this event and thought it would be good to provide some new activities and training for dogs. The following people helped plan and develop this club:

Billie Rosen

Lorie Franke

Whitney Lightner

Tracy Moraca

Garrett Helminski

Michelle Self

Debbie Strieter

Nancy McLeod

Lyndy McKay

Peggy Ringhoff

Carol Taylor

Debbie Veldhuis



Michelle Self was voted the first President and served for 2 ½ years, in addition to being the show secretary.  The club started with 23 students and Billie Rosen as the lone instructor. A naming contest was held to choose a name, and “Jumping Chollas Agility Club” began. A club could not be a club without a logo, so Mark Shults designed the original logo which you will see on one of the trailers, on a few shirts, and on the blue down jackets.


1994 – 2006

Training locations were held in various locations, and we have identified the following:

2nd Street North of Thunderbird

40th Avenue South of Greenway

Billie’s home on Monte Cristo

Sandra Shults home on Greenway

Kosin Yard on Acoma Avenue

The Castle at 19th Avenue

Bookers at 17th Avenue and Happy Valley

Deer Creek Vet Center


Jumping Chollas moved into their new 2 ½ acre facility at 25128 N. 15th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ, United States, Arizona in September of 2006.



Michelle Self

Suzie Myers

Sue Major

Susan Van Buren

Wendy Hultsman

Craig Coonrad

Alice Nicholson




In order to purchase this land, it required an enormous number of hours to research what was needed to buy it, not to mention what the State and County required to actually open up.  Wendy Hultsman and Gary Shipley had to jump through hoops in order to comply with their demands beginning in 2004, and after two years and mountains of paperwork, the Cholla Patch opened in September of 2006.


There was no money as it was a new venture, so thirteen investors provided money for a loan to buy the property, and as of February 2024 this loan has been paid off!! Because of its location, Jumping Chollas is actually in what is called a “Maricopa County Island” and will remain in that status until Phoenix annexes the property.

The initial investors with Doggieland are:


Roger Culver, President

Sharon Jeffries, Secretary

Gary Shipley, Treasurer

Jean White

Billie Rosen

Wendy Hultsman

Jamie & Craig Babonis

Amy Ballen

Rick Miller & Jill Scherer

Alex Figures

Debbie Edgar

Janis Walls

Jumping Chollas


Two and one half acres of desert had to be raked of rocks and debris, surveyed and a ground cover chosen.  Many friends and members of the club donated hours of time raking and cleaning the site and getting it prepared for training purposes.  A fence was added separating the fields in order to train dogs on both sides, and that gave the club more space on which to add more classes.


An agility club could not exist without the proper equipment, so Chaz and Whitney Lightner volunteered to build the obstacles and equipment that we needed to train the upcoming students and their dogs.


Several methods were used to cover the surface of the field, but we finally found, and had put down, the artificial turf you see today.  Thousands of dogs have passed across the green turf, not to mention how many trials we have held there, and it is showing wear.  Hopefully we can get new turf in the not too distance future!

The field at Jumping Chollas is in constant use!


Classes consist of FOUNDATION, BEGINNER I & ll, INTERMEDIATE l, ll, lll, NOVICE, ADVANCED, JUNIOR HANDLER, a COURSE class and a DISTANCE class.  Enrolled in these classes are 168 students and their 30 instructors!!  In addition to classes every night, the club holds VT runs (video taped runs which are then sent into NADAC for judging). 


The field is also rented out to members and friends who need extra training when the field is available.  In the past JCAC has rented the field to ASCA, Turns N Wraps and others who need the field for trials. 


A Junior Handler trial is held in February for the JH students only – the only trial of its kind in the country, per the NADAC office.  It highlights the progress made by our Junior Handlers who take classes with us. 


We offer a Foundation Class once a week and hundreds of dogs and handlers have taken this class to help bond with their dogs and prepare them for continuing in upper level classes. 


A separate offering is “Control Unleashed”, an eight week class held at the Patch that teaches the dog (and handler) how to manage reactiveness, too much socializing and to stay with the handler.  This is a private class by invitation only.

In the summer JCAC does not shut down!!!  We hold 6 - 9 Mini Trials throughout the summer, running 2 classes (4 runs) in the evening even with hot temperatures.

In 1993 Jumping Chollas began with 23 students - currently our membership is 186 members, and still growing. 


Officers for 2023 – 2024 are:


                             President                    Alice Nicholson         

                             Secretary                    Ann Hammersly

                             Treasurer                    Renee Stanneart

                             Training Director        Wendy Hultsman

                             Trial Chair                   Jared Gibson



Thank you for coming today and joining us in celebrating 30 years of training, companionship and adventures!

bottom of page