Saturday, April 19, 2008

MHGRC AKC trial April 11-13

So it was a bit hard to play in QQ land after having so much fun in USDAA last weekend. I love playing agility no matter what venue. However, in USDAA it is so much fun to push for speed without having to worry about playing it safe because you have a QQ on the line.

Well Friday was Excellent only so only Sage got to play. She had a wrong course in both her standard and jumpers runs. Her standard run was actually very nice but somehow we had a miscommunication and she spun in the wrong direction upon landing and then back-jumped. I probably could have done more to save it but was busy thinking, "Why did she think I was going to rear-cross?" Oh well. Here is the video.

On Saturday Sage was 3 for 3! She qualified in FAST with a 4th place and earned her XF title. She qualified in Standard with a 3rd place and qualified in JWW with another 3rd place. Wow!!! This brings her to 7 QQ (and thousands of Mach points but we won't go there;-)
I was really happy with both her standard and Jumpers runs - especially since Jumpers was a bit technical in the middle. FAST was ok and she did great on the Send Bonus. However, after the Send she missed a wp entry and so I wasted many minutes determined to get her in the weaves when I really should have just gone on to the finish since she already had plenty of points to qualify. Here are the videos of Standard and Jumpers.

On Sunday, Sage had a pretty nice run going in Standard and then she missed her A-frame contact (fyi- Sage does not have independent contacts. I didn't know enough to train them and her contact behavior is dependent on my position. So if I get too far behind her and can't be there to cue 2O/2O, she can miss the contact zone. Good thing I can run fast and usually have no problem meeting her at the end of the A-frame or DW). Now Summit-man does have independent contacts which is a good thing since there is no possible way for me to beat him to the end of a DW.

Here is the video of Sage's Sunday Jumpers run. It was a very nice run and fast. She had a great time and placed 6th (out of 58 dogs). Second through 6th place were all separated by 100's of a second. Talk about CLOSE!

Ok, now to report on the Summit-man....
He had some brilliant moments out there on the course and he had some YEEEHAW moments. Especially when it came to having to assume a control position on the table (well at least he doesn't slide off the end now). He argued with me on the table one too many times in a standard run and so had to leave the course;-(
He had two GREAT jumpers runs. Saturday's jumpers run was very nice and smooth. I wish I had a video of it but Don missed it. Sundays jumpers run was nice. He had a refusal on a jump (caused by his handler) and he dropped a bar (caused by his handler). Hmm.... maybe Mr. Summit needs a new handler????
Here is the video of Sunday's Jumpers run.

It was a super-fun weekend! The Golden Retriever club did an awsome job of organizing such a huge (over 900 entries) three-ring trial.

FRAC USDAA agility trial April 5-6

I forgot to update this blog after the trial!
Sage had an awsome weekend! She qualified in Grand Prix and Steeplechase BOTH! She had one 5 second fault in GP but placed 6th in Steeplechase and had a great run in round two but dropped a bar.

She is in Masters now for all classes but since we were already paired with a friend and her BC in Advanced, we didn't move up in Masters pairs for this trial. Sage and Jane won the Advanced Pairs Relay class with a clean run! Sage had a fast jumpers run with a 4th place on Sunday!

The Summit-man had some good runs as well as some crazy moments on the course. He had a great run in Starters Gamblers, got the gamble and then dropped the very last bar in the gamble. He ran clean in Starters Standard and won his class. He paired with another young BC in Starters pairs and they won that class.

Sunday he was starting to have a meltdown and had some zooming moments in standard and jumpers. He did have a nice snooker run going but dropped a bar during the closing and we were 3 points shy of qualifying.

So now Sage only needs one more Steeplechase leg to qualify for 2008 Nationals!!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


This past weekend, the dogs and I travelled down to Albuquerque, New Mexico with Judy and Sisu for the SWAT USDAA trial. It was a two-ring trial held outdoors in a soccer field. A beautiful location and the weather was awsome! Sunny and warm.

My goal for this trial was to earn an Advanced Gamblers and Snooker leg so Sage could finish her AAD title and also (hopefully) to earn a Q in Steeplechase or Grand Prix to qualify for Nationals. Well Sage had a wrong course in both tournament classes;-( both were tunnels which is unusual for her. In all fairness, the Steeplechase course was tight and very technical. I thought I was walking an AKC Excellent-level standard course. There were not a lot of Q's on that course. But the GP course was very nice and flowing and my lack of full rotation in a FC sent Sage to the wrong course tunnel.

Sage did Q in Gamblers and Snooker though and finished her AAD title! The Gamble was a bit tricky for us but doable. The Snookers course was a nightmare. Very difficult and even the closing sequence was tricky. I was bummed when I looked at the coursemap as I wanted this Q so badly. Snooker is what always holds us up from moving to the next level. It's been a hard game for me to learn but I'm really starting to enjoy it and it's quickly becoming my favorite of all the games.

There were very few qualifying runs in the Masters Snooker class which was identical to the Advanced course. To make matters worse, I was 5 dogs from running Summit in Starters Snooker in ring 2 and Advanced Snooker was being run at the same time in ring one. Judy held Summit while I quickly walked the Advanced course, then Shar went and got Sage out of her crate and warmed her up while I waited to run Summit. Just as I was getting ready to go in the ring with Summit, I heard the gate steward calling Sage's name in ring one. Yikes! They knew I had a conflict but the class was small. I quickly stepped into the ring with Summit, made it to the second red jump and for a split second, forgot where I was sending him next (I had two courses in my brain), and he backjumped the second red. Whistle goes off and I run off the course, quickly hand him to Judy and run over to ring one where Shar was holding Sage. I really needed to clear my mind at this time and just focus on the advanced Snooker course and try and remember what my strategy was.

I still can't believe it but we ran that course clean and somewhat smoothly (as smooth as a Snooker run can be anyway). Sage got the Advanced Snooker leg with a First Place. We did not max the points (only taking 3 reds) but Sage was the only dog that qualified in the 22" class so hence the first place.

Summit did really well at this trial. This was his first USDAA trial as well as his first one outdoors. Some dogs (like Sage) can get the zoomies at their first outdoor trial but Summit stayed focused. He only dropped one bar out of the five classes (cause by my yelling a command while he went over the jump). Not bad for the first time jumping 22" in competition. His contacts were solid and his table was good (no sliding off the backside).

He had some really nice runs with minor faults and managed to run a perfect standard course and place on Sunday.

We arrived home about 11:00 pm Sunday night. I had two very tired dogs. I was exhausted. This was the first time running two dogs in USDAA (and Summit was not even entered in the tournaments). I had 14 runs over two days. A very fun weekend!