Monday, September 28, 2009

A good weekend at FRAAD AKC in Castle Rock

We were in Castle Rock, Colorado Friday-Sunday. Three rings (Standard, JWW, and FAST). I did not enter FAST because of ring conflicts in a three-ring trial and I don't like the stress of keeping track of the three rings.

Friday was Excellent only. Both Summit and Sage had nice runs in jumpers. Summit won the class and Sage placed 4th. Summit had a nice standard run but dropped the third to last bar (double) when I called his name as he was clearing the jump. Sage had a wrong course.

Saturday Summit again won jumpers and Sage placed 4th (is that funny weird or what?). Sage NQ'd in standard (called for a refusal - I sent to a jump and didn't support it well enough and she turned off). Summit won standard that afternoon for a double Q with two first places AND earned his MX title! Needless to say I was pretty pleased with my young dog.

Sunday the courses were VERY technical. I will post course maps when I get them transferred to CRCD. I really liked these courses because they had challenges that you normally don't see in AKC. The challenges involved multiple 180 degree wraps, pull throughs, and serpentines. I was excited to run them. I also got some good feedback from my dogs' performance and have some training goals.

Sage ran the jumpers beautifully. It felt smooth and effortless and she handled the technical elements very nicely. She Q'd with 6th place in jumpers. We had a little more difficult time with the standard course but only on one segment of the course (most teams had trouble with this section) but we made it through and the rest of the course ran well. Sage got 3rd place and a double Q! I am not sure but I think this is either #16 or #17 towards her MACH. Getting close.....
Summit did not handle the challenges as well. Part of it was my timing was off as well as my location. But mostly he was just not ready to handle these types of challenges. So we have a whole new level of skills to work on at home.

I do train 180's, serps, pull throughs, etc. with Summit but what made it more challenging this weekend was that the dog was coming into these at full extension and the handler needed to handle these from behind with rear crosses. Rear crosses is a weak skill with both my dogs (since I prefer to be in front). I've been practicing more RC's in training but obviously have more work to do with Summit.

So not a bad weekend with two QQ's and a new title (darn! I forgot to grab one of those pretty purple new title ribbons).

This Thursday night, Jen and I are leaving for Fountain, Colorado for three days of USDAA with DAM team on Friday.

Sage is on a "Witchy Women" team (I did not come up with the name;-) with BC, Jane and JRT, Whim.
Summit's team is called "Red Hots" and very apropo as his teammates are red Cattle Dog, Rita and red Cattle Dog, Lucky!

Monday, September 21, 2009

MHACB AKC trial - results and videos

What a fun and relaxing weekend! After three days of Regionals, it was so nice to relax at a one-ring outdoor trial. We had perfect weather (not too hot) and the courses, although very challenging, were a lot of fun.

Sage qualified in both Standard runs and I was thrilled to see big improvement in her contacts. I was even able to get some distance and independence on the a-frame on Saturday's standard run. She had a nice jumpers run going on Saturday (for a double Q) but then I left out the first pinwheel (very embarrasing since I had already run the darn course clean with Summit). She got 3rd place in Standard on Sunday but then had a wrong course tunnel in jumpers that afternoon. I knew the chances of her getting the tunnel were pretty high. The course was three jumps straight to a wrong course tunnel requiring a 70 degree turn to the weaves after the third jump. The problem was if you decelerated and got a 90 degree turn off the jump, the dog was faced with the middle third of the weavepoles. So you still had to push out a bit after the jump which cued the tunnel and then use a verbal weave command. It was really windy and Sage just locked onto that tunnel.

Summit had four awesome runs. He got second in Jumpers on Saturday and won Jumpers on Sunday. His Standard run on Saturday was nice but he missed the wp entry. Sunday's Standard was also nice but with a dropped bar (handler caused). The morning sun was in my eyes and I couldn't see the jump (and barely could see my dog), I called out his name and then heard the bar go down. In hindsight, I would have handled the chute to the 270 differently with Summit. With Sage, I have to meet her at tunnel and chute exits to get her head since she does not hear very well when she is in a tunnel. With Summit, I would have stayed on the landing side of the jump for a recall after the chute and then pushed to the next jump and rear crossed to the table.

Summit, Saturday Jumpers - 2nd place

Sage, Saturday Standard - 5th place

Summit, Saturday Standard

Sage, Sunday Standard - 3rd place

Summit, Sunday Jumpers - 1st place
(late and missplaced front cross at the end - I forgot I had planned to fc there:-)

Summit, Sunday Standard
(he was a bit OTT going in the ring, kept pulling hard against his leash).

Friday, September 18, 2009

USDAA Rocky Mountain Regional

Last weekend was the Rocky Mountain Regional competition. Sage was only entered in DAM team and Grand Prix. Sage's team (Elicia Calhoun with BreaSea & Liz Blasio with Ticket) were 5th place overall!!! Elicia needed this DAM team Q for Nationals so I was thrilled that not only did she get her Q but we placed high as well.
Sage had a beautiful GP run but got called for an a-frame contact. Her time would have put her in the top 10.

Summit had an interesting weekend. His DAM team (Bordering on Insanity) did not qualify but all three young dogs on the team had some great moments as well as some not so great moments. Summit had some amazing runs in the regular classes considering I was pushing him and proofing his training. I got some great distance from the teeter (lateral send to the teeter so I could get in a FC), RC's at weaves. I left him in the weaves twice while I moved laterally away in order to FC for a tunnel discrimination. Left him on the dogwalk for another lateral move for a FC. The most fun was in Master's Snooker where I did a lateral send to the #2 tunnel in the closing so I could get in position to back up just past the jump for a tight turn which set him up nicely for the teeter approach.

For some reason Summit was very high at this trial. I'm not sure if it was because it was a Regional or because I was pushing him a little and asking for more obstacle independence. Summit had several runs where he just was not thinking. He had two wrong courses in Team Jumpers and a wrong course in Team Relay. We have our share of mistakes but not usually a wrong course. He also missed his wp entries 4 times - which is also unlike him.
This weekend we are at a small one-ring AKC trial. I'm really looking forward to relaxing and running AKC after the pressure and excitement of a Regional.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Videos from Salt Lake City, Utah

Last weekend we were in Salt Lake City for AKC. The trial is held outdoors at a beautiful site. A horse farm with lot's of trees for shade and open fields to run and play with your dogs. Both dogs had a 50 percent qualifying rate. So no double Q's this weekend but nice runs with placements. Summit earned an Ex. B FAST leg, Standard leg, and another Jumpers. He now needs just one more jumpers for his MXJ and two more standard legs for his MX. Sage also had nice runs and some very close double Q's but for a missed contact, one refusal, and something else (I can't remember). She wasn't entered in FAST so just had two runs per day. I was able to get some videos of some of our runs.

Summit Ex. B Jumpers - first place

That was such a fun jumpers course. There were two common mistakes made by handlers on this course. 1. taking the tire jump for granted and many fast long strided dogs landed deep and ran around the tire. 2. not cueing the weaves soon enough. Some dogs missed the wp entry because of the momentum out of the tunnel and jump to the weaves.

Summit Saturday Ex. B Standard - 2nd place

There were 5 qualifying runs out of the entire 20" class! It is hard to see in the video but the sequence from chute to jump to panel is where most handlers had problems. Most tried to hang back and recall their dog out of the chute and then attempt to get them over the jump which caused either an ugly loopy turn, or dog sliced the jump and ended up on the a-frame, or dog missed the jump completely. I decided to go in and do a double front cross. My dogs are trained to not jump past my outside arm so both collected and had nice turns. Several other handlers tried this after seeing my run and their dogs still jumped extended and landed past the handler and took the a-frame or went past the panel jump.

Sage Ex. B Standard

This would have been a double Q for Sage (she qualified in jumpers) but for the dropped panel. Many handlers had trouble with the weavepole entrance (dogs took the chute instead) and the long straight line of jumps at the end. I thought this was a really fun course to run.

Summit Saturday Ex. B Jumpers

Another run where I end up on the ground (Do ya think I need cleats!). I recover nicely though and was even able to still get that front cross in after the tunnel. Unfortunately, Summit turns too tight on a jump and takes out the upright. This would have been a double Q for Mr. Summit if he hadn't taken out the jump. Luckily Summit was ok, but I was not. I ended up with 12 inches of swollen black and purple on the side of my thigh. I must have landed on something harder than grass.

Sage Saturday Ex. B Jumpers

I had already run Summit on this jumpers course so was very careful NOT to fall down again. I thought Sage had some beautiful tight turns in this run.

Summit Ex. B FAST - third place

FAST is AKC's version of Gamblers. The buzzer goes off just before the a-frame at the end but I wanted to practice his a-frame contact so I kept going. I knew he was fast enough to make up for the time lost. I think this is Summit's very first leg in Ex. B FAST. The class isn't offered very often and I only enter FAST when it's a one-ring trial as it creates too many conflicts in the three-ring trials.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Videos posted

I've added the videos from the Windsor, Colorado AKC trial below...