Wednesday, October 8, 2008
DOCNA Championships Report
The DOCNA championships was our first "championship" type event that we've attended since we started competing about 16 months ago. This was a great experience and one I am glad I did.
The "warm up" two run trial that was held on Thursday was a nice benefit, letting you get in a couple runs to get familiar with the facility, equipment and the surface. It also showed that there was going to be some good competition. We had a good run in Jumpers yet only placed 4th. Our Standard run was good and our time was good enough for 2nd, but we dropped a bar so we were out of the placements.
Since we had to get our Championships entries in before the trial that we held in September, most of my runs were done at the Intern level. Had they allowed move-ups, we would have been running at Specialist level, though the competition in the 20" comp group was just as tough in Intern as it was in Specialist.
So how did we do?? In summary, the best thing I can say is that we have the speed and skills to place in the top 3 for all the events.
So, we started the event on Friday doing Traditional Gamblers and we managed to get 2nd place! We ran round 1 of Standard and Jumpers on Friday too, and at the end of the day we did Snakes and Ladders. I had small but costly errors in both Standard and Jumpers - 1 bar down in Standard, and some time wasted in Jumpers where I didnt support a jump and had to go back to it, thus I was in 6th place after the first round for each. In Snakes and Ladders, somehow I was judged as having only done 5 of the 6 contacts/weaves possibilities. I didnt know this until I checked scores later, and on film it appears I got everything right (If we had a missed weave and didnt fix it, I wouldnt get credit for the weave set). At best, though, even if I was given credit for all 6, it would have been out of placements with a 4th so I let it go.
On Saturday, we played the darn Strategic Time Gamble. I've yet to figure out how to be real successful with this game! We did a great job racking up points in the opening, but ended up beyond where we planned for the closing, so I ended up crossing the line a bit earlier than we wanted and didnt place very well.
It was then time for the big event, the North American Challenge, which is the only event where the scores from the West Championships is combined with the East Championships to determine an overall winner. Fortunately, it was during the NAC that we put together a great, almost flawless run, and managed to get 3rd place Nationally! So cool to get in the big 20" dog group.
We also did round 2 of Standard and Jumpers, and I needed perfect runs to move up to at least 4th place as the top 4 dogs in 20" were going to move on to the finals. In Jumpers, I caused a knocked bar on the 3rd jump and then after a FC got momentarily lost, so jumpers was toast. We ended up 9th overall in Jumpers. Then in Standard the run was going along great until Skye decided to pop out of the weaves at the 10th pole (his only missed weave all weekend), so redoing the weaves cost us too much time, even though the rest of the run was nice, and we ended up 6th overall in Standard.
Sunday was only Trigility for us since we didnt make the finals. I was teamed with Katelyn & Flicka, and we took a random draw on our 3rd partner, which, OK lets be honest here, really sucked. Our partner was the definite weak link on this team. Katelyn & Flicka ran a nice Jumpers portion of the course, then our partner missed a contact in his Standard portion, then forgot to finish the course and the judge reminded him that he should finish, so finally he got his dog to jump the last jump and then Skye & I had a good gamblers portion. Somehow we managed a 3rd place with this, so I have no doubt we could have had 1st with a better teammate.
I'll post some video after I get a chance to pull it off the camera.
Greg & Skyeboy