Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Sunday, April 12, 2009

AKC weekend at Castle Rock

This has been a different experience for Skye and I at the AKC trial this weekend at Douglas County Fairgrounds. As an experiment, I am jumping Skye at 24" instead of his usual 20". The benefit is in less competition, where we have 25 dogs in the 24" group, compared to 55 dogs in 20".
In his first 3 runs this weekend, no bars came down, but then the last run today, JWW, he knocked two bars. I am not sure what the deal was and haven't reviewed the tape to see if I contributed to it.
The weird thing for this weekend, which hasn't happened to us before, is we have run and Q'd our both our STD courses, but then NQ'd jumpers. Every other time, if I have Q'd standard, then we also Q'd jumpers for a doubleQ, so its opposite this time. On the plus side, we have had pretty fast times in STD, getting 22 MACH points yesterday and then 20 points today.
So, no QQ's so far, but we still have tomorrow. I haven't decided if it's worth having Skye jump 24" yet. We did get a 4th place in STD today, and our NQ times in jumpers would have netted us 3rd's. Same times in the 20" group would put us a bit further down.

Update 4/12/09: We finished up today and unfortunately we did not Q either of our runs. We had a really great Standard run this morning, and I came off the course thinking I had Q'd it, but then found out Skye was called for his dogwalk contact. Bummer!! It would have been 2nd place.
In JWW, we had done the first 6 or so obstacles, then it was the weaves. I frontcrossed before them and gave Skye a good line to 'em, but he entered in pole 2 and came right back at me, looking at me. I was not sure what the heck he was doing... I dont remember what I said to him... it was like time stopped for a moment while we stared at each other, then what the heck, I just continued on, missing the next jump but then picking it up for the last 12 or so jumps, which went very well. Just a bizarre weave thing. Not sure how accurate my time was with the whole space-continuum freeze going on, but our time would have been good for 1st by almost 2 seconds. I should have some video to post later.
On the plus side today, we again had no bars come down at 24".

So..... having this trial under my belt at 24", I need to decide if I will enter him at this height again. Our next AKC trial that I already had to enter is for 20". Probably I will review the taped runs and see if I like how he is jumping and how it all looks. I admit, I do think a little more about properly handling the course so "I" dont cause bars to drop. Maybe that is a good thing??


kiwichick said...

Congrats on the runs so far this weekend. Maybe it will take more than one trial to get used to the 24in height.

Jackie said...

Interesting. How tall is he? Congrats on the Qs so far. Sounds like you've done well in points anyway. Do you normally get that many a weekend?

Greg S said...

Thanks Julie... I will have to see if its worth it...

Jackie, he's 21.25", which is pretty tall, though in AKC, if you are under 22" tall you can jump 20.
Up until now, the most points we had was 18 I believe, though we had an NQ run worth 20 points before.

Nicki said...

Ok, I had this all typed out once and lost it so I"ll try again! FIrst of all congrats and great pic!

One thing to think about when deciding to jump 24 is the extra concussion on your dog's joints. If you only do 24 in trials then probably not that big a deal but it can start to add up if you practice all the time at 24 if you don't need too. The decrease in competition would be nice though-there are sooooo many dogs in 20 inche these days. Fortunately my dog is only about 18.5 inches so it's not really practical for me to be tempted into trying that! I kinda wish she was a little smaller and had fallen into the 16 inch group!

Greg S said...

Nicki - thanks for a vet's perspective. That is also something I am considering - for longevity, I don't want him jumping too high, just due to the pounding on the joints. Thats exactly the reason I enter him in Performance at USDAA trials, since he measures into the 26" group in Championship, and I don't want him jumping that high. I know we can never be truly competitive in the 20" category, as there are probably 15 dogs that can easily beat our times on any given AKC weekend here. In the 24" group, there are about 4 dogs that could easily beat us, though they are not very consistent. I may enter him at 24" once in a while, but I doubt I will make it his regular height.

Morganne said...

I missed seeing Sky run since you guys were in a different class this weekend. Is it for the MACH points that you want him in the 24" class?

The jumps in the jumpers ring were poorly designed and there were a LOT of complaints from many exhibitors that the bars were falling after the dog would clear the jump and commit to the next jump. The club confirmed that they will NOT be using those jumps at their next trial this Summer.

Greg S said...

Morganne - I missed most of your runs too, maybe catching one of Sage's all weekend.

Entering at 24" was an experiment to see if we could be competitive at that height, and maybe score a placement or two. We DO need the MACH points to try and qualify for Tulsa next year. I think the Double Qs wont be an issue, but we may run close on points, so I was hoping for a multiplier.

Had we not been called for the contact on Sunday, we would have had 2nd in Standard, and the two we did Q, we placed 4th and I think 5th. Really, there is Tar'n, Pistol Pete and Kes that are main 24" fast dogs. Beyond that, we should be able to do it. I may put him in again at 24" since he did keep bars up except in that one jumpers.

Oh, I hope that the club will be getting a new set of weaves to replace those that were in the Jumpers ring - did you see how they were offset and soooo many dogs popped out at the same place (Skye included on Friday)

Morganne said...

That makes sense re: MACH points. With Sage I have the opposite challenge - points come easily, double Q's do not.

Also (regarding your question about RTH), Recall To Heel. This is based on Linda Mecklenburgs system and jump training. You are recalling your dog over a jump and based on your location relative to the jump (landing side facing dog, take off side facing dog, take off side facing forward away from dog, etc.), determines whether you are cueing the dog to jump with extension or collection. There are various sequences you can set up to teach this. In Summit's case, I mostly work just collection. That is a very simple explanation of RTH drills.