Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Friday, July 31, 2009

Rip jumps 26"

It's likely that Rip's official height measurement will be somewhere over 21". In USDAA, this puts him in the tallest group of dogs where he would jump 26" in the championship division. I already have Skye in the Performance division, so I do want to compete with Rip in Championship. This is his first time trying any jumps over 22". He knocked a few bars as could be expected, but generally he did great and looks natural jumping that high.

I have also realized that we have an issue with running through a "box" of jumps. Rip wants to veer off and take the offcourse jump even though I am signaling him to continue straight through. We will have to work on this.

Rip's first trial is in a DOCNA show this weekend - I expect that he will do fine.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wow what an AKC weekend.

Skye and I had an awesome weekend at the 3 day MHGRC (Mile High Golden Retriever) AKC trial at Castle Rock.
In a first for me, we went 6/6, earning 3 double Q's in the process.

This puts us at 7 QQs for 2010 Nationals, so we are qualified on the double Q front, but I still need about 100 points to reach the required 400.

We also earned our MX title this weekend! Very cool!

We are now standing at 10 QQs, so halfway to MACH. I am very happy with our progress towards our MACH, as we only got into Exc B in both Std and JWW last October.

In another first, Skye and I participated in a demo run of "Run and Done" or RAD, a new class that AKC is trying out. This was the first run of this class anywhere in the country. About 55 dogs participated. It's similar to USDAA's Steeplechase, in that the course is designed for speed, and you may need to do either the weaves or the AFrame twice. It's also open to entry regardless of what level you normally compete at (ie Novice and Open may enter).
We unfortunately had an offcourse jump after #3, but were otherwise clean in this run - it was pretty cool.
Here is the course we ran:

In another 1st, I decided to have Rip measured by our local AKC judge Beth G. while at the trial. The poor boy was so scared & stiff. We have a wicket at home and I have tried before to get him use to it with no success. We tried treats and massage and such but the boy just would not relax. She took a measurement that she knew was not right - at 19.5 inches. We were talking about tips to get a real measurement and how to get him use to this for a little while, and he did relax a bit so without him really knowing, she measured him again and got 21.5 inches (though the measure form had 19.5 written already). I am sure the 21.5 is much closer to reality as I've gotten 21" at home. Of course, at USDAA that will put him in the 26" jumping group. I havent tried jumping him that high, but he really is built for it, with his long/lean body. I may have to give it a try.

Finally, in a segment I will call "Oh, Come On!" (OCO)....
I mentioned above that I got Skye's MX this weekend. I usually am not too excited about the ribbons, but I wanted to get this title ribbon. I didnt see any in the self serve area so I asked, and they pointed me to them. Oh, Come ON!!! This cheezy, cheap-ass 8" strip of purple and white is my MX:

I mean really, there were over 1800 runs this weekend, and I paid an average $14 per run, so they took in over $25,000 for this trial. Yes, you have facility rental, judges, food worker coupons, and a host of other charges (I know, we run trials), but this is what you are going to pass off as title ribbons?? Cheap!

Back to your regularly scheduled program....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rip meets his brother Kelty

Rip's brother Kelty came to Colorado from his home in Texas this past weekend. Kelty's dad Bruce brought him by for a border collie play day. Also in attendance was Bruce's other dog Zip, as well as Sarha with her dogs Ace and Wit. It was a lot of fun and everyone got along.

Wit and Zip chillin

Kelty checks out his sister Rush

Rip & Ace

Rip & brother Kelty


Handsome boy Kelty

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Final day, USDAA Brighton

Today we finished up the USDAA trial and it was a so-so day for us. We only ran 3 runs (Snooker, Steeplechase round 2, Pairs)

In Snooker, we had a decent plan on a 3 or 4 red course. We did 5/6/6/7 in the opening and everything went smoothly, and in the close we finished the AFrame which was number 5 and Skye drove straight ahead and took on offcourse jump rather than stay with me and go to the tunnel. We still got a Q due to our number of opening points, but no SQ. If we could have continued and finished out with the #6 and #7, we would have had 1st place (of all the 22" and 16" performance dogs) and earned that last SQ. As we only had 5 22" dogs, we were combined with the much larger 16" class for SQ placement.

Steeplechase round 2 was interesting. I ended up caught in a web of controversy. We ran a nice course and on our 2nd pass at the AFrame (3rd obstacle from the end), Skye came with me instead of climbing it, and stepped 2 feet into the tunnel below it (see any consistent theme for this weekend? Guess what we will be training). So anyway, when he stepped in the tunnel, we got whistled off with an Elimination. As I was walking back to our chairs, Stacy Peardot-Goudy stopped me and said I should check with the judge as she believes the offcourses in Steeplechase are judged using Starters rules, which means its a 5pt fault since he didnt go in with 4 feet, but not an E, and I could have finished out the course. After the last 22" dog ran, I asked the judge and she said no, it is only 1 paw on the obstacle and I am E'd, so then Kent Mahan, also a USDAA judge who was sitting next to us, agreed with Stacy that it is not an E, so we checked with the judge from the other ring, and she agrees with the first judge, that it IS an E. So OK, what is it?? Anyway, since the 2 judges presiding at the show say its an E, then that's what I get and no re-run. Stacy is going to bring it up with the USDAA committee and make sure that all judges are made clear on this - whatever the real decision is. Stacy P-G is the USDAA world team coach, so you might think she would know what she's talking about!

Then finally we ran our Pairs run. My partner Marrin and Bren went first and wouldn't you know, they had an offcourse at the 2nd obstacle. It was jump, into the far side of the tunnel, and Bren took the wrong entry.
My 2nd half of the course was run clean, so I give us a 1/2 Q for that run, but USDAA isnt going to count it as anything!

So, this weekend I only ended up with a Steeplechase Q and a Snooker Q. I have some items to work on in training in the coming weeks for sure. Our next USDAA is in Laramie WY next month, but in the meantime we have 2 AKC trials coming up later in July.

I may post some video later..

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I really should have know better...

Against my better judgment, I entered Skye in a few runs for this weekend's USDAA trial outdoors in Brighton. Last year, this was our Regional, over the July 4th weekend, and last year the temps were high 90's to low 100's.

Skye really runs poorly & slow in the heat, so I thought if I only entered him in the first 2 classes of the day, we'd be done early before the day really heated up. I am closing in on my Performance ADCH so I really didnt want to skip the trial altogether.

On Friday, we only ran Gamblers (first thing) and Standard. Well, we missed the gamble, and I know its a lack of training for distance challenges when he comes blindly out of a tunnel. He seems to always suck back to me after the tunnel instead of staying straight and driving to the next obstacle. We had a decent opening and would have had 1st if we got the gamble. Then we ran Standard, but as it turns out, it was AFTER they ran 80 dogs in Grand Prix, along with a 1/2 hour delay due to someone falling and breaking their ankle (hope you are better Judy!). This put my Standard run starting at about 2:00pm, with the temp at 85 degrees and humid. Skye ran most of it OK, a little slow, but after the table there was a U shaped offcourse tunnel wrapped under the AFrame, so the dog had the choice of 2 tunnel entrances and the AF. Skye practically pushed me out of the way to get an offcourse on the tunnel. So Friday was a bust.

Today (Saturday) we signed up for the first 2 classes - Standard and Snooker, along with Perf. Steeplechase, as we still need that to qualify fully for Championships. The day started off cool, and we ran Standard pretty early. Guess what, there's another f'n U shaped tunnel under the AF again. This was a pretty tough course and we had it except wouldnt you know, the (free to good home) Skyeboy found a way to mess this up again! I positioned a cross after a jump to really ensure he would get on the AF, and he did, and as I went to go to the other side of it, he jumped off and into the tunnel. Tweeeeeettt. Grrrr. Damnit. Put him back on the AF and we finished clean.
We then ran Perf. Steeplechase and had a nice run - not his fastest, but still good, that is until he popped out of the weaves at the 10th pole. Can we waste anymore time here!! Back to the weaves, he gets them the second time and we finish clean (and we got our last Q for Champs, yeah!). We JUST squeaked into the 2nd round for tomorrow with our 7 or 8 seconds wasted with weaves.
Then came Snooker and it sucked. I changed my plan from what I was initially going to do, and we got the opening, but I had to tell Skye 3 times to weave the 6 stinking weave poles in the 7pt combination. He is really aggravating me with the "I don't want to" attitude about weaving, and it wasnt very hot today, maybe 77, though it was humid. We got 5/7/7/ in the opening, and he didnt push out to the #2 in the closing, just staying by my side so we were done. I doubt we could have made it past #6 with all the time wasting at the weaves anyway.

So, we have another go at it Sunday. I signed up for the first 2 runs - Snooker again, and Pairs, and now we have Round 2 of Steeplechase. I'm hoping for a better day!