Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

USDAA fun in Pueblo.

Ah, the joy of May, the only month when we have back-to-back local USDAA trials.

This weekend, it was Pueblo's turn, and we had a great time in spite of the weather. Pueblo was unusually cool both days, more-so on Sunday, with a little rain and drizzle and just a bit of sunshine too. If you asked the dogs, they would tell you it was perfect!

Skye was again a superstar, getting a Q in everything he ran, except for one Gamblers course where the Q rate was about 10%.

He finished qualifying for the Nationals with another Grand Prix Q. Along the way, he also Q'd both of his Standard runs, Jumpers, Snooker, Gamblers, and Pairs. We scratched from a bonus Snooker run because it was very late in the day and it had started to rain.

The Snooker we did Q had a knocked bar in the opening, which kept us from getting another Super Q, but the run was still nice, and Skye hit 4 good AFrames in that run!

He also Q'd Perf. Steeplechase, getting 1st place in round 1 and 2nd place in round 2.

So now with Skye qualified in all 3 events for Nationals, I need to start planning on going. It seems Katrina will likely not go, in which case I need to come up with team(s) on my own.

Rip also had a very good weekend, even though Standard Q's still elude us.
Like Skye, he also managed to get his 2nd Grand Prix Q, so he is qualified in GP and Team for Nationals.
Rip finally managed to get another Steeplechase Q this weekend (our last was August last year). We seem to be consistently about 6 seconds slower than the fastest of fast dogs, which this weekend included Kim Terrill and Steeple, though his speed is improving.

Somehow I need to get Rip to be more confident on course and run like I have seen him run. His weaves were Really slow this weekend, probably 3-4 seconds a set. When you are up against dogs doing weaves in 2 seconds, and have to do this twice on course, you are pretty far behind!

Rip managed to get a Snooker Q, despite taking a jump I didnt plan on - our recovery skills were great in that run!

We also ran Pairs with Rio and we had a nice fast run for a Q.

Finally, at the end of the day Sunday, we ran Jumpers and Rip Q'd that one too, earning our Advanced Jumpers title - now we are in Masters for everything except Standard.
Darn Standard - our run on Saturday was great, with an AFrame contact fault. On Sunday, I made some handling choices that I would change if I could do it over. Sunday's standard run was pretty messy with numerous faults.

All in all, I was really happy with Rip's contacts. His AFrame is getting faster again, and he only missed 1 that I recall. He also never missed a weave entry and only popped out once!

Rip didnt feel well on Sunday, having stomach issues, so I am sure he didnt give 100%, but I really am going to try and work his confidence so that I can get him running faster on course. He worries too much, and gets concerned about the people around him, and the judge standing nearby. This contributes to him running with some fear, instead of being his happy goofy self.

Rip Standard

Rip Steeplechase

Rip Pairs

Skye Standard

Skye Snooker

Skye Perf Grand Prix

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What happened to Spring? or USDAA in Brighton.

We attended the 2 day USDAA trial in Brighton this past weekend. We didn't go to this one last year, though I usually try to make it since we have so few USDAA's available. This time, we ended up with mid 80's to 90 degree temps in early May. You really never know this time of year - we have had ice on the grass at this trial too in years past, as well as microburst winds that like to come midday and destroy canopies.

So, with the high temps, I lowered my expectations for Skye and Rip, as neither of them do real well in the heat. Skye seems to run at about 1/2 speed - I know that is an exaggeration, but that's how it feels while we are out there.

It turned out to be a successful weekend overall, though neither of my boys managed to get a Standard Q this weekend.

We did pretty well in the tournament classes - Skye was one of the few Perf 22" dogs to run clean in Grand Prix so he got 1st & a bye certificate. Rip ran well in Grand Prix though I pulled him off a jump - we kept going and got whistled. I continued and got whistled again - apparently during the briefing that I missed, the judge decided to implement the rule that you leave after an offcourse. I at least did 5 or 6 more obstacles before leaving. How much time are we really saving at a local trial doing this for $22 runs? Maybe a couple minutes? Aggravating.

In Steeplechase, Skye ran clean except for 1 bar, but we still managed to get into round 2.  Rip had a nice clean Steeplechase run, though a little slow due to the heat. We missed the cutoff for round 2 even though we were clean, thanks to 3 really fast dogs who set the cutoff time. In round 2, Skye had 1 fault - hitting the broad jump pretty hard, but finished for 3rd place.

Skye had issues with contacts this weekend - he missed a couple dogwalks in standard, missed quite a few AFrames as well throughout - costing us a Super Q in Snooker (though we dont need them), and costing us Standard runs.
Rip was 100% on contacts this weekend - awesome!

Each of them had a couple bars down, though the grass was thick in spots, and very slick in other spots, so it was hard for them to judge the footing. There were a number of handlers who took nasty falls, and a number of dogs sliding, hitting bars and uprights and getting a little hurt.

My finally tally was
2 Qs for Rip, a Master Gambler, and Advanced Jumper, out of 8 runs.
6 Qs for Skye, in Gamblers, Grand Prix, Pairs, Perf Steeplechase, Snooker, and Jumpers of 8 runs.

Skye is now qualified for nationals in Perf Steeplechase and Team and needs 1 more Grand Prix.
Rip is qualified in Team, but needs 1 more Grand Prix, and still needs 2 Steeplechase.

I did load a couple videos onto Youtube. I got a new HD video camera, so click the fullscreen link to check them out in 1080p High Definition!

Rip Jumpers:

Rip Snooker:
I mixed up Skye's plan with Rip's plan - we had a great run going, trying for 4 7's.

Skye Grand Prix:

Skye Jumpers:

We have another USDAA next weekend in Pueblo - I am hoping that its not going to be hot again!