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.
Skye Perf Grand Prix