We took the travel trailer up to Laramie WY again this year for their annual USDAA trial. This show always runs a couple Masters classes on Friday afternoon, which works out fine since we have a 3.5 hour drive up, so we wouldn't be able to drive up on Saturday morning anyway. The trip up was pretty uneventful, unlike Jackie's trip! We haul in what seems like half the household, with our 4 dogs and 4 wire crates and 4 fans, chairs, coolers, bedding, etc. This is a nice relaxing trial as it's only 1 ring, so no conflicts, and the arena is out in the country surrounded only by University of Wyoming agriculture buildings and hundreds of sheep (Hellllooooo Border Collies!). The only real downside here is the flies. Lots of flies. Flies crawling on you all the time.
Here are some of Rip's videos. (I am having some computer trouble so havent been able to compile Skye's videos yet)
So we started the day with Gamblers, and I didn't do it right for either dog. I dont have the map, but it was seemingly straightforward - take a jump and send to a U shaped tunnel, and upon tunnel exit, pass back between the jump and the tunnel and take a distance teeter, and finish with a jump. It really didnt look very difficult. I started the gamble with both dogs on my left - worked great for Rip, but Skye took the wrong end of the tunnel. Skye then got the rest of the gamble just fine. Rip came out of the tunnel and flew back over the starting jump.
Next we did Steeplechase. Rip had a pretty nice run but he did miss his contact on the first pass of the AFrame and then ended up knocking a bar, so we did not make it into round 2. His time was pretty good at 33 seconds. Skye had a decent, clean run, though he was a bit slow due to the heat. I think he ran it in 39 seconds - so Rip was 6 seconds ahead of him!
The last of Friday's runs was Snooker. Rip did well - we were going for 5-6-7-6 in the opening but he hit the third Red jump, so we went to the other and ended up with 5-6-7 opening, and in the closing it was going great, but Rip knocked a bar in the #6 combo so our 35 points wasnt enough points to Q. Skye ran the course great doing the 5-6-7-6 opening and went all the way through the closing, so he ended up with another Super Q! I've pretty much found that I need to run the same plan with both dogs or I will get mixed up.
Saturday started with Standard - Skye had a great run and got 1st place in his small group of P3 dogs!
I've really been wanting to get Rip out of Advanced Standard - it seems like we have had wayyyyy to many tries at getting Q's in Adv. Std without success - we only had 1 Q going into the show. So, maybe trying too hard, or caring too much factors into the NQ's as well - there is definitely something to be said about that as when you try to run more cautious, you DO end up making mistakes.
So here we go - the run is going great and Rip sticks his dogwalk contact nicely. We near the end and I am impatient and pull him off a jump before the AFrame - no problem though as no refusals are called on jumps, so I put him back over it, and then he launches his AFrame contact. Ugh. Followed by hitting the bar on the jump after the frame. There goes try #1.
Next came Grand Prix - this felt like a long course and the wheeling showed it as 194 yards. Yikes! It had a couple tricky spots for a dog like Rip who loves to suck to tunnels.
Rip ran that course like a champ and ignored those offcourses and got a Q! He took about 5th place. There were not a lot of dogs that qualified on that longass course.
Skye then ran the course and he also did great - he ran it in about the same amount of time Rip did and got a Q & 2nd place! Both dogs got their first Grand Prix/Perf Grand Prix Q's for next year's qualification period!
Last for Saturday was Jumpers. This was a pretty tricky course with some weird angles and a box with a 270 and offcourse potential. Rip ended up getting caught by the offcourse after jump #5, and Skye was pretty slow but dropped a bar, so neither dog got a Jumpers Q this time around.
Sunday had Standard, Pairs, Round2 of Steeplechase and a bonus round of Snooker.
As it turned out, Sunday was Rip's day! I tried not to overthink his Standard run and just run it. Everything went great and we got a freakin Standard Q baby! The dogwalk was the 2nd to last obstacle and the course put you a little behind on it, and I must have told him to "Touch!" while he was on the up-ramp! Good boy stuck that contact!
Skye ran really well and I thought we had Q'd the P3 Standard, but then I found out after that he actually missed his dogwalk contact. It was a popular fault because of the way the course was designed.
We ran Pairs - Rip was paired with Julie & Rift and we did great. Rift is Ice's brother. This was our second try together and this time our only fault was a bar that Rip knocked, but our time was plenty fast to get the Q. This was also Rip's Master Pairs title!
Skye ran pairs with my wife & Baby. Unfortunately Katrina didnt notice that Baby missed the weave entry so when she continued to the next obstacle, she was whistled. Last time we paired, it was me who messed it up, and this was her turn.
The bummer is, I am trying to get Skye's PDCH-Bronze title, and all we need are Gambler and Pairs legs, and we got neither at this show.
Skye got to play in Round 2 of P-Steeplechase. He was running pretty slow, so I didn't expect too much, but he did run clean. Shar & Tar'n ran after us and they had a bobble at the weave entry, but even with that, they still ended up 1.5 secs ahead, so Skye got 2nd place. Still good for $8 :)
Finally we got to play the bonus Snooker. As Rip still needs all his Super Qs, I tend to try and come up with a high point plan that will give us a chance. He's not the fastest dog, so I usually can't go for all 7's and make it through the closing, but again we had the option of 4 reds and I was going for 7-7-6-3 I believe. Rip was actually going for something different though! I did a long leadout and planned to call him over a red and through the tunnels so we could take the teeter in the back. Rip was coming to me and I flinched and he veered into the #3 tunnel. So, plan change, we did #3, then did the 7, then 6, and instead of #3 as planned, Rip did the #2 tunnel, but that was OK, we continued through the close. The buzzer went while the #7 teeter was tipping down, so we didnt get those points. No Super Q, but we did get the regular Q anyway.
For Skye, I ran a 7-7-6 opening and we got through the closing. The 16" & 22" groups got combined in performance and 1 super Q was given out - it went to my wife & Baby who did 4 reds.
All in all a very successful trial. So glad to get an Advanced Standard leg for Rip, and also really glad to get each dog a Grand Prix Q!
I am not happy about how many bars Rip knocked this weekend. Some were probably my fault, and some were his fault. I may have to go back to staggering his jump heights in practice again - I will see after this weekend's 3-day USDAA show that is going to be at the same nice indoor soccer facility where the RM Regional was held. I also have to continue my work on contacts for both dogs. Skye did really well only missing 1 dogwalk contact all weekend. Rip did well on his dogwalks, hitting them all, but did miss a couple AFrames. We are not quite there yet!