I stayed at the same La Quinta, which is only a couple miles from the fairgrounds trial site. I was happy to see that the homeless man who was living in the little dog park next to the hotel was not there this time. All was quiet at the dog park. I did find that one part of the park was full of those damn little sticker plants - as best as I can tell they are called goatheads or Puncturevines and the first night when we arrived and I took the dogs to potty there, those little fuckers were all attached to the leashes and the dog's feet. I had to stab myself a dozen times picking them out of Skye and Rip and off their leashes.
The Master's judge was Tom Kula, who often creates some interesting courses. He did not disappoint.
Rip started with Gamblers and he really did well, though he bailed off the teeter in the distance portion. He did a great job in the opening and had he stuck the teeter, we would have had 2nd place.
Skye then got to run Gamblers, and though he was a little slower than Rip, and also jumped his dogwalk contact, he DID manage to get the distance portion and stick his teeter for a nice Q!
Next up for Rip was Master Standard. We were looking for our 1st Master Standard Q since moving up a couple trials ago. This course had a 90 degree onside approach to the weaves, and I thought I would just send Rip and let him test his entries. He hit the entry (yeah) but then didnt collect and skipped the 2nd pole. I didn't bother to fix it (why EVER bother to fix weaves in Masters, unless you are playing Time + faults?). After that, we then had a bit more fun by missing the AFrame/tunnel discrimination, dropping a bar and jumping the dogwalk contact. Yeeee-hawwww!
Skye keept the Yee-haw going in his Standard run too! He dropped the 2nd bar and then he missed the AFrame/tunnel discrimination the other way, by taking the frame when it should have been tunnel, compared to Rip taking the tunnel instead of the frame. Skye otherwise did pretty good in this run though.
Grand Prix was up next and I figured that maybe Rip had the crazies out of his system and we could get a good GP run. He did really well on this tricky course, but I made him drop a bar before the AFrame/tunnel discrimination - I overhandled it based on the previous run's outcome as again the course called for the frame, and I really wanted to take the tunnel out of the picture. There were only 8 Q's of the 50 dogs between Perf and Championship.
For Skye, Perf. Grand Prix was a disappointment. We were doing fine and arrived at said AFrame/tunnel discrimination again. I clearly and obviously got ahead and indicated the frame. Skye committed to it, and then at the last moment, cut me off and went in the tunnel. I then ended the run and Skye and I did the slow walk of shame off the course. Between Gamblers, Standard and Grandprix, this was the 3rd straight run that Skye had not done what I indicated at the discrimination!
Next we had Snooker.
In an odd twist of fate, Rip's eh, so-so, not great run earned him his first Super Q! I wish I still had the course map, but essentially, the 7pt was a combination of a tunnel and 6 weaves and another 6 weaves. The 6 point was a jump and 6 weaves. We could do 4 reds.
I elected to do two 6's, a 4 and a 7. We ran somewhere in the middle of the pack, so I didnt get a lot of benefit in watching other handlers, but I did see Steve Moon & Slick end early with an offcourse, and also Kim Terrill & Steeple offcourse'd. We got all the way through the opening, but Rip was going slow and cautious, and wasnt reading my signals really well. He even missed the entry on the 2nd set of 6 poles and I had to put him back into them to get the 7 points. We were working on the #6 in the closing when time ran out, so we ended up with 41 points. Oddly enough, as this was a tough course, the 41 was good for 3rd place and a Super Q. Go figure - we have had some really awesome Snooker runs that did not earn one!
For Skye, as I dont need Super Q's, I was going more conservative, trying for 6,6,7 in the opening. We did well and got through the opening, though not very fast. We were working on the #7 in the closing when the buzzer went in the first set of 6 poles, so we ended up with just 42 points, but that was the highest score in all of Performance! Skye earned another Super Q - so both my guys got them on not really spectacular runs!
We ended the day with Jumpers.
Rip ran this nicely for a Q. I am really glad he is getting through jumpers courses while keeping up all the bars now - such a good boy! I ran this a little differently with Rip than I did for Skye - I put in two rear crosses for Rip where I used fronts for Skye. One reason was to give a better signal taking an offcourse tunnel out of the picture. There were not a lot of Q's on this course and Rip ended up in 3rd place.
Skye also ran this well and got a Q. As it turned out, both dogs were within a 4/100ths of each other!
Sunday started with Pairs, and we were running Performance dogs first.
Skye was paired with Rankine the Golden, and we did a good job. Skye had 1 bar on a tight sequence and Rankine came out of the weaves but went back in at the right spot, so we Q'd it.
Readers may recall that I am trying to get Skye's P-ADCH Bronze title, and just need Gambles and Pairs to finish it - and how cool is it that we Q'd both of those runs this weekend! We now need 2 more Pairs runs, and 3 more Gambles.
Rip ran his half of Pairs clean, but his partner forgot the course and directed her dog to an offcourse jump, so we did not Q this time.
In Sunday's Standard, I thought that Skye had run this clean. There were no discriminations this time :). As it turned out, he missed the AFrame contact, so no Q, but a better run than Saturday's.
Rip had a slow start in Standard - the 3rd obstacles was a tight turn into the weaves so he just felt slow. He got going though by the time we hit the Aframe. He jumped that contact and then knocked the bar two jumps afterward. He ran a really good dogwalk and finished the run by leaving the teeter early and getting called for that!
Snooker this time was a thinking man's game. The 7 point was different each time you attempted it. It was either a jump/weave combo, a jump/AFrame combo, or a jump/jump/tunnel combo. Whichever 7 successfully completed last in the opening was the one you had to take in the closing (if you did one).
There were only 3 reds, and I decided going for all 7s wouldnt work due to the time needed to complete them, so my plan was for 7+3+7. For Skye, we got through the opening OK, but then he hit the #2 bar in the closing, so it was a pretty short run.
Rip's plan was the same 7+3+7 and when we tried the second 7 in the opening (the jump/AFrame), Rip knocked the bar and then went partway up the frame and turned and came off it. I put him back on it for no points, but we got to do the closing. We got all the way through the 6 in the closing, and then I was approaching the AFrame for our 7pt obstacle when it briefly occurred to me that we didnt complete that successfully, so we were not supposed to take it in the close - that resulted in a whistle, so we got just 32 points and no Q. Funny thing though, had we completed the plan, those 47 points would have been another Super Q!
Finally, we ended the day with this crazy jumpers course. This was a memory test for sure, as I dont think I have ever had to walk a course so many times to remember it. I was fortunate to have a dog in both Performance and in Championship, as that meant I got 2 walkthroughs back to back!
Here is the course map - it looks like an army of jumps marching toward the corner!:
Skye ran it first and was almost clean except for knocking the #5 jump. I did a run-with and that caused my cross before #3 to be pretty late and Skye went wide. At least I remembered the course, which is not the case for a lot of competitors.
Rip liked this course and was running pretty fast. Except for a couple wide turns, he did this efficiently and was only 2 seconds off the top dogs. He Q'd this running 4 seconds faster than Skye did.
This means that Rip has gone 6/6 in his last 6 Master Jumpers runs! Of course, we still can't BUY a standard Q!