Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


This past weekend, I went down to Rio Rancho, New Mexico, just north of Albuquerque, for a 2 day outdoor USDAA trial. The forecast was for record high temperatures and those came true. Apparently, the normal high temp this time of year should be about 60. We were 79 on Saturday and 81 on Sunday, breaking records that have stood for 130+ years!

Picture of Rip from the trial by Bam Photo

Katrina was not going because she had 2 days of K9 Nosework events to deal with, so it was going to be a casual trip with just me, Skye and Rip. I was treating this as a warm-up of sorts for Skye's AKC Nationals competition in Reno next week.

On Saturday, Skye ran Gamblers, Standard, Snooker and Jumpers. First was Gamblers, and I thought he might get this one if I sent him from the right spot, but I sent him from the wrong spot, and instead of turning right off a jump, he continued straight and over the finish jump.
His Standard run was what I would call 'squirrelly' - he was not really listening, got a refusal and came off the teeter before the bang, just not a nice connected run.
Snooker was much better - I had planned the same 4+5+7+7 opening for Skye and Rip. Skye got all the way through the 6 in the closing. The 7 sequence was a combination of 3 jumps, and the start of the 7 in the close was a push-around but Skye went behind me and took it straight on. Still, since there were not a lot of other P22" dogs, Skye got another Super Q.
We ended the day with Jumpers and he ran it really well and got a Q and 1st place in the P22" group.

Rip was entered in the same classes as Skye, plus Steeplechase.  In the Gamble, since I had done it wrong with Skye first, I adjusted my send and Rip turned right after the jump as he should have, and then did the tunnel, back to the jump and out to the finish jump for a Q and 2nd place!
Rip had an awesome first half of the Standard course, but I handled something a different way than I walked and it didn't work out, causing him to go wide and ultimately skip the AFrame.
Rip ran the Snooker course perfectly according to my plan, and even finished the #7 in the close that Skye missed. When the class was done, we took 1st place and earned his second Super Q!
In Jumpers, we were about 4 jumps from the end when I made a handling mistake on a rear cross and didnt wait for him to commit to the jump - I pushed him off it and to an offcourse.
When we ran Steeplechase, the day was very warm, even hot, and my dogs dont enjoy the heat - they definitely slow down. Rip ran Steeplechase pretty well, but just not quite fast enough. He was clean, but ended up 0.2 seconds too slow to make round 2 and get the Q.

On Sunday, we had Gamblers, Standard, Jumpers and Snooker. I did not enter Pairs at all this trial.
I thought the gamble looked 'easy' which is always the kiss of death! We had a choice - jump out to the weaves, do some lateral distance weaves, and come back over a jump, OR jump out to a lateral AFrame and come back over a jump. I elected to do the same plan with both dogs and do the weaves. Skye totally didn't even see the weaves - not sure what the heck was going through his head as I'm standing indicating weaves, saying WEAVE, and he is looking everywhere but where I am pointing! Ugh. Rip actually jumped and went right into the weaves no problem. But then problem - he popped out at pole 10 and came over the finish jump. So, no gamble Qs for us. In hindsight, I wished I had tried the AFrame!

We then ran Standard. Rip went first and though he did get stuck in the chute for a brief moment, and took about 4 seconds extra to DOWN on the table, we ran clean and got a Q. This is HUGE, because that makes 5 Master Standard Qs, and now we need only 1 more Snooker SuperQ for ADCH - and we will get a shot at it later.
Skye ran the same course but popped his weaves at 10. There were a lot of dogs doing that for some reason - I think we were all rushing at the end to get a front after the next jump. Other than that, he did a nice job.

Jumpers was next up. There was a handlers' choice at the #3 jump - you could take the front side or back side. I planned a Ketchker move for both dogs to get a tight turn. For Rip, I bailed on the Ketchker because his approach wasnt right and it might have caused a backjump, so I just pivoted. Rip was wide in a few spots, and I did slip and almost fall on the slick grass, but we pulled it out for another Q! Skye ran this course really well and I got the Ketchker turn in with a very efficient line. Skye did drop 1 bar, but he was within 2 seconds of the fastest Championship dogs, so I was very happy with that run, especially considering it was getting pretty warm out.

Finally, I had Snooker and a chance at Rip's ADCH!
The #7 was a combination of AFrame and a tunnel under it. There were 4 reds on course, and I thought I could do all 7s and still get through the closing. What I didnt consider was that Rip was much slower at the end of the day because of the high temperatures. We DID actually do all 4 7's, and then started the closing, but we had taken too much time and the buzzer went off in the #5 combo in the closing, so we got credit through 4. There were a few other handlers going for all 7s as well, since they also need Super Qs, and though nobody did all 4 and got all the way through the closing, there were enough who got further than I did that we didn't get a super Q - just a regular Q.
For Skye, I went with a modified plan of a 6 and 2 7's, as due to the heat, there was no way he would finish otherwise. We got through the opening fine and in the close, Skye knocked the #6 jump, so he ended up with a regular Q.

My friend Mary did some filming for me, mostly on her Flip video, so the quality sucks compared by my camera.. Here is Rip's Super Q Snooker run:

Here are 2 course maps that were interesting - Saturday's Gamblers where very few dogs actually got the gamble (Rip got it)
and then the Jumpers course from Sunday where the #3 jump could be taken from either direction:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wow has it been almost 2 months??

I just realized it's been almost 2 months since I posted to my blog. A lot of good Agility action has happened in that time!

In February we decided to travel to Lawrence Kansas for their USDAA trial and play team with our friend Mary. Rip teamed with Mary's young border collie Tangle and a nice lady named Lee and her border collie Kate. My wife did a PVP team with her dog Ice and Mary's performance dog Tip.

Rip did a great job with no "E"s anywhere, and took a high placement in Gamblers, and had a decent score in Snooker. We did get the Team Q for Mary & Tangle - Rip already had his Q so we were playing for fun. I believe we placed 5th as a team.

Rip also is really starting to come together running Standard courses. After getting two Master Standard Q's in the January USDAA trial, Rip then proceeded to run clean in Team Standard, and on Saturday, he ran clean again in Master Standard to earn his MAD title! This has been a long time coming - we earned our Advanced Standard title in April 2011. Contacts have typically been our issue, as well as a bar down here and there.

Skye did not play Team in Kansas, but in his titling classes he did pretty well. I've been trying to get Skye's P-ADCH Bronze, needing 15 Qs in all the titling classes and Tournament Bronze. All we have left to get now are 2 Gamblers Q's, which have always been our challenge. We were so close in Kansas, getting the distance challenge but Skye knocked the bar at the finish jump. I did not enter him in Standard, but he did get 2 Jumpers Q's, as well as 2 Snooker Q's, with one of them being a Super Q.

After our runs in Kansas, I also noticed that Skye is now just 10 Q's away from the 150 needed for his Lifetime Achievement Award - a pretty cool accomplishment once we get there!

A local club then held it's annual March USDAA event at the Castle Rock fairgrounds, and this is one of the few events in Colorado that offer DAM Team. I wasn't going to enter Team since we were already Q'd up, but decided last minute to put Rip in since Katrina was going to be playing anyway. Rip's teammates were a Sheltie named Ace and a young/green Golden Retriever named Rev'n. Since Nationals are being held in Colorado, everybody and their brother was at the trial trying to get qualified. We actually had 20 DAM teams and 19 PVP teams running at the show.
Rip's team did really well, and once again Rip did not have any "E"s, though my teammates BOTH got an "E" in the Jumpers run. Even with that, since we had done so well in the other events, our team finished 4th! My teammates were very happy to get their DAM team Qs.

I didn't enter Grand Prix with either dog, trying to save a little money, since we already have the 2 Q's for nationals, but I did enter Steeplechase (PSJ) with both dogs. Rip still needed his 2 Steeplechase Q's since we always seem to hit a bar or the broad jump and we're not quite fast enough to absorb the 5second penalty and make it into round 2. This time Rip had a really nice, clean run and got the Steeplechase Q, getting to play in round 2 on Sunday! Skye also ran really well and took 1st place in the 22" performance group - we had about 11 dogs in our group this time, which is more than the typical 5 or 6. I think Rip's 22" Steeplechase class had about 45 dogs - that's way more than we are used to seeing.

In the titling classes, Skye unfortunately did not get a Gamble Q. It was a jump and a distance discrimination - he was to take the tunnel that was next to the dogwalk. I thought for sure he'd take the tunnel but no such luck. He did get a Q and 2nd place in Standard, and also had a nice Jumpers run for a Q and 2nd. Snooker was not our game this time - we got called for the contact on the #3 AFrame in the closing on Saturday, and then he dropped the #2 bar in the closing on Sunday.
So, Skye ended up with 3 Qs this weekend, getting us a little closer to Lifetime Achievement.

Rip had a pretty successful time in the titling classes. He got a Q and 4th place in a very difficult Master Standard course on Saturday. Rip also got the Gamblers Q that Skye did not get - earning us our Masters Gamblers title! I am glad to get that since I struggled getting that last Gamble when Skye was going for his P-ADCH. Rip is definitely a better Gamblers dog than Skye is.

On Sunday, Rip's pairs team ran almost clean (we were called for an Up contact on the DW) and we got the Q and 5th place. Rip also ran great in Jumpers getting another Q!

In the Steeplechase finals, he really ran nicely, but did hit the top bar of the triple. I thought we had 3rd place in the money until I found that out - it put us to 8th place and no cash!

So, Rip ended up with 7 Qs at this trial, counting the Team Q and his Q in Team Gamblers.

Here is a video of Rip's Team runs from Kansas