Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Friday, April 13, 2012

Video from last weekend

Finally my internet service has been restored to normal speed, so I could upload my videos.
We've become so accustomed to high speed internet, when we drop down to just about dial-up speed, it makes everyone crazy. Maybe it would be like if highway speed limits were dropped back down to 55 again - they are 75 out here!



Monday, April 9, 2012

Looking forward

This weekend we attended 2 days of the AKC show in Castle Rock. I skipped Friday since I figured I may need some rest after last week's AKC Nationals.

It seems that AKC agility has taken a back seat to USDAA this year for us, and including this weekend, we have only attended 6 total days of AKC since the 2013 qualifying period started on December 1st last year. Admittedly, I do enjoy USDAA more than AKC for a number of reasons, but I still enjoy it enough to try and qualify and attend Nationals if I can. Next year is in Tulsa, OK. again, and as far as drives go - Tulsa is pretty easy, so that brings me to my post title. Looking at where we are now, and looking forward to what we need to do to qualify, I'm going to have to put in a conscious effort to attend enough AKC shows to get the double Qs and points we need.

It takes 6 double Qs and 400 points to qualify. Looking at Skye's performance the last 2 years, he got 12 double Qs w/491 points in 39 days of AKC trialing last year, and 11 double Qs w/456 points in 54 days of AKC trialing the previous year.
So... with only 6 days so far this year, we have a long way to go. Skye has 2 double Qs and 100 points, and Rip has 1 double Q and 91 points. We have 1 3-day show in May for AKC scheduled, and I need to make sure to do at least 1 show a month from here out.

Anyway, that was probably a little boring to read - sorry.
For this weekend, Skye was still being my awesome boy, continuing his streak from Nationals, and went 4/4, getting 2 double Qs. He even took 2nd place in Standard on Sunday on a tough course, against about 55 other 20" dogs.
Skye is now really closing in on his MACH 2 - we have 17 double Qs and enough points already.

As for Rip, he only got 1 Q this weekend, but he ran really really well. He Q'd the same tough Standard that Skye placed 2nd in - and Rip placed 4th!
His Standard on Saturday was awesome except he decided to miss both the AFrame and Dogwalk contacts. In jumpers, he was flying and I got in this blind cross right before the last 2 jumps, but he got trapped by the offcourse jump next to the finish jump as did many other dogs.
Sunday's jumpers was beautiful but I caused him to knock 1 bar before a tunnel discrimination - I should have just let him run because he was on the correct line anyway.

My internet connection has been really crappy the last few days, so I cant load any video until they fix it, but I plan to load a few of them when I can.

So no trials next week, and then we head to Albuquerque NM for the USDAA Regional event.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Awesome AKC Nationals Wrapup

We are back from our trip to Reno for the AKC Agility Nationals, and what a great trip it was!

Skye ran clean in 4 out of 5 runs, with just a missed AFrame contact in our warm-up Standard run on Friday. Overall, out of the 235 20" dogs entered, we finished in 29th place! My goal for nationals was to run clean and try and finish in the top 20%, and we sure accomplished that.

Our run order for Friday was 198th, as well as our first run on Saturday, so we had a long time to wait and watch.

Here are the videos in the order that we ran:

Warmup Standard - just getting out on the equipment. Nice run though my peel-off from the AFrame caused a jumped contact.

Later in the day we ran Time 2 Beat. The winner of Time 2 Beat got a bye into the Challengers round, so we saw a lot of competitors really going for it. There was a weave entry that surprisingly caught a lot of dogs. The judges were being real particular about calling the teeter, not giving anyone any leeway, so we saw quite a few called for their teeter as well. A wrap jump at obstacle 11 allowed for those with efficient turns to make up a faster time - lots of dogs went very wide on the wrap. Skye ended up about 5.5 seconds behind the fastest dog, but it was a very good run, probably around 70th place out of the 235 dogs.

The first day of 'real' nationals competition started with a JWW run. I felt like this was a pretty straightforward course. There were a few ways people decided to handle the opening, but generally it ran well and there weren't any consistent trouble spots for those I watched. I believe about 150 dogs qualified on this course. Skye was around 107th - I definitely felt like Skye could have run this course about 2 seconds faster.

The second run on Saturday was Standard. This course had a few interesting traps. The start again had handlers pretty split as to how to handle it. It was 2 jumps in a 180 - seems like half the people stayed on the side I did, and the other half lead out to the #2 and then pushed to #3. After the turn at 4, I saw a lot of dogs drive straight to the offcourse triple jump. Then, off the aframe, we took an arc that brought you over the triple into the tunnel, and I saw quite a few dogs drive to the panel jump instead, and some were able to save that offcourse, only to end up with the wrong end of the tunnel due to the dogs' line. The dogwalk contact was called a lot, due to handlers pealing off for the weaves. Finally, the sequence after the weaves got a lot of people as the jumps were not in line and caused a lot of problems. I think Skye should have run this probably 2 - 3 seconds faster than he did. I felt like he was not giving it his all in this one.
After 2 rounds, we were in 49th place.

Finally we had the Hybrid class - like a Standard but no dogwalk or chute. The beginning of this course was very controlled and gave a lot of people problems. The way the jumps were setup, a lot of handlers got lost and sent their dogs over the wrong jump. We had to run this in 'ring 4' which was a crappy, crowded, dark room that also housed the indoor stall crating area. Nobody liked this building and I hope if they run a nationals here again, they figure out the lighting and how to set this ring up so it isn't so tight. This was a pretty good run for us - I don't think Skye really could have done this too much faster for me.
Our cumulative placement was 29th - though I watched the board and we were listed as Finalists for quite a long time. They took 17 dogs to finals. Our cumulative time was 98.814 seconds. The cutoff to make finals ended up being 87.64 seconds, so we were 12 seconds off the finals pace. Not sure we can train for that much more speed, so we will leave the finals for all those crazy fast dogs :)

My final thoughts are that the Reno facility was very nice. The food and drinks were way overpriced. The city of Reno is pretty dumpy with homeless looking people hanging out all over the place. Their gas prices are too high. The entire state of Wyoming should just be covered in windmills - I am sure they could produce enough electricity for the entire country.

It was a lot of fun, and I hope I can qualify both Rip and Skye for next year's Nationals to be held in Tulsa, OK!