I went to the USDAA trial in Longmont, CO this past weekend with my daughter and her 2 dogs. This was the first time that she and I have gone to a trial and stayed overnight in a hotel together - she just recently started running her young border collie Carbon, and this was only her second show.
I entered Skye in 2 runs a day, while Rip was entered in everything. This trial did start on Friday but we were not entered. Saturday ended up being a REALLY long day as there were well over 400 runs in a one-ring trial, and I finished my Master Pairs run with Rip at 6:45pm. We've had a few trials that have gone later, but it's definitely not typical.
The weekend started with Master Jumpers and Skye ran it first. He did a really nice job, very efficient, and finished clean with 1st place! This was great since I havent entered Skye in any trial for a few months. The (now) 20" performance group has grown quite a bit, as we used to be lucky to have 5 or 6 dogs entered, but this weekend we had 11 dogs.
I ran Rip on the same course and he did great - I, however, did not do as great and did not support an 'out' jump, pulling him off of it and giving us an NQ. I was happy with Rip's running though - his time was pretty competitive.
Rip was entered in Steeplechase next, and it was a 2-weave course. I have been trying to get more speed out of his weaves, as it's a big weakness of his - his footwork is just terrible and he does not have a consistent pattern. I never have high expectations when I see 2 sets of weaves in Steeplechase as we will often not make round 2 even when clean, but he did OK and didnt have any faults, getting us into round 2 with even a few seconds to spare on the cutoff.
Rip then got to run Grand Prix - it was a pretty straightforward course as far as Grand Prix courses go. He ran it pretty well, a little slower than I'd like to see, but jeeze when he did the dogwalk, I looked at him and said touch and he stopped about 3 inches above the yellow, and took 5 seconds to come down into the contact!! I released him and it was just tire then jump to finish, and he looked back over his shoulder at me over the last jump and dropped the damn last bar. Would have been a clean run - we still dont have any Grand Prix Qs for this qualifying period.
We then ran Standard and Rip ran it clean, though really pretty slow. Not a lot of dogs ran clean in Standard.
Next Skye got to run Snooker first and he did really well in the opening, getting our plan of 7+6+6 (only 3 red allowed). In the closing, he was heading for the wrong end of the #3 tunnel and I called him off of it too late, causing him to go BEHIND the tunnel and then hop himself up sideways on the dogwalk - it was pretty funny but not good for a Q!
Rip ran the same plan and after a painfully slow set of weaves, he got the 7+6+6 opening as well, and I got him into the correct end of the #3 tunnel and then proceeded to send him offcourse instead of the #4 jump, which was very far away from the tunnel. Ah well, no Q for Rip in snooker either.
We stuck around late for the Pairs run, and were running with the very fast dog Rookie. They ran first, and Jen was concerned about the offcourse tire sitting after the last jump in her half so she over-called Rookie and he dropped his last bar. Rip then got to go and did really well on his half running clean. Our 5 point fault put us in 3rd but our time was less than 1 second off the fastest time.
Sunday opened with Standard and Rip dropped the first bar, so it turned into a practice run. Silly boy ran past the chute as well, but it didnt really matter at that point.
Skye ran an awesome Standard run, though he did drop 1 bar on a sharp turn. His time was the fastest in our group.
Snooker was up next with both dogs entered. Rip got to go first, and my plan was 3 6's, as the 7 involved an Aframe / tunnel discrimination that I didnt want to mess with. Rip dropped the third red, causing a scramble to get into the closing but he listened and did it. We got through the 6 in the closing and then I over-worried the discrimination and sent him right into the offcourse tunnel, so no Q because of dropping that bar in the opening.
Skye then got to run and he did awesome. He got the 3 6's and again got to the 7 in the close, where I did the exact same thing and blew the discrimination. Skye got the Q though.
Rip got to run Steeplechase finals, this time with 2 AFrames which is better for us. He did OK, though again pretty slow compared to his potential - maybe he was tired or sore, though he didnt show it before the run. We did end up in 3rd place, earning $10, though mostly that was because other dogs went off course - not because he was faster than anybody. Still, I'll take it ;)
I had also entered Rip in the Master Challenge Jumpers. This turned out to be a mistake since he really was not in any mood to run anymore. He refused to take the backside of #2, so we got a refusal right there (here's your NQ), and I continued up to the weaves which were #5 and he walked them and wandered out at pole 10, so I ended our run there. I wish clubs would not leave the most challenging courses for the last run of the trial.
I left Envy at home for this trial as I didnt want to chance her pottying in the hotel room, and I knew I would not have a lot of downtime during the trial to do much with her.
Here are some videos from the boys: