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Month: April 2011

MADness and Hog Dog weekends

MADness and Hog Dog weekends

Well the boys and I have been busy trialing the last two weekends. Both shows have been fairly local, the MADness trial was in Gamber, MD and Hog Dog is in Millersville, MD. Both trials took place outside and unfortunately springtime in the mid-Atlantic can been extremely unpredictable. The first day at MADness we had torrential rain and wind. We managed to get in two classes before the trial was was cancelled for the rest of the day. I ran the boys in Gamblers which was the first run of the day and scratched Standard as the wind and rain was picking up and I didn’t want the dogs to get blown off the dogwalk. All three dogs completed the gamble successfully and we had first places all around. Here is Zorro’s gamblers class, listen to that wind howl:

Here is Dasher’s gamble, we did manage to get the gamble but he had to give me plenty of lip in true Dasher style!

Sunday was a bit better although the wind was really whipping and I scratched everyone from Standard again as the wind was blowing some of the big dogs off the dogwalk. Didn’t want to chance getting anyone hurt. As the day progressed the ground dried up a bit and the wind died down. I ran Zip and Dasher in Steeplechase and they both had great runs and won round one. Zip blew his A-Frame contact in round two so he finished in second place. Dasher was the only P12″ dog but he had a nice run and came in 1st. Here is Zip’s round 1 Steeplechase run:

We also were able to run pairs on Sunday, all the boys Q’d. Zorro got his last needed pairs leg toward P-ADCh with Lynn and Beau!! Woohoo!! Just one Gamble and one Standard left to go!! Even with the harsh weather conditions we had a great time at MADness

This past weekend we had more crazy weather at the Hog Dog trial. Saturday morning was frigid cold and rainy and by Sunday afternoon it was blazing hot and 80 degrees!! The boys put in some stellar runs. We started with Gamblers on Saturday and all 3 boys Q’d. Dasher and Zip earned 1st places, Zorro missed an A-Frame contact in the opening so he ended up 4th. Zor and I are one standard Q away from his P-ADCh!! Unfortunately it was not to happen this weekend as we had bobbles in Standard on both days. Zip was entered in Grand Prix as we really wanted to try for a bye for regionals. Zip had a nice nice GP run and we got the bye although his A-Frame was a bit too high for my liking, really need to tighten this up before the WAO competition. Dasher and I had a heartbreaking Grand Prix run on Sunday. He was having an amazing run and two jumps from the end I decided to call out his name because I didn’t trust him and I caused him to take an off course jump!! This was a hard lesson to learn. I forgot the lesson I thought I learned a while ago…trust my dog and run in the right direction. Here is Dasher’s awesome GP run, even though his handler had spastic moment at the end.

Hog Dog was offering two days of Snooker and Zip and Zorro put in great runs on both days. Zip earned Super Q’s both days and Zorro earned a Super Q on Saturday and was 2nd only in time on Sunday. On Saturday the #7 obstacle was the teeter, not Zorro’s strongest obstacles. I opted to perform 3 teeters and a #6 and he did great! He had some good speed between the obstacles and we finished under time. His first teeter was a bit slow but he did get better by teeter #3. What a long way we have come!! So proud of the little man!! Here is Zorro’s Snooker on Saturday:

Sunday’s Snooker was Easter related and the obstacles were shaped like a bunny face. Zippy put in a stellar run although he started a bit tentative which is not typical for Zip. He usually shoots off the start line. I think I was not clear on how I wanted him to approach the first jump. Good thing I have the video to look over as I want to make sure I don’t make this mistake again.
Here is Zip’s Snooker run:

All in all we had pretty successful back to back weekends. We endured the crazy temperament of springtime in the Mid-Atlantic and managed to get in some good practice our upcoming trip to the UK. We also had a great time hanging out for our agility friends. I will be busy packing and making sure all Zip’s paperwork is in order over the next two weeks as well as fitting in some good training sessions and hopefully some swimming and walking for Zip. We are also going to participate in a seminar from a top European trainer this coming week and last but not least we have entered in one day of a trial in VA to get one last training day in before we leave….whew…I am exhausted just writing about it!!

How sweet it is!!! Mid-Atlantic Showcase 2011, Hershey PA

How sweet it is!!! Mid-Atlantic Showcase 2011, Hershey PA

This past weekend the boys and I headed up to the Mid-Atlantic Showcase in Palmyra, PA, a small town right next to Hershey. This is the 2nd year for the Mid-Atlantic Showcase. The Showcase is a coming together of 3 agility clubs combining forces to create a three day agility extravaganza filled with awesome DAM team, Grand Prix and Steeplechase tournament competition and a 3 round Triathlon. The triathlon final round competitors is determined by scores accumulated in the team Standard and team Jumpers rounds. The unique attribute of the triathlon is that not only are we competing against everyone here in the Mid-Atlantic, the Dog Gone Fun agility club in Texas is hosting the identical trial with the exact same courses so both regions are going head to head in competition. What fun!!!

I had all three boys entered in the DAM team competition. Dasher and Zorro were entered in the Performance Versatility Pairs division, a two dog team. Dasher and my teammates were Cynthia Horner and her sheltie, Dash, team name, “Dashing.” Zorro and my teammates were Dawn Peterson and her mixed breed Ollie, team name “Rawhide Ruffians.” Zip was entered in the Championship division, a three dog team, our teammates were Jeannette Hutchison and her border collie, Rumble and Mary Ellen Barry and her border collie, E-Z, team name “Hijacked at the border.” Dasher and Zip were also entered in the Grand Prix and the International Handlers class. Zorro was entered in two titling classes. Since I knew the show would have plenty of competitors to choose from I was hoping to get another pairs leg as well as a gamble leg for Zorro towards his P-ADCh.

Friday started the team competition with team Gamblers and team Standard. The team gamble class was a non-traditional gamble in that there was no gamble line, after the initial opening time was over competitors had between 12-16 seconds (depending on jump heights) to accumulate double points on all obstacles and get over the finish jump before your time was up. All three boys put in stellar runs. Zorro was running well, he was a little sticky on his contacts which cost us time but we were able to rack up 56 points and get through the close before the buzzer earning us a Q and 5th place. Dasher was a bit of a lunatic in our opening and I flung a little so we missed the 2nd teeter we were planing but we finished up with 57 points before the buzzer and ended up 4th. Zip was on fire, he put in a flawless run and we crossed the finish jump with 2 seconds to spare with a whopping 76 points and a 1st place!! Unfortunately I do not have this run on tape, otherwise I would post it.

Team Standard was next for us. The course seemed to have nice flow but watching the first group run I was able to see there were definitely some tricky spots to watch out for. I ran Zorro first and he did great, better on his contacts and he had some nice ground speed. Zorro was clean and earned a 4th place. Dasher was next, still a bit on the high side, we made some turns a bit wider than I would have liked and we had a “hail mary” call off on the a-frame. I am sure me screaming like a nut is what caused a dropped bar right afterwards but that was our only fault and even with 5 seconds added to our time it was still good enough for 2nd place!! Gotta love my little speed racer! Zip in his usual perfect self put a beautiful standard run. I decided I would hold all his contacts since it was early in the weekend and I didn’t want our criteria to deteriorate by Sunday. He listened and held all his contacts and ended up in 3rd place.

Our last class of the day was the International Handling class. Dasher and I were still not synching well and he went wide a few places which caused some off courses. Zippy had a nice run but came out of the #4 tunnel. Looking back on the video I think I may have pulled back too suddenly after he went in so I think he thought he made a wrong choice as I can’t remember when he has ever done this before. He also had a rail but I think he just lost his footing as he typically is a pretty careful jumper. At the end of the day one, Dasher’s team was in 6th place, Zorro’s team was 12th and Zip’s team was in 1st. Individually, Zip was in 1st place in 12″, Dasher was 2nd in P-12″ and Zorro was 4th in P-12″, not too shabby for the terrier household!!

Saturday started off with Team Jumpers. The first three jumps were tricky, I clearly gave the wrong cues to Zip and Dasher as they both turned the wrong way either approaching jump #3 or after jump #3. Luckily they both saved me and went clean. I ran Zorro last and I guess by that time I learned my lesson as he made the turn beautifully and was clean. He was pretty jazzed up going into Jumpers and after a somewhat cautious start on #1-3, he kicked it into gear and finished strong. Zip ended up in 1st, Dasher in 2nd and Zorro in 4th place. Here is Zorro’s stellar Jumpers run:

Team Snooker was next for us. Our group was the second group to run Snooker and little dogs were last in the running order. My teammates for Zip and Dasher’s team had already run and done well so the pressure was on for us to do well in order to hold or move up in team placements. I ran Zip first, our plan included 3 seven pointed obstacles, this was the maximum number of points available in this particular run. There were a fair share of teams doing the same plan so now it was just a matter of executing the plan faster than anyone else, easier said than done!! Zip was a superstar!! He was smooth and efficient for the entire run. So smooth and efficient in fact that I thought for a moment while we were running that we may have missed an obstacle or two because we were finished so quickly. I will not bore everyone with a play by play, here is Zip’s Snooker run:

I ran Dasher next and he was spot on as well. His turns were tighter which tells me my information was more timely, something I am always working on especially in Snooker where we often sprint, stop, turn for the entire course. Unfortunately I did not have this run on tape. Zorro was last to run and to be honest, I had not really prepared well for his run. I was so busy thinking about Zip and Dasher’s Snooker plan, I had forgotten to create a plan suited for Zorro. I had decided I would run the “fast dog” plan with Zorro and had faith that if we were on the money we would be able to get through it in time. Well the baby dog stepped up to the plate and gave me 110%. He finished all 3 seven pointed obstacles and made it through the close in plenty of time!! I was so proud of him, what a superstar!! The White dogs faced Team Snooker head on and kicked its butt!! Zip ended up 1st, Dasher 1st and Zorro 3rd.

Zorro and I had Masters Pairs to run at the end of the day. Unfortunately a handler fell on course and tore her ACL ligament during Pairs and had to be wheeled away in an ambulance. Not only was this terrible to have happen it delayed the class quite a bit and we did not finish up until after 7:30 p.m. Luckily all that waiting paid off, Zorro and his pairs partner did a great job and ended up with a Q. Yay!! One leg closer his P-ADCh, we can almost taste it!! By the end of day 2, Zip’s team was still in 1st, Dasher’s team moved up to 2nd and Zorro’s team was sitting in 6th. Last but certainly not least, Zip and I hit a HUGE milestone today by earning Zip’s Bronze Lifetime Achievement Award!! This is 150 Q’s at the Master’s level. All I can say is WOW!! This little terrier never ceases to amaze me. What a lucky girl I am!! Another great day for the terrier clan.

Sunday morning started off with Relay Finals. Performance teams ran first. Dasher’s team ran early on and did great. I underestimated the final line of jumps and how lightning fast Dasher would be coming down the line. I put in a last minute rear cross which caused Dasher to spin in front of the jump and drop the rail, so 10 faults total. Even with the 10 faults Dasher’s team ended up in 2nd place with a silver medal. I had a major screw up with Zorro’s run. I pushed a bit to hard from jump #1 to #2 which caused Zorro to take the backside of jump #2, a big fat “E” for us!! I was pretty mad at myself for that one. Luckily we still squeaked by with a Q in 17th place. Zip’s team had a phenomenal relay run. I don’t think our baton exchanges could have gotten much smoother. All three dogs were stupendous and had smokin’ runs. We ended up winning the relay class which secured our 1st place overall finish in the competition!! WoHoo!! All three of us over the moon!!

Here is team “Hijacked at the border” in our relay final:

Next on the agenda was the Triathlon finals. Unfortunately I did not enter Zorro in the Triathlon as I did not think he would have made it in. Lesson learned to never underestimate my guys. Zorro’s overall 4th place finish in the P-12″ class would have secured him a spot in the Triathlon finals had I entered him. Dasher was sitting in 1st place coming into the finals and Zip was in 2nd place. Well I can’t say much about Dasher’s run except that is was as close to perfect as I have ever run anything!! This little dog was on fire!! So happy with all his beautiful tight turns and blazing fast speed.  He smoked the course and won the class!! YAY!! So proud of him!! Here is our Triathlon Finals run:

Zip was next and unfortunately we had an off course into the wrong end of the tunnel #6 and it went downhill from there. I think my body was turned just slightly to the wrong end and I never indicated (until it was too late) which end I wanted. Oh well, can’t win them all!! I was still very proud of my Zippy dog. We headed home with a van full of very tired and happy pups and some extra bling to boot!!