Its that time again!! Last week the boys and I packed up and headed to Louisville, KY for the 2011 Cynosport World Agility Championships. What a time we had!! This year I had moved Dasher to the Performance program so he would be jumping 12″. Zip and I were competing for a spot on the US Team for the upcoming IFCS international event in May 2012 taking place in Texas. We came into the event in 4th place. Zorro was not entered in the event but he was happy to come along for moral support.
The 650 mile drive was uneventful. We made it to Louisville Tuesday morning. We could not enter the venue until 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday so after we checked into our hotel we decided to head to Seneca Park for a hike with the dogs. The park was great, it was nice to be able to let the pups stretch their legs after the long car ride. Here are some pictures taken by Jeannette Hutchison of the boys enjoying the park.
We started off the competition with the “Play it again” warm up class on Tuesday night. They used last year’s Grand Prix finals course. Since this was a warm up class my goal was just to make sure Dasher, Zip and I were connected on course. It was great being able to run this course again. I took the opportunity to handle this course a bit differently than I did last year. It was fun to see the difference between the two handling choices. Both boys put in great runs and when I checked results both had won their class. What a great way to start the week!!
Here is Zip’s “Play it again” run:
Dasher’s “Play it again” run:
The rest of the week both boys put in some great runs, I could not have been prouder of both of them. Dasher earned several placements in the team classes and made it to the Performance Grand Prix finals as well. It was so great running Dasher in the finals. He did great!! Unfortunately I kept moving on one of my front crosses which sent him wide and he took an off course tire jump. Dasher’s Steeplechase semifinals run was great too, unfortunately I misjudged the weave pole entry so we missed entry which cost us time and even though his time was good enough to advance to the finals, they only take the top 8 dogs and we placed 9th. Here is Dasher’s Performance Grand Prix Semifinal run:
Zip also had a great week. In addition to earning IFCS points for team classes and tournament classes, we also had 2 International Handling classes that we had to enter for points. Zippy won team Gamblers ran clean in team Standard and Jumpers. We were having a great snooker run but unfortunately dropped the #2 jump in the closing. The international classes were very challenging, Zip handled it like a pro. He was clean and earned a 4th place in International Jumpers and had a handler induced refusal in an otherwise great International Standard run. We had a major bobble in Steeplechase semifinals which caused an off course 2 jumps from the end so that kept us out of Steeplechase finals. Zip and I had a great Grand Prix semifinals run so the good news is that we made it to Grand Prix finals again this year!! Zip had a stellar Grand Prix finals run and in a repeat of last year, we ended up in third place with a spot on the podium!! I could not have been prouder of little Zippy dog!! What a superstar!! Here is Zip’s Grand Prix finals run:
The IFCS points were being tallied throughout the competition and by Sunday morning before Grand Prix finals the points were locked up for the top 3 spots in all jump heights. Zippy and I remained in fourth place. While slightly disappointed in not making the team, it has been an amazing experience. I have learned a lot. I feel the experience has made me a better handler, having to push myself on every run under a lot of pressure. I owe a huge thanks to all my family and friends for their incredible support throughout the year. I could not have gotten this far without you!! I have made lots of wonderful new friends and take many wonderful memories with me. I am so proud of Zip, he gave me 110% every time we stepped to the line all year long. I feel very blessed to have such an amazing friend and partner in Zip.