On Nov 7, Dasher, Zip and I piled into Jeannette’s van and headed west to Scottsdale, AZ for the USDAA Cynosport World Agility Finals. 2400 miles one way, it was by far the longest road trip we have ever attempted. The trip out was great, we could not have asked for better weather. We were able to make a couple of fun stops along the way. One of our stops was Amarillo, TX at the “Big Texan” restaurant. At the Big Texan they serve a 72 oz steak, and if you are able to eat it within one hour the steak is free. I think Dasher and Zip wanted to give it a go!
Here are Jeannette and Whoppee at the Big Texan
We also stopped in Sedona to give the dogs a good hike and stretch after being cooped up in the van for four days. Here we are hiking in Oak Creek.
Our week at the finals was fantastic. The dogs were outstanding and gave me 110% in every run. I could not have been prouder of the boys. Our first class was European Standard on Wednesday. Dasher put in a great run but had one rail down. Zippy had an amazing run and ended up earning a 1st place!! WoHoo!! What a way to start the week!! Thursday began with the team classes as well as the Steeplechase quarter finals. Since I had scratched both dogs from Steeplechase at regionals in June due to the rain and mud, both Zip and Dasher had to work their way through the ranks in the quarters. Zippy again had an amazing run, we had to do the weave poles twice and he nailed his entrances. Unfortunately during the 2nd set of weaves the little sucker popped out and I missed it so I kept going. As soon as I took the next jump we received an off-course. Dasher had a smokin’ run and made it into the Steeplechase semis!!YAY!! We also had team Snooker and team Jumpers. Zippy was clean and Dasher had one rail in jumpers. We were conservative in Snooker and Zippy ended up 9th. Dasher was having a great run, got through the opening but I sent him into the #4 obstacle in the close instead of #3. We also met our 3rd team mate for Dasher’s team, Katherine Elliot and her JRT, Petey from Colorado. Kat and Petey had a great Jumpers run with a 4th place and Petey won Snooker!! Way to go Petey!!
Here are pictures of our teams:
Jumpn’ Jack Flash
Mid-Atlantic Minis (minus one mini- Jeannette and Surge)
Friday we had team Standard and Grand Prix Quarterfinals and Steeplechase semifinals. Dasher and Zip did ok in standard, Dash had one rail down, Zip popped his weaves and had one rail. Zip had a bye in Grand Prix, so only Dasher was entered in GP Quarterfinals. Dasher put in an amazing run and ended up 6th overall. This was good enough to move him up to GP semifinals!! Way to go Dasher!! Only Dasher made it back for the Steeplechase semis, again another very good run. Unfortunately the approach to the broad jump was tough and Dash ticked the last board which cost him 5 faults.
Friday was also the day that Brandon arrived in AZ, yay!! He arrived in time to tape Dasher’s Steeplechase semifinal run:
Saturday we had the Grand Prix Semifinals and the team Gamblers class. After checking the current standings, Dasher’s team was sitting in 14th place out of about 200 teams!! For the team gamble, we had two choices, a difficult gamble worth 20 points or a less challenging gamble worth 10 points. Dasher’s team decided to play it safe and attempt the easier gamble to ensure the points. Dasher had another great run and got the gamble. His score was good enough for 8th place! Way to go!! Zippy team was out of the running to make it for the relay finals so I decided to attempt the more difficult gamble. Zip tried but we just missed it. Both boys were in the GP semis. and they both had great runs. Unfortunately Dasher knocked the 1st rail and Zip was called on his A-frame contact. I was so proud of them for making it into the semis regardless of the outcome. I know both Zip and Dasher have what it takes to hang with the best of the best, that is its own reward! Here are a couple of pictures from the GP semis:
After the day’s runs Dasher’s team was still in 14th place and made the cut into the relay finals. Our whole team was really excited!! We couldn’t wait for Sunday!!
Sunday left only the Grand Prix finals, the DAM Team Relay finals and a European Jumpers class. The Jumpers class was first thing in the morning. Dasher was a bit over the top and my lack of motion caused him to take an off course jump. Zip was having a great run but I hesitated at the chute which caused Zip to earn a refusal. Otherwise Zippy had a great run. The team relay finals were held in the big ring right before the GP finals. There are lots of people in the grandstand and lots of noise. Luckily Dasher was unfazed by the whole thing and he ran like a champ. Unfortunately our other teammates had some faults which bumped us down to 23rd place. We were all still really proud of the dogs and have already decided to team up again for the 2010 finals. Here is the relay run:
Here is one more picture of Dasher and I right before the relay run, he is just too cute!
Needless to say we had an amazing time in Arizona. We were sorry to see it end, but we were also anxious to get home. Brandon left Monday morning via plane and Jennette and I packed up the critters and headed east in the van. The four day trip home was uneventful and we were all happy to sleep in our own beds again.