I have been slacking off a bit on my blog entries. I hate to try and make excuses as to why I haven’t been posting so I will just apologize for slacking off and catch everyone up on what’s been going on. I am really only apologizing to myself since I am pretty confident that no one else reads my blog anyway!
On June 2, Jeannette and I hit the road again. This time we headed down south to Perry, Georgia for the USDAA South East Regional competition hosted by Canine Capers Agility Club. I had never been down to Perry so I was really looking forward to it. I had already been forewarned about the heat and severe thunderstorms but since we were showing inside in an air conditioned building I felt we would be fine. The show was primarily tournament classes so I decided to
leave Zorro home with Brandon so I could concentrate on Dasher and Zip. If we do well at a regional competition we can earn byes into the semi-finals at USDAA
Nationals. My goal for the weekend was to hopefully earn byes into the semi-finals at USDAA Nationals for Steeplechase and Grand Prix for both Dasher and Zip as well as get Dasher his last needed Grand Prix Q for Nationals. We were also competing in the Dog Agility Masters Team competition. While we did not need the team Q, we were hoping to be competitive. Dasher’s 3 dog team consisted of Jeannette’s JRT, Surge and Janneke Case and her Sheltie, Binkie. Zip’s team consisted of Jeannette’s border collie, Rumble and Susan Gross with her poodle, Radar. The competition was held at the Georgia State Fairgrounds. It was a beautiful facility with lots of grass for exercising the dogs and best of all several lakes for swimming. Dasher was in heaven!! I could not get near the lakes without Dasher losing control and trying to drag me over. I swear I think he would have spent all 3 days in the water if I let him.
Friday consisted of all team classes except for relay. Both Dasher and Zip did great. I made a few handling mistakes with Dasher which caused an off course in Jumpers and a rail down in Snooker. Dasher did great in Gamblers earning a 5th place and a 4th place in Standard. Zippy was a superstar all day, he ended up in 1st place in Jumpers, Snooker and Gamblers and 2nd place in Standard. I was so proud of him!! Zip was 1st place 12″ dog individually for the entire team competition, what a SUPERSTAR!! Zip’s other team mates put in great runs as well, so much so that going into the team relay finals Zip’s team was in 2nd place!! Dasher’s team was not doing great, Dasher had the E in jumpers and Binkie had an E in standard. We were about 10 teams below the cut off going into relay. Here are a Dasher and Zip’s team Gambler runs from Friday.
Saturday’s competition started with the team relay finals. They ran the teams in catalog order so Zip’s team ran early,
Zip and I had a refusal at the tunnel and Rumble had a bar down. The 3rd place team was far enough behind us that we were pretty much assured 2nd place. Dasher’s team also ran early on and Dasher ran clean and Binkie and Surge only had one rail down. The 1st place team was the last team to run since they would determine the final cut off for the other teams. The first 2 dogs on the team ran clean, the 3rd dog was also having a great run, as the dog cleared the 2nd to the last jump the handler became confusedand thought she was done. As her teammates tried to tell her she forgot the last jump she realized her mistake and called her dog. Unfortunately her dog came back to her but took the last jump in the wrong direction! This error moved them to 9th place and moved us into 1st!!! I was speechless!! Jeannette could not believe it when I told her as she did not know the last team running was the 1st place team.
Later in the day we ran Steeplechase and Grand Prix. I made mistakes with both Zip and Dasher in Steeplechase which caused us not to make it into the semi-finals the next day. I also made mistakes with both boys in Grand Prix. Looking back I feel I was not handling my best and had reverted back to my old habits of not trusting my dogs. Clearly my mental game was not present for Steeplechase and Grand Prix. Luckily both Zip and Dasher had Grand Prix byes into the finals on Sunday so there was still a chance to earn byes into the semi-finals at Nationals.
On Sunday the only runs we had were Grand Prix finals. Dasher had a great run but had a rail down at the double. Even though this meant no bye for us, I was really happy with the run, I felt like I was handling much better and was not letting down my dogs. Zippy had a great run. The course required me to leave him at the A-Frame in order to get down the line a bit. The thought crossed my mind that he may blow his contact when he saw me take off but he was a good boy and got in the yellow. Zip’s run was good enough for 2nd place and a bye into the semi-finals at Nationals!! YAY!!
Sunday afternoon we packed up the pups and headed north. We had a smooth ride home and the dogs slept all the way. Even though we came home with just one bye, I had a great time. The courses were challenging but fun and it was great hanging out with our friends who also made the drive south. If you asked Dasher and Zip I am sure they would say the best part of the weekend was swimming in the lake!!