Monday, October 10, 2016

Keystone AC USDAA

This weekend was a split weekend!   USDAA on Saturday with our training club, and even more exciting was that it was the qualifier event for the IFCS world team.  It was a two ring trial so any time I had some spare time I could go watch some incredible teams running in the qualifying classes, or in regular titling classes.   And Steeplechase was at the end of the day and I had a front row seat running the timer and enjoying the energy of the crowd as well as seeing some talented teams in the ring!   So inspiring!

As for the girls, we started off with Gamblers.   Perri ran first in P1 Gamblers and qualified!   She comes in towards me a bit but then "gets it" and goes off to do the tunnel.   Yay!

Molly got to do Gamblers too!   And leave it to Molly to keep things interesting.   If you watch the video, you can see her stop on the teeter.   And not budge.   I turned back around thinking, "How cute, she's really sticking that teeter contact."   No.   What Molly was doing was staring with big eyes at the loose dog playing fetch in the field beside the training center.   The german short hair pointer chasing a toy.   With nothing but a 2 foot high (if that!) ring gate in between her and the great free outdoors.   And she was highly interested.   And I could have thrown up I was suddenly so horror stricken.   Molly has not left the ring in quite a while, not since AKC last...fall?  I'm not sure.   But here it was going to happen.    And then it didn't.   Incredibly, my dog who loves toys...who is reactive...who has left the ring probably 10 or more times in her agility career made a choice to come run with me.   Our team work was a little shaky and goofy at first, but she came back and ran with me and even did the gamble and qualified.    Wow.   This was most likely my most proud moment with Molly.   Ever.   How far she has come.

Standard was next!   Perri ran first and really had a nice run (and a no questions asked down on the table!), but she ran out a jump and that ate up a few seconds.   And then she popped out of the weave poles coming down to the open door and we had to reset - and then we were 5 seconds over time.   Oh well!   When I loaded Perri back into the weaves she ran them really nicely with speed and enthusiasm, I was very happy with her!   I feel that Perri is consistently showing better attitude in the weaves both in our training and at trials.

Molly was next and there was more distraction from dogs walking outdoors.  On the start line she is very distracted by somebody walking their dog outdoors.    She holds it together but her fuzzy focus showed in running down the dog walk ramp instead of stopping.   Then on the table you can actually see somebody walking their dog by another door, right by the pause table.   Molly did not want to down.   Then when she did she sat up when the judge started counting.   By now she was refocused on me (incredible that she is able to do that!   She would not have been capable perhaps even a year ago!).    Molly did lay down and even rolled onto her hip while the judge did our count down, and then did a really nice job on the rest of the course with decent weaves until she got sneaky and popped right at the end and took the finish jump.   Ugh!   Heartbreaker, we would have qualified.   Oh well, I was pretty happy with the speed in the weaves and I'll blame that on burning off stress, she does things like that when she has just been under conflict.

Next was P2 Snooker for Molly.   I did not love the closing...number 6 was a combo, a jump with a pull to the opposite end of the tunnel.   I made my plan so that I would have enough points and would not need 7 (the weaves!), but that did not help me with the fact that we would probably fault number 6.   And then I watched a more experienced competitor do the fourth red...and it occurred to me....I can just get more points in the opening!   And that is just what we did.   I felt so clever, I snookered Snooker!  That's just the fun of these strategy games, you get to figure out a way to work to your team's advantages.   Molly qualified with 38 points.   (And of course did her weaves, stinker.)

Last run of the day was Perri in P1 Jumpers with a Q!   No video, no crazy moments to report, just happy poodle.  I love love love that USDAA Jumpers does not have weaves!  

This weekend was the first time I felt tempted to try Steeplechase (or, in my case, Performance Speed Jumpers.)   I had previously categorized it in my head as "fancy tournament for competitive people that I don't have a chance with so why bother."   But the purpose of the course is to be a fast moving flowy course that you can really pick up speed running....well, that's my favorite kind to do with Molly!   I think it could be fun, and I sure do love to run fast and open it up with my big girl.   We just need to get those weaves more solid, but I think we are well on our way.  

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