Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Contact Sports Agility - USDAA - April 25 & 26, 2009

Weird weekend for us. I had company this weekend that may have thrown Ruby off slightly and the weather was just gross and cold. Other than that it was a blast and all my favorite people were at this trial. =)

Ruby went 8 for 10 and had six of those runs on Saturday. She did start getting freaked out again by all the whistles and buzzers during the games but came around during the Standard and Jumpers classes to be more like her usual self and not so slow and worried.

We finished her Starters Jumpers (3rd and 1st Places), Starters Snooker (1st place) and Starters Pairs titles this weekend. She also had clean runs in Round One of Steeplechase ~ but was slow and choking on a Liver Lady treat right before we went into the ring. Oops! though she picked it up at the end ~ and Grand Prix, which was a tough course. She also picked up her first Advanced Gamblers and Advanced Standard Q's taking 2nd Place in both.

I may have to try USDAA outside again where the sounds aren't going to echo as much and see if that helps keep her more motivated during the games. She did great last September in Wilmot so maybe we'll try that one again.

Paw Power Blues - Merrillville, IN - April 18 & 19, 2009

We finally got some nice weather leading up to this trial. Unfortunately, it made it very warm and humid inside the facility on Friday when we unloaded the equipment. It carried over into Saturday and they finally turned the air on for Sunday.

Ruby ran very well at this trial; our goal was just to break our NQ curse at this facility. We had some close runs last year but no Q's. Last year I was a little emotionally distraught, however this year was quite the opposite. Ruby was fast and happy and so was I. =)

Saturday we just had one tiny problem in each run. In STD I pulled her out of the weaves by getting way too far ahead of her and crossing, it was almost like I was running backwards. I can't blame her for that one. In JWW she dropped a bar - she NEVER drops bars - and looking at the video she just took off WAY too early for the jump.

Sunday we had two nice runs and Ruby smoked the STD course! She placed 3rd and ran it 24 seconds under SCT at 4.55 YPS! JWW was another fun course and she was clean for QQ #15. We're getting close and have a bunch of AKC trials coming up in May. I can't wait! =)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Glen Carbon - GSLAC - April 11 & 12, 2008

After getting my car repaired last Friday morning, the pups and I headed down to Glen Carbon for two days of a three-day trial. I met up with Tammy and she and I grabbed dinner at Zapatas, a Mexican Restaurant right near the hotel. I highly recommend it if you're ever in the area. Really good food and they have different things on the menu. Nancy also joined us and most of our conversation turned to Vizsla talk and breeding and bloodlines; what we like, what we don't like, etc. It's really cool listening to them and I'm learning a lot. No snipe-y heads or gay tails! Yuck!

This trial was indoors at a soccer facility on turf. Ruby hasn't run on turf for over a month so I thought it would be interesting to see how she adjusted. The turf also wasn't like the turf we normally run on. This was a very tight AstroTurf instead of the longer plastic faux grass with the black rubber beads. She did seem a little hesitant on our first run on Saturday which was Standard. I read the running order wrong at the gate and almost missed our run (turns out there was another Ruby toward the end of the 24" dogs which I thought was us ~ oops!). It wasn't a tough course to remember but it was tight in some spots. Not a big deal but she had a slight bobble as she misread a front cross and ran with me right by the aframe instead of taking it.

The rest of the course she ran beautifully even getting a tight turn off a jump to the table. Most dogs went straight for the DW as the jump faced it and their handlers tried sloppy, backing up front crosses but I just hung back and indicated a jump/wrap to the table. I made sure she hit the yellow on the DW as it was a similar set-up as the Challengers Round at Nationals (DW/jump to finish) that got a lot of dogs blowing their contacts. I won't mention who got away with the blatant bad call that Sherry Porter made in the 24" class that day. This dog jumped clear over the yellow, not even a toe on the red line and she didn't call it. She just stared and it looked like she thought about it but her hands never went up! The dog ended up winning the class. Not good...if you're going to set up that kind of challenge in your course design you better get your A-- there to judge it!

We then had a nice, big running JWW course by Blair Kelly. He's a really nice but tough judge and likes to analyse the results on his courses. I've heard he's a mathematician or something. Ruby did really well and had adjusted to the turf though I have to work on where I set her up as we had a slow start off the line. It was a tunnel start and I could have/should have set her up further back but she's been acting up on the start line these last few trials; not sitting where I tell her, throwing her body around and barking at me. She's nuts! She placed 4th in JWW.

Saturday night the three of us went out for dinner again and Whitney joined us for sushi at Nori in Edwardsville. Good stuff and I'm glad she came out with us. It was a lot of fun! =)

Sunday was another good day with lots of straight lines on both courses. If you couldn't get there, you were in trouble. Ruby placed 2nd in Standard and 3rd in JWW for QQ Number 14. Now we just need a couple of good weekends...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NAC - Concord, NC - March 27 - 29, 2009

Nationals!!!!!!!!! Wow! All I can say is it was very exciting to be a part of such a great group of dogs and handlers. It was a great facility and the surface, though interesting, red North Carolina clay, the dogs seemed to love it! Ruby did very well at her first National event and I couldn't be more proud of her.

On Friday for State Team competition she was 11th overall in the 24" division after Round 1. In Round 2 she had a wrong course that was my fault as I was pushing her a bit for speed. Patience...but the rest of her run was lovely. :-)

For the National Agility Championships on Saturday and Sunday, of the three vizslas competing she had the fastest time in Round 1 (Standard) and Round 3 (Hybrid) and posted the 2nd fastest time in Round 2 (Jumpers) because she had some wide turns. As she missed her contact on the DW in Round 1 (that's a fault and it cost us 18 points) she ended up 49th out of 123 dogs in the 24" jump height.

It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun! I can't wait until next year. I'll put up a link to the video...if I ever get it from BowWow Video...

And here it is: