Monday, August 31, 2009

ICF at McCook - August 29 & 30, 2009

I really don't like this facility and have no idea why I keep going back. Granted it's a nice facility but when you get there early enough to get crating space down in the rings and it's already gone because people have "saved" spots for all their friends...let's just say I don't like crating upstairs. The floor is slick and dangerous and some dogs don't like the heights as they can see over the balcony. River totally freaked out when I brought him in, poor kid, and planted himself on his belly, not wanting to move forward. I ended up having to carry him to his crate.

Not a good way to start the weekend off and to add to that I got a migraine Saturday morning and could barely see straight, I haven't had a hot shower since Wednesday morning and my boyfriend is in town trying to get QQ's to qualify for Nationals. We had equipment to deliver and put together so I was a little stressed out and edgy. Ruby had a gorgeous run in Standard and placed 3rd. So a Double Q on the line and we blew it in Jumpers. It was my fault, the course was tight and she took an off-course because I didn't stop & make sure that I got her head; I kept moving forward. After that run someone that I JUST met that day (a couple from Ohio that know my boyfriend) came up and told me what I did wrong...did I ask for their opinion??? Do I pay them for lessons and/or train with them??? NO!

Sunday we had another nice run in Standard and she placed 4th. Tee up for Jumpers...very near the end of the run, and of course after all the hard parts, she came flying out of the tunnel and over a jump and kept going...partly due to her big stride. I had turned and called her and was almost two jumps away heading toward the finish, she just didn't read it or read it late and missed the jump completely. I was really annoyed with her and as I went to get her leash on said, "Ruby, you're a real jerk!" Apparently that makes me a bad sport and "someone needs to talk to me about the way I treat my dog..." Whatever. She still got her treats and her GoDog! she just didn't get her special Q treat. She didn't get punished, hit, kicked or anything else. We went home later and she & I snuggled up for a nap like always after a trial.

I always cheer everyone on and I worked my ass off on Saturday. I chute straightened for the 8" & 12" class and scribed for the 20" STD class. Made sure that the club knew that a friend was running for her MACH; they didn't have anything ready. And not to mention that I cheer everyone on no matter how bad their runs are. Sometimes people need to take a good hard look at themselves before they pass judgement. Honestly, if I was really mean to my dog, a soft vizsla, she would never run for me nor would she be as fast as she is or the top agility dog. Every once in a while people just have bad days.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The End of Wild Weavers???...and the Judge that Made My List

First I do want to start by saying that when the Wild Weavers equipment trailer was stolen Friday before the trial, I felt bad for them. I also felt bad for them that the Buckeye Equestrian Center changed the surface at this trial location and it wasn't up to par (3 to 4 inches of very loose sand/dirt mix). The incidents that happened at the trial were very bad judgement calls made by an AKC judge in regards to equipment safety and not taking the surface into consideration. To add salt to the wound she made a very inappropriate comment to all of us at the briefing for the RAD demo. She's made my list as a judge I will never trial under again. It would have been a better decision to cancel the trial altogether as they thought they'd originally have to do.

Even with all the problems Ruby ran her heart out, qualifying 3 out of 4 times. The problem with the equipment was what caused her to NQ on our very first run. Someone had the brilliant idea to put tape on the teeter (it was a USDAA teeter and has shorter contact zones) after the 16" class ran. I didn't watch many of the 20" dogs but right before we were to walk I noticed some odd obstacle performance on the teeter; the dogs looked like they were very surprised when the teeter fell out underneath them and the judge called them for fly-offs.

After the walk-thru our class started and dog after dog flew off (fell off) the teeter and I remember telling a friend that I didn't feel comfortable with it. We ran the course cleanly until the teeter, I told Ruby "easy" but she still took the teeter full speed, not slowing at all for the drop. Later Susan Crank said that she thought that the tape made the teeter look like the DW to a lot of dogs, the tape resembling the slats. Really uncool of the club to allow this and after the Excellent class finished they took the teeter off the course to paint new contact zones on it. I hardly think that was fair to the 20" and 24" Excellent dogs. Only four dogs in our class ended up qualifying and two just made time.

My issue was the judge did nothing about the obvious problem with the teeter. 9 out of 10 dogs got called for teeter fly-offs & she does NOTHING. Then in the RAD briefing she's telling us there's no 4 paw safety rule. If your dog jumps off before the teeter tips past horizontal you can re-attempt it. She then says it's a good thing 'cuz some of you need to work on that. WHAT!?!?! @#$%^&*! A LONG, hot day and I should've scratched her but we ran it anyway and she took an obvious off-course. No big deal as it didn't count for anything. Then we debated about coming back and running on Sunday as the club promised to roll and wet the surface down. Ruby placed 2nd in JWW; a nice course which would have been a lot more fun to run on a different surface.

Sunday: Ruby ran as best she could on the surface which was only marginally better but it was wet and heavy instead of just loose. She placed 1st in STD and 3rd in JWW. Here's the kicker: We got 1 - ONE - MACH point in JWW and the surface in that ring was worse. The other judge (not the one on my sh*t list) said that he had trouble wheeling the course, that the wheel wouldn't turn in the sand. I'll bet that's what happened to the stupid woman judge but she either didn't notice or didn't care to do anything about it. There is NO WAY that course was 139 yards (which made SCT 37 seconds). Too bad I didn't have my pedometer with me...

I had made an appointment for Ruby to get adjusted on Tuesday after the trial. I don't know why but I had this feeling that the surface would be horrible and I was right. I just remember the 2008 Kewanee trial and how it took two adjustments to get her right.

Update: Dr. Herlihy said most of her adjustments were routine maintenance. The ones that puzzled her were a very tender and tight shoulder muscle strain that made it hard to adjust her right shoulder, which was out. Her elbow was also out and that’s never been an issue. She thought that the pulled shoulder muscle was due to pulling her front legs up out of heavy sand to lift for jumping. Since the elbow was a new thing she said she would blame that on the sand as well though I'd have to say she probably jammed it when she flew/fell off the teeter. Poor Ruby. =(

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New AKC Agility Class - Run and Done (RAD)

Run and Done


The goal of this class is to present a fun and flowing run. It is a single course open to all dogs. This is a hybrid class; a combination of the Standard and JWW classes.
Seventeen to nineteen obstacles will be used on the course. A combination of contacts (excluding the dog-walk) and weave poles equaling three will be required. At least one contact and one set of 12 weave poles will make up this combination. One set of 12 weave poles or one contact may be taken twice to meet this requirement. Only one spread jump can be used, but it may be used twice to encourage flow in the course design. One to two open tunnels can be used on course but may only be taken a maximum of two times. Tunnels are optional. The rest of the obstacles are bar jumps, single bar jumps and the tire. Jumps need to be at least 50% winged. No dog-walk, table, chute, panel jumps or dummy tunnels will be allowed. The minimum useable course area must be at least 7,000 square feet.
Scoring: The course must be completed within 55 seconds for the 20, 24 & 26 inch heights, 60 seconds for 16 inch height and 65 seconds for 8 & 12 inch dogs (might be too much time for some heights, but testing will help verify). Add 3 seconds for each height in the Preferred class. No wrong course faults will be allowed. A wrong course will result in an NQ. No refusals/run-outs will be called. Dogs will have three (3) chances to complete the weave poles, after that the dog must go onto the next obstacle and will receive an NQ for the run. If the weave pole sequence is broken before the weaves are completed, the weaves will need to be restarted at the first weave pole. Mandatory Eliminations (Failures) and Excusals will apply. Recording time: Round down if it is .499 of a second and if it is.500 of a second round up. Example: a time 33.499 seconds will be recorded as 33.00 seconds, and a time of 33.500 seconds will be recorded as 34.00 seconds.

Course design should encourage a smooth flow. Only three turns of 180 degrees on a course will allowed. All spacing of obstacles must meet the requirements of a Standard AKC course.

Overall challenge level will be a minimum of 5 challenges and minimum 3 side switches.

To earn a RAD title a dog will need 15 Qs and one hundred points (Points and Qs may change after data has been reviewed). Points are awarded as follows: First place dog will earn 10 points, all dogs under SCT* and within 10% of the time of the first place dog will get 9 points, 20% will earn 8 points and so on all the way down to 10% and less will earn 1 point. Points and Qs start over after each title is earned with multiplier titles indicated by number following RAD, i.e. RAD2, RAD3 etc. The following chart is an example that illustrates the points that would be earned for the 16 inch jump height with first place dog having a time of 30 seconds.


*Note: Points are only available for dogs that run at or under SCT. It may be that lower points are not available with mathematical increments of 10% over time until SCT is reached. If in the 16″ example above, the winning time was 40 seconds, then 5 points would be lowest point total available (from 56-60 seconds).

Since spacing of obstacles must meet the requirements of a Standard AKC course the course will not have to be measured by the judge.


Run and Done

Judges briefing:

RAD is a hybrid course, a combination of Standard and JWW’s classes. One course will be open to all levels in AKC agility. Fast, fun and flowing courses are key elements in this class.

Judging; Dogs will be judged by jump height not by class.

Refusals, There will be no refusals or run-outs (R) in RAD.

Wrong courses will be called and will result in a non-qualifying score (NQ). The hand signal for the wrong course will be an open hand as it is in the Standard and JWW’s classes.

Weave poles need to be completed in three (3) attempts or less, or a failure to perform fault (F) will be called. An attempt is when all four of the dog’s paws cross between the first and second weave pole. If the weave pole sequence is broken (skipping a pole) before the dog completes the weave poles the dog must start the weave poles over at the first pole.

Mandatory Eliminations and Excusals will apply In RAD as they do in the Standard and JWW’s classes.

Time: The course must be completed within 55 seconds for the 20, 24 & 26 inch heights, 60 seconds for 16 inch height and 65 seconds for 8 & 12 inch. These times are both the standard course times and the maximum course times for RAD. These times may change as the data is collected and analyzed.

*Note: during the first stage of RAD both the 12 inch and the 20 inch dog’s path needs to be wheeled and recorded on the spread sheet provided.

This new AKC Agility Class focuses on speed and trial runs are being held across the country. Ruby and I may give it a try this weekend. :D

Friday, August 7, 2009

AKC Agility Invitational 2009

Validation for all of our hard work and that my dog is amazing ~ though I already knew that. I love you Ruby! =)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

July 24 - 26, 2009 ~ GLBTC/GRCI Agility Trial

A big three day trial at a really nice facility ~ woo-hoo! The pups and I spent Thursday night at Kris' house 'cuz she is really mean and made me get up early on Friday to help unload equipment. ;^) LOL!

Friday didn't start off too well. We got called on the Aframe in Standard. I thought she got a foot in but I can't even tell for sure on the video. A Q in JWW and a Q & 3rd place in EXC A FAST. One more leg for her XF title! =)

Saturday we had a repeat in STD; this time I know she missed her Aframe contact; she didn't clear the apex right as she was moving way too slowly on the approach. I've been working more rear crosses into my handling as I need to work on the timing and placement of them (I think River will need me to use rear crosses with him a lot more than front crosses). Ruby's used to me front crossing 95% of the time so she was a little on the slow side in JWW this weekend as well. Poor Ruby, the first dog has to deal with my screw ups and experiments! =( Anyway that NQ in STD really sucked because it was such a tough course that only 4 slow dogs qualified in my height class. Ggrrrrr!!! Another nice run in JWW and she placed 3rd.

Sunday - we had a perfect Aframe!!! And she Q'd!!! And it was a really hard course so she placed 2nd!!! Yea, Ruby!!! Another Q in JWW brings us to QQ #4 for MACH2. She really was a very good girl all weekend, missed Aframe and all. Somehow I don't think that was her fault and may have been the rubberized contacts combined with the artificial turf and me making her slow with the rear crosses. =)