The place where I train, PBH, is hosting a three-day USDAA trial over Memorial Day Weekend that will feature the first Dog Agility Masters (DAM) team qualifier to be held locally. More exciting is that this is going to draw some of the top USDAA competititors to the trial, including Stuart Mah, who is really amazing to watch (and presumably Pati Mah,who is equally watch-worthy, will be there as well). I believe they will also be competing in the Sept. 8-10 trial at Teamworks in Youngsville, NC.
But the really exciting thing is that I won't just be watching Stuart Mah--he will be leading seminars the week after the PBH trial at Bon-Clyde Learning Center in Sanford, NC. So (for a fee), he will be watching me ... and presumably helping me to improve my handling skills. I sent in my registration yesterday to participate in the Excellent level session with Lucy. If I had more money (and less work--these are weekday seminars) I'd take the Novice level one with Mr. Gomez as well, but instead I'll have to just try to apply what I've learned with Lucy to my handling of Gomey (although handling a great big BC mix is much different that handling a little terrier mix!)
Although I still don't feel at all ready to enter the DAM event at this trial, there will also be a non-qualifying event called Performance Versatility Pairs that's open to all competitors not entered in the DAM qualifier. In the PVP, each individual in the pair competes in four classes of competition – standard, snooker, jumpers, and gamblers. All pairs then compete in a versatility two-dog relay class. One of my training pals, who runs an American foxhound, wanted to participate, so we decided to pair up. Since it's non-qualifying, it will essentially amount to a day of practice runs (at the lower Performance jump heights) for Lucy and me, but it will be a lot of fun.