Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Standard Q, another Super Q, and more video

Monday was a good day at the USDAA trial. We started the day with a really awesome Standard run--clean and well under time. I never seem to get these kinds of runs on video; I end up getting to see my embarrassing mistakes but not my triumphs. I would love to see if this one looked as good as it felt. I got lots of "Great Run!" comments from fellow competitors afterward, so my guess is it looked pretty good. This leaves us lacking only those two darn Gamblers Qs for the ADCH.

Our Pairs run went really well, except that Lucy leapt the dogwalk contact. The score sheet showed another five faults, but I don't know what they were or which of us was responsible. I don't really care, though. It was a fun run and I don't really need the Q for anything.

We went on to get yet another Snooker Super Q. I wasn't actually trying for it, and in fact I was hoping my friend Barb would get it, but it so happened that the easiest path through this course was a 1-7/1-7/1-7 opening, and all of the 16" and 12" teams did the same thing. Lucy and I just went a tiny bit faster, and we made it all the way through the closing (by a nose!) while everyone else got the horn part way through #7. It's funny that when I first started USDAA, Snooker always filled me with dread, probably because I didn't really understand the strategy. Now I love it, and several of the Starters handlers I train with it have actually come up to me saying something like "I hear you're a Snooker expert, and I need help planning my course." That makes me chuckle because they obviously haven't seen all the Snooker runs where we got whistled off after the third or fourth obstacle.

No one would ever confuse me with a Gamblers expert, but I think I need to become one if Lucy and I are going to finish the ADCH before she's too old to run Championship. I'm already getting concerned that she can't do quite as much agility in a day as she did just a year ago, and in fact I didn't enter the tournament events this weekend just because I wanted to limit her runs. On Monday after our third run she seemed a little stiff, slow and tired, so I decided to pull her from Jumpers. I figured I'd feel horrible if I let her get injured for a Q I don't particularly need.

Tomorrow we're going to get checked out at VetHab (it was supposed to be last week but then I had a work conflict with the appointment), and I'm hoping he says she's in fabulous shape for a 10-year-old sport dog. I still plan to start taking it easier with her at trials, and I'll probably move her to Performance after getting the ADCH just for the lower jump heights.

And speaking of getting whistled off Snooker courses, here's a video of a run with Mr. Gomez last December in which nothing really went the way I planned. In the opening, he ended up taking a jump that was part of #6 when I wanted him to take a tunnel that was part of #7. I was able to salvage that and get him over the other part of #6, but then I was out of position and had to sort of make up a new strategy as I went along. Then in the closing he decided to take the #7 tunnel instead of the correct #6 jump. D'oh!

Mr. Gomez USDAA Advanced Snooker Dec. 2007 from bunchofpants on Vimeo.


Elayne said...

I've been cutting down on Cody's classes (he'll be 10 in July) and it makes a difference for him. Jumpers and Steeplechase are particularly strenuous for him, esp. if he's got 4-5 classes in a day so I limit him to 3 1/2 max. (pairs being the 1/2). I wish I could move Cody to a lower jump height for the classes we don't need for the CH title but he's already in Perf. so he's stuck jumping over his shoulder height as a vet. My only option is to limit classes and once/if he gets that Perf. ADCH I'll probably retire him from USDAA.

Lucy looks pretty good for a 10 year old though, gotta love those scrappy mutts.

Lisa B. said...

Yeah, I think limiting the classes is the way to go for now. I just have a hard time deciding what not to enter. I think I may start skipping Standard, because she usually seems to really like Jumpers, and I really like Snooker ... and of course I need those darn Gamblers legs!. I'll probably also skip Pairs, although I feel sort of a responsibility to enter because there usually aren't a lot of small dogs entered and I don't want someone to go without a partner.

Little dogs often hold up a bit better than big dogs, and I think if I'm careful we will still have a few good years of agility left. that's why I won't hesitate to pull her if I think she's had enough.