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CAT USDAA Trial -- October 21- 22, 2006 -- Madera, CA

What can I say about this trip???  The drive is AWFUL - whenever I see terrible, ugly courses at trials, from now on I am going to call them "Highway 99'ers."  ICK.  
That said, the trial itself was great!  The venue was lovely, the show was well run and you could park right next to your set-up The only down side was that it got HOT. 

Day 1 was Grand Prix, Pairs, Gamblers, Standard and Snooker.  Cinder was her usual lovely self and Q'd in everything except Gamblers (which we need darnit!)  She and Max Q’d in Masters Pairs which finished her Relay Championship.  Yay!  I only put Gale in limited classes at this trial to maintain our trend of "Gale happy and weaving at trials."  It worked!!!!  She was LOVELY in her pairs run with Mia and Starlet despite having to do the first VERY technical half of the course (the judge made us run it this way otherwise I was going to make Mia do it!) but she ran fast and clean and I was so proud of her - BEAUTIFUL weaves. 

Mia did some serious training on Star in the ring which cost us the Q but way to hold to your criteria Mia!  Next for Gale was Grand Prix (I am still trying to figure out why I entered in the Championship round...) and it was quite a technical course as well.  You all know that Gale is on "contact rehab" so I figured this was just a run to seriously not care about.

Gale was lovely and fast (a couple serious call offs that I still can't believe she did - her nose was INCHES from the wrong tunnel entrance) - but I was pretty sure her contacts were nowhere in sight so I wasn't that concerned when she dropped the bar of the triple (the last jump after another hideous call off.)  Imagine my surprise when I found out that was Gale's only fault so she earned a Q!  Yippee Skippee Gale!!  Then she went out and laid down a lovely Masters Snooker course (with "happy weaves") and picked up another Q!  Good girlie!!

Patches was good usual.  Pairs -we won't talk about it.  She Q'd in PIII Standard and PIII Snooker but I sent her off course (with authority) in the Perf. National Standard....oh well.

Saturday night - how can Mia and I describe it???  Food was a serious issue (Mia ended up walking all over while I was driving around trying to find a Jack in the Box.)  Finally got food - got back to the hotel and I passed out (on the rock hard beds) at about 9:30pm.  12:30 pm I am abruptly pulled from the sleep by the sound of the train going by the hotel.  Tracks were about 1/2 block from the hotel and the train was doing the horn thing.  OK - I can still go back to sleep right?  WRONG.  That darn train went by every hour - tooting it's horn - so every time I would start to drift off to sleep  "WOOOOO  WOOOOO" and I'd be up again.  Yesterday was a LONG DAY.

Sunday was a shorter day at the trial.  Dogs were good - Cin and I got the gamble (I thought - but we were .3 over time - AUUUGHHHHH.)  She did pick up another Snooker leg and Jumpers leg so that finished both those titles in the Bronze!!  YAY Binder-brain.  Gale was only entered in two classes - Jumpers and Snooker.  She was on-fire!  We had an off-course in Jumpers (she was going so fast I don't care!) and I cued her wrong in the close of Snooker but she was so happy and rocketing around with a big grin on her face - despite doing 2 sets of weaves!  Yay!  Patches happily leaped her dog walk in PIII Standard  but then redeemed herself by running clean in Jumpers (taking 2nd to Mr. Max) and and Snooker which finished her Accomplished Snooker Dog and Accomplished Standard Dog in each of those.  Yay Patch!

The drive home was sheer hell.  We got stuck in three accidents - one of which involved a complete closure of the 5 and a medi-vac helicopter.  All I can say is that it will take A LOT to get me back to Madera.  The drive was the most miserable one ever.  The only good news is that Mia and I discovered that if we could survive this trip together - still laughing by the end - we can survive anything!



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