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Four Day AKC Show in Scottsdale - February 27 - March 1, 2004
Kristi's Report

If any of you are interested in heading out of Calfornia to go to a show, I highly recommend the Fiesta Cluster held in Scottsdale, AZ. I was talked into going by a new client (you will hear more about Nancy and Chance!) and decided that 500 miles was worth a 4-day agility show. Despite how I am currently feeling, it was - and I plan to attend next year.

The show site - Westworld - was MARVELOUS except for the hideous parking. You had to park miles (at least it felt that way hauling all my equipment) from the site but once you were set-up - life was good. It was interesting to show at a place where I only knew the judges (Kim Simons, Debbie Carloni and Barbara Lombard.) There were a couple CA folks but only a handful. This was a huge AKC show - agility, obedience and breed - so there was always something to look at (and buy!)

I took Cinder, Patches, Kali and Gale with me on the road. Thank heavens they all travel well - it was a long drive. I have a new dog - Chance (an Aussie - what else?) that I started training about a year ago. Then his owner (Nancy) moved up North - to sum it up, Chance hasn't seen agility equipment in 6 months and his owner wanted me to show him "just because."

He is a breed ring champion (just came back from Westminster) and she thinks he is getting bored with that game so I got talked into heading to AZ for Chance's first show. Kinda scary to step into the ring with a dog you haven't worked with in half a year and that you know has minimal training on him. NOT the way I like to do things but....hey. To sum up the show - I had a couple goals: get a Double Q on both Patches and Cinder, get either an MX or an MXJ on Kali, get Gale's AXJ and, last but not least, get Chance around a course while keeping him happy. I accomplished all of my goals except for the Double Q on Cinder - we couldn't BUY one - she Q'd every day but only in one class. She even won Ex B JWW (and went High Scoring Dog in class) but we couldn't do it twice in a day! Kali got her MX and now only needs one leg for her MXJ. Patches was her usual totally reliable self but she got tired - still, Q'ing 5 out of 8 times in the ring ain't bad! But my stars of the weekend were Gale and Chance.

Gale went out on Friday and ripped up the Ex A JWW course and won the class. One more leg to go for her AXJ! Sat. we had a bar but Sunday she once again ripped around, Q'd and took 2nd and got her title. Now this club offered something really cool - you all know how I like ribbons - High Scoring Dog in Class. They take the 1st place dogs in all jump heights in a class (like Ex A or Novice B) - do some math to even out the heights - and the dog that won by the most - gets a HUGE ribbon. That's the ribbon Cin won on Friday. Well, Gale missed it by 2/10 of a second on Sunday! AAUUGHH! So I left her in Ex A JWW and sure enough, on Monday, she won the class and the big pretty ribbon! What a gal - I even went over to the breed ring photographer and asked them to take a picture of her with all her ribbons.

Chance was another star. This guy is HANDSOME - and fluffy. Looks like he shouldn't have an ounce of intelligence or drive - he is THAT pretty :-) But he does. As I am getting ready to take him out for his first ever run (JWW) his owner informs me that he "has never run a full course or even done more than 3-4 obstacles in a row." Geez - NOT what I wanted to hear. Ya know what? The dog was brilliant. He dropped a bar (A bar, not the TONS of bars I had been fearing) and had a couple refusals but overall I was delighted! I had warned his owner that Chance would NOT qualify at this show - wasn't fair to expect it of him - but that I wanted to make sure he had fun. Apparently he did - so much fun he flew off the teeter in the standard! And then went Best of Breed!

Saturday dawned and Chance and I hit the trial ring again. Different dog! That dog is so smart - he figured out what to do in one day! He won his Nov B JWW class and took High Scoring Dog! His owner (and I) went through the roof, to put it mildly. On Sunday he took 4th place and Q'd in his Standard run - cannot believe the mind on this dog. The last run of the weekend, even though it was non-qualifying - was the best. On Monday, our JWW run was all over the place. Very scattered. So I did not walk into the ring for our standard ring with any hopes at all. He did SO amazing, and ran so much like a big dog, that I even rear-crossed him on the weaves. And he stayed in! We had a flawless run - fast and furious - until the very last jump - a double. A bar came down. But I didn't care at all (well, maybe a little) - he had so far surpassed all expectations....look for us again in the ring sometime soon!

I highly recommend the trial for next year - I left the rain, got the sun (we had a little spatter on Friday and the rest of the weekend was perfect) and a HUGE dog show run really efficiently.

Pets to all heathens.


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