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CAYUCOS CUP - August 18 - 20, 2006 - ASCA Stockdog & Agility Trial

This is another of my “must attend” trials – and it is even more fun now that agility has been added! I had a very full slate – my cattle and duck runs with Cinder were on Friday, then one sheep run and 25 (yes, that’s right, it’s not a typo – 25) agility runs on Saturday and then on Sunday, a nice easy day with Cin with just sheep, duck and cattle runs. The weekend was a smashing success (in more ways than one) but I will just briefly summarize or we would be here all day.

Our cattle run on Friday was a disaster. Cinder came out super hot-to-trot and proceeded to run the cattle all over the place. By the time I got her calmed down, the cattle were mildly hysterical. NOT our best run and I knew it would (hopefully) be the worst score of the weekend for us. Our duck run was lovely – guess she got all her ya-ya’s out on the cattle. She was very smooth and responsive and I am quite pleased with the little blue dog.

Saturday was interesting. The agility classes offered were 1 round of Gamblers, 2 rounds of Standard and 2 rounds of Jumpers. I was trialing Cinder, Gale, Kane, Chance and Patches. Kali had hurt herself so she got pulled (which was a shame, the courses were a blast!) Our judge was Ally Bryant (from Georgia) who I just adore and it was wonderful to see her again (although she did do something evil to me – more on that later!)

Gamblers was interesting – the only one of my dogs who did the gamble was Cinder (of course) although I think Gale would have done it if I hadn’t stepped on her right before the gamble started. I used the class to tune up contacts – especially on Chance and Kane (my Novice dogs) so I felt it was a success overall!
All the standard runs were a blast! Every single dog qualified – although Cin dropped a bar in one for a dirty Q but still…all 5 dogs Q’d each time! Yippee! Chancie was BLAZING and finished up his Novice Std title with a 1st and a 2nd – and that’s with seriously holding his contacts! Kane also finished up his RS-N with placements. Let’s hear it for the baby dogs! Gale did all her contacts and weaves, Patches was looking for her mama but with many a frantic call, I got her through the course with two 1st place finishes! The dogs rocked!

Meanwhile, in the middle of all this, I had to do a rapid-fire change of clothing (from running shoes and shorts to jeans and boots) and do my sheep run with Cinder. The best of the best were at this trial so I knew Cinder and I had to lay down a picture-perfect run. The drive to the first panel was amazing – then we had the best cross drive we have had in a while – and then, CRITICAL HANDLER ERROR!!! AUUUGGGHHH!!!! Cinder was being perfect and I completely blew it. I sent her too soon for the 2nd panel and we missed it! It was a serious error and blew the run for us. Despite that she still got a 109 so I shudder to think what our score would have been if I had just waited two seconds longer! Oh well…them’s the breaks I guess.

Another rapid fire change and back to the agility. Jumpers is always my favorite class but I was super busy for Elite Jumpers. I had three dogs running and we ran both the Jumpers rounds back to back. Cinder and Gale were flawless in ALL their runs (they both Q’d both times, Cin won both times and Gale picked up a 2nd and 3rd.) Patches was another story – she spent so much time looking for her mother in round 1 that she was over time. She redeemed herself in the second round by not only Q’ing, but also finishing in 2nd place. Good girlie. Now here comes the part where the judge was evil to me. I had just finished running Gale in the 2nd round (this is right after running Cinder 3 dogs earlier and Patches about 4 dogs before that) and I was bent over the finish line, gaping for breath. (And remember that was run #21 of the day for me.) Ally looks at me, completely straight faced and says “Sorry – the timer didn’t work, you are going to have run that course again.” Apparently the look on my face was fairly entertaining but thank heavens she was just messing with me! I am still planning my revenge….

Now came the boys. Round 1 of Open Jumpers was a blast! Chance was SO FAST and got his 1st Open Jumpers leg! Yay Chancie. Kane was lovely and has certainly kicked it up a gear in terms of speed. Unfortunately, that meant I could not beat him out of a straight tunnel to the last jump and he ran around it  My last two runs of the day were Open Jumpers Round 2 with the guys. Chance was blistering and I made another critical handler error. Like I said, Chance was running so fast and like a “big dog” (i.e. trained….) that I just instinctually did a handler maneuver with him that I would do with Cinder or Gale. Only problem is that poor Chance has no idea what that particular move means: next think I know I am on the ground. I landed hand first on the metal jump and while everyone was asking if I was ok, I was just thinking “I am not sure yet. The agonizing pain in my hand might be masking something else.” Poor Chancie was SO worried about me as I curled up on the ground. I can’t remember the last time I crashed at an agility trial – it is NOT pleasant! I managed to get up, reassure Chancie and wobble off the course. Everything seemed to be in working order except my right hand. But I had Kane to run in 4 more dogs. So I sucked it up, got Kane out and Kane got his first Open Jumpers leg! What a good boy!

Overall the trial was AWESOME – I am especially proud of my boys though. Kane was lovely (although with the increase in speed, his contacts are deteriorating) and Chance was simply awe-inspiring. That dog is so darn fast and so smart. With minimal training, he always gives me 110% with a big grin on his face. I can hardly wait for the next show – although I will train that particular handling maneuver before I do it in a trial again


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