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Contact Point - USDAA Agility Trial
March 2 - 3, 2007

Well, while I will try to brief - a lot happened these last three days!

Friday was the team events - I REALLY, REALLY wanted to get all my dogs qualified to avoid going to Dixon.  So - my Perf. Teams were Cinder and Max and then Elvis and Patches.  Max and Cinder were actually sitting in 3rd place before the Team Relay but Max decided to go off course and that knocked us down to #9. Patches and Elvis finished up in 8th overall and we got the Q’s. That was the important thing!

Gale's team had some issues right before the trial and bless Kate M. for pulling our ass out of the wind!  She graciously offered to run Baxter (a Corgi) and thanks to her, Gale, Starlet and Baxter (aka Road Kill) finished 7th overall!  Gale was LOVELY and never stepped a foot wrong (well, maybe one bar) all day!  Good girlie.


Saturday was MISERABLE.  Not only was it hot, there were gale force winds (no pun intended.)  At one point, Cinder and I sat on the line for PIII Jumpers for 5 minutes while I huddled over her and wind knocked all the bars down on course.  The only reason the jumps didn't go over was because they were staked down.  It was awful.  Despite the horrific conditions, my dogs were amazing.  Cin Q'd in EVERYTHING - even Masters Gamblers!!! and made the cut for Perf. Jumpers Standard (the Perf. equivalent of Steeplechase.)  She took 1st in PIII Std, 2nd in PIII Jumpers (Scout tromped our ass), 2nd in Masters Pairs with Max, Q'd in Mast. Gamblers and ended up ranked 3rd for PJS.  What a good girlie!

Gale had an up-and-down kind of day.  She Q'd in Masters Pairs with Kate and Quick (who looked great) and picked up another Masters Jumpers leg.  She was VERY unhappy in Standard (red little eyes from all the dust) so I pulled her from Steeplechase to give her a break.  Patches was her usual self - Q'd in PIII Pairs (with a 2nd) with Angel and Sue Eastman and took 4th in PIII Jumpers.  She dropped a bar in her standard run (did I mention that the footing was soft?) and because of me, missed the cut for the PJS.  Sigh.

They were starting to run Snooker really late on Sat and it was a very confusing Snooker.  Mia and I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and scratched all our dogs and came home.

It was REALLY hard to wake up on Sunday morning.  My dogs looked at me like I was insane.  Thank heavens the winds weren't nearly as bad but I am still getting dirt out of my teeth.  And I don't even want to think about cleaning all my stuff and my van...

The dogs were super tired - this was a horrifically long, difficult show.  The day started with Grand Prix - the most important class for Cinder since she still needed one leg to be qualified for Nationals in Performance.  She was lovely and not only q'd but took 2nd place - whew!  Patches also Q'd and I hadn't entered Gale since she is already qualified.  Standard was, for me, a disaster with all three of the dogs.  I could not do anything right:  my timing was off, my positioning was off, and I kept getting lost on course.  Let's chat no more about standard ok?

Oh - in the middle of all this showing - Sizzle got to go work the sheep every day which did not make Gale very happy :-)  But Sizzle had a lovely time - worked sheep, swam in the river - and Richard Todd took a bunch of pics of her working stock so I may have to shell out major bucks in the near future!

Snooker was the big class for me - Gale needs Super Q's.  It's a rotten position to be in if your dog is steady but not super fast and you live in California with a million fast border collies in your jump height.  But Tom Kula's Snooker's are usually lots of fun (even if you have to think too much.)  I worked out a plan with all 7's (that involved LOTS of jumps and tunnels) and was very thankful Performance was running first.  I planned on running Cinder on this course to "test drive" it and see if Gale would have enough time.  I walk to the line with Cinder, start out, she goes jump - - tunnel -- TWEET with an off course jump.  We got all of one point.  So the next dog I had to run was Patches - the "Old Lady."  Since I really needed to see if Gale could do this course, Patches ran the all sevens course.  That old dog can still move - she not only did it, she finished the whole course and won the class!  Yay Patches!  I watched Championship Snooker for a while before Gale was up and quickly realized that I didn't have to do all 7's to get a Super Q.  Gale did 2 sevens and a 4 and finished the course.  As I was leaving, I asked what her time was:  she was 8 seconds under time - she could have easily done all sevens!  But, since most people were just going for a Q (they were tired) it was good enough to not only get her a Super Q - she took 2nd place!  Only 1 more SQ to go!!!

Cinder made the cut for PJS - and she was lovely.  We had one refusal at a jump (I cued too soon and she listened REALLY well) and then, when she tried to dig in and turn, the ground gave out from under her and she face-planted.  Despite all that, she ended up in 2nd place and won a whopping $15

Jumpers was the last class of the day - and I really wanted Gale to run clean for her 10th Jumpers leg.  Cinder was SO tired she wouldn't even take food.  I asked Mia to watch her go over a practice jump to see if she was ok and she was, just exhausted.  She loped around the course (literally) but still won the class.  Good girl.  Patch came out flying and ended up in 4th place (I think) and Gale Q'd!  That's her Jumpers Championship!!! 

So - to sum up - the show was a huge success from a Q point of view - (Cinder ran clean in 12 out of 15 classes; Gale was 9 for 12 and Patch was 9 for 14) I am having a difficult time wanting to this again.  The dirt, heat and wind was horrible - and I just really prefer grass to run my dogs on.

We are all taking a LONG break from agility right now.

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