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West Valley Dog Sports USDAA Trial - February 25-26, 2006

The girls and I had an AMAZING weekend at this trial.  I was showing Cinder and Patches (Gale is on rehab for a soft tissue injury – my fault for letting her scream around a rocky river bed) and for the first time in years, I had a really relaxed USDAA trial with no conflicts! 

This is a huge trial and I went to the show with a couple of goals.  The first was to get Cinder and Patches one leg towards their Grand Prix qualifications for this year’s Nationals and also get Cinder qualified in the Steeplechase.  Second set of goals was to try and finish Cin’s ADCH – she needs one Masters Gamblers and one Super Q in Masters Snooker.  So…onto the trial!

First run of the day was Masters Standard on Saturday.  Mia and I had decided to just get up super early (3am) and drive down that morning. 

It made for a looooong day.  Patches was running super fast and having a great time in her PIII Standard run – she was having so much fun that she launched her dog walk. She didn’t just miss by a little:  she gleefully leapt off about ¾ of the way up!  At least the old girl is feeling good!  Cinder came out and had a lovely run – finished up 4th overall.  Her contacts were super and she was incredibly responsive.  The Jumpers course was icky – there is no other way to describe it.  But both girls were lovely and Patches took 4th and Q’d in PIII Jumpers while Cin also took 4th and Q’d in Masters Jumpers.  Yay girls!  Gamblers...sigh…the Gamble was actually doable for Cinder if her mother (meaning me) wasn’t such a moron.  I got that frantic, high pitched tone of voice going so of course Cinder got worried, which meant she came into me, as I am screeching “Out! Out!” and she kept coming closer because I was being a freak.  Poor dog.  I MUST get better at Gamblers for her sake J The first round of Steeplechase was LOVELY – she qualified for the second round and got one of our goals accomplished.  Yay!

Sunday was another fantastic day.  Round Two of the Steeplechase was our first class.  Initially, I planned on doing a training run with Cinder – not going for broke.  Then I decided “What the heck” and planned a course that really required Cinder to be honest and not only pick up some jumps but keep her bars up with me tearing off ahead of her.  I have the world’s best dog.  She SCREAMED around the course, corrected her own angles of approach and had one of the prettiest runs we have ever had together.  She also WON THE STEEPLECHASE!!!!!  Yay Cinder!  She beat some really quality dogs and earned $116 for the win.  I am so proud of Cin I can hardly stand myself!

Immediately after our Steeplechase win, Cin went into the Standard ring, ran clean, and earned her SACH (Standard Agility Champion.)  Patches had a lovely PIII Standard run going until I crammed her at the weaves which put her in the second pole.  Poor Patch.  Our next class was Grand Prix.  I ran Patch first in the Performance Grand Prix and she seriously crashed a jump halfway through the course.  I watched in horror as Patch did a complete somersault THROUGH the jump.  She got up, I trotted her around for about 5 seconds and since she was bouncing and barking at me, I continued through the course.  Imagine my surprise when I learned she had made time and qualified (you can have 7 faults and a bar is only 5.)  She did the 2nd half of the course covered in dust so every time she landed off a jump; she “poofed” dust but what a great, honest dog!  I made sure to really cool her down and stretch her out after the run and she showed no ill effects from her crash.  She’s one tough dog.  Cinder also had a lovely Grand Prix – fast and clean – so now we only need one more Grand Prix leg to be fully qualified for Nationals!  Yay!

OK – so the last two classes were another Gamblers and Snooker.  Cinder was AMAZING in Gamblers and did a super hard gamble but we ran out of time – thanks to handler error at the beginning of the gamble.  Like I said, I really need to work on this!  I also noticed that Cinder’s feet were getting really sore from the venue – she actually had a hole in one pad, not a bad one (thank heavens for Nu-Skin) but still…it definitely slowed her down.  Snooker was the last class of the day and if I didn’t need that darn Super Q for her ADCH, I would have pulled her.  The course was ICKY – no real flow – and you had to four reds.  ICK.  Patches ran perfect in PIII Snooker – took 2nd and Super Q’d!  Cinder ran a wonderful course but was slower than usual, her feet really hurt.  While she qualified, we missed a Super Q by one dog.  If just one more dog had run….oh well.  It will come.

Overall, the show was an AMAZING success.  I am so proud of my girls – they are SUPER.  I am so fortunate to have dogs like them – it makes the long days and drives completely worth it!

 
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