...and we did both on the same day!
June 23 & 24 found us once again in Westfield, Mass for a UKC rally trial. This would be our first time out competing for Rally Championship points. Talk about a busy weekend! Tripp competed in 8 trials in just 2 days... hot summer days outdoors, no less, with a thick coat to boot.
We've had a good track record of straight Qs in UKC rally all the way up through level 3. This weekend broke that record and gave us our first NQs. However, it also gave us a total of 50 championship points and another High in Trial. Plus 6 Qs out of 8 trials still isn't a bad average. ;-)
To earn a UKC Rally Obedience Champion title, one must compete in both level 2 & 3 to earn a total of 100 points. Required qualifying score is much higher than a regular Q (91 vs. 70), and the number of points you earn is dependent upon score - the higher your score, the more points you earn. There is also a separate Excellent title, which is not dependent upon score, but requires combined regular Qs in both levels at the same trial. We only earned 2 legs towards that one this weekend. URX requires 10 legs.
Saturday, Trial 1:
Level 2 we earned a 98 and 1st place.
Level 3 we earned another 98 and 2nd place.
Level 2, yet another 98 and 2nd place.
Level 3 we did well on course, but unfortunately Tripp melted during the Sit-Stay Honor exercise. It had been a long day in the heat and the twerp thought lying down in the grass was a much better idea. That gave us our first NQ.
Sunday, Trial 1:
Level 2 the 98's continue! It was like a running gag at this point. LOL Also took 3rd place with that one.
Level 3 was a decent run overall, but Tripp moved his feet during a stand-stay as I walked around him, and unfortunately I did not catch it or hear the judge call "fault" and we continued on. Incorrectly performed exercise = NQ. If I'd heard her warning I could've retried that exercise for a 10 point deduction. We wouldn't have made any CH points, but at least it would've been a Q and counted towards URX. Funny enough, I think Barb (our judge) was more bummed about that mistake than we were.
Level 2, take a wild guess.. yep, another 98! And another 2nd place.
Level 3, I was worried at first... the morning Honor was a down-stay, so I fully expected the afternoon to be a sit. To my relief, however, Barb VERY generously made this one a down as well, so all the hot and tired dogs got off "easy" at the end of this long weekend. Tripp still needed extra encouragement to keep his energy up on course, which wasn't the easiest thing as I was hot and tired too, and not feeling the greatest. But we made it through with a fairly nice performance (you know I'm a perfectionist) and this time earned a perfect score of 100 and took High in Trial. (What's that, our 4th HIT? Wow!) So it was a great finish to the weekend. We gathered Tripp's massive haul of ribbons and prizes and set up for a photo shoot to commemorate our win and other placements. While the official photographer did his thing, my mom caught a nice shot of us from a different angle.
The video turned out quite long, as it includes all 8 of our trials. Probably just as well we didn't film the Honor exercise too!
Dec. 30, 2010 Re: Tripp's awards... "At just 18 months, that boy has sure developed quite a resume of his own, plus given me a nice collection of show ribbons. I joke that he’ll have to retire by the time he’s 3, as I’ll run out of wall space!"
Memorial Day weekend, 2012. Just a couple weeks shy of Tripp's 3rd birthday. We are officially out of wall space, with his current configuration of ribbons and other awards. Have no fear, he will not be retiring any time soon... but I will need to find new space for displaying prizes. It'd be a shame to stash any of them in a drawer. Perhaps it is time to get creative and make a ribbon wreath or quilt or something crafty like that...
So, I entered the ASCNE agility trials after much deliberation on which classes to do. I settled on regular agility for Sat. and gamblers/jumpers on Sun. And then nothing went right. I didn't get my entry in soon enough and ended up wait listed. I figured that was it, no agility for the weekend, and local ASCA sanctioned events are few and far between. Major lost opportunity. But surprise, I eventually got a message saying I was pulled from the list and could compete on Sunday after all! Too bad I didn't enter regular classes that day - I was really hoping to work on finishing that title. I didn't have any points in the other classes. Still, I accepted (of course!) Then we had to figure out how to adjust my payment, as they had my check for two days and now I was only running one. After discussing it, we decided I'd write a new check and include a SASE for them to mail my old one back to me. Literally a day after I put that in the mail, I got another message. Entries opened up on Sat. as well, and now we could run both days if desired! You'd think that'd be exciting news, but after just switching things around, it was only more hassle. For various other reasons, I decided to just stick with the one day. While I'm still bummed at missing the opportunity to finish Tripp's RS-N title, I am glad we didn't do both days. Esp. if Sat. would've started out as crappy as Sun. did...
Did I mention that after I decided on classes according to the tentative schedule, they went and changed the running orders? They do have that right, but how annoying! Turns out I would have bigger gaps between classes than hoped for. Plus they moved gamblers to the end of the day. We'd have to run in jumpers first. That's the toughest class, requring clean runs. It's nicer to do gamblers first so if the dog acts up, it doesn't necessarily mean an NQ - as long as you get the points in time, the dog can zoomie like a fool and hopefully get it out of his system before the other classes. ;-) Minor detail, but the new running order was just one of the little things that added up into a big mess.
I rose with the dawn (way too early!) as I had to be at the trial for general briefing at 7:30. Yet another hiccup - I planned to check in on Sat, so could skip the meeting on Sun and come later. Now I was stuck with no ring times until the second half of the day. I had no idea how long the day would be! So I get there just in time for breifing, after a lousy drive, taking wrong turns (because the written directions were wrong, and my GPS doesn't know the right way, and even though I'd been to the fairgrounds several times and even had my own correct written directions I failed to look at them or remember the way or just read the stupid highway signs properly!) plus forgetting my water bottle (I did have a cooler with waters, but no ice for me). Not a good start. When I finally arrived at the trial, honestly, the briefing didn't seem all that essential. I mean, yes, it was somewhat important, but if I'd missed it, I think we wouldn't gotten by just fine. That wasn't the biggest annoyance though - turns out the trial was likely to go on until after 7 pm! Our first estimated ring time wasn't until around 3:15! Great. So I got up early just to sit around doing nothing for nearly 8 hours, on a hot day, in my car or travel chair (either of which kills my back after so much time), with nothing but friggin port-o-potties (like I said, it's the little things - I just prefer real plumbing, ya know), not to mention one bored Poodle who would probably be so frustrated by the time it was our turn he'd instantly NQ. I paced back and forth, and sat and stressed for about half an hour, then said screw it and left. There was no way I'd make it through the day. The way things started out, I seriously considered scratching the whole thing! Prospects for a good outcome we not looking promising.
There went a quarter tank of gas for a pointless and irritating drive.
After getting back home and putting some good food in my stomach I felt somewhat better. Sleep deprivation and low blood suger just don't mix well for me. I got a few things done, but otherwise relaxed and considered our options for the day. In the end, I did go back. Mostly because I'm too cheap to just throw away an entry fee. Things went smoother. It may have been a rough start, but everything turned out well in the end... VERY well, in fact...
Tripp ran beautifully in jumpers! It was a trickier course than it seemed at first glance, a good test of handling skills. Tripp was right with me, focused, and fast! Standard course time was set at 31.33 seconds - Tripp did it in 18.79! He took 1st Place out of 7 dogs, and earned a 10 point Q. He needs 20 points for that title, so we are halfway there already. :-)
We had quite a bit of time until gamblers, and I thought about scratching and just going home so I could be back at a reasonable time. But I didn't want to walk out on the trial again. Things moved along more swiftly than expected, and I passed some time by volunteering as leash runner, as they were short on workers at that point in the day. I also couldn't resist trying the gamblers course we were in for. It was the screwiest looking thing I'd ever seen! They call it a "box gamble" - the closing sequence is in the middle of the course. Apparently it is not done often. Lucky me. LOL I'd never seen anything like it, so it really threw me for a loop, but I took it as a challenge. Had no expectations of succeeding at it, but if nothing else I wanted to be able to tell my trainer about it, and say "what the..?" I studied that map forever, and figured out the best way to send Tripp for maximum points. Amazingly, it turned out to be one of our best gamblers runs yet! We racked up 29 points in the opening (we only needed 15!) for a total of 49 points with the gamble. When the timer sounded, we were in just the right spot to do the gamble, so got through that in plenty of time. I had hoped to do one more obstacle first, but it worked out just fine. Another 1st Place, this time only out of 2 dogs, and another Q & halfway to that title as well.
The lesson of today's story is: Don't give up. Like the ears on a blue Poodle, every cloud really does have a silver lining. ;-)