It seems to be everyone's favorite "catch-word" at the moment, so I just had to say it. Epic seems appropriate to describe our latest show weekend. Or at least our schedule! 4 Conformation shows, 8 Rally Obedience classes (entries in both level 2 & 3 in 4 trials), all packed into 2 hot summer days. That's 12 events in 1 weekend. If ever my sanity was up for serious questioning, this confirms that I've completely lost my mind. LOL
I'm so glad that Tripp is such a good sport...
Click on "Read More" below for the full story and video footage!
As we are still working our our final UKC Rally title - URX: United Rally Obedience Champion Excellent, which requires qualifying scores in level 2 & 3 within the same trial (QQs) ten times (we're halfway there) - I "had" to enter all 4 trials at AEDCONE's big event in Westfield, MA. Since we are also getting back into the show ring and trying for Total Dog (UKC's versatility award for winning in conformation & qualifying in performance at the same show) I decided to enter all 4 Conformation shows as well. It was a long shot, but I figured it was worth trying. Like they say, you can't win if you don't play.
Well, that theory definitely holds up better for us in dog sports than it does in the lottery. ;-)
We didn't have the best start in Rally. Tripp took off shortly past the start line, after what I'm not sure, but I managed to get him back working so we only lost a few points. He remained unfocused for most of the trials though. Perhaps it was the full moon? Spectators thought he looked great, as usual, but we were a mess out there compared to our usual style. Somewhat sloppy handling on my part, and very sloppy performance on the dog's part. He had moments of brilliance, but mostly he was sloppy - lagging, forging, poor position, getting distracted... FAR from the precision I usually aim for. Oh well. The important thing is, we QQed in every trial, and that's all I wanted!
Here's a change - in Rally, there is often a time tie breaker... this time, we took lower placements a couple times because we were slower! I found that amusing, because we are usually pretty speedy through the course, and often win with better time. This weekend, between the wicked heat and Tripp not being on his A-game, our time suffered. No matter, all I cared about was a qualifying score. It didn't have to be fast or pretty, just enough to get our QQs. We still managed to squeeze out several placements against tough competition and solidly score in the high 90's.
Here's the breakdown:
Trial 1, Level 2: 94, 4th place
Trial 1, Level 3: 98, 3rd place
Trial 2, Level 2: 99, 2nd place
Trial 2, Level 3: 97, 2nd place
Trial 3, Level 2: 97, 3rd place
Trial 3, Level 3: 98, 3rd place
Trial 4, Level 2: 98, no placement due to time
Trial 4, Level 3: 97, 3rd place
That's 4 QQs, bringing our current total up to 9. One more QQ and we'll finally earn that URX! :-)
For easier viewing, click the square button in the lower right corner of the video to watch in full screen mode.
In Conformation, though my hopes of winning weren't high, I still took the chance. Tripp showed very well, but our competition was tight. Much to my surprise, in show 1 Saturday, when the judge called Best of Breed, she was pointing to us! I was thrilled to say the least. Not only did that earn us the coveted Total Dog (which, by the way, was part of a record number of awards given at this show) that win from the Champion class gave Tripp his first pass towards Grand Champion!
As the show proceeded, we didn't get anything in Group, and Tripp remained "point fodder" in the rest of the weekend's Conformation events, taking his usual Reserve CH. But that first win was still exciting, and while more than one Total Dog award in one weekend would be truly epic, getting it at all is more than most teams accomplish in a lifetime. This is Tripp's 3rd, so I certainly can not complain! All my goals for the show transpired. And on the plus side, being runner up meant not having to add yet another ring time to our already overloaded schedule or needing to stay that much later at the end of the day for Group or Best in Show. I'm ok with that! LOL
I know I say this after every event, but I don't know where I'm going to put all these ribbons. I've managed to squeeze others in random places so far, but I am so beyond out of wall space at this point. Even Tripp's crate is totally covered now. How can I display such a haul of awards from such a big weekend? All I knew was that I brought home a huge pile of silk. My mom actually counted them. 21!!! Seriously? I had to do the math to figure out how that was possible. Sure enough, it made sense. 8 qualifying ribbons, plus 7 placement ribbons, plus 1 CH class winner ribbon & 1 BOB ribbon, plus 3 Reserve CH ribbons, plus 1 Total Dog award = 21 ribbons. Plus a few dog toys as prizes - so don't think that Tripp left with empty paws! ;-) At least those don't go on the wall! They just add to his overflowing toy box. But I'm not hearing any complaints from the dog about that...