We’ll see what I can do here as I’m still exhausted from the weekend! Overall a great trial…a bit hot on Saturday (90 deg), but the rest of weekend was quite pleasant. It’s funny, I hear a lot of folks complaining about AKC trials and how they have to sit around all day for 2 runs…I completely feel the opposite. With AKC I can get there and be done by 12-1 whereas with USDAA I tend to sit around from 8-4 and do all 4-5 runs back to back with conflicts! That’s way more stressful and annoying to me, but anyway…onto the report.
Signed up for Grand Prix, PI Standard, PI Gamblers, and PII Pairs. Got there around 9am, but didn’t run until about noon and then had to run Grand Prix and Standard back-to-back.
Grand Prix went first and it was an awesome course….lot’s of flow and really really fun! Miles was a superstar and except for some wide turns due to late cues on my part turned in a great time that was just 2 seconds off the winner! Was super proud of his speed, his teeter, and his weave entry 🙂
About 10 minutes later we ran PI Standard. My head wasn’t really in the game and so my handling was not too stellar. Miles really tried very hard on this course despite my shortcomings (I barely even ran…WTH??). Unfortunately, some early cheering by me brought down the last bar 😦 I really felt like I let him down on this run…even though on tape it didn’t look as bad as I had imagined, I decided that I was going to go for speed and fun for the rest of the weekend.
Next was PII Pairs after a bit of a break. My partner was nice enough to let me pick, so I chose the second half….better half for running fast plus that lets him get his treats immediately after running. I also remembered to put his cool coat on him during our warm up which I think helped a lot. He was so happy waiting his turn in the ring, even to the point of jumping up and giving me hugs and kisses. Speaking of that, I defintely have noticed a huge change in him since the Memorial Day trial, but it makes even more of an impact when you can compare apples to apples and see how his attitude has changed in 3 months at the same trial site and same venue. Notably, he had no reaction at all to the automatic “go” and “ready” buttons and only had one episode of definite sight seeing throughout the whole weekend. He was also faster and more comfortable just hanging out outside the ring after our runs while I talked to someone or taped a friend. Anyway back to the run, both dogs did great. Miles was super duper fast and we ended up with a 1st place Q!
Our last run for the day was PI Gamblers. Again, I was going for speed and points and planned a fun course that got us the 7-point obstacle (a-frame) twice as well as the teeter twice. Even at the Memorial Day trial here, he refused the teeter once. Not today!! He did it twice with the judge literally standing right on top of it! Miles also showed his confidence by sending out 20′ to the more difficult tunnel entrance (it was bi-directional but the more difficult entrance made the rest of the gamble much easier). That finished that title, so even without our Standard title this moved us up to PII for everything else!
Signed up for PI Standard, Performance Speed Jumping/Steeplechase, PII Jumpers and PII Snooker. Again, go there around 9am but didn’t run until almost 11am and then literally ran Standard and Steeplechase back-to-back but today without any time to rest. Both courses looked really fun, but I promised myself that I’d put more emphasis on Standard since we really needed that Q for our title. He did a spectacular job with great speed. He was a bit naughty on the table and got up off his elbows when I tried to leave him at as the judge was about to say “1” so she had to restart her count from 5 argh! even with those extra 5 seconds, he only missed 1st place by .02 seconds, haha! He also had a naughty teeter fly-off, but the judge was nice so we got our needed Q for our PDI title!! The video is messed up, but here it is for what it’s worth….
Immediately upon finishing that and getting his cool coat wet, we had to go in the ring for Steeplechase. There were only 3 dogs in my height class and one was another Golden, so we had a little fun competition going 😉 Despite being hot, Miles turned out a really really nice run. Since I had focused on Standard I kinda forgot my plan in this run and ended up putting in a front cross before the second set of weaves where I had originally planned a rear. Since I pulled the front out of my a$$, it was not in a good spot. The second of broken flow allowed Miles to find a scary umbrella behind him and hesitate. Thankfully he was a very smart boy and hit his entrance and then finished really strong. That little bobble cost us the win to the other Golden by .3 seconds!
We got a nice long break before PII Jumpers which was welcomed as I was feeling rather tired. Of course, I was too busy watching friends run that I didn’t really rest! The Jumpers course looked really nice…a couple of tricky areas, but overall very fun. Our only issue was that I didn’t support a jump enough and he went around it twice, but no refusals at jumps meant that we still Q’d it just cost us time. I was particularly proud of being able to get in my 2 fronts where I did 🙂
Our last run was PII Snooker. My friend and I had planned a fun course earlier in the day which still seemed like a good plan on course, but I was SO exhausted by the time the judge had her briefing that I couldn’t focus. Apparently you were only allowed 3 reds even though there were 4 out there. Of course I had planned to only do 3 b/c I was tired and admittedly just wanted the minimum points to Q at that point. However, while running it I just decided to go for the 4th red…OOPS!! So we got whistled off which Miles thought was just awesome. “What we do 8 obstacles and get meatballs??? This is GREAT!!!”. And it was right after the teeter so he got good reinforcement there too. Next time I’ll try to pay attention to the briefing though…
Ahhh, just signed up for PII Jumpers and then we made it to Round 2 of Steeplechase, so I was hoping for a quick day with some fast runs. The weather also cooperated as it was cloudy and much cooler around 70, yay! Jumpers was first and it was basically a huge speed circle with 2 tight serps to mix it up a bit. Again, my concentration was on speed so I walked for that purpose. I also wanted to test a short lead out and this seemed like a good course to do it on as it definitely gave me an advantage to be a little ahead on the start line. We got to the line and they told us to go, but then quickly said “wait the timer’s not working” so I got frisky with Miles and then ran out of the ring for cookies. He thought that was the COOLEST thing ever and was then more than happy to go back in to try again. We had a very successful lead out and a great run. Again, I didn’t support one jump enough, but was able to save it which gave us the Q we needed for our title. Now we get to move up to PIII/Masters, sweet!
Last was Round 2 of Steeplechase and I was really excited to give it everything I could. The course was fast and we went for it. I was unable to decelerate in time and unfortunately pushed Miles to an offcourse jump. I was totally thrilled with this run though as we really gave it all we had and it was SO MUCH FUN! The video only shows the last half of the course as my camera was having issues. I will have to upload it later today though….
Up Next: Daisy Peel Masters Handling seminar tomorrow, 1 day of USDAA locally on Saturday, then back-to-back AKC throughout October!