Monday, July 03, 2006

Regionals - Day 3

A brilliant day! Lola had a lovely clean run in the Grand Prix Finals and came in 2nd place!!! I couldn't be more pleased. This gives her a bye into the semifinals at Nationals should we choose to go. There were some amazing runs in the Grand Prix Finals, very cool to watch those dogs flying around at warp speed. I was rooting hardest for a little brindle mutt that was blazing fast, giving some of those BC's a run for their money. Unfortunately the battery in my video camera was dead so I wasn't able to film any of it. Kicking myself very hard at the moment.

We started out with Speed Jumping Finals bright and early at 7:00 a.m. Since it's non-qualifying, for placements only type thing I decided to run like Jehu and push for speed just to see what would happen. Well, it wasn't pretty, some off courses and general craziness but we sure had fun. It was pretty cool just to be able to step up to the startline to be honest, lots of people sitting around watching and cheering us on.

Her standard run was brilliant, a little hesitation at the table but she did it, earning a Q and first place. One more standard Q and she's in masters after being in advanced for what seems like forever.

The Grand Prix course was a bit technical and it turned out the person I thought most likely to win the class was at the trial, she just wasn't on the running order for some reason. Also, after seeing some of the out of town dogs run I realized there was no way Lo was fast enough to beat them so I decided to run this course more conservatively, hoping at least to be in the top 50% of the class and earn a bye into the semifinals. I was nice & calm at the start line and managed to keep my head through most of the course. I had a wee moment at the end of the weaves where I couldn't see the next jump and pulled her too tightly out of the poles nearly missing the jump. But she managed to get it, costing us only time. We also lost a lot of time on the dogwalk when Lola decided to stop at the top and sightsee. There were spectators surrounding the entire ring, something she's not used to and I think that distracted her a bit plus we've been having dogwalk issues for ages now. I knew that would be a weak spot. Other than that the run was awesome, what a great feeling coming off of that course with such a nice run! That was by far the highlight of the weekend.

We had a nice run going in Speed Jumpers Finals despite some startline stress issues but I turned into him at the A-frame to make sure he got his contact which was stupid because it put too much pressure on him causing him to bail in the wrong direction and take an off course. Then we had problems at the weaves, he hit the entry but popped out right away again maybe because I was too far behind him or maybe because he hit the entry wrong and lost his rhythm. Tunnels to weaves are often a problem because of speed.

Cody decided he didn't like the course I had planned out for him in Team Snooker, he had one in mind that was way more points. I was amazed I was able to think on my feet and keep it together for as long as I did but we got whistled off when we didn't quite make it to the 4th red.

Team Pairs was a lovely fast run despite more startline stress problems and he hit his weaves perfectly on a tough entrance. I've never run the pairs relay before and it was fun, you have an actual baton that you pass to your partner like the relays I sometimes had to do on the track team. Butterfingers Fletcher managed to make a nice smooth exchange thank you very much.

Master Gamblers was going oh so well in the opening despite, once again, that startline stress problem. However, I didn't plan well and ended up with too much extra time and nowhere to go so Cody decided to run into the crowd to sign autographs for his adoring fans. When the buzzer finally sounded I had to call him away and we didn't have a great approach to the gamble so he took the wrong obstacle right off the bat. Pity too because it seemed like a fun, doable gamble.

I think 3 days in the sun was a bit much for Cody and I'm going to cut back on his summer trialing. He had some moments of brilliance but this is supposed to be fun and I hate to see him shutting down right on the startline even if he does perk up once we're up and running.

Overall it was an awesome trial, Lola Q'ed 7/8 runs which is amazing for her and Cody had a good percentage of nice runs too. Most of the classes he was in were non-qualifying events because of the team event so it was nice to run him without having to worry about it 'counting' for something. It was a bit much for me with the 3 rings and at one point I had to have 3 courses memorized at once but I somehow managed to keep them all straight and be in the right ring at the right time with the right dog. Don't know if/when Regionals will ever return to Denver but I already can't wait.

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