FRAC's USDAA trial in Laramie, WY is one of my favorites. Laramie's a great little college town and the 2 hour drive is easy since I don't have to trek through any major cities. Last year this trial was Cody's last chance to pick up his 2nd Grand Prix leg to qualify for Nationals and somehow he managed to pull the run of his life out of his ass to qualify despite the pressure. This year it was his last chance to qualify for Speed Jumping, the only event he wasn't yet qualified in and the event I cared the most about. I also had the shocking realization the other night that he needed only one masters standard leg for his Perf. MAD. I thought we only had one standard leg, how did I forget a whole standard leg, esp. when they're the hardest thing to come by for us??!! This is a testimony to just how bad my memory has gotten. I don't care all that much about titles but it would be cool if Cody could get at least his MAD, or whatever it's called in Perf.
The trial was only one ring so they had to spread it over 3 days to fit in all the classes. The first day started on Friday at 4:00 pm and lasted until 8:00 pm which is a heck of a long day for me since I was up at 5:40 to get an early morning run in before heading off for half a day of stressful scrambling at work to meet a deadline before leaving for Laramie. Speed Jumping was the second event so I was tired and my brain was checking out before we even walked the course. But once again Cody had his gameface on and we pulled off another amazing run for 3rd place and a Q. So now that he's fully qualified for Nationals it's a pretty good likelihood that I'll go. Jonny's pushing me to go too so I'm leaning towards going.
As for his standard runs they were both beautiful but each with one little glitch so no MAD this time around. One run was about as good as it gets but he blew his dogwalk contact, the only missed contact all weekend. Can you say frustrating??!! On the other hand he had beautiful tables and weave poles, great focus, no problems with anything else so I guess I can't complain.
In all he picked up 2 masters jumpers Q's and a masters pairs Q in addition to the Speed Jumping. Everything else was oh so close. After entering in his weekend's scores I realized he's closing in on the champ. title. He needs 1 jumpers, 1 gamblers, 2 pairs, 3 standard and 3 Super Q's in snooker. O.k., maybe that's still quite a lot but it sure feels like it's a possibility he could pull it off before I have to retire him. There's a trial in New Mexico just a week or 2 after Nationals and it's tempting to go to that instead of Nationals to try to finish up his titles but meh I don't think I care that much. If he gets it, he gets it, I don't want to give up something that might be more fun just to try for titles.
Lola had a rougher weekend but I was expecting that. I've not been able to work with her as much as I wanted because of the heat and evening monsoon thunderstorms. She was balking at jumps and looked awkward at time in the weaves. It's hard to say if it's a confidence/training issue or a physical one. I'm trying to get her in to Alameda East down in Denver for a lameness evaluation in their fancy pants biomechanics lab. I thought about taking her back to the orthopedic vet but she's not showing any overt signs of lameness and I doubt he'd find anything with a physical manipulation exam. She's probably fine but I'd have better piece of mind and would feel better about working her if I had another opinion. She's been running 8-12 miles per week with me and doing great on top of all her other conditioning activities so I'm hoping it's just a case of being rusty after such a long layoff and not much practice. She did pick up a master jumpers Q and a pairs Q and did have some nice standard runs, did her downs on the table (phew!) and some nice weave pole performances. Of course I had plenty of crappy handling moments that didn't help matters.
Overall a fun but tiring weekend. There was some trouble at the hotel on Friday night and I only got 3 1/2 hours of sleep. I'm still feeling the effects and it'll probably take until the weekend for me to catch up on sleep. The courses were fun but challenging. Lots of nice flow to them where you could stretch out and run but some tricky bits thrown in as well. The next USDAA trial in the area has the same judge and since I like her courses and she claimed she wasn't calling fault limits (though she was whistling people out, couldn't quite figure out what the criteria was) I decided to sign up for all 3 days of the trial, including the Team event. I was debating about Team since it means taking a vacation day, an extra hotel night stay and an extra day of wear and tear on the dogs and me but I think it'll be good practice if I do decide to go to Nationals. For now though it's sleep and catch up with life. I can't wait for the 3 day weekend.