Phew, finally back. 14 1/2 hours, 13 hours driving time and 1 1/2 hours of stops. Got home at 1:40 a.m. but it was worth it to spend the night in my own bed and I couldn't bear the thought of another night in a hotel.
Sorry for the Nationals blackout, I had no internet access at Westworld this year. I have lots of stuff to post but need some time to download videos and I need this day to relax and do other things.
In short, dogs did better than last year, I had fun overall but this is probably my last USDAA Nationals. They had fault limits across the board this year (last year it was up to the judge) and there are few things more demotivating than sitting around agonizing over a course for 7 hours only to get whistled off after 3 obstacles. I'm afraid fault limits are a deal breaker for me.
In general the courses were nicer and more fun than last year's. The Classic Grand Prix and Steeplechase were way more fun than the Time Gamble and Power & Speed classes they had last year.
It would be really really nice if someone from USDAA would brief the judges, especially the international judges, on the rules before the event. It is Nationals after all, is it too much to ask that the judges know the rules?