Day 3 was Trigility (3 dog relay) and the Standard and Jumpers Finals. What can I say, another perfect day for little miss Lola. She had beautiful fast clean runs in the Standard and Jumpers Finals and in Trigility. She took first (once again, only dog) in Standard & Jumpers and her Trigility team took 3rd in the 24" height class, not too bad considering we were a draw team made up of a vet (Lola) and a grand vet. This was the first time I'd run Trigility and it was interesting. There are 3 courses-Jumpers, Standard and Gamblers-and each dog runs one of the courses. You can see the courses before you decide who runs what so you can strategize a bit. The Standard course was nice and looked like good practice for Finals so I lobbied to run that part with both my dogs and my teammates were all o.k. with it. There is no baton to pass which is nice, seems a lot safer. As soon as one dog finishes their course the next dog starts their course with only one dog running a course at a time. It’s a lot less chaotic than pairs/team relay in USDAA. I liked it more than I thought I would.
Cody had an off course in his Standard run but was running so well otherwise that I couldn’t feel bad about it. I’ll post course maps later and explain where it was but in short he took an off course tunnel trap. But he was so fast and happy and otherwise accurate and focused (got all his contacts and weave poles) that I couldn’t feel bad about it. He was so happy and jumping around at the end of his run, he seemed so sure he’d won the whole thing he just made me laugh. In DOCNA an off course in Standard is only 10 faults, not an E so he still got 2nd place. He ran clean in Trigility, sort of. He missed his weave entry and I fixed it right away, not a fault just wasted time. His teammates all ran clean but the team didn’t place which was no big deal to me. I had awesome teammates on all my teams and everyone had nice clean runs, can’t ask for any more than that.
Overall I had such a great time. The trial was really well run and everybody there was so nice. Judge Ann McQuillen was awesome. Her judging was fair and consistent and she had a big smile on her face the whole weekend. Courses were fun and challenging though a bit heavy on the serpentines and flips (even more of them in the finals rounds). Would have been good to see a wider range of challenges but still overall the courses were fun and more challenging than what I’ve seen on a normal weekend which is a good thing since it’s Champs and all. I will most certainly be back though probably not next year since Cody likely will be too old and Strummer likely will not be ready yet for something like that.
Couldn’t be more pleased with how well the dogs ran. Lola was nearly perfect for 4 straight days! Her only bad run was Traditional Gamblers and there was something up with a tunnel which I think caused most of our problems there. The only ribbon she didn’t get was for the Time Gamble and she’d had a gorgeous run, I simply didn’t send her out of the ring soon enough. So she was .37 seconds and one gamble away from being perfect at a Nationals! I’m still a bit shocked at that since consistency is not typically our strong point. Cody had some typical crazy moments but overall ran so nicely. Seriously at this point I’m happy enough that he’s able to go out there and run fast and happy. He had some good competition in his class and I was thrilled that he was able to pull off 2 clean Standard runs to make it into the Finals. He was so close in Jumpers too but for a stupid handling glitch on my part.
After 2 days of driving I’m tired, I get the rest of the week off right? Uh, I guess not. Took the dogs to the Rez this morning for some well needed and deserved off leash running and swimming. They all looked happy to be home and I am too.
WARNING: Gratuitous cliche braggy self-indulgent doggy ribbon photos posted below. But c'mon, it's Nationals.
Little Miss Perfect showing off her ribbons and medals
Cody Baloney, totally humoring me
I initially found him posing like this when I came out of the house with the camera. What a goof.