Tuesday, May 15, 2012

USDAA in the Grey

Strum and I had a very fun weekend of USDAA.  The predicted rain never came during the day and we were treated to cool, cloudy conditions - perfect for agility.  Strummer was one happy pup and this photo about sums it up.  In fact he looks so happy and focused on me in all his photos, such a good boy.

We ended up getting a coveted Steeplechase Q as well as Standard and Gamblers Q's.  We had nice runs going in Snooker and Jumpers but I did something stupid in Snooker and rotated too far out of a front cross in jumpers causing myself to become momentarily lost and sent him over a wrong jump.  So we still need a Standard, Snooker and Jumpers Q to get out of Starters.  Didn't enter Jumpers at the trial next week and can't enter it at the trial in June because I have a triathlon on the day they offer Jumpers so it will be at least August until we can try again.

We even won a small bit of money in Steeplechase Finals, enough to pay for my coffee and breakfast burrito anyway.  We had a bar down then the bar setter took so long to re-set it that she was still there futzing with it by the time we came back around the course so we lost some time because Strummer didn't want to jump with her in the way.  So 5th place in the end.  But it was a fun, fast course, unlike the first round which was fairly technical for Steeplechase.

Steeplechase Round 1

I kept Strum on my right from 3 to 4 and rear crossed between 4 and 5 which set a nice line to 6.  Some dogs jumped big at 5 and ended up taking the wrong side of 6.  This was more often the case with those who front crossed between 3 and 4.  The other problem with that front cross was that if you were late and still facing your dog as it approached 3 you got too much collection and the dog couldn't handle the broad jump.  But many people opted for the FC so they could get another FC in between 6 and 7.  I did a blind at the bottom of the A-frame and had plenty of time though did have a missed A-frame contact, not sure if it was the up or down.  The rest of the course was clean though we had a slight bobble between 17 and 18 as I overhandled to make sure he collected and didn't take 9.  We ended up in 3rd even with the fault, very fun.

Grand Prix was another story.  Very technical, only 1 22" dog and 1 12" dog qualified in all of the Championship class.  I think Performance had 4 qualifiers.

The number 6 jump was set more to the south so it was more of a straight on entry to the weaves and the turn from 5 to 6 was at a worse angle.  I did a FC between 4 and 5 and pushed to 6 and though I was well ahead of Strum when he came out of the tunnel I set a poor line and he had that bar down.  Most people kept their dog on their left through 6 but many had wide turns at 4 or off courses.  One person did a nice Ketschker turn at 4 and had a nice tight turn and plenty of time to get to 6.  Some who kept the dog on their left still had a bar down at 6.  I only saw one other person do what I did and she had a nice run through that section.

The next problem was the weave pole entry which many many dogs missed, including mine.  That's a very challenging entry for Strummer, we practice it over and over and he can't even really get it in practice so I was hardly expecting him to do it at a trial.  It didn't help that the dog was coming off the A-frame and over the jump in full extension and no way to shape the entry because of the #7 jump.

I ended up with an off course because I didn't support 16 very well, Strum ran past it and rather than correct it I just kept going.

So far that's the second very technical Grand Prix course with a very low Q rate that we've had.  You would think the judges would want to cut the locals a break so we can go to Nationals.  We get another shot next week and I saw that one of the clubs is adding a Tournament only trial on the 4th of July in Denver so we'll have yet another chance.  That makes 5 more possible opportunities and we only need one Q in each tournament so hopefully we'll qualify in at least one more event.  I was thinking how fun it would be to run under the lights in Steeplechase Finals.  Yeah, I know, but a girl can dream.  Strum is certainly fast enough.  Maybe we should focus on that idea and to heck with working on the dogwalk.  No matter how much work I do with it it doesn't seem to matter.  He was 2/3 this weekend which is average for him.

Trial Stats

 Steeplechase Q, 3rd place Round 1 (missed A-frame), 5th place Round 2 (bar down and interference from bar setter)

Starters Standard Q, 1st place

Gamblers Q, 2nd place

Dogwalks:  2/3 (67%) 

A-frames:  7/8 (88%)

Weave entries:  5/7 (71%)  Missed difficult entries in Grand Prix and Standard, didn't pop out at all

Knocked bars:  1 in Grand Prix, 1 in Steeplechase Finals

Teeters:  3/3 (100%)

Table: 2/2 (100%) 

There was one standard fault in his first Standard run that I can't account for so somewhere there should be a lower percentage.


  1. I loved Eric's courses when we were in California recently.

  2. I didn't run any of his other courses since I was in the Starters ring so I don't know about them in general. I did hear someone say he was a really nice judge but had some funny angles on his courses. But I guess that's typical for USDAA. I think if the #6 jump had been set as shown on the course map it would have been a much better course for a lot of people.