Strum had about the best weekend I could hope for, getting the 2 remaining legs he needed for his Advanced Standard title and winning Steeplechase Finals. So so happy to be able to enter Masters Standard at the next USDAA trial in March. Finally. We only picked up a Gamblers leg in the games so we still need Q's in all the rest to totally move into Masters but it's the standard legs we struggle with so I was over the moon to get those so easily. This was his first trial entered in Advanced but he moved up for one standard run at the last trial so we were able to complete the Standard title. Funny that it took him nearly a year to get his Starters Standard title yet he got his Advanced Standard title in his first 2 trials. I think we do better with challenging courses.
Both rounds of Steeplechase were a lot of fun. Round 1 was somewhat technical for a Steeplechase course, lots of E's. Strum and I made it through but had a fault at the broad jump and a missed weave entry on the second time around. But the little stinker is so fast that we still made it to finals. Just.
Steeplechase Round 1
I almost didn't hang around for Round 2 because they switched the running order so it was at the end of the day on Saturday rather than on Sunday. I was through with my runs at 1:45 p.m. and would have to sit through Starters Standard and all 3 levels of Pairs to get to Steeplechase Finals. I didn't enter Pairs because I didn't want to be at the trial super late. But the course looked fun so I decided to wait for a bit to see how things ran. The judge was very efficient, Pairs went quickly and I was 2nd dog on the line for Steeplechase so the wait wasn't too bad and I was done at around 5:20 or so. Round 2 was a pure speed course, very fun and perfect for Strummer. Glad that I stayed. And the money I won was exactly our entry fee so we got 2 tournament runs for free.
Steeplechase Round 2
I also have video of Saturday's Advanced Standard run. Not as nice as his flawless run on Sunday but a good view of his good dogwalk contact.
I think my Flip is on its last legs. The quality looks terrible. Sometimes I hear a little piece of something loose rattling around in it and other times I don't hear it all. I don't think that's a good sign. I'm not thrilled with the idea of giving people my phone to tape me so I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Maybe I'll try smacking the Flip around a little, sometimes that does the trick.
A very fun weekend but so cold. Sofa king cold. Single digits in the morning working up to a high in the mid-teens each day. Thankfully the heat was on in the arena but it wasn't toasty warm, especially Sunday morning. I was very happy to be done with my one run by around 9:00 a.m. on Sunday. It was 10 degrees when I got home and I was glad to be snuggled up in my house and not freezing my butt off at the arena for the third day in a row. These extreme temps. aren't normal for us but it is normal to have a few cold snaps like this throughout the winter. At least it wasn't so cold that I was shivering like I was at the trial a few months ago when there was no heat at all.
Poor Strummer doesn't do well in the extreme cold. He has sensitive feet and he'll sit on his haunches with his feet up waiting for me to warm his tootsies when his feet get too cold. Which take about a minute or 2 of walking across the parking lot. Somebody had to come to my rescue and warm his feet for me because my hands were full and he was sitting up refusing to go any further just 10 yards from the arena door. The person rightly called him a 'Sissy Dog' but obliged him anyway.
Fun courses this weekend, I've always liked Tim Verrelli's courses and he's a nice judge and so efficient, the trial ran quickly. Unfortunately Strummer seemed to like him too much and almost jumped off the table to say hello on one of his Standard runs. He was laying down on the table and wiggling his whole rear end during the table count. I couldn't lead out at the count at all, had to stay on top of him or he would have jumped off to snuggle the judge. Such a goof. I guess it's a whole lot better than being worried about the judge.
Overall I'm happy with the weekend, especially considering we've practiced only once in the past 6 weeks. Strum only missed one dogwalk (Gamblers) and 2 weave pole entries. He had 2 knocked bars but those were both due to my handling errors. I was more rusty than he was but after the first day I started to remember how to handle. Hopefully we'll get more practice in before the DOCNA trial next month.
Advanced Gamblers Q, 2nd place
Advanced Standard Q, 2nd place
Advanced Standard Q, 1st place
Steeplechase Q, 5th place Round 1, 1st place Round 2
Titles: Advanced Standard
Dogwalks: 3/4 (75%)
A-frames: 9/9 (100%)
Weave entries: 4/6 (67%) popped out in one Standard run
Knocked bars: 2, both were obvious handling errors
Teeters: 4/4 (100%)
Table: 3/3 (100%) fast, perfect table, almost jumped off table to say hi to judge
Off courses: 1 in Jumpers due to me trying not to over handle and not handling enough, 1 in Standard when he didn't turn off the dogwalk and took a jump right in front of him instead
2 refusals both due to me not supporting a jump.
1 broken start line stay during his last run of the trial (Standard). I went out for a long lead out and took my eyes off of him and I know he was a little nervous on the start line when I left him. I let him get off with it, it was really more my fault, shouldn't lose contact with him like that when he's worried.