This was by far the most fun trial of the year. I love UKI but we have so little of it. At least this year there were 2 full trials and a one day trial. But all of them 2-2+ hours away and in summer during peak triathlon training season. And one on 4th of July weekend which is not a weekend you want to be on the roads if you can help it. I know, whine whine whine. But I hate the driving, SO MUCH, especially driving from Boulder to and through Denver with the traffic and construction and stupid Broncos game traffic or whatever it was that brought the highway to a standstill on my way home. Thankfully there is a bypass so I wasn't in the parking lot for too long. Takes a little longer but at least it was moving. But still, 2 hours 20 minutes stuck in the car on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. O.k., enough whining about the growing traffic situation of Too Many People on the Front Range. On to UKI.
First round for us was Agility. Here's the course map.
And the video.
Fun course but I was super rusty and Strummer was wound up and flying around the course. Not a great combination but somehow we managed a Q. He has no masters level standard agility Q's in USDAA after how many years and somehow he pulls off one in UKI? He hasn't trialed since May and we've barely practiced in the past few weeks due to heat and schedule conflicts with my training partner. And let's not even get into the soreness and fatigue in my legs from training and the big quad busting climb on my bike the day before. Maybe that's the key to success? Don't practice and work your way into physical exhaustion. Sounds like a plan.
Then on to Masters Series Agility or Super Fancy Agility as I call it.
It wasn't pretty but we got it done without an off course. Elements of it were similar to regular Agility so we had a little practice from the previous run.
Then on to regular Jumpers. The one thing I don't like about UKI is weave poles in the jumpers courses. Strummy got his entry but popped out for some reason. I think I slowed down a bit to praise him and he thought something was wrong but who knows.
Next was Masters Series Jumping. I don't have video because I turned the camera off when I thought I was turning it on. Because I'm a genius that way. We had just a refusal, I forget where. I know he got his weave entrance so it wasn't that. Again some similar challenges to regular Jumpers.
And finally Speedstakes which is my favorite class and the one I was sure we would Q in. No weave poles, fast straight forward course, perfect for Strummy. But I rushed my handling after Jump #6 and didn't give enough forward cue to Jump #7 causing him to back jump #6. Oh well.
Overall he got 4/4 weave pole entries which is pretty darn amazing for him though admittedly the entries played to his strengths. Also got both teeters and A-frames and 1/2 dogwalks. Can't complain about his obstacle performance especially since he hasn't been on obstacles since May except maybe the odd weave pole or teeter at my training partner's house. My handling though, yeesh, I need to practice for me.
Overall he ended up getting a Q in the Masters Series and a bye to the Finals Round at Nationals. And he won a small sum of money which was a surprise to me. Didn't know you get money for Masters Series. Now, do I want to drive for 3 days to go to Perry, GA for Nationals? This was not even a blip on a blip of my radar. I can't imagine all that driving. 6 total days of driving for 3 days of agility and realistically only a few minutes total of time in the ring? Agility is a bad bang for your buck/time when it comes to competition. But it might be a fun experience and I've never been to the south. And it would almost certainly be my last opportunity at a Nationals competition with Strummer. He's 10 1/2 and still going strong but who knows for how long. And I have no youngster waiting in the wings so it would be years before I could ever go to another Nationals. But Three Days Of Driving. Then turn around and do it again 3 days later. Hmmmm.
In all we got 5 runs in and were done by just past noon. And I didn't even enter Gamblers which ran first, could have been 6 runs. I wish agility was always like that, I'd be more inclined to drive the 2 hours each way. But wow, only 4 dogs in the masters classes. Total, all heights, and Strummy the only one in his class. Personally I don't mind but it's probably not sustainable for clubs to have that kind of turnout. And where was everybody? I know it's a drive but if I can do it all the way from Boulder, sheesh, it's not so bad from Denver. But I think people are entrenched in their pursuit of titles and there isn't enough of a critical mass of UKI trials yet to interest people. I would much rather have interesting, challenging courses than worry about titles. They're mostly a marketing gimmick anyway to get people hooked and keep them coming back. Why not try something new rather than trotting around the pinwheels weekend after weekend for MACH 107? Ah well, you can't tell people what they should enjoy doing. Just wish we had more UKI and closer to home.