Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fleet Feet CPE Trial, March 2010

Saturday dawned beautiful - albeit way too early. I had loaded the truck on Friday night so I was able to just get up and feed the dogs, shower, get dressed, then hit the road right away. I did stop off for a cup of coffee and breakfast at Starbucks and while I left later than I planned, the road was so wide open and clear we made good time. I was all set to be at Barb's arena at about 7:05 in the morning when something strange happened. My cruise control was set to just about 70 mph and I was just coming up on my exit, right about three miles from my destination. All of a sudden, my truck seemed to drop speed just a bit. Then, before I could hardly do more than wonder, it sped up a bit. Then it died. Flat out died. Yep, 70mph and I was in the left lane of a major highway and needed to get all the way to the right shoulder. Thank goodness it was super early in the morning because I was able to do it even with no power steering or brakes. Whew! That said, it started a tumultuous weekend that hasn't ended yet. I'm without wheels while we figure out what is going on - truck goes to the shop tomorrow. So, our two day trial turned into one day.

Another interesting thing about this trial is the number of runs. With CPE trials in our area we usually get five runs a day. At this venue sometimes that means that games are broken up over the two days but we get two standard runs a day. When I registered for this trial I noticed I was paying less but didn't give it much thought. It wasn't until Saturday morning when I looked at the run schedule versus what I registered for that I realized we were only going to get four runs in each day. Bummer! Saturday's run schedule was Full House, Standard, Snooker, then Jumpers. We were entered in Level 3 for all of them.

So, without further ado, we got towed to the trial site and set up with our friends, Jen and Rachel. From there on the day went well until that evening and dealing with the truck. I'll leave it at that except to say how grateful I am for my awesome dad who drove all the way from Castle Rock to Turner and help tow me home - from which he probably did not get home until at least midnight. Love you, Dad!

Full House
Full house was our first run of the day. We needed three single jumps, one contact (including the double and weaves), and two circles (tunnel or tire). I set a pretty good course but got stuck spending time in the weaves when Vegas didn't cooperate the first time. I shoud have let it go. Somehow we still qualified according to the scores - although to be honest I have to maintain I know we didn't have enough points.

Standard was usually our "game." I don't know what's happening lately although I know we had a subsitute judge who made it very clear she did not design the courses this weeekend - if that tells you anything. LOL. Standard was just a mess. More than anything on this course, Vegas released herself from her startline and that put me behind. She ended up going over obstacle two, a single jump, the wrong way twice, and then we were behind the eightball. More than once I considered pulling her from this run and kenneling her. She knows better but is really fighting me on some things lately. Mostly Vegas is an extremely willing partner but there are times where she shows her independent streak. Alas, we did not Q.
Snooker used to be our nemesis. It took us umpteen tries to get our very first qualifying run in Snooker. Now we've had five in a row. Vanquished that nemesis! The course is below - we now need just one more Q in level 3 to advance to level 4. This run allowed for 45 seconds plus 5 seconds to get to the table. Our total game time was 49.83 with 38 points.

I've drawn in the course I plotted for Vegas and I on this run. With Snooker, the most difficult component is mapping the smoothest course so you can keep your dog moving. Sometimes any slack in motion they may decide to take an "off" obstacle and the game will be over. Originally I was going to take Vegas over the red you see on the right in the upper quadrant as our third red then do 5a and 5b. Then I watched someone do the 3-obstacle series for 7 and decided on the fly to do that. It worked well and helped to give us a higher point total. We made it through 6 and part of 7 before time ran out.
By the point Jumpers rolled around my dad had showed up to help with my truck. He let me make my last run which was nice since it set us back a bit on our attempts to get my truck home. As we were all walking the course en masse, people expressed their concern about getting lost. Furthermore, it seemed a goal was to try to reuse as many obstacles as possible. In other words, the course was a bit tricky. I wasn't concerned at the time about getting lost; in fact, I was excited about the course and running it with Vegas even though it wasn't open and didn't let her really stretch out and jump like she prefers. It turns out I should have been a smidge worried. Please note obstacle numbers 11 and 16. I tried almost three times to get Vegas to take #16 and she refused. Fortunately when she refused the third time I realized I had skipped 12, 13, 14, and 15. Oops! Good job Vegas for counting for me. We got back on track and still managed to Q - I couldn't hardly believe it. It was a clean run with a minor fault for time. Whoohoo! Now we need just one level 3 Jumpers Q to move up to level 4.
And with that run, we were packed up and headed out to get my truck home and try to figure out what was going on. That was an adventure in itself and suffice it to say we're still hoofing it today. We weren't able to go back on Sunday which was a bummer but we have another CPE trial hosted by Columbia Agility Team in April.

Here are a couple of our ribbons from Saturday - our friend Rachel was nice enough to pick up Vegas' Jumpers ribbon to bring to me at next weekend's AKC trial.

1 comment:

  1. First place! Wow! Congratulations Vegas!

    wags, wiggles & slobbers