Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CAT CPE Trial, April 2011

Oh my gosh what a positively exhausting weekend. Here is what we were entered in:


  • Standard - Level 5
  • Colors - Level 4
  • Snooker - Level 5
  • Jackpot Level 4
  • Jumpers Level 5
  • Standard Level 5
  • Wildcard Level 5 (should have been 4....)
  • Snooker Level 5
  • Jackpot Level 4
  • Full House Level 5
I was chief scorekeeper for the first time at this trial, too, which contributes to my exhaustion and brevity about the trial. I will say this though: the trial was awesome. We got a lot of positive feedback and thanks from people about how smoothly things ran. They had a great time and were very gracious. That means a ton! 

Our actual class run order ended up being Colors, Jumpers, Standard, Snooker, and Jackpot on Saturday; and Snooker, Jackpot, Standard, Wildcard, Full House on Sunday. The courses were a lot of fun, had challenges, but were completely fair. Here are the main issues we had this weekend. 1) Random anomalies occurred and we didn't Q as much as we usually do. 2) We got called on something that is entirely possible we actually did do, but bothers me because someone told me the judge was making a call of his own accord for many dogs. The issue with that had to do with the yellow surface/contact and the rules stating a dog must pass through it or incur a major fault. He was calling major faults for coming off the side of the dog walk even when dogs were in the yellow if they had a running contact. That's not the rules and it seems a bit self-righteous to arbitrarily think you can make that kind of decision and ruin someone's run. Anyway! Stepping off my soap box. The other two judges were great and I got to work with some super awesome people! 

In the end, we qualified in six of our 10 classes. We added a few more level five legs and chipped a bit more away on the last few level four requirements. 

I don't have several of the maps for Saturday as there weren't any printed from one judge. The Colors course was really nice and we almost wouldn't have had it as I had walked a combination of the courses and caught it just as we went into the ring. Vegas' run was fast and beautiful. We had a knocked bar coming out of a tunnel, though, that cost us the run. 
Saturday's jumpers course earned us our second level five leg. The SCT was 39 (146 yards). Vegas ran it in 31.03. I was, obviously, annoyed with so many tunnels, but the course itself was fine otherwise. There was a good balance of challenge with flow. She got first place as well in this run. 

The Standard course yesterday was a little tough. I recall it having a a-frame to tunnel sequence followed by weaves. It meant getting the dog into the tunnel then getting around the a-frame to the opposite side to guide the dog into the weaves. Vegas ran everything beautifully and I was so happy with her then saw the score. We were marked for a major fault. Yep, coming off the side of the dog walk even though it was at the bottom and, from what I was told and remembered, touching the yellow. Oh well. 

Snooker was next.
I found a fairly flowing course right away. See below.
Vegas ran well and we were able to get through seven before time. We finished in third place with 46 points in 36 seconds for our first level five Snooker leg.

Jackpot, our nemesis, was last for the day. The course looked completely doable and the judge was being uber nice about the rules and whatnot. Vegas ran wonderfully and even had enough time to do more than I had planned because of speed. The jackpot was traditional so we had to wait for the send. Of course that's when things go awry sometimes. I ran full speed for the send bonus with Vegas and while she got her weave entry she didn't keep going and I had to waste a second or three to correct. The rest was just as drivey and beautiful as she usually runs but the final buzzer went off just before we took the final jump in the send bonus so we NQd.

We didn't get home until just after 8pm Saturday and were completely tired. Of course I didn't get enough sleep - rarely do - but today was a better day! Those random anomalies didn't occur and I was more together about things.

Snooker was first and, again, I found a nice course to run. The jumps up the right side of the map were more in line than they appear. The most difficult part of my plan was the handling and angle/approach into the 5b jump after my second red. See our path in the second map below.
We made it, though. And walking off the course I counted the points and thought we had exactly enough. Unfortunately I forgot one rule. When you knock a bar your point accumulation ends there in the two through seven sequence. Vegas knocked the bar in 5b on her way through the second time. Oh well.

We had a little while but then Jackpot was up and Standard came on its heels. Jackpot - AKA, our nemesis. Nice course though!
First off, this was a non-traditional Jackpot which alone makes it better. Next, we had three choices for what Jackpot we wanted to take. Vegas was still landing far and long and moving fast and excited, so I had my hands full, but we did it. Our path is above. We ended up making it under time by 7.49 seconds with 49 points and a first place ribbon. Yahoo! This was our second level 4 Jackpot leg. Seven more total and we're done! We stood around and chatted a bit afterward with some people and I had just put Vegas away when one of the other score keepers asked me if I was running Vegas in Standard. Away I went to get Vegas!
This was a fun course, fast for Standard. I started out handling from the left since we needed to get to the teeter and I didn't want to pull her to the #8 jump instead. She shot into the tunnel like a dog far smaller and I hung close enough to tell her to "climb" as she was making the bend in the tunnel. I supported her a-frame descent to make sure we nailed the contact and found myself calling her hard off the #1 jump as she cleared the tire and her gaze zeroed in on it. From there it was a race to the end of the sequence of 7 through 10 so I could guide her toward 11 and the weaves. I'm pleased to say she keeps reaffirming my realization that she's solid in her weaves and we have no on side or off side preference now. I was also glad to see a full set of 12 weaves in both standard courses this weekend since we have AKC next weekend. From there things went well. She hits the dog walk so hard now that I have looked back at her regularly in recent runs to make sure she maintains her footing. I'm not used to her plowing up it so much. Guess she's just a Dane on a mission. :) My handling was a little off and slow with the final sequence of jumps and I know I verbally called her off wrong courses at least once, but she did it and did it well. SCT was 65 seconds (178 yards). She ran it in 47.72 and got a red ribbon. Yay Vegas!

We had a little break where we went back to the score table. My silly girl decided Zibbit's bed was a good place for her to try to lay down even though she had her own bed.
Our last two runs of the day were Wildcard and Full House. The Wildcard course had two back-to-back tunnels but I was able to choose wildcards that did not involve tunnels. Our wildcards were tire, dog walk, and weaves.
Vegas rocked the course ending in 27.49 seconds (SCT was 35) and qualifying in first place. I had somehow missed it on my confirmation or entered her wrong, but this was recorded as a level 5 Wilcard run but should have been our last level 4. They were the same course, being run as 4/5/C, so I hope it doesn't get taken away from us.

Last but not least was Full House. I barely got to walk this course but fortunately it's not a huge deal since you basically just need to run around and take obstacles and then get to the table shortly after the buzzer goes. The time is generous, the points are minimal, and the course was decent. We had exactly 25 points in 37.73 seconds and a first place.
And that was that for our CPE weekend. Six out of 10 runs were qualifers. We didn't finish any titles this time but have just three (or four, depending on what they do with our Wildcard run) legs left to completely finish level 4. We also have eight legs toward the 40 necessary for our C-ATCH. Yikes. That sounds like it's a ways off. :( I really had hoped to try to finish it by the end of 2011 so Vegas could retire from the tunnel-heavy CPE.

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