Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rose City Classic 2012 - Thursday

Thursday I had Vegas entered in both regular classes - Standard and JWW - and her brother, Leo, in JWW only. While I had set up our crates to save a spot for us Wednesday, I still had reason to get there early enough to get things unloaded etc. Plus I wanted a cup of coffee on the drive and had an errand or two to run. So another early day.

When we got there it was pouring. Like, torrential downpour, nasty, cold, wet raining cats and dogs. It was miserable. And the spaces closest to the covered walkways at Expo were taken. So that meant unloading all our stuff onto our cart in the rain, walking across the parking lot to the covered walkway, then walking about a quarter mile from the back end of the parking lot to the building. Let's just say that by the time I got in the building I was already in a foul mood. I am really not a fan of the weather in Oregon anyway and this did nothing to improve that perception. So I walk in the door and basically drop my umbrella, shove my cart inside, then try to get myself and Vegas in, pick our crap up again, and then have to "show our sticker" to prove we're participants, etc. As if the crapload of stuff wasn't clue enough....

Anyway, the little dogs were in a hard plastic crate so at least they were contained until I got things unloaded and set up. I was fortunate enough to get a spot by the wall with the curtain behind us so there was a "hidden" space to put extra crap. One of the biggest issues at Rose City is how little space the competitors/participants have for the varied accoutrements that come with dog showing. My usual setup includes at least one 18 gallon Rubbermaid container that stores all blankets, crate covers, clips, and dog dishes I may need to use. The container is not only sturdy and a good fit for this type of stuff, in our wretched weather it also ensures those things remain nice and dry for the pups.
It didn't take too long to get things set up and then Vegas and I went to pick up maps. Our judges for the four days were David Hirsch and Tim Pinneiri. We totally scored on that front. Fabulous courses, good humor, and just generally great people. In fact, the courses were generally well designed for larger dogs, did not have tight manuevers that were difficult in general, plus things ran well for dogs who are unaccustomed to a rubber-matted surface. I probably mentioned this in last year's Rose City post but probably 90% of competitors here only compete on rubber-matting once a year unless they travel and it's here at Rose City. The rest of our facilities offer varied dirt flooring that may include rock, clay, and other substrate combinations. So major kudos to those two because we really had wonderful courses and could not have asked for better tempered judges for such a long weekend in a more chaotic environment.

The show was alternately hosted by the Tualatin Kennel Club and the Dog Fanciers Association of Oregon. Thursday was Tualatin Kennel Club. Our first run of the day was Standard judged by David Hirsch. Our run order was different each day for Excellent level dogs with 24/26 running as the second group Thursday.

Of course I only had one other run with one other dog but it looked to be a conflict. The trial secretaries are really great at this show in helping all of us deal with conflicts though what with obedience, conformation, rally, and agility going on. They extended our walk through for big dogs so that I could run Leo's course first then come walk and run Vegas'.

My plan here was to begin by giving her as much of a run into the tunnel as possible so we backed up almost to the score table. From there I was hoping to move out in front of the tire and call her through. From there it was important not to push in too far on #3 which could cause her to take the off course jump. I was hopeful that by hanging back, on the inside, she would smoothly make the turn from #3 to #4 in a 180 versus looking around. From there I assumed I could work in a rear cross at 7 with a verbal command to go to the table. Once she was on the table I just needed to turn back where I had come from to take the same jump we'd just left again and pull her back to the teeter from the inside. From there until the weaves I would be able to maintain position. Of course I had the a-frame in mind and making sure she nailed her contact. I wasn't concerned about the weaves and trying to front cross in there. I knew I would have time while she was in the weaves to front cross afterward to be in position to send her ot the tunnel after 14. The biggest issue with this course was making sure she nailed her contact on the dog walk and then not pulling in too soon, too tight so as to miss #17 or draw her back into the weaves. Fortunately she makes things pretty easy sometimes and her run off the end of the dog walk gave us just the right shaping we needed to head back up on the finish line of 17-20.
SCT - 71. Yards - 191. Our time: 51.54 - a smoking 3.71 YPS. 

So one thing I hadn't counted on but understand better now was the knocked panel (#3). I moved laterally and she looked to me - which was good! However, it caused Vegas to drop her rear which, in turn, dropped the top bar. So major bummer cause my girl was seriously moving on this course. She ended 19 seconds under course time - a major accomplishment for such a big girl. So I was not upset; she did what she could and I now know to watch for lateral movement with a panel and be more careful, plus work this when we do practice. She's so efficient in her jumping these days she just doesn't have the room to spare that we once did. Which is why she's faster, and which means I have to accommodate. 

Being as JWW always runs faster, it wasn't but a short wait until we were ready to walk our JWW course. Although I didn't love the two tunnels, I had no other complaints. The challenges were fair and there was a good amount of room to move on the course. I planned to start at an angle to the #1 jump (from the left side) to give her the advantage of moving out and arcing initially in her movement. It also put me in a good spot to be able to get out between 3 and the tunnel. Once she was in the tunnel I planned on just backing up a couple steps and calling her to make the left exit and work the tunnel #6 entrance from the right. Again, I planned to back up and just call her toward me so she knew what direction but give the "weave" command. Here came the tricky part. I just didn't feel confident in attempting any sort of cross after #8. I felt like there was too little space and I'd end up sending her into the tunnel inadvertently. So I worked 8, 9, and 10 like a serpentine. After the weaves I pulled her toward me and pushed over 8, pulled over 9, and pushed over 10. I then planned a blind cross between 11 and 12 but ended up with a front, I believe. I worked the inside for 13 and 14 and planned (and executed!) a blind cross after 14. I also planned a blind cross between 17 and 18 with a "flip" to turn for 19.
I love how well I can count on my Vegas. She's super reliable, what others have called "honest." She will do what I tell her, even if I don't mean to tell her to do something. Our time on this run was 37.08. SCT was 47 and yards were 167. We were 10th place out of 16 qualifying runs.

All in all, a great day. Can't fault the oops on Standard and while that's the better run to Q in, I can count on my girlie for JWW.

Of course there was some more conformation, too, Thursday and I took some more random pictures.
The empty agility course...
The Pom ring...
Working Group...
The awesome FitPAWS booth - we had so much fun there!
From the evening specialty after Best in Show.
This is Stevie who earned his Championship on Saturday.
After Best in Show....nobody's around. Except the Dane peeps.
Vegas thought watching conformation was boring. She wanted home and dinner.
The beautiful pup, Darla.
We finally got out of there about a quarter after 9. It was a late night with an early morning the next day so we pretty much drove home, the dogs were fed, and we were all off to bed. Fourteen hours, two great runs, and a qualifying score plus a day spent with cool people. 

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