30 August 2010

Good Weekend I Guess

NE Regional this past weekend, at Dreampark in NJ, just an hour away. Normally an hour is just fine commute wise, however the scheduling this weekend had Steeplechase finals finishing at 8:30 on Sat and GP Finals finishing at 7:30 (for me anyway).

At this trial I had Drifter running Team events at 26", so as not to get too used to 22" when we have AKC again this coming weekend at 26". He is running GP/Steeple at 22 since that is what I thought we'd be doing this year when I got the Q's back in the winter. So mixed up heights. Friday started with Team Gamblers, in which Drifter was pretty much retarded. Wouldn't stay, couldn't find the first weave pole, flew off the see-saw, and then knocked a bar. Bad! Next up was Steeplechase Round 1. I had decided coming into this weekend that I am going to run him like every single run is the national finals, as that is what he likes. I don't know what it is about that style, whether it's just that we stay connected more, or it keeps him mentally engaged, or what, but i ran Steeplechase very aggressively and he was 2nd in Round 1, behind only Denise's Zippity (world team dog). Kiba also ran aggressively and won her P16" height. She was not on Team, so that was her ony run on Friday.

Saturday dawned bright and early (walk thrus at 6:40!), starting with Grand Prix Round 1. Both Drifter and Kiba had byes, but ran Round 1 for practice. I had different goals with them, with Drifter again I wanted to run aggressively, and thus chose a handling strategy with all front crosses that had me driving through the course as quickly as I could, but also involved not gearing him down too much for every little corner. That's my balancing goal this year, to find what speeds around corners keep up our YPS the best. I've found sometimes I'm getting corners that are too tight! So anyway, I pushed, and he won Round 1 by almost 2 whole seconds (30.55 and next dog was 32.41). Very good result! Kiba I wanted to work contacts, as hers aren't really full running or independent, and she hit the first bar so I was relaxed and worked her as I had planned.

Next was Team Snooker, where Drifter missed a weave entry (weird!) and so I had to abort and only do 3 reds instead of 4, but we still finished and did ok for our team. I was happy that after running GP at 22" in the morning, he didn't hit any bars in Snooker. Next up was Team Jumpers, a nice course, interesting enough that I thought we would do well but Drifter tried to anticipate a rear cross, I pulled him back to the jump in time to avoid the refusal but he knocked the bar because of the weird jump/not-jump confusion, then he pulled off a jump later on when I gave him an early decel cue - which we corrected with just time loss and an R.

Once the Team classes were finished we had Steeplechase Round 2. This was a very interesting course, and again I chose the most aggressive handling options that I could with Drifter. And it paid off, he won by a comfortable margin. Kiba hit a bar early on, so I really pushed her after that and she turned in a blistering time, so even with the fault ended up 3rd. Between them I won back more than I paid in entries!

Early again Sunday morning, and we started off with Team Relay. Drifter's team was in 5th so we had to run in reverse order at the very end of the the class (around 11am, after starting at 7:30!). We had a very fast relay course, possibly won the relay, and ended up 4th overall out of 70 teams. After that there were 2 masters classes which I didn't enter, so I had an easy afternoon of reading a book and talking to friends. Finally around 4 or 5 we got started in Grand Prix. This course didn't really allow me to use my new-found super-aggressive handling skills, but I tried to pick the smoothest strategy that still kept Drifter engaged the entire course, and we had a pretty nice run. Didn't blow away everyone's times quite like in Round 1, but he still had a wonderful run and we won the class once more. Kiba also had a nice run, although she had a slight bobble, faultless thankfully, and she won her class as well.

So Drifter is the 2010 Northeast Regional 22" Steeplechase and Grand Prix Champion,
And Kiba is the 2010 Northeast 16" Performance Grand Prix Champion!

Off to AKC next weekend, it's Seri's re-debut after her long injury and spay surgery layup. She's entered at 20" so I'm sure she'll be a lunatic. She's not really ready but I wanted to get her back out to get her mind back in gear.


Tori Self said...

Yeah, not too shabby I guess. Try harder next time. (seriously though, awesome)

fulltiltbcs said...

I guess!?!?! :) You want to run my dogs at the North Central Regional?? :) Congrats Rosanne!