They're what it's all about, apparently....
Still pondering USDAA Nationals. I entered Strafe in a Grand Prix to try to get his final Q for Denver, just in case I decide to go. Right now I am leaning towards not going, but will take this weekend to finish thinking about it. I am thinking the money saved from staying home could go directly towards my "european trip" fund for next year, whether that be WAO or EO (or if I don't make either, then it can go towards Tryouts or Tulsa or whatever).
I am very curious about what the WAO will do with their jump heights and cutoffs next year. Last year the jump height was 550mm (~22"), and the cutoff was 500mm (19.69"). The organizers felt that this was an unfair competition for smaller/medium sized BC's and other breeds, the dogs in the 17-18" range. So they lowered the jump height to 525mm (20.6") and planned a jump height cutoff change to 485mm (19.1"), however, there was a bit of an uproar last year about it (because they initially wanted to change the height cutoff starting in 2012, after they had already invited dogs who medalled to return and compete). So they pushed that till 2013, but now what they are saying is that they "don't know" what the cutoffs (and jumps heights?) will be next year. Now that I'm not running Drifter, who is basically on the cutoff, it doesn't directly affect me anymore. But if they raise the jump heights back to 550mm, I probably won't reapply with Kiba, as I feel that the 525mm height is really her limit of comfort, and she was indeed competitive there. If we had gone clean or had only minor faults in all Pentathlon rounds, I'm sure she could have won a medal. When she ran clean in Jumping she was 7th and 2nd place, which is nothing to sneeze at with over 50 very competitive dogs in my height.
If they do lower the cutoff to 485, that will mean more dogs forced up to the 650mm height, and less dogs able to apply from every country, so the jump height will be smaller, which I'm not really happy about - I want MORE competition so the win is more meaningful, not less so the win is easier. However, I have to say, I don't really like the current old cutoff with the new heights - 500mm as a cutoff is a little too big for a 525mm jump height. I don't know about making it 485, but something in the middle might be reasonable, something like 490 maybe? Should be about 19.25" or so... I don't know. I'm curious to see what they do.
I unpacked Kiba's nifty folding travel bed I used in Belgium and layed it on the floor (it's a nice thick comfy polyfill bed), and Kiba immediately went over and slept on it. Does she miss the excitement of the trip? Who knows.