31 July 2013

Back!

We returned to US soil yesterday. It is a long day of travel, and I can't imagine how much more tiring it must be to travel back to the West Coast versus here. We woke up in Brussels, got to the airport about 2 and 1/2 hours before our flight, then had an 8 hour flight, another 1 hour to clear customs, a 15 minute ride back to Ashley's house to recover my car, then a 2.5 hour drive back home through traffic to get here! So this is why I didn't post last night ;)

It's going to take me a while to process all the photos I took of sight seeing.

Here's a brief recap of the trial, I will go more in depth later:
Wed we had off site practice, which went great. Thursday was on site practice, very brief, only a couple minutes in the rings, which also went great. Opening ceremonies were thankfully quick since 700+ dogs in the arena was hot and crowded and noisy, although also amazing and exciting!
Friday was Team Agility first for us, and Strafe and I were ALL over the map for that one. Off course, THREE times, not our best effort at all. So for Team Jumping in the afternoon I came back vengeful and we did pretty well, our first clean run for 12th place. Our Team was strangely consistent with each other - all 4 dogs went off course in Agility and all 4 dogs were clean in Jumping, this finished us in 54th place out of 104 teams, right in the middle. Oh well, none of us can blame anyone else for our placement!!
Saturday was Individual runs, I was really excited for these, and we did great. Jumping was a really technical course, and by then I was realizing that while the footing was "OK" for the dogs, when it got even a little bit deep I as a handler was having trouble pivoting and re-accelerating, so I aborted my super aggressive plans and just gutted out a clean run in Jumping for 18th place, we finished under time, one of only 31 dogs to do so clean! (there were over 400 dogs in the class) In Agility I didn't go crazy but we had a lovely solid run and finished 14th place. Only Large dog for USA to go double clear, so we actually would have made the Final round in all 3 ways possible - Top 25 placement in Agility, Jumping, or top USA dog! Cool!
Sunday's Final was a really fun course, we pretty much nailed it and I was really thrilled with our run even before I saw our time and my name on the leaderboard! I am also completely happy to get 2nd place to Janita who is a fabulous handler and trainer! I gave my giant bag of dog food to her and the Finnish team as well, no way I could bring that prize home. The trophy I stuffed in my suitcase.

Our 4 clean runs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2XfoCoKLMU

In the Final

After our victory lap (Strafe is watching Janita run her winner's lap)


Terry Smorch (who finished 10th in the Final also with a clean run!) holding my giant bag of dog food,
 and me holding my giant trophy

2 comments:

gordongirls said...

Congratulations on your wonderful weekend and impressive placement!

Tammy Moody said...

You two looked and look great! Congratulations.