30 October 2013

busy October, finished

So yes, haven't been on the blog much. After Kiba finished her AKC Nationals qualifications the first weekend in October (when it was SUPER HOT, by the way), I started my busy time. First I flew to Ottawa to teach for the weekend.

I had fun and we had fabulously nice weather for a seminar outside, but the travel on either side was not great - Friday on the way up there were delays and more delays, and my short commuter flight from Baltimore to Newark included a stop at Wilkes-Barre Scranton to get fuel because we'd been put in a holding pattern before being allowed to land in Newark. All of the delays were apparently caused by the rainstorm that had moved through that morning. Kind of a lame excuse, FAA!

I returned on Monday evening (this was the 14th), had Tuesday to do laundry and pack the car, and then off we went for our long trip. Wednesday I drove from here to Raleigh, NC, where I taught some private lessons Wed and Thurs morning, then left mid-day for Cumming, GA, arriving around evening at the gorgeous site of my seminar for the next 3 days. We had fun here too - it was good to be able to bring 3 of my dogs with me, and we did some walks and playing around and they seemed to like being a "pack" even while on the road.

Monday (the 21st) I had the day off, and was kindly allowed to stay at the same place so we could relax. So we went shopping for the few odd items I needed before Cynosport and then I took a nice walk with the dogs. Tuesday I packed up the rest of my stuff and made the 3.5 hour trek up to Murfreesboro, TN for Cynosport. Set up my stall, got Kiba and Strafe worked on, checked in, and then went back to the hotel.

My hotel was very dog friendly, and I got a bonus microwave/fridge I didn't know I would have, which made me happy. Kiba rather enjoyed the mirror.

Cynosport went very well. I am waiting on videos and pictures and will post when they come up, but in short summary:

Kiba ran clean in PSJ Quarterfinals to make it to Semi's. Unfortunate missed aframe contact in PSJ Semi's kept her from Finals but she would have been seeded 2nd going in if she had hit that stupid contact. Her only miss all weekend, of course! Clean in PGP Semi to make it into PGP Final, where she also ran clean, and although her slow dogwalk contact cost us some time she still finished 2nd. I'm very happy with this result even if I was sort of hoping to win - she has previously won PSJ and PVP Overall, so if she'd won this it would have been a Performance Triple Crown, but oh well, her decision to suddenly stop early on her dogwalks was nothing I could control (she does not do that at local trials anymore, so the excitement must have gotten the better of her). She had some good team runs but nothing clean and fast enough to get a placement. I didn't run her in the Challenge classes. So her only real ribbon was 2nd in PGP Final, but she came home with a big red ribbon and a huge trophy, and I was super pleased with how well she was running.

Strafe had no runs on Wed, and placed 3rd in his first run on Thurs which was Team Snooker. Once again I was the first group to run Snooker (happened last year too), so did not get the chance to watch anyone run to see how the time was playing out. No complaints - we ran great! Team Jumpers we had one little refusal but otherwise fabulous. Gamblers and Standard also went nice and clean and solid - so Strafe finished 2nd overall individual dog in the 26" class, behind only Tori and Rev. In Steeplechase Semifinals Strafe ALSO made a weird mistake, flying past a jump to go off course into a tunnel, an interesting thing to do in what I viewed as one of the absolute easiest courses of the weekend, and certainly the easiest one that I ran personally. Oh well. Strafe is only 3 years old + 1 month, after all, he does have "moments" every once in a while! Grand Prix Semi-finals ran much nicer and we got into the Finals there - my 8th GP Final, but Strafe's first red shirt run! Unfortunately that damn see-saw illusion got the better of us - I added a front cross but forgot to "yell" for him to slow down, and his sliding landing was just a bit too pushy for the judge. We had the 3rd fastest time, very close to the 2 running dogwalk runs that placed 1st and 2nd, and placed 7th with our 5 faults, so I'm pleased anyway. Strafe has only flown off 2 see-saws now, ever, in his trialing career. He really doesn't mean to do it :) 
And then of course we won Masters Challenge Jumpers with a fabulous run, I can't wait to get that on video. We were clean in Standard and I think 4th place? (or 5th? sorry I can't remember), but our combined time placed us 2nd overall for a podium appearance and a pretty (but small! for how hard it was to earn!) red ribbon.

After the event I stayed overnight Sun to rest, drove all the way home Mon. Then yesterday, Tues the 29th, I drove up to NJ because Sun night Strafe was a bit lame and I wanted that checked out. Today I have to teach class at 10 but then we are unpacking, doing laundry, resting, etc.

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