Monday, February 16, 2009

My First Ever High in Trial!

I've been doing competitive obedience now for about 12 years, and have never come close to getting High in Trial. Well, maybe a little close -- I've earned High Score Aussie many times with both Kaylie and Conor, but there are so many fantastic dogs around here, I just never thought it would ever be possible to get High in Trial. I finally did it -- I got my first ever High in Trial, and not with the most incredible dog ever Kaylie, but with Conor. I would describe Conor as a dog with not a whole lot of spark in the obedience ring, but he is very consistent. He knows his job and he does it. And to think I almost didn't go to this trial! I decided to go because I made the decision last week to try to get Conor qualified for the Obedience Finals at the ASCA Nationals, which will be held the end of September of this year. I had originally tried to think of ways to get Kaylie qualified for the Agility Finals (because she is the most incredible dog ever, and I always think of her first), but it was going to take a lot of traveling and a lot of money. I really, really want to compete in Finals, but just couldn't figure out a way to do it with my meager salary. Then it dawned on me that I could possibly make it with Conor in obedience. So I figured I'd better get showing him to get those high scores. They invite the top 10 dogs in the country to compete in the Finals. And to be in the top 10, you have to have three very high scores. So, so far, we're on our way! I know there are at at least three more obedience trials before the end of May (the deadline), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! As for my winning picture, unfortunately, they forgot the ribbons, so my ribbons will be sent to me. As soon as I get the ribbons, Conor will have his picture taken with his High in Trial and High Score Aussie ribbons.

1 comment:

Diamond Girl said...

Conor was meant for you. Even if he doesn't particularly love it, he has the competitive spirit to WIN. Yay Conor!!!

Kaylie - The True Wonder Dog

At our last DOCNA (Dogs on Course in North America) agility trial in Prescott, Kaylie did fantastic! We are trying to be the first team to earn the MEX (Merit of Excellence) who started in the Beginner level. We are getting VERY close. All the other teams that have earned the MEX were grandfathered in at higher levels. Kaylie was just starting her agility career when DOCNA was created, so we had no choice but to start at the beginning. And as it is, I believe there are under 20 teams that have even earned the MEX to this point.

Well, going into the trial at Prescott, we needed 2 Specialist Gamblers legs and 2 Specialist Standard legs. In DOCNA, there are two types of Gamblers runs -- Traditional and Strategic Timed Gamblers. Unfortunately, we have only earned 3 Traditional Gamblers legs -- one from the Beginner class, one from the Intern class and one from the Specialist class. All the other Gamblers legs have come from the Strategic Time Gamblers. So, I knew going in that the chance of getting that Traditional Gamblers leg on Saturday was slim. We walked into the ring, and I knew Kaylie was on fire and ready to go. The Gamblers class is usually the first class of the trial, and Kaylie is usually absolutely wild in the first run. Well, this was no different. She was incredibly fast, and I was not -- I kept getting in her way, and things just fell apart. At 30 seconds, the buzzer rang, which meant I had to get to the gamble portion of the course. I sent her over the jump to the tunnel -- she took the wrong end of the tunnel, then came right back to me over the wrong jump and that was the end of that. No MEX for us this weekend. BUT, she did qualify in the two Standard runs she needed, getting First place both times, and she got her Strategic Timed Gamblers leg on Sunday, earning a Second place. Wooo hooo Kaylie!!! Out of 10 runs over the weekend, we qualified in 8 of them, placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in all but one run -- our Jumpers run on Sunday. I got lost on the course and just got confused. Luckily, Kaylie can read the numbers on the cones (that's the only explanation I can come up with) because she ran the right course despite my mess ups! Hence the name "Wonder Dog." So we still Q'd, but got 6th place. Still, not too bad!!

So, our next DOCNA trial will be in Pinetop the end of August. Hopefully we'll get our MEX there! Just one Gambler leg to go.