Monday, May 4, 2009

Arizona's First Ever ASCA Agility Trial

This weekend was Arizona's first ASCA-only agility trial. For a little history, there is an agility venue called NADAC. Way back in the day, NADAC and ASCA basically had the same rules and used the same types of equipment, so most clubs would hold dual sanctioned trials, where you could earn titles in both NADAC and ASCA. With these dual sanctioned trials though, the trials were held by the NADAC rules. Then NADAC started changing its rules and created different classes, and it basically became too difficult for ASCA to deal with, so the two agility organizations decided to go their separate ways. It worked out for ASCA exhibitors in some parts of the country where ASCA agility was firmly established, but here in Arizona, the club that held the dual sanctioned trials decided to just do NADAC trials. That basically left it up to our local Aussie club to hold ASCA agility trials. Unfortunately, most of the people in our Aussie club do not do agility, so there just hasn't been the support needed to hold a trial.

After a 4-year hiatus, the Northern Arizona Australian Shepherd Association (NAASA) and Top Dog Performance Club put together a fantastic ASCA agility trial up in Chino Valley, Arizona. I had such a great time - great friends, great courses, great dogs, and did I say great friends?? Man, if people don't get involved in agility to have fun with their dogs, they need to just do it for the camaraderie and hanging out with friends.

Kaylie and Conor did absolutely fantastic - I couldn't have asked for anything more from them. I'm sure though they would probably ask for a better handler -- especially Conor. Since I had never done an ASCA agility trial, I didn't realize how spread out courses typically are, which means you are RUNNING (or with Conor -- it means sprinting like an Olympian!) And then combine that with the higher altitude, I'm amazed I made it through the weekend without having a heart attack! After every run I felt like puking. I'm glad I didn't eat a whole lot, or I'm sure I would have.

Here is how the Wonder Dogs did this weekend. Kaylie was entered in Open Standard and Open Jumpers, because I had done a couple of the NADAC/ASCA trials where she finished her Novice titles before the ASCA/NADAC split.


Open Standard Round 1 Q = 1st Place
Open Standard Round 2 NQ
Open Standard Round 3 NQ
Open Standard Round 4 Q = 1st Place

Open Jumpers Round 1 Q = 1st Place
Open Jumpers Round 2 Q = 1st Place
Open Jumpers Round 3 NQ

Novice Gamblers Round 1 Q = 2nd Place
Novice Gamblers Round 2 Q = 7th Place

Open Gamblers Round 3 Q = 1st Place

Since the first two rounds of Gamblers were on Saturday, and Kaylie qualified in both runs, I moved her up to Open on Sunday. For a dog that’s not so great at distance, she was awesome in Gamblers this weekend, and qualified in all three rounds.


Novice Standard Round 1 NQ
Novice Standard Round 2 Q = 3rd Place
Novice Standard Round 3 Q = 2nd Place
Novice Standard Round 4 NQ

Novice Jumpers Round 1 Q = 2nd Place
Novice Jumpers Round 2 NQ
Novice Jumpers Round 3 Q = 3rd Place

Novice Gamblers Round 1 Q = 1st Place
Novice Gamblers Round 2 NQ
Novice Gamblers Round 3 NQ

I was so disappointed in Conor's Round 2 Gamblers run. We had racked up something like 50 points - the dog was on absolute fire. Then we got to the gamble portion. It started with the A-frame, and then had 3 off set jumps - it looked pretty easy. Unfortunately he missed the A-frame contact. I was really surprised, because he typically doesn't miss his contacts, but alas, it happened. Bummer. His Gamblers run on Sunday was almost as good - he was running like a maniac, racking up the points. The gamble on this run was basically just a serpentine - four jumps off set that they basically just zig-zag over - very easy. Unfortunately by the time we got to the gamble portion, I was so out of breath and not in the best position, so he missed the first jump. I tried to get him back over that first jump, but I just hit a wall - my legs wouldn't work, my brain wouldn't work, and my body wouldn't work. And he just stood there barking at me trying to get me to give him CLEAR directions. I just had to laugh - poor dog! He did finish his Novice Jumpers title though this weekend.

I'm so looking forward to the next ASCA agility trial. I've gotta start really working on sprinting so I can keep up with my Conor baby!

1 comment:

Diamond Girl said...

What a great weekend! Nice work, Wonder Dogs! And you are so right about doing agility for the friendships. You and Sheryl and Terri and the others really make me happy. Can't wait for this weekend!

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.