Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pinetop DOCNA Agility Trial

This past weekend we were up in beautiful Pinetop, AZ for a DOCNA agility trial. As always, we had a great time - some great runs, some not so great runs, and lots of laughs. I will probably remember this trial as the weekend Kaylie couldn't hit an A-frame contact to save her life! The only A-frame contact she hit was on her last run. Guess we have a new problem to work on. She did hit every dog walk contact though! One day we will get it all worked out where she hits every single contact on every single run!

Here is a recap of how Kaylie & Conor did this weekend:


Specialist Jumper 1 - Q - 4th Place
Specialist Jumper 2 - Q/2nd Place
Specialist Jumper 3 - NQ
Specialist Snakes N' Ladders - NQ
Specialist Standard 1 - NQ
Specialist Standard 2 - NQ
Specialist Standard 3 - NQ
Specialist Traditional Gamble - NQ
Specialist Strategic Time Gamble - Q - 1st Place
Specialist Trigility - NQ


Intern Jumper 1 - NQ
Intern Jumper 2 - Q - 1st Place
Intern Jumper 3 - NQ
Beginner Snakes N' Ladders - Q - 1st Place
Intern Standard 1 - NQ
Intern Standard 2 - Q - 1st Place
Intern Standard 3 - NQ
Specialist Traditional Gamble - NQ
Specialist Strategic Time Gamble - Q - 2nd Place
Intern North America Challenge - NQ
Intern Trigility - NQ

Conor finally finished his Beginner Snakes N' Ladders title in grand style with a 1st place, so I was happy with that. Perhaps the most exciting part of the trial was being able to compete with both Kaylie and Conor in the same level for the Gamble classes. Neither one qualified on Saturday in the Traditional Gamble class. The gamble was extremely difficult. It consisted of a jump to a curved tunnel to the weave poles then to a jump. Only 3 dogs in the whole class got the gamble - it was pretty tricky. But both Kaylie and Conor did qualify in the Strategic Time Gamble on Sunday, with Kaylie getting 1st place and then Conor getting 2nd place. Very cool! Sadly, Conor did not qualify in the North America Challenge though. He was doing so well until the very end where we had a dog walk/tunnel discrimination. He was supposed to take the dog walk, but he ended up taking the tunnel instead. The dog is just so fast - he was in that tunnel before I knew it, despite my many pre-cues to take the dog walk. Oh well. Luckily there is a mini trial next weekend where I will have two chances to get Conor qualified for the Championships. And then if it doesn't happen there, we'll go to Prescott and try there.

This weekend we will be shifting gears and doing an obedience trial. This will be Conor's last chance to get those elusive 195+ scores that I know he can get.

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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.