Lorrie’s Agility Dog Blog

Musings on Dogs, Agility, and Being an Instructor

USDAA Trial 5/16 & 5/17

We had an amazing weekend at the Pueblo USDAA trial hosted by ACAT.  After missing 80% of his contacts last weekend, Maxx hit all of his contacts this weekend except one dogwalk, including three A-Frames in Snooker.  He qualified in 9/11 runs and got second place in PSJ round 2.  I had start line stays too.  Best of all, he *finally* got that last SQ for his APD (performance ADCH)!  Now he has a championship title in all three venues we participate in.  We have had a hard time getting those SQs both because he is the smallest dog in the class and because we have a heck of a lot of (inter)nationally known competitors with dogs in that class. 

This was a “double games” trial, so we had double jumpers, gamblers, and snooker.  It made for long days, but was a lot of fun.  I had not trialed under either of the two judges, Dave Hanson or Scott Lovelis, and they are both very nice judges who created good, challenging but doable courses.

The snooker course from Saturday created by Dave Hanson is below.  It is the one Maxx got his SQ on.  We did two 7s and two 6s in the opening and made it all the way through the closing.  This was an interesting course for several reasons.  As you can see from the map, competitors could attempt three OR four reds.  Anyone with a relatively fast dog attempted four.  The #6 combo (A-Frame and jump) had to be taken in a straight line.  There were several people – like myself with Storm – that pulled the dog too far around the red by 6b and ended up with the dog taking 6b from the A-Frame side, which negated that sequence.  The #7 combo of three jumps was interesting as well, because although all the jumps were bi-directional, you couldn’t take it the same way twice in the opening.  So if you took the red in the bottom corner and then 7b, you could not take the red on the top left and start with 7b – it had to be 7a or 7c.

There were a lot of different plans, which was fun to see.  A few people started with the bottom right red and ran across the front of the ring to take 7 before taking the two reds on the left followed by 7s and then the red on the other side of the A-Frame and a 6.  Some of the more conservative people started with the bottom left red, followed by 7, the top left red followed by 5, the top right red followed by 3, and the bottom right red followed by 2, 3, or 6.  A lot of people had the same plan as I did with Maxx.  Bottom left red-7c-7b-7a-top left red-7b-7a-7c-bottom right red-6b-6a-top right red-6a-6b-closing for 57 points.  I don’t remember anyone successfully getting four sevens, but I didn’t watch every run.


Snooker 5-16-09 APD

 Aside from the common faults of knocked bars, refusals, and missed contacts, the fault I saw most frequently was taking the red jump after 5 in the closing.  I’m pretty sure they were closer as built than they look on paper, and a lot of dogs overshot 5.  The handlers were at a full run from 3 to 5, which indicated extension to the dogs.  Successful handlers either got close to 5 at the same time as their dog did and were able to direct the turn, and/or used deceleration to indicate to the dog that a change in direction was coming.  Another common fault was the dog taking the bottom left red after 7b.  Those were also closer as built, I believe, and handlers that couldn’t get a cross in or pull to 7c suffered the heartbreak of seing their dogs drifting out to the red instead of completing the last element of the combination.

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend as well!


May 18, 2009 Posted by | Agility, Agility Trial, Course Strategy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment