Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sugar Bush Trial Preview

I've been waiting for this weekend for a while, and I can't believe it's almost here!  We're going to drive out to Sugar Bush Farm in NY on Friday night right after I finish my midterm.  When we get there, we'll set up our tent and try to get a good night's sleep.  Jonah should have some time to settle into the site and walk around the rings so the morning isn't quite as exciting.  There's currently a 30% chance of scattered thunderstorms, but hopefully we'll be alright.  It will be good to give the tent some rain experience, and we'll have the car right there if it gets too bad.

Then in the morning we'll be able to wake up at the trial site--no driving!  Here's a peak at what's to come:

Round 1:  Jackpot Level 3
     We didn't get our last try at Level 3 Jackpot, but hopefully we can get this one.  It's nontraditional, and Kim Stumph is the judge.  The last Jackpot we did with her was very manageable, so hopefully this will be as well.  It's the same course as Levels 1 and 2, so I would assume it shouldn't be too tough.  Plus, it's the first round of the weekend and I would think she'd want to get things off to a good start.  Jonah is one of five dogs in his class.  This trial is a little bit farther away than we're used to going, and I don't know the vast majority of the dogs and handlers, so I don't have a good sense of what our competition will be.  I'm sure we can handle anything, though.

Round 2:  Standard Level 3
     If we get this Q, we'll be half way done with our Level 3 Standard Q's.  There are four other dogs in the class, and I feel confident that we'll be competitive if nothing out of the ordinary happens.  I think standard is my favorite class.

Round 3(?):  Wildcard Level 3
     Three of our four classes are in Ring 1 and our Snooker run is in Ring 2.  Ring 1 is running Jackpot-Standard-Snooker-Wildcard.  Ring 2 is running Jackpot-Standard-Wildcard-Snooker.  We are one of the last dogs in each ring, so I'm not sure how the schedule will move around.  I'm not sure if our Wildcard or our Snooker run will be first.  Hopefully I won't have a conflict with the runs or the course walks.  I'm sure people will be flexible if there are conflicts, but it would definitely add some stress.  Anyway, our Wildcard class is huge with nine dogs.  We'll have to run fast and clean!

Round 4 (?):  Snooker Level 4
     This will be our Level 4 debut!  It will be our first run in this ring, so hopefully Jonah will be able to focus in.  There are only 3 other dogs in our class, so our highest level class has the fewest dogs.  I'd like to get the Q with a smooth course rather than pushing for high points, but we'll see what the course setup is like.

That will be the end of the trial, but not the end of our weekend fun!

After the trial we'll be driving about half an hour away to Mount Greylock State Reservation in MA.  We'll have a 1.3 mile hike with our backpacks to the campsite.  I'm hoping we won't have any trouble getting setup before dark.  Then, Sunday morning we're going to drop our packs off at the car, get some breakfast, and head out for a day hike/run.  We'll get to spend some time on the Appalachian trail (a first for all of us, unless Jonah is hiding something from his past), hike the highest mountain in the state (which, for MA, means it's not even a 4000 footer!) and generally enjoy a day outside.  The weather's supposed to be great.

So, all in all it has the potential to be a fantastic weekend.  I'll let you know how things go!

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