Wednesday, March 14, 2012

USDAA Trial Preview

On Saturday Jonah and I are heading up to All Dogs again, but this time it will be a USDAA trial.  The schedule will be very similar to last week (which was Jumpers, Snooker, Colors, Standard), except instead of Colors we'll run Pairs third.  There are lots of dogs entered, so it may be a long day.  Hopefully it will be a good one!

Round 1:  Advanced Jumpers
     I like jumpers and I generally feel like we have the tools to succeed in any Advanced Jumpers course.  Of course, we've never run one before so I might be overconfident :).  There are 12 dogs in the class.  At this point, I'm not going to work too hard to have a fast time and a placement; I'd rather focus on going clear and getting the Q.

Round 2:  Advanced Snooker
     Snooker is fun.  I used to find it rather intimidating, but now it's an enjoyable puzzle.  We'll see if it's worth going for 51 (or 59) points.  Again, a Q is more important to me.  I know we can have lovely snooker runs, and we don't need to be in the top 15% until we're in Masters.  We need 37 points to Q, so that will be the goal.  Any more than that, or any placement, is just icing on the cake.  There are 7 dogs in the class.

Round 3:  Advanced Pairs
     We have our partner assigned and we'll be running with another blue cattle dog.  This one jumps 22".  I think this week in class I'll ask if we could run a pairs simulation, having another dog in the ring, etc.  Our last pairs run went really smoothly, but it's still the most stressful game for me.  If I could only have one Q on the day it would be this one, so we could have pairs all out of the way until Masters.  I would love that.  Also, it looks like we drew a pretty good partner.  In the future I think I might like to try to find someone in advance so I don't have to do random draw.  I'd think that, especially once we get to Masters, there will be more people that I can connect with through my network.  Anyway, that's a ways off.  For now, a Q would be super wonderful.  There are 7 Advanced pairs.

Round 4:  Advanced Standard
     Last week Jonah was getting tired by the end of the day, and it showed in a lack of concentration.  I'll have to make an extra effort to get him excited before this run and then handle well so that I don't give him any extra reasons to disconnect.  We need 3 advanced standard runs, so every one matters.  There's no room for error.  I want to slow down before the table so he's less likely to jump off the other side.  The goals for this run will be to run clean and accurate.  There are 16 dogs in the class, so I'm not going to be worried about placements.  That can come later.  For now, we just need to get the job done.

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