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June 24, 2009

Blackthorne June 2009

Another weekend at the Blackthorne in the Irish Catskills of NY...many good runs with just one or two bobbles...a couple with multiple bobbles...and several Q's for both Token and Dandy.

Token earned his 10th leg in Master Gamblers to finish his Gambler Champion title, and his 15th leg in Master Snooker for his Snooker Champion-Bronze title. He also qualified in one Masters Standard class and in Master Pairs.

Dandy earned his 5th leg in Masters Standard for his Standard Agility Master title. He ran Master Pairs on Friday with fellow Border Collie "Freddie", and they qualified with a clean, fast run and a 2nd place! In Saturday's Pairs class, Dandy was paired with Jefferson, a sweet 13 yr old mixed-breed dog who just won't quit... he's fighting cancer yet living life to the fullest. He is Ann Marie's soulmate and it was an honor to run with them. So it was indeed special as Dandy and Jefferson qualified for Dandy's 5th leg and his Relay Master title. Thank you, Jefferson!

Dandy needed two Super Q's in Master Snooker to finish that title, and we had two chances to run Snooker over the weekend. (3 of the 5 legs for this title must be scores in the top 15% of the class, so we not only had to qualify but we had to beat almost every other dog in the 26" class; the top 3 dogs earned Super Q's this weekend.) In Saturday's Snooker, we went for the high points with the 7-pt weaves, and we finished with 51 pts and 2nd place and a Super Q! Sunday's Snooker gave us a tunnel for the 7-pt obstacle but 4 reds that made getting there difficult at times...we had to improvise after our 4th red as Dandy decided to do the 5-pt jump combo instead of the tunnel....but we made it thru to the end, and finished with 57 pts and First Place and our final Super Q to earn Dandy's Snooker Master title!

Our next USDAA trial is not until August, which seems so far away. But we do have a local AKC trial in July to keep us "in gear".

Our room at the Blackthorne was actually renovated...old dark paneling & carpet are gone, room is bright with pretty area rugs, new drapes rather than the vertical blinds with every other one missing, a new lamp (with the plastic still on the shade ), and the biggest improvement of all, a Remote Control for the TV!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

June 16, 2009

USDAA Northeast Regional

On June 12-14, we attended the USDAA Northeast Regional in Bethlehem, PA, hosted by Keystone Agility Club. I have not been to a Regional event in several years, and this was the first one for both Token and Dandy. They were both qualified to run in the Grand Prix and Steeplechase. We did not advance to Round 2 in either due to one error in each run that kept us from having the clean runs necessary for advancement. But I'm very proud of the boys nevertheless!
We also competed in the Team competition (3 dogs/handlers per team, running 5 classes with cumulative scoring). There were 67 teams entered, with the top 33 earning a "qualification". With the intense competition at a Regional event, I didn't have high expectations to qualify.
Token did well on his team, managing to get scores in all 5 of his events (in other words, he didn't get any "Eliminations"). However, his teammates (two other Border Collies) had a bit of bad luck with some off-course Eliminations, so Token's team ended up in 45th place with no "Q". My teammates were fun & supportive of one another, so we still enjoyed the competition.

Dandy was teamed up with a mini-poodle named Beau, run by Lynn S., a long-time agility friend whom I teamed with several times in past years, mostly when I was running Toss. We were unable to find a 3rd so we entered as a Draw, and were matched up with a cool Sheltie named Logan, run by Mary A. With these three boys, we named our team "Sharp Dressed Men" (thanks for the idea, Carole!) All 3 'Sharp Dressed Men' ran well, without incurring any "Eliminations" at all. After the final class of the Relay, we were thrilled to end up in 4th place overall! Of course, they only gave awards for 1st through we just missed the virtual podium. But I could not be more proud of 2-yr-old Dandy at his very first big event, he did a tremendous job! And thanks to my great teammates for helping us earn a Team "Q" as well.
Click Dandy in the Team Relay for a photo of Dandy.
And here is Token in the Team Relay

June 7, 2009

Lake Days

Finally, a weekend free with nice weather! I got some quality training sessions in with Token and Dandy, and also got to take them to the lake. Toss got to enjoy the lake, too! (see video!)

June 4, 2009

Agility Update

Over the Memorial Day holiday, we spent 3 days at Agility Camp in Ohio. It was a great learning experience! For the sake of consistency & focus, I worked only Token in the camp sessions. (Dandy will get his turn at another camp in July!) Overall, it was very worthwhile. Token ran well the following weekend at the Contact Agility Club's USDAA trial May 30-31, in Wingdale, NY. We still have alot to learn and much to finesse but I see much improvement. Token qualified in 4 out of 7 classes, with placements: 3rd place in Masters Snooker, 2nd place in Masters Standard, 1st place in Master Pairs, and a nice clean run to take 1st place in Round 1 of Steeplechase. Round 2 was not as pretty, we ended up 3rd place. But overall, I was pleased with our runs.
Dandy only got one Q out of the weekend, in Master Pairs, where he ran clean & fast! We earned 5-10 faults in other runs, but I did not do any training with Dandy while at camp nor over the past couple weeks. So, we have this coming weekend off, and I plan to work on skills & drills to get me & Dandy back in sync!

Here is a video of Dandy's Steeplechase run, faults and all...

Here is Token's Steeplechase run, 1st place in Round 1...

(If the links don't work, go to youtube and search for barkingadchoo)
And I don't know why these can't be viewed in HQ
when my other videos could....