Contact Sports Agility USDAA Trial - With Video

07 Feb 2011Steve Schwarz

Meeker and I competed in the Contact Sports Agility USDAA trial at the Dash N' Splash facility in Bartlett, IL this past weekend. I've been sick for two weeks and with the two feet of snow we had here classes were canceled so we haven't practiced more than 5 minutes since the last trial. At the start of the weekend my goal was to complete his ADCH title. We needed 1 Snooker Super Q. I entered the tournament classes and other classes we previously needed for Nationals and his ADCH due to the closing date of the trial. I didn't get video of every run but here are the qualifiers and a couple others. Big thanks to my videographer Linda and her friend who filled in at the last minute; I really appreciate it!

The judge for Masters and Grand Prix was Mike Wagner and I liked his courses. New local judge Jennifer Siegel handled Starters, Advanced, and Steeplechase. The courses were nice all weekend.

I was mostly interested in our Snooker run so I planned on using my other runs to proof Meeker’s start line stays. In the excitement of the trial he would occasionally break his stay. I can rarely get him excited enough in practice to reproduce it. Luckily the warm up jump was right near the start line so I was able to mark his breaking of the stay at the practice jump and he held his stay all but once all weekend - of course that was in Pairs and I didn’t want to stop him and NQ my partner…

Saturday morning’s Gamble was an unlikely one for us to complete; but I’m all about trying them anyway, you never know what might happen! I had a good plan time-wise: I was pretty sure I’d be in the right place at the right time. Meeker popped out at the 10th pole of the weaves, I was surprised! Then I was wrapping him out of the chute to take the Dog Walk again and I called him too early in the chute and almost wrapped him up in it… bad handler! For some reason it was really loud in the facility for those first runs, I couldn’t hear the buzzer go off but was able to ask the judge while Meeker was weaving again. Got the first two obstacles of the gamble but Meeker didn’t make the near side turn to the tunnel under the A Frame and we got a refusal.

Next up for use was Grand Prix, Meeker held his start line and I ended up with a 2nd place with as nice a run as we are likely to have. In our Steeplechase run it went from the triple jump to a 90 degree Off Side Weave Entry and Meeker went in at the 2nd pole; again I was surprised. I got him back in the weaves and the next challenge was a long jumping sequence with a 180 to a tunnel under the A Frame. I was happy to hear Meeker “woof” at me a little when I cued him to collect before the turn; he was pumped up and didn’t want to slow down! But he was so fast through the tunnel that he was taking an off course jump before I could cue the next jump. I was really disappointed in my handling; during the walk through I knew that was going to be a problem but I didn’t talk to him while he was in the tunnel! (I always tell my students: tunnels aren’t sound proof!). So no Steeplechase finals round for us.

Started Sunday with Masters Pairs with Anne and her BC Ya Ya. As I mentioned Meeker broke his start line and he dropped a bar when I called him over it trying to avoid an off course as I was catching up to him (what a mess!). So I didn’t have high hopes of us qualifying. Funny enough we had three bars down between us and still qualified! So now the pressure was on; if I could get a Snooker Super Q we’d have his ADCH. The layout of the reds gave me a pretty good plan for 7-7-6-6 in an all jumps/weaves/tunnel course. I got the first two 7s and as I was trying to take Meeker through the gap to the next red when I opened up my rotation early and he locked in on an off course jump and I couldn’t convince him to not take it. Of course everything happens so fast when he is amped up at a trial… The Super Qs were awarded to 4-6-6-7 runs which avoided the pinch point I was trying to get through. The last run of the day was Masters Jumpers. I think we executed nicely, Meeker went a little wide at one point, but we qualified so that is a nice way to end a weekend!

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