Monday, March 25, 2013

AKC Nationals: Part 2

So after our warm-up run on Friday, the actual competition began Saturday morning.

1 of 3 rings in the large building

We got there at the crack of dawn to retrieve our course maps & walk the course. We started with the JWW course:

This course featured our 2nd ever (in competition) back-side of a jump. And it seemed to be pretty easy one. Porter & I had been practicing these a lot leading up to Nationals...

Other than that, and the demotivating opening, it seemed like a fun course. I was more excited to run something challenging than I was nervous about it being the Nationals.

I had already decided going in that I had very few expectations for the outcome. Performance expectations, yes. But outcome-wise, no. I had no idea what caliber our competitors would be, or even what caliber Porter would be running at  :)  He did decide to not weave throughout our last NADAC Champs afterall...

So we went out & tried to run clean and fast:

And I think we succeeded! Except for that back-side  :)

It's hard to tell in the video, but right as I'm stepping to push him to the back-side, he decides to take the front side. I continue to step, giving him a good "bump" (some may say "kick") to the other side. It was instantaneous. And we got a 5 point fault for it  :)

But other than that he was fantastic! I added in a sloppy blind cross afterwards, just for good measure  :)

So we finished 13th out of 31. But if you look at our time, we would have been 6th! That's phenomenal!

In the afternoon, we walked Round 2. This was a Standard course:

I thought this course was extremely tricky. I probably stressed more about it than I should, just because there were so many ways to run it. I actually hadn't made up my mind until I took the line:

Yeah, I definitely caused that knocked bar  :)  I pulled too hard to set up the rear cross that he thought we were going to the weaves. Then I just ended up too close to the jump when we finally did get there & I crowded him.

But did you see my blind cross after the dogwalk? That was a last minute decision. I just kind of hoped that he was far enough behind me  :)  And that whole sequence after the dogwalk? Yeah, that was a source of a lot of my angst.

I was afraid he wouldn't be able to rear cross to a 270 (so I threw the blind cross in). Then I worried that he would take the red jump again instead of the chute. Then I was worried he'd drop a bar... But he rocked it!

I kept him from taking the frame instead of the teeter. Our wrap of #2 could have been tighter. But whatever. That whole run felt GOOD! And it was hard. And I did it in front of my friend from high school & his wife  :)

So with our 5 point fault we finished in 22nd. We would have finished 13th without it  :)  I'm not sure where we lost so much time compared to the other dogs. Doesn't matter, we conquered that course as far as I was concerned!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Round 3!

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