Thursday, October 9, 2014

Well hello again, USDAA!

I've been saying for a while now that when Kizzy grew a brain I would return to USDAA. Kaiser and Luke are done with their days in this organization, but Secret is about halfway to her PDCH in her P3 classes and I'd like to see if we can't get that done. Nevermind that we have zero P3 gamblers Qs or that we have plenty of snooker Qs but no SQs...

I've been looking at the USDAA event listings going out for several months and it always seems like I have to give up something in order to attend one of the trials. This was holding me back, and I especially won't give up an AKC trial at this point when I'm closing in on Secret's MACH (and starting December 1 we're going to start the qualifying period for the next Nationals which is closer to home). So then there's NADAC. I don't travel for NADAC trials anymore, so this means giving up a trial right here at home in favor of having to travel. Hard choices!

At any rate, I impulsively decided to go ahead and enter one day of a USDAA trial at the new agility facility down near Madison -- Canine Sports Zone. I know a few people that have been there and everyone raves about the facility. Great footing, plenty of parking, plenty of crating, etc. Plus it's just under two hours from home, so that's pretty much a winner. But the best part?

Do you see that wall? That is the wall between the competition ring and the exhibitor area. Do you see that it is entirely solid? With DOORS? Part of me feels that I should trial Kizzy at this facility and nowhere else for the foreseeable future. I talked to a friend last night who went to the first trial at this facility and he said he feels the ring is perfect for a green dog. Not only do they not have to deal with the visual distractions outside of the ring, but he said it's also strangely quiet in the arena. I'm looking forward to it.

There is an AKC trial at this facility in January that I've already been planning to attend, but this USDAA trial will give me a good opportunity to check the place out before then. So, on Sunday, November 2, Secret will take a stab at USDAA again and Kizzy will make her debut -- in the 14" Championship class! I have never ran a dog the CH division of USDAA, so that will be a new experience. We'll see how it goes; if I feel she'd do better at 12" I'll just drop her down to Performance, but I figure we'll give it a shot.

This will be Secret's first time in the P20 class (we have not trialed since the height reorganization). I'm sure she'll go "wheee!" at the 4" height break from AKC. Will it be enough to help us get a SQ? Time will tell, I guess (it will mostly depend on the competition, though, I'm sure -- and the fact that there are never enough dogs in the P20/22 class to not be combined). Secret is running everything except for MC Jumpers, which was unfortunately only offered as Biathlon combined with MC Std on Saturday. Boo. Oh well, that's okay, she's got enough on her plate with Std, Snooker, Pairs, Jumpers and Grand Prix. Kizzy is entered in Std, Snooker and Jumpers for her first USDAA trial. There is no way I'm putting her in the ring with another dog until she gets her wits about her a bit more. Starter Standard will be the very last class of the day, so if the day is getting long and she's experiencing a brain meltdown, we may head home after Secret's last run. We'll just play that one by ear.

I'm looking forward to this trial! I do enjoy the different challenges in USDAA courses, there is no doubt. I'm less of a fan of how many runs there are ($$ -- this day will cost more than running all 3 dogs in AKC) and those stupid SQs. The USDAA Sounding Board has recently blown up again with the subject of SQs and the unfairness of combining height groups (the new rule for 2014 is worse than the old one in many cases), so I guess we'll have to see if USDAA ever listens.

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