Saturday, April 25, 2009

Platinum Dog!

SUMMARY: Tika gets a big title! And Boost doesn't!

Tika did it! At the SMART trial Day One today, she earned a Q in Steeplechase Round 1, so she's in the money run for tomorrow AND--ta-daaaa!--that finishes her Tournament Masters Platinum. Like...w00t! Totally!

What is a Tournament Masters Platinum?
  • Tournaments consist of:
    • Grand Prix of Dog Agility
    • Dog Agility Masters (DAM) Team Championship
    • Dog Agility Steeplechase
    These are the events that you enter during the year if you want to go to nationals. If you qualify. Enough times. With high enough scores.
  • What is Tournament Master? 10 Tournament Qs with at least 2 of each.
  • What is TM-Platinum? 50 Tournament Qs with at least 10 of each. Platinum is the highest award that you can get in USDAA. (Until some time in the future, people start getting double platinums or like that, then they'll invent some other titles, like TM-AA (agility addict) or TM-I-didn't-want-to-set-aside-any-money-for-retirement-anyway.)


Steeplechase is tough because you have to be in the top 25% of the competitors to earn a Q, and it's based on time plus faults. So you have to be very fast, or merely fast but accurate, or VERY VERY fast indeed and maybe you'll get away with one mistake. Tika usually knocks a bar, and we're not in the VERY VERY fast indeed category. But today she didn't! Ticked the first bar, giving me a momentary heart attack, but it stayed up!

I am thrilled. She got a whole mess of bits of chicken quesadilla afterwards.

Now I can decide to move her down to all-Performance in the tournaments if I want to (so that she'll jump 22" instead of 26"). Which likely means that this will be the last Platinum she'll ever get (yes, you can also earn platinum in each of the 4 regular classes plus the platinum-ADCH). Because the count starts over from 0 when you move into Performance. And it has taken us 6 years to get here.

So I'm enjoying it while I can.

[Dang, left my course maps at the trial site. Will try to scan them in tomorrow & post here.]

Tika also Qed in Performance Pairs Relay, her first-ever Performance Q, so the count is now up to... 1. And in Performance Snooker, her second-ever Performance Q. So--2! (Had enough points for a super-Q but 2 other dogs were faster.)

She knocked 2 bars jumping 26" in Standard. And the gamble was very hard: Only about 1 in 7 dogs got it. Which is low even for USDAA masters.

Boost--well--she's physically looking good. Knocked some bars but nothing excessive. People watching say that she's moving beautifully. Had a couple of really nice runs that unfortunately ended early because of the knocked bars, but we also had way more than our share of runouts, refusals, and "you-mean-THIS-jump-THIS-one?" dances. Back to square 2. But she is FAST and fun to run when communication occurs with some semblance of success.

And the weather was great. And the chicken quesadillas at lunch were spectacular. And all my friends said how they missed me and hadn't seen me in FOREVER! (I missed one trial only! One! Really!) And I wore my latest new best-dressed-agility-handler jacket:


Could life be any better?

Tomorrow... Jumpers. Everyone has to keep their bars up. Tika, you hear me? You've been jumping 26" for years, you can do it again! Plus oh yeah standard and round 2 of the steeplechase in which Tika could actually come home with, oh, let's fantasize, maybe $6! And Grand Prix.

9 comments:

  1. YA HOOOO! Sounds like you're having a wonderful time! Congratulations to Tika! (and you of course!)

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  2. I aspire to be inspiring by having fun with my dogs and my friends and not expecting more out of them or me than I have trained for. I don't always succeed in all that, but I try.

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  3. So cool on the Platinum!!! Huge, huge accomplishment, congratulations to both of you!

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