Just got email from the trial chair. They used 180 bales of wood shavings and 21 bales of straw (which are huge, BTW, when you see them up close) this weekend. Wow.
We had 6 runs on Thursday, four of which were in the DAM tournament. In DAM, all three team member's scores are normalized according to various formulas and combined for a team score. So, for example, Jumpers might be worth 100 points per dog, then you subtract the dog's times and faults, or subtract all 100 if the dog Es (goes offcourse). So, in that example, a team score of 300 would be impossible; if all 3 dogs were really fast and clean (let's say 33.3 seconds each), the team score would be 200.1; and 0 total would be possible if all 3 dogs Eed. I don't really know what the formulas are, just have a vaguely rough idea of how it works.
Roughly the top 50% of the teams after 5 classes Qualify for the nationals. So the basic strategy for DAM is: Don't E! (In Snooker and Gamblers, a really low score would be sort of like Eing.) So you want to be, overall, average or better.
Tika's Master Standard run (not team) was actually quite nice considering that I could hear her feet going thwok thwok as she pulled them from the mud while going through the weaves, but I couldn't move fast enough to push her out over a far jump, so she went past it and then backjumped it for an E. But I was pleased with her performance overall. (Kept all the bars up...)
In Team Standard, she had an absolutely lovely run, completely clean, no bars down, to place about 10th of 51 dogs in the 26" height. Partner B also did really well; Partner C had faults (scribe sheet doesn't jive with what we think happened on course, but it's not going to prevent us from Qing) and some wasted time recovering from the faults plus the faults dropped her score to below average but not dramatically so. Overall, our team did well in the Standard round, starting at about 14th of 63 teams.
Then Tika's regular Masters Jumpers run was gorgeous and a miracle happened and she kept all her bars up *again* for a Q, despite the muck! I was feeling good!
Tika's Team Gambler's run started out beautifully, exactly as I planned it, fast and happy and smooth and racking up the points. Then, trying to do back-to-back Aframes, somehow I lost her on the 2nd one and she came with me AROUND the aframe rather than over it (missing 3 possible points), and while I tried to figure out what to do with her, we bobbled back and forth a bit, and then the whistle blew for the closing and I didn't have her in a good position--we ended up earning only 3 points in the gamble where the average was 8, with several dogs with good timing and speed earning 15. So Tika was 30th of 51--below average but not drastically so; Partner B did really well at 15th of 51, and Partner C was a bit behind Tika. So we had dropped some in the standings, but overall for the round we were 33rd of those 63 teams, so combined with Standard, we were still well in line for a Q.
But how quickly things can change.
Team Snooker started to do us in. Tika had a perfect, lovely, flowing, plenty-high-point opening...and then dropped a bar early in the closing, putting us again just below average at 31 of 51 26" dogs. Another partner knocked a bar in the opening, negating a bunch of points, and then lost her way early in the closing, for a very low score--but our 3rd partner got an awesome score, keeping us at 37th of 63 for that round. Our overall standings would be dropping, but figure that at least 32 teams and probably more would be Qing, so if we could only hold it together a bit longer...
Interestingly, 2 of our 3 scribe sheets have addition errors that I discover much later in the day when I check the postings. One slightly in our favor, one very much against us. We correct those. That's 3 possible scribing or score table errors so far just on our team. This matters later.
In Team Jumpers, Tika had a very fast run but knocked a bar, which kept us at 20th of 51 26"ers--just above average--rather than in the placements; partner C has a clean run although not speedy and that's good--about average-- but Partner B had an offcourse on a place that got an awful lot of dogs. Dang. For that round, the E put us in 38th of 63 teams. Not sure exactly how all the 4 rounds thus far combined added up, but remember that our Standard run still gave us quite a big of wiggle room...I'd guess we were at about 30th overall after 4 rounds, and probably higher...if we all managed to complete the team relay the following morning without Eing, we'd probably be In, but it was awfully close.
That nightI slept on 3 firm foam pads on the floor of my van. It didn't rain, which was good. It was actually on the warm side and REALLY REALLY STUFFY in that van. I opened the door a crack a couple of times to let in fresh air. Between that and how HARD the floor felt even with 3 pads and my aching, throbbing knee and both shoulders acting up, I didn't have a great night despite my exhaustion from slogging through mud and deep layers of straw and having soppy wet cold feet all day. With the delay in the various rings while they waited for the bales to arrive early in the day and the 4 rings with so many runs simultaneously and so many dogs and so much muck--the last ring ran until after 7:30 p.m.! A very long day for a tournament, with the first walkthroughs starting before 8:00 a.m.
... more tomorrow...