a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Haute TRACS course maps of interest

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Haute TRACS course maps of interest

SUMMARY: summarytext
NOTE: You can download *all* the course maps here.

Rather than going back and putting these into the posts from thurs/fri/sat, I'm copying the relevant comments from those posts here, with additional info.

Thursday Steeplechase Round 1

"...I somehow pulled [Tika] past a jump--maybe I was signalling a serpentine when I didn't need one?--and had to go back for it..." That would be jump #17. Pulled her between that and the #15/#6 jumps. There must've been more space there than appears on the map.

"Boost had a bar down and looked nice except for the blankety weave entry--she went right into the first pole and then turned all the way around to her left to come back to me." That would be #18 weaves.

Otherwise it ran quite smoothly for both dogs. 

Thursday Team Relay

"The fifth and final event, Relay, didn't look terribly gnarly--I swear I've seen worse--but it definitely wasn't a Boost kind of course; we bumbled our way through it with assorted bars and refusals, but, as I said, did not E. In fact, all three of us got through it without Eing, and that turned out to be our shining moment. A friend and I compared notes and counted with disbelief as 5 out of the top 6 teams Ed in the relay, and I stopped counting after that. "

"In the relay, [Tika and Maddie] had scary almost-offcourse moments where we were screaming our dogs' names, but we survived the relay intact." Tika headed for the offcourse tire after the #9 tunnel but called off it; Maddie headed for the offcourse #2 between the black 9 and 10 but called off it.

Team Jumpers

"...in Jumpers [Tika] cut behind me on a push-through and backjumped for an E."  I front-crossed the weaves and kept her on my left over #7, #8, and #9 (serping #9), and as she came over #9, I pushed forward with my left arm and leg between 9 and 10. That's when she cut behind me and took #10 backwards.

"Boost 'Did not E in Jumpers.' (Bar and two refusals.)...As a team, we did manage to be 5th overall in Jumpers out of 27 teams (quite a few Es, apparently)." Looking at final score sheets, about 30% of the 80+ dogs went off course. Can't tell you where.

Team Gamblers

"In the Gamble, [Boost] had decent opening points but in the closing futzed with the weave entry, then I didn't call enough and she came onto the teeter from the side, negating our gamble points." "During the DAM team Time Gamble, Tika took an obstacle that I hadn't wanted her to take, and in a bit of a panicked effort to save the day, I ... ended up bouncing off the judge...and fell straight forward..."

In the closing, my plan for Boost was weaves (going north), teeter, tunnel, and either jump on the finish line. She did the weaves on my right, and when I headed for the teeter, she headed for the Aframe. I called her off the Aframe, but that's where she came onto the side of the teeter above the contact zone.

My closing plan for Tika was just teeter-tunnel-jump. At the whistle, she was in the tunnel in the upper left corner. I thought I was calling her hard to get to the teeter, but she had locked onto the jump-Aframe. I could still save the gamble bonus by going directly from the Aframe to the tunnel, it took me a moment to  realize that--I started towards the aframe, changed my mind and came back towards the tunnel, and somewhere in there I ran into the judge and fell, Tika came in to investigate, I got to my feet, put Tika into the tunnel, and made it over the final jump in time. Whew!

Our opening sequence (which was a pretty common strategy or part of a strategy) was chute-dogwalk-tunnel-jump-Aframe-Aframe-jump-weave-weave-and then some other stuff (different for the 2 dogs).

Friday Snooker

"Tika: A 0-point run. (Knocked the first bar and my second obstacle was only a single full stride after that--no way I was calling her off it.)" That would be from the #1 in the lower right to the 7a jump.

"Boost: Knocked a bar on a 7-pointer in the opening, taking us out of SuperQ contention, then gave me a 'what this jump" refusal on #5 in the closing, so not even a Qualifier." Admittedly, that 5a jump was tough to get to.

Our opening plan was: lower right red, 7a, 7b, 7c, lower left red, 5a, 5b, upper red, 7c, 7b, 7a (all in a logical flowing path, not as numbered). Quite a few folks did the same.

Friday Grand Prix

"Tika and I came off that course with me yelling "Best Grand Prix Course IN THE UNIVERSE!" (thanks Pat Corl) " I thought it ran beautifully. Not everyone agreed.

Even Boost was very smooth through it--after she ran past the tire on my opening lead-out pivot for an immediate off-course.

Saturday Gamble

"The Gamble was almost a gimmee. I haven't looked at the Q percentage, but I'd guess 80%. And both dogs got it and Qed. I thought I had a decent opening, but muffed it completely with Tika (what an array of errors, and most handler-created), so once again we didn't even place, and I held Boost on all 5 contacts that we did to ensure that she's getting rewarded for sticking them, rather than trying to blast through and get more points. " Turns out the Q percentage was more like 60%.

Wow, just looking at it now, I see that half of it is almost identical to what we did in the team gamble: Boost's plan was again chute-jump-dogwalk-tunnel-tunnel (practicing the gamble)-aframe-aframe-jump-teeter-teeter. We bobbled at the jump before the teeter.

Tika's plan (to avoid the dogwalk) was jump (next to the chute--which she knocked), tire, back to the same jump (which she avoided), chute (which she started to go to, came back towards me, then finally went in, jump (after the tire--it wasn't at that steep of an angle, but even with my front cross, she ran past it after some confusion), jump next to the dogwalk, tunnel, tunnel (practicing the gamble), aframe, aframe... and then my plan was jump teeter jump weaves, but instead from the aframe she went to the tunnel again, so no points for that & wasted time.

Anyway, both dogs got the gamble easily with me on the sideline saying "Boost boost boost, again, tunnel!" (or Tika) which is my cue for back to back tunnels. Both had very fast gamble times.

Saturday Standard

"The Standard I really liked the flow of for my dogs--thanks again, Pat Corl. Others thought it was gnarly (in a complicated way), but it was SUCH a doable Boost course, and both dogs ran it beautifully. Unfortunately, Tika didn't bother with the dogwalk down contact, and Boost knocked a bar, so no Qs. (To show you how gnarly it was, Tika still placed 3rd of 9 dogs without Qing.)"

"...[for Boost]  an UNbelievably good table-down where I backed up about 30 feet away from her during the count and she never lifted even a single elbow."  Basically I moved out to the end of the dogwalk closest to #14, so when I released my dogs from the table, I gave the tunnel command and just slipped past the end of the dogwalk to front cross between #13 and #14. Piece of cake!

Also, I rear crossed the teeter  and immediately moved into a front cross between 17 and 18 while the dog finished the teeter.

Steeplechase Round 1 Saturday

"I did a lead-out pivot after a broad jump to a tunnel, which [Boost] handled very nicely, but then I needed to do an immediate second front cross after that between the tunnel and the weaves, and my legs didn't work, and my heel caught on the grass or my other foot or I don't know, and down I went..."

"Poor [Tika] crashed into me TWICE when I couldn't get the front crosses in that I needed. I felt so bad for her. I just couldn't physically do it, I was so tired. She amazed me after the first crash [same place I fell with Boost], because it pushed her past the right side of the weave entry, and she basically made a u-turn in about 18 inches of space and still made the entry!"

If you stood at the start line and looked across the first three obstacles, you were staring straight through the *side* of the broad jump, so almost everyone did a lead-out to the left side of the broad jump, stepped forward to be sure the dog went through the correct poles, front crossed into the tunnel, and front crossed again to the weaves. That process worked better for some people than for others.

"[Boost] came to a complete stop at a jump on a rear cross..." That would be before #12. " and as I had expected, ran past the last jump"... "she did two BEAUTIFUL sets of weaves, including one where I basically sent her ahead of me [#15 weaves] and peeled off to try to prevent the last-jump problem (she was still faster than I could be)"

Interestingly, lots of dogs either missed #9 completely or pulled away from it and had to go back for it.

Aaaaaand I think that's enough!

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