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Event Report: The Western Regional Championships

Rickie Roo shares an in-depth look at the recent Regional Championships.


Hi, Rickie Roo your roving USDAA reporter here!

On the first weekend of September, I had a lot of fun at the Bay Team USDAA Western Regional held in Prunedale, California. I saw lots of dogs and lots of people but not one prune even though we were in Prunedale. Kinda weird, huh?

Anyway, we got there on Friday and helped set up rings and Mommy and I worked at check-in and gave out some super cool T-shirts from the event. Lots of teams ran agility, but we didn't because we were supposed to work and got the day off at the last minute. So we came and worked and set up. We knew it was gonna be a busy event from the STAT page we got from the trial secretary (http://www.bayteam.org/catalogs/12SepUSDAA/Stats.pdf); 340 dogs were entered with 231 humans handling them. A total of 3531 runs for the weekend. WHEW! There were dogs running from age 1 to age 14! I hope I still get to run when I am 14. It was going to be a super fun weekend.

On Saturday, we got to run Team standard, snooker, jumpers, gamblers, and relay PLUS Steeplechase/Performance Speed Jumping all on the same day! There were 43 Dog Agility Masters teams and 31 Performance Versatility Pairs Teams.

Because I was on duty as a roving reporter, I talked to several dogs ringside to get their opinions on the different courses. I also made sure to have my picture taken with USDAA head do-dah Andy Hartman who was working hard score running and stuff ringside. Maddie, a Border Collie that runs with Kartina Parkins from Mill Valley, California, says she loved the snooker course by judge Frank Holik because it had a lot of high point options for her handler, and a smooth course for her to run fast on. Epic, known as Epic-CA, a Border Collie handled by Janet Dunn, really liked the team standard course by judge Leslie Bickel because it had a GO-GO in it. Now I wondered just what a GO-GO was and I found out that a GO-GO is a teeter. Epic-CA really likes the teeter and wants to GO GO GO for it as often as possible. Most times, however Epic only gets to do it once a course, unless of course they are in training and sadly, this was the case. But Epic thought one GO-GO was better than no GO-GOs at all so Janet had a happy BC.

 

Epic/AKA Epic-CA loves to tug after a good run!

I met up with Andy Hartman and made sure he saw me working.

Dare, a Border Collie from Austin, Texas, ran jumpers with Shawn Cossart and she really liked Jessica Ajoux's course because they found it technical, challenging, and fun. Dare liked that her handler had to pay attention to make it through the course clean, which they did. My sister Gigi (a Rat Terrier handled by my mom Deborah Davidson Harpur from Harbor City, California) and her partner EEK! (a Border Collie handled by Narae Kim of Concord, California) really loved the Gamblers course. Gigi liked it 'cause she could choose which of judge Tammy Domico's gambles she wanted to do in the closing. Gigi chose the 10-point gamble which had a tunnel and two jumps. Her partner EEK! chose the 30-point gamble which had a jump, a send and U-turn to the weaves, and the same closing jump as the 10-point gamble. Since both of them got their gambles they were very happy to see they had earned Qs. Rift, a Border Collie from Heber City, Utah, that runs with his handler Julie Stokes told me he LOVED the relay course designed by judge Jessica Ajoux. He ran the third section of the Dog Agility Masters team relay and says he did it super fast 'cause it was really flowing.

Rift thought the drive from Utah was well worth it.

Team Winners
1st: Switch Sweeps With An Ace (Jim Basic and BC Sweep, Nancy Gyes and BC Ace, Geri Hernandez and Poodle Switch)
2nd: Ariel/Luka/Savanna (Mary Schultz and Aussie Ariel, Ashley Deacon and Pyrenean Shepherd Luka, Gwen Tatsuno and BC Savanna)
3rd: Jacks for Pete's sake!(Kelly Chaffin and Golden Pete, Suzanne Birdsall and Jack Russell Terrier Flip, Sandy Rogers and JRT Quill)

PVP Winners
1st: Bianca Tweeds Again and Again (Narae Kim and BC Bianca, Bettina Keszthelyi and BC Tweed)
2nd: Sister Wives (Kelly Lieberthal and Aussie Bindi, Katrina Parkinson and BC Maddie)
3rd: Posey Posse (Dave Grubel and BC Killy, Terry LeClair and BC Heath)

The Bay Team set up a photo area so Gigi and LC (my sisters) and I took advantage of it. I do have to tell you that the monkey was a bit naughty and was very, very lucky I did not make him shush up!

Malinois Skillet (with Kim James) from Molalla, Oregon was at this event for their last regional. They really, really liked judge Rob Bardenett's Steeplechase/ Performance Speed Jumping Round 1 course. Their favorite part was the tunnel, broad jump, tight turn, jump to the A-frame sequence 'cause Skillett could show off her SKILL's (see course map here:  http://usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=2178). I liked that course a lot too, mostly 'cause both Skillett and I were fast enough to make it through and get into the FINALS! Whooo Hooo!

There were some special awards for Saturday's runs. One of the Planet Blue Dog High in Team awards went to my training buddy, Flip. He's a Jack Russell Terrier from Long Beach, California, who runs with Suzanne Birdsall and they won for the 12" Championship dogs. He was really happy that he had spent time reading all the course maps when he found out he got a PRIZE for doing so well. My friends Luka (a Pyrenean Shepherd with handler Ashely Deacon), Sweep (a Border Collie with handler Jim Basic) and Tek (a Border Collie with Shelley Permann) all won in their heights too! How awesome was it that Planet Blue Dog sponsored the prizes? They sponsored for the Performance dogs too! My little buddy Bodee (a Poodle run by Marti Fuquay), Hunter Green (a Shetland Sheepdog run by Anna Green), Heath (a Border Collie run by Terry LeClair) and Tweed (a Border Collie handled by Bettina Keszthelyi) all earned prizes as well. I know all the handlers and the dogs were super happy to earn bonus prizes for their work. Planet Blue Dog recognized the top three, so go check out this link if you want to see who else won STUFF  (http://www.bayteam.org/wiki/USDAA_trial_Aug_31-Sep_3_2012#High_Combined_Placements).

Flip reads his course map.

Sunday was another busy day. There were lots of titling classes, a Grand Prix/Performance Speed Jumping round 1 event and the Steeplechase/Performance Speed Jumping final event. Our family did some agility runs and went shopping for new dog collars too. There were LOTS of vendors at the event that had toys, treats, collars, and other dog stuff. There were also massage people and photographers and jewelry people too. WOW! I liked the snack shack guy. He was super awesome. I think he was my favorite person at the whole event. Except maybe my pals at 4leggedflix who took movies of every single run of the event. I like to watch myself on TV and so I like those guys a lot. Then again, I really like snacks, so it might just be a tie. I did not run the Grand Prix/Performance Grand Prix course, but my sister Gigi did. It was in Miss Jessica's ring and Gigi did GOOD. She got to go to the finals the next day. I asked her what she liked about it when we were on the way home and she said that she liked the dogwalk/tunnel discrimination at the start. I was kinda surprised because that is the EXACT thing she messed up in the round 2 final (funny that they had the same type of thing in both rounds, but they were in much different places - round 1 was at the opening, round 2 mid-course). So I asked her why she liked that and she said 'cause she showed everyone that she knew how to do it... the oopsie in round 2 was just an oopsie. That made sense to me.

Homer LOVED the cooler weather in California. He came all the way from Chicago!

The highlight of the day was the Steeplechase/Performance Speed Jumping Finals. There were LOTS of super fast dogs and super fast off courses. There were MULTIPLE run-offs as there were ties for time. I cheered on all my friends and was super excited to see who won and who had been good enough to make it into the finals in the first place. Mommy says sometimes our best runs are not the Q runs but I was hoping that all of us would run clear! If you'd like to see all the results you can see them here: http://www.bayteam.org/catalogs/12SepUSDAA/Results_SC.pdf. I was super proud of my friend Lexi the Pomeranian. She ran her little heart out. I talked to Lulu the Pekingese after her run and you know what she said? She said that the Performance Speed Jumping really made her DO IT! She said that she proved she's the best Peke in USDAA agility FOR SURE... her handler Matt Palmieri (of Camarillo, California) whispered to me that she's the ONLY Peke who has titled in USDAA but he didn't say it loudly 'cause we knew that Lulu was very proud of her efforts. I was extra proud of my boyfriend Mr. Willis. He was in the Steeplechase 16" class and he and I were the only Rat Terriers in the finals for this class. Willis and his mom (Mary Obidinski from Vista, California) earned a bye and a placement I asked Mr. Willis what he liked best about the course and he said he liked that there was no dogwalk and that he got to try to outrun his mom. Funny, but that's the SAME thing I liked about it! The only difference is that his mom managed to stay ahead of him and mine didn't so I turned back to see where mine was and I went in the wrong end of a tunnel. I did it fast and happy though, so the crowd kept cheering us on. It was very exciting. When I talked to Homer, a BC from Machesney Park, Illinois, and his mom Emily Klarman they said they liked the Steeplechase course cause it was FAST. Homer said he was having a great time in California and really, REALLY enjoyed the cooler weather.

Winners for Steeplechase were Quill the JRT (S. Rogers), Dash the Pyrenean Shepherd (A. Deacon), Scandel the BC (S. Frielich), and Kep the BC (L. Jones) in Performance Speed Jumping the winners were Lexi the Pom (B. Carlson), Bodee the Poodle (M. Fuquay), Smart the BC (K. Moureaux), and Gumbo the Catahoula Leopard Dog (L. Zurborg).

Monday started super duper early. There were lots of classes to run and by now, many people were thinking about how long their drive home might be. Plus, there were five rings full of equipment and stuff to tear down. WHEW! The Bay Team had several High Combined awards to give out for Masters dogs in both the Championship and Performance divisions and also for the non-Masters dogs in both divisions. They added up each dogs scores from standard and jumpers and the top dogs got prizes. Whoo Hoo! Masters TOP WRANGLER winners were: Stevie the Corgi (J. Gruendyke), Luka the Pyrenean Shepherd (A. Deacon), Fireball the BC (L. Pryse), and Vic the BC (M. Grant). PIII TOP WRANGLER winners were Lulu the Peke (M. Palmereri), Bodee the Poodle (M. Fuquay), Nike the BC (R. Guiterrez), and Cap the BC (R. Yi). Non-Masters Ch TOP WRANGLERS were: Simba the Miniature Pinscher (Y. Nishimura), Minnie the Nordic Spitz (M. Snipes), Enzolino the American Pitbull Terrier (V. Burggraf) and Kooza the BC (C. Gonzales). Non-Masters Performance TOP WRANGERS were: Remington the Papillon (L. Pomerance), LC the Rat Terrier (My little sister! With my mommy D. Davidson Harpur), Rime the B/C (L. Maynard), and Jaime the BC (L. Maynard). 

Matt Palmieri earned a Top Wrangler award (but not for this photo).

But the thing we were all waiting for was the GRAND PRIX/ PERFORMANCE GRAND PRIX FINALS! They started off with PGP and went to GP. My sister Gigi was in it and so were LOTS of our friends. I was ready to cheer them all on. I was cheering so loud my mommy put a blanket over my crate so I would quiet down! I peeked out the corner and watched the exciting show. Of course I wanted my sister to win 'cause she's getting old and she won last year, but she had an oopsie and so mommy pretended it never happened and just kept running. There were lots and LOTS of dogs with oopsies so she was in good company. However there were a lot that made it through clean and of those there were some WINNERS!  Winners for Performance Grand Prix were Letti the Corgi (S. Permann), Bodee the Poodle (M. Fuquay), Smart the BC (K. Moureaux) and Blink the BC (T. Golden). Winners for Grand Prix were Quill the JRT (S. Rogers), Dash the Pyrenean Shepherd (who beat the dog who has won the event every year since 2007 - housemate Luka - A. Deacon), Cassidy the BC (D. Wilson), and Will the BC (N. Berkoz).

Quick as a flash the Bay Team volunteers tore down those rings and had all their stuff in their multiple trailers and were OUT OF THERE. It had been a super fun event and since they've hosted it for longer than I've been alive they have their system down. I know all the other dogs who attended the event want to make sure to thank all the workers at this event for a super fun show.  Hopefully we will be seeing many of the dogs and handlers from this event in Colorado in a few weeks at the Cynosport World Games. I'll be there. Will you?

Signing out for now from the Bay Team USDAA Western Regional - Rickie Roo.

Our team scored lots of LOOT from the Bay Team event! Whoo Hoo!


Rickie Roo is a four-year-old Rat Terrier who loves her job as a USDAA roving reporter. For this interview, she was joined by her mom, Deborah Davidson Harpur, of Harbor City, California. Deborah has been involved in agility since 1998. Rickie Roo likes killing her stuffed toys, stealing treats, and being as naughty as a terrier can be. Look for them at Cynosport or find either of them on their facebook pages should you want to be interviewed for usdaa.com.

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