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Cynosport 2012: Day 2, The Team Events Begin

Rickie Roo updates us on day two!


Today we got to do our first of our four or hopefully five (if we make the final cut for relay) team events. It was snooker, which is my very favorite. Before I got to run that though, I ran my Performance Speed Jumping Semifinal. YES! I got into the Semis. Guess what? My little sister LC did too. We ran fast and had lots of fun. However we will not make the final because our handler sent both of us to the wrong end of a tunnel.

Handler Deborah Davidson Harpur on the Performance Speed Jumping Semifinals course with LC.

If you haven't been to Cynosport before, you might not know that all the rings are run in group rotations. The handlers get a chart that tells them what time their group walks and what time their group runs and in which ring. It is a very detailed chart. You walk all your courses early in the morning and then later in the day you run all your courses. Mommy needs a cheat sheet to know where to be when because we have multiple dogs in our pack. Mommy makes her own cheat sheet (as do most handlers) and so she thought our next run wasn't until 1:50 in Ring 4 followed by another run in ring 1 at 3:40. So she was up in the booth working on a interview with my boss Brenna Fender when the announcer said mommy's name. She said "I'm sitting right here" and he said well you are supposed to be THERE and pointed at the ring. Mommy FREAKED out and ran down the stairs and had to ask what class and which dogs she was supposed to be running. It was my snooker run! And in Snooker you CAN NOT move your run order. So mommy ran the 200 yards to the gate guy then ran maybe 500 yards or so to our crating area, grabbed my sister LC and I then ran all the way back to the ring. She was huffing and puffing but she got there! Then we ran my snooker. The lesson learned is to DOUBLE, TRIPLE, even QUADRUPLE check your cheat sheets!

We then met with teams from Russia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan and Canada for interviews for usdaa.com (Mommy is doing those). We have a few more people to find from visiting countries tomorrow. Then we watched my friend Rudy the Maltese (with Russ Osiol), Letti the Corgi (with Shelley Permann), Heath the Border Collie (with Terry LeClair), and Hemi the Pyrenean Shepherd (with Elizabeth Evans) run in the Grand Prix Semifinals. They were awesome. I talked with Tom Kula the show chairman (I was a bit disappointed that he didn't have any treats in his pockets, only a pen), Ken Tatsch, the president of USDAA, and Andy Hartman, the vice president. We went and visited Merlene Stiles in the USDAA merchandise booth and found Heather Smith (who I think does lots of jobs) with trial secretary Helen McNenley in the competitor hospitality area. They looked so busy I just kept on going.

After that, all of the veteran dogs were running over in ring 4, so my Rat Terrier sister Gigi and my teammate Magi (who is a Border Collie/Golden Retriever mix owned by Carla Duke Williams) ran their Veterans Snooker runs with mommy. The Veterans All-Around classes, which culminate in the Veterans Showcase, are open to dogs that have competed in any tournament at a USDAA national championship and who are at least nine years old. They also can't be entered any other tournament classes at this year's Cynosport. After the standard, jumpers, gamblers, and snooker classes are complete, the top three competitors at each jump height will run in the Veterans All-Around Showcase on Sunday right before the Grand Prix Finals. Everybody will be watching them run. Very cool!

Mommy said that even though the maps for the Performance Snooker and Veterans Snooker are the same, the courses did not look the same at all. She says that's why its VERY important to walk in the correct ring.

Then I went and watched my little nephew Porter (owned by Mary Obidinski) run in the National Canine Cancer Foundation Course-A-Lure. He loved chasing that and at the same time his owner was making a donation to help fight canine cancer! Later, we hope to see some Splash Dogs too.

Every year at Cynosport I see some of the same volunteers working ringside and have wondered who some of them are. I met one of them today: Kathleen Desvine from New York City. Kathleen is a performing arts teacher for grades K-6. For years at Cynosport I have seen her working a variety of positions in the ring and is always keeping busy. When she's on course, she runs a Border Collie named Vivian! (the ! is part of her name), who is five years old. I've seen Vivian! in past finals events and I know she also was in the finals in the past with a Golden Retriever.

Her favorite volunteer job? Leash runner. She says the way you toss your leash away can make or break (mostly break) your entire run. I'd never thought of it but I realize now that she's right.

Kathleen is just one of the awesome volunteers we have here at Cynosport, and I'm really glad I got a chance to meet her.

Photo of Kathleen Desvine courtesy of Deborah Davidson Harpur.

It was dark before the day ended at Cynosport. Some competitors stayed for a barbeque dinner on the grounds. Others ran in the Performance Grand Prix semifinals. The sunset behind the competitors was very pretty, and the class ended under the bright lights.

It was light out when Kelly Lieberthal and Reggie ran in the PGP Semifinals.

And when Gillian Crawford and her Golden Retriever, Steal, were on course, it was still light.

But by the time Candy Gaiser and Quip got to run, the sky was a beautiful shade of dark blue!

Team Jumpers, IFCS Jumping, Team Gamblers, and the Performance Grand Prix finals are on the schedule for tomorrow. I'll find out who I know in the finals and I'll make signs that I'll wave for them during their runs. Then I'll pawtograph them and let them keep them. It's a thing I do 'cause it's fun. Mommy helps me a lot. Tomorrow should be super fun!

Photos courtesy of Karen Moureaux, dogsportphotos.com unless otherwise noted.

Deborah Davidson Harpur, of Harbor City, California writes through the eyes of Rickie Roo, her a four-year-old Rat Terrier. Deborah has been involved in agility since 1998. Look for Deb and Rickie at Cynosport or find either of them on their facebook pages should you want to be interviewed for usdaa.com.

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