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Performance National Standard Quarterfinals and Veterans Semifinals

by Simon Harvey

This event was held in Ring 1, the first event of the week to be held in the main ring.  Everything looks different in this ring.  It's surrounded by bleachers so you don't see a lot of people and dogs lining the ring.  And the equipment is much different.  The chute is made of wood and is more square, and the jump poles are square also.  But these differences didn't appear to bother most dogs. 

Most people I talked to thought it was a good, fair course, including Bobbi Wiethoff, from Chandler, Arizona, who was running Dixie, her 4-year-old Australian Shepherd.  It's her first nationals.  But what made this team particularly remarkable is that Bobbi is EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT!  She said being pregnant has "slowed her down" (I should hope so!) and forced her to develop more distance skills on her "velcro dog."  She had one fault so she didn't know if she'd make it into the semi-finals.  Let's check back tomorrow to see if she did.

Mary Thompson, from Queen Creek, Arizona, is also at her first nationals.  She runs Rocky Racoon, her 7-year-old Australian Cattle Dog.  "I didn't call her soon enough after the tunnel, and she took a wrong course.  When the whistle blew, I thought, 'AAAGGHH' and finished the course.  I wasn't going to punish her for my mistake.  She was awesome after that." 

The veterans also competed on the same course.  Dave Young  from Riverside, California, runs Dexter, a  Schnoodle.  Although he's 11 years old, Dexter was full of energy today.  He's rarely missed a contact in his 6-year career, but missed the dogwalk contact today.  Even with the 5-point fault, Dexter just missed making the cut to the finals.  Dave says they'll try again next year. 

Sharon Golding, from Cerritos, California, was excited to make the cut to the semis.  "I'm absolutely thrilled.  This is my fourth nationals.  I've never gotten out of the first round before."  Shayna, her Papillon-Sheltie mix, started competing in January.  We'll look for them in the semifinals tomorrow!



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