Posted Date: November 11, 2005
Classes have been completed.
By Brenna Fender and Monica Percival, Clean Run
Competitors are running. The course is being run in two rings. The same course is being run for the Championship Power & Speed class and the Performance Power & Speed class.
538 handlers are participating in Championship Power & Speed and 151 in Performance Power & Speed.
For a list of competitors, go to http://www.usdaa.com/specialevents/competitorInfo.pdf.
For complete results, go to http://www.usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=184.
This class is open to all dogs regardless of competition level with no pre-qualification requirements
and presents a combined skill of control and speed. The first part of the course is the control portion
comprised of contact obstacles and weave poles. The handler is permitted a generous amount of time
to perform the group of obstacles and if performed without fault, handler and dog proceed to the speed
portion of the course, which is comprised exclusively of hurdles, jumps and tunnels. A dog MAY NOT be
entered in both Championship and Performance Power & Speed.
In the control portion, a dog is eliminated if a standard fault occurs (i.e., missed contact or missed
weave pole) or the allotted time is exceeded. In the speed portion, scoring is on a time plus faults basis, with
three seconds penalty for each standard fault incurred. Running the wrong course results in elimination.
The competitor with the lowest score in the speed portion is the winner.
Pre-Run Comments from Competitors
Handlers are looking forward to running the Power & Speed course as a bit of a warm up for the rest of the day's activities. "It looks like fun to me," says Nicole Carazo, who will be running her Australian Cattle Dog, Lilu, on the course today. "Having walked courses for the Grand Prix and Standard, I can see how you could practice contacts here. If I was trying to win I'd make the dogwalk my last thing. But the next two runs where we have the running dogwalk will be a scary thing. Instead of trying to win I'm doing the dogwalk backwards so it's better for the next classes," says Carazo.
Border Terrier owner Billie Rosen says that she likes the Power & Speed course. "This course is pretty nice, with a typical jumpers part. It's easier than some. It's a pretty nice warm-up course."
Sherry Kluever, who competes at the international level, says "The jumpers part has interesting lines. You have to contemplate to see how to handle to get the fastest path. It's like a puzzle with lots of handling options." Another international competitor, Barb Davis, is running four dogs in Power & Speed. She says, "I like the speed portion a lot, it's really fun. I'm a little disappointed in the approach part. No matter what you do over there you're going to be set up right. There's not a lot of strategy there." Davis enjoys the Power & Speed class. "It's fun and it's nice. It is one of my favorite games in USDAA because there's a lot of time in the opening for you to focus on your contacts."
Davis is making changes to her handling plans after an accident yesterday with her Shetland Sheepdog, Rock-It. "I was very lucky my dog wasn't injured yesterday. The weave pole bases are older. The bases are right where small dogs step on them. My young dog, Rock-It, is very fast and he slipped. I'm lucky he didn't snap his spine." Davis plans to avoid pushing for speed in the weaves today in order to reduce the possibility for injury.
Despite having the freedom to take the obstacles in any order in the power section, most handlers are choosing to run the same course: teeter, weave, A-frame, triple, dogwalk. The approach to the triple is very awkward no matter how it is done, especially because it is a uni-directional obstacle. Most handlers are doing a front cross at the down contact of the A-Frame to give their dogs a better approach, but doing so forces another side change to get to the dogwalk. The speed section is fast and flowing, but not without challenge.
Texan Nadine Schramm ran the course with her Border Collie, Didi. She says, "It was very fun, but you have to stay on your toes! In the back end of the course, there's a lot of speed and you're behind. You have to pull them off the wrong course when you're still moving forward. It was challenging but fun!"
Dan Roy, who ran Power & Speed with his Australian Shepherd, Nyla, says, "I thought that the first part of the course had only one thing that was challenging and that was the approach to the triple. Dogs not familiar with serpentines find that challenging. People mess up on the fourth obstacle [in the Speed section] because they think the third and fourth obstacles are in a straight line, but you have to maintain connection." Roy discusses the strategy of running this kind of event. "As long as your dog is fast, there is no need to push in the power part. Be conservative and clean. The second part -- run as fast as you can."
Course designed by the judging panel.