Posted Date: November 12, 2005
Classes have been completed.
By Brenna Fender and Monica Percival, Clean Run
The same course is used for the Grand Prix of Dog Agility Semifinals and the Performance National Standard Semifinals.
For complete results and videos, go to http://www.usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=184.
Competitors who have made it through from yesterday's Quarterfinals or who earned a bye into the Semifinals at a Grand Prix Regional event compete for a spot in tomorrow's World Finals.
4 dogs from the 12" class will advance to the Finals; 10 dogs from the 16" class; 16 dogs from the 22" class; and 12 dogs from the 26" class.
Pre-Run Comments from Competitors
The Grand Prix of Dog Agility and Performance National Standard Semifinals course has some challenging portions for today's competitors, who were walking bright and early on this sunny, much warmer Saturday morning.
"It's a real nice course," says Carol Burt, who came from Alabama to run her Shetland Sheepdog, Maggie. "It's going to be nice and flowing for competitors who handle it well. There are some challenges out there -- big challenges. The #6, #7 area, if you're not careful your dog could go on the wrong side of #7. Because you have to manage #7, people are going to have off courses into the chute. Then later, when you really do go to the chute, it's going to take some managing. For the people who handle it well, it's going to be beautiful."
"It's pretty tight," says Golden Retriever owner Rich Bradley. "There's not any place where we can open up. For a Golden, it's tough against the BCs. We are just going to go and run and try not to make mistakes."
The Grand Prix of Dog Agility & Performance National Standard Semifinals course is built in two rings. Neither course adheres exactly to the course map. In ring #1 for 8" and 22" jumping dogs jump #3 appears to be several feet farther out from the tire, making the tunnel/A-frame discrimination more challenging. Dogs are landing well past the A-frame and turning back, facing the off-course tunnel. Many dogs are taking the off course. Some handlers are over-correcting their dogs and as a result they send them into the near end of the tunnel rather than the far.
In ring two, the 12", 16", and 26" dogs are finding a different approach to jump #7. When facing the tunnel, the jump appears to be several feet to the right of its location on the map. This is causing a major handling difference in this ring as handlers are forced to take their dogs out of the tunnel away from jump #7 and then turn them back in order to get a good approach.
In both rings, nearly every handler is leading out past the tire. Most handlers are picking their dogs up on their right for jump #3 and calling them to the A-frame. Generally the dogs are moving smoothly to the tunnel for the challenge at jump #7. In both rings the majority of the handlers are doing front crosses after the tunnel, although as previously mentioned this portion had to be handled it a bit differently in ring #2. In ring #1 some handlers are able to pull the dogs to the jump and then cross behind after jump #7. In both rings the chute provides an off course possibility between jumps #7 and #8 as handlers are pulling their dogs around the left of the jump #7 wing. The usual errors are being seen in the smooth run from jump #8 to jump #14 -- occasional bars down, missed contacts, weave pole problems, and teeter flyoffs.
The second tunnel/A-frame discrimination occurs after the #17 jump. Most handlers are front crossing to block the A-frame and to push their dogs into the tunnel. At this point this move has been largely effective, although some dogs have managed to take the off-course A-frame anyway.
Handlers are really pushing their dogs on the course and it shows. There are many more dogs being eliminated in this course than in most of yesterday's courses.
Terry Smorch of Minnesota and his Border Collie, Remy, had a great run on this afternoon. Smorch says, "It was fun! It was nice and fast with challenging turns and off course options. This is the Grand Prix -- you have got to go all out and run it like a final course, which is what I tried to do."
Californian Laurie Leach also ran the course with her Shetland Sheepdog, Scout. "I think it was a really challenging but fair course. I think there are some interesting discriminations on it -- A-frame/tunnel, the chute and the line of jumps... The most difficult spot to me on the course was the #7 jump, taking the dog out and bringing them back," Leach says.
Competitor Ken Hynes, who hails from British Columbia, says, "It was a good course. From #6 to #7 I had to pay attention; I had to be careful about the trap on the first pass, and on the second pass there was the jump ahead of the chute. You need attention and control."
One of the international competitors, Carlos Fortuny, ran his Border Collie, Oki, on the course and was surprised by his dog's performance. "In Barcelona he runs much faster. Maybe it was the time change, I don't know why. The course was good, but slow."
Course designed by judging panel.