A Personal Account of the CPE Nationals An Exhibitors Perspective DAY 1-2-3.
By Trisha Stall
We arrived around 7am this morning. Our first priority was to get a good parking spot that wasn’t too far from the back building entrance. We travelled in early so we could set up our crates and check in. Crating was located along the outside walls of the second floor (behind the stadium seating surrounding the ring). We had to find a spot big enough for the eastern New York contingent (9 people, 13 dogs). We found a nice spot behind the standard ring, and parked our mats, crates, chairs and other such before leaving. At check in each exhibitor received a big bag filled with treats and toys of all sorts. Also distributed this morning was an envelope with the courses for the day Standard, Wildcard and Full House. We also received our armband number.
Linda Eickholdt, the President of CPE, held the general briefing around 7:45. She emphasized that this should be treated just like a regular trial, but bigger, in other words, don’t stress, have fun and enjoy the weekend! The competition consists of 9 sections and 3 rings. Each section (named A through I) ran courses in 3 blocks; everyone was assigned to the same section for the whole weekend. For the first block, sections A, B, and C you could run one of the three types of courses each in turn. Then everyone in sections A, B, and C ran a second course in turn. The system worked pretty well once you figured it out!
This weekend I am running 2 dogs: Jart, my 8 year old All American (my best guess is a Border Collie/Papillon mix, he looks like a mini border collie), as well as Bob Domforts 8 year old Aussie Maurice (a.k.a. Mo). I’m in section E, which ran Wildcard in the first block, Full House in the second block, and Standard in the third block.
The 2 games rings (Wildcard and Full House) are smaller, 70 x 90 in size, while the standard ring is 110 x 110. Â Today, only the standard ring has contacts. We got to run 2 courses before they had to negotiate contacts, which in Maurices case is a good thing, because contacts have always been a challenge for him.
We ran Wildcard first both my dogs Qd, which was a great way to start the weekend! Jart took a different wildcard obstacle than I planned on, but I just changed my plan and took the opposite wildcard for the third choice and we ended up with a 25.96 second run; standard course time was 45 seconds. Maurice also Qed, going exactly where I asked him to, although we had to make a couple of attempts at the weave poles; his time was 27.59 seconds.
Second we ran Full House. Jart went exactly where I had planned, and we gathered 42 points and got on the table within the 5-second grace period. Maurice started the course but failed to turn when I asked him to, so racked up points in the back section of the ring while I waited for him to come back to me, which he did after grabbing 2 jumps and a tunnel. We continued on the plan, and gathered 43 points and got on the table in time.
The last class of the day was Standard; it had a couple of tricky spots, including a turning jump sequence to the dogwalk and Aframe/tunnel discrimination near the end of the course followed by a 90 degree turn away from a jump to the tire. On the jump sequence Jart went out nicely as I layered the jump (so as not to push him into the tunnel which loomed if you didn’t turn the dog to the dogwalk), however he didn’t stay out as I ran past the layered jump to the dogwalk, so we got an off course there. I also got too close to the Aframe/tunnel with him as I tried to not run into the teeter (he likes his space), and he took the tunnel for another off course. However, I was pleased with his run. He can be a nervous dog, and ran happy and confident all day.
My last run of the day was with Maurice unfortunately, he ran past the weaves at the start of the course and right into the next obstacle, the tunnel. I got him back and did the weaves fine, and we got the turning jumping sequence fine, but Maurice missed his down dogwalk contact. We also missed the A frame contact. He nailed his second set of weaves, however, and did a nice wait on the teeter while I front crossed. So, each dog went 2 for 3, which I was very pleased with. The last rotation finished running just before 5pm.
It’s brutally hot and humid outside, over 90 degrees, but its a comfortable 78 degrees or so in the arena, even on the upper level crating area. What a relief to be in the nice cool building most of the day.
Trisha Stall; AgileDogs Agility Training