Monday, August 25, 2008

The stars aligned for Gracie!

Yes, it's true the stars aligned on Sunday for Gracie at the local CPE trial. She got a Q! And a 1st place in snooker too boot. Way to go sis! Doesn't she look proud!

For those of you who don't know Gracie's been on agility hiatus for almost a year. Why? Because she started showing major stress after trialing a couple of months and would run off from Mum during runs. She got to the point of sometimes not taking even the first jump a year ago, so Mum decided it was time for Gracie to have a break, work with Mum on foundation skills and course practice only at practice. And the success of their hard work together really showed this weekend.

The day started after a busy day on Saturday performing at a children's party, which we'll blog about later. It was sooo hot and humid. But we braved it out with our travel insurance in tow.

Her first run was Standard. She took the first 8 obstacles like a pro. Then coming out of the tunnel, going to the 6 weaves, Mum lost her. And she ran off. But Mum got her back and took a couple of obstacles on the way to the exit. Mum sensed that she wasn't as stressed as she had been at the USDAA Show N Go a couple of weekends ago. And she didn't 'pit stop' in the ring which was a great sign.

Mum started getting a feeling after her Standard run that Gracie was getting close to Q'ing. Just a gut thing Mum felt. She has a good gut, by the way. Well, it happened!

Their next run was Snooker (level 2 for a nice flowing, shorter course). Here's the map:

Mum didn't care if she placed, or even if she Q'd. She just wanted Gracie to stay with her. So she planned out a nice flowing course, utilizing the entire course plot. Mum needed to 'collect' Gracie at certain points on her earlier Standard run, so she planned where she would 'collect' her - at the exits of the tunnels. Mum also planned to pre-Q Gracie on the Red coming out of the 1st seven.

So Gracie started with the red out near the far tunnel (#5), let out and collected her coming out of the tunnel. She then sent her to the #6 red and the #7 tunnel, collected her at the exit of the #7 tunnel and sent her over 7b and pre-Q'd her on the next red, directed her back to 7b and 7a, then turned her in and back into the tunnel for 2. Mum collected her at the exit of 2 and sent her to 3, 4 and 5. Then it was on to 7 and the two 7's, and up on the table.

Gracie checked in with Mum every time Mum collected her. Gracie got lots of 'good girl's' for that. She was fairly fast (not her best speed, but good). She jumped on the table like a pro. Mum gave her big hugs and kisses on the table, took her out of the ring, whet over to where the treats were (cheddar cheese, my fav!), and Mum started crying her eyes out she was so proud of the Gracester!

Then when Mum checked the results, not only did Gracie get 1st place, but she was about 20 seconds faster than the other pups, and got more points.

What a great accomplishment and milestone for my sis. I just couldn't be prouder. She was fairly fast, accurate, determined and acted like she knew her job. Just a wonderful run to watch.

Mum and Gracie got lots of congrats, which made Mum even more mushier, but really happy.

Then Gracie was signed up for the next event - Jumpers. But Mum pulled her from that event, because she just wanted to remember Gracie's amazing, wonderful run for weeks to come and didn't want anything to spoil it.

Mum had someone tape the run, and was really happy that she got it on tape. But she looked this morning and their must have been some kind of malfunction - because we don't have the video. Very sad that we don't get Gracie's run, or many of our best runs on video. Mum's thinking maybe we should stop videoing all together and we'd have all good runs, BOL!!!

After the party on Saturday, and the trial on Sunday with all the heat and humidity, Gracie slept like a rock last night. She worked her little heart out and we are really proud! Way to go Gracie!


  1. That is so awesome, congrats for Gracie and Mum! It can be such a challenge with some of our dogs... so I can totally relate!

  2. Congratulations

    PS - can anyone explain me what is snooker , and explain me the map ...pleaseeeee



  3. Thanks everyone! She sure had fun, and that's the most important thing for her.

    Hi Hugo - Snooker is a strategy game as part of the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) events. This link is the best explanation of the game I've every found:

    It's also a link on my Dog Agility Squidoo lens:

    If you have any more Q's, just ask!

  4. Congratulations to Mum, too, for her hard work and patience to get to this point.

  5. Hi again

    I´m still confused about snooker.

    so 37 points to pass to final ( what final ? )
    2 courses , 1 opening and 1 closure

    the flags have points and they define the course

    question ?
    2 dogs whith no faults, they get the same points ?

    :( sorry i would like to learn , but it´s not easy !!!



  6. Hi Hugo!

    I'll try to explain...

    Look at the course, four jumps are marked 'R'. Those are the reds. Other obstacles are numbered 2-7.

    The opening sequence you plan on your own and have to take a red, followed by a 2-7 numbered obstacle, a red, a # obstacle, a red, a # obstacle (sometimes three, sometimes four reds followed by a # obstacle, depending on the judges rule for that course). After the reds and #'d obstacles you start the closing sequence 2-7.

    If you knock a bar on a red jump in the opening, you have to go take the remaining red and continue. A red gives you the OK to take a # (or colored obstacle).

    Goal is to get the most points in the fastest time. So many go for the big numbered obstacles in the opening, giving you the highest numbered of opening points.

    So for this course Gracie did three reds and two sevens and a five in the opening = 22 points, and the closing 2-7 = 27 points - A total of 49 points.

    If another dog got 49 points and it was the highest number of points taken in the class, they would also qualify, but if Gracie was faster than that other dog, she would place higher. But if another dog got more points (example this course has a potential to get 59 as the most points - four reds, four sevens in the opening and 2-7 in the closing) in the allotted time, they would beat Gracie.

    Does all that make sense?

    Feel free to ask more questions, Hugo! It would probably help if the snooker sheet was in Portuguese for you!

  7. how do you know, that the alloted time is nearby ? when is the time to get to the closure ?
    i´ve understand the opening , but i´m still confused with the closure


  8. Hi Hugo!

    There is an allotted time for the entire course provided by the judge - for both the opening and the closing. The closing path are the #'s 2-7 in order.

    You plan your opening and closing strategy with the time in mind - doing the opening that you plan and then proceeding right on to the closing - 2-7.

    I like to plan my opening strategy (which reds and # color obstacles I choose in order) based on where the #2 obstacle is, which is the beginning of the closing. So that I can be as close to the #2 as possible after I finish my planned opening. Saves time as well.

    Make sense?

    And again, feel free to ask more questions, Hugo!

    Thanks for stopping by.


Thanks for barking in!

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