From January 1st of this year until January 4th of this year I attended the USDAA Southwestern Regional. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the new year, than at an agility show. And what a show this was!
My current competition dog is Gumby, and while she measures to jump at 22″ in USDAA, I choose to jump her at 26″ so that I am prepared to try-out for the World Team again this year.
Last year, my experience at the International Team Tryouts was just that….an experience. While I am happy with my runs, and my dog, I know that we both could have performed much better. We just needed more time, more training, and we would be able to achieve our true potential.
This first weekend was a glimpse of that potential.
On Thursday, January 1st, our first day of the Regional event, Gumby and I had a wonderful Grand Prix running, earning the local qualifier that we needed in order to be able to compete in the Regional event on the weekend. Not only did we qualify, but we walked away with 4th place!
Friday, January 2nd and Saturday, January 3rd were Team events. Gumby and I ran incredibly! We earned 1st place in Snooker, 3rd place in Standard, and 2nd place Overall in Team for the 26″ height class!!
I can not claim that we are at our peak of performance just yet. One bar (due to a miss-cue on my part) in Grand Prix Round 1, kept us out of the Grand Prix Regional Finals, and one contact in Steeplechase Round 1, kept us out of the Steeplechase Regional Finals. But we walked away from this weekend with the feeling of having achieved new heights.
I can not express in words the feeling of finally being able to run and handle how I have been practicing, and the joy of seeing my little girl run so fast and accurately on these challenging courses. It was a rush, and I am incredibly pumped for what the rest of 2015 agility weekends may hold for us.