Monday, March 7, 2011

USDAA PIII Gamblers Runs - March 5 & 6, 2011

This is the course map for the first run on Saturday at RACE'S USDAA Trial in Davenport, Iowa, Master/PIII Gamblers.

This was a difficult gamble, as are most Masters/PIII gambles.  If the handler is not about even with the end of the A-frame as she sends her dog into the tunnel, it is basically game over because the dog will fail to take the first jump.  The jump was set slightly further to the right than indicated on the course map, so its position combined with a dog's tendency to move toward its handler, made it very easy for the dog to by-pass.  I even resort to an off-side arm to indicate the jump.

Next you are faced with having to turn your dog away from you over #3.  I knew I had to indicate the turn to that jump, but when I fell behind, I kept running forward and tried to push Belle over the jump with an on-side arm.  I should have slowed drastically where I was and used an off-side arm once again.  However, the thinking brain was no longer in charge at this point.


If your dog had a dependable TOTO on the A-frame, Sunday's gamble was practically in the bag.  Accordingly, there were a lot more Q's Sunday.  Interestingly, on both days, more of the Performance dogs Q'd in Masters/PIII Gamblers.  I really don't know if that is a fluke or something that is generally true. 

Even though Sunday's gamble was much easier, I had decided to play it really safe before even looking at the course map.  I blush to confess that I didn't see the best opening.  In fact, I never even glanced in its direction.  Instead I decided to practice a snooker-like opening as you will see in the video.

The numbers indicate my opening.  The letters indicate a much more flowing and logical way to open.  (Despite the fact that Masters/PIII ran first, when it came time for Advanced/PII, many of the handlers who started on the right side of the course opened with the far right jump to the chute--a truly ugly line.  I don't believe anyone in Masters/PIII made that choice.)

There is unfortunately no video of this run.  Belle was on the teeter when the whistle blew.  Once she finished, I was in such a hurry to get to the gamble, I failed to get her to my side and she took one or two jumps along the way, taking down the bars on at least one of them.  Bad, bad handler.  I felt like this one was a Q of shame.

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