What an insane ride 2022 was for trialling the dogs!
Buckle in, this is a crazy freaking ride!!
Goals for 2022:
Win a belt buckle (ok, this one was a bit pie-in-the-sky, but you can't win if you don't play!)
Finish Tagg's Novice Rally title and begin working on Intermendiate
Finish Tagg and Cody's Advanced Herding titles (AKC) and begin working on Championships
Finally(!!!!!) do a USBCHA (big field (real) trial)
Earn a High in Trial (HIT)
Here's what happened instead:
Last February, I entered six trials in ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America), Tagg on sheep and Cody on ducks. buckles were available for non-aussies in each stock type over all six trials.
Tagg got into three of the six trials. Cody made all six. Everything rested on Cody. She rocked ducks! She did a great job! She got five seconds and one first. Only, because I don't always read the small print, the Started class offers fewer points and cannot be high in trial. Not even a shot at a belt buckle - or a HIT.
I entered a three day USBCHA trial in northern New Mexico in June. HIT would have earned us a belt buckle. It was a super long shot, but you never know! Cody, especially is a very consistent dog.
I sent the check, and planned the trip.
The email came in: Trial is cancelled due to fire danger in NM.
Ok. Sure. We have other options.
I looked and looked and found only two options within 13(!!!!) hours (yes the southwestern US is HUGE!)
Another trial in Northern NM and then a week later a trial south of Salt Lake City, UT. Ok, some monster driving between the two venues, but at least I could get two USBCHA trials in at the end of the summer (last week of August, first of September). So, I sent in my checks, and planned a crazy drive across 4 western states.
And then the emails came in: Cancelled due to low entries - BOTH TRIALS!!!
Every entry sent is a month of waiting and several hundred dollars sitting in limbo. Every entry sent is another opportunity rejected. I was 0/3 on USBCHA, and 0/2 on a belt buckle and it was now late September!
Ok, forget USBCHA, everything is too far for fall trials. So, let's at least try AKC.
I entered a trial in the Prescott area. Both dogs, Advanced sheep. I kept waiting for word, and with days to go I emailed the trial secretary. They never received my entry!! It had been sent in August! It was late September!
They called on the second day of the trial. They got it that morning! WTH?!
Ok, it's hard not to take these things personally, but let's move forward, The fall shows were coming and I wanted to finish Tagg's rally title.
I opted out of the first trial, it tended to be hot. I had committed that weekend to trying RallyFree to support the local Freestyle club's first trial. I sent in my entry and practiced the moves required for RallyFree.
The email came in: cancelled - low entries.
The next trial fell on an annual vacation, so that on was out.
The weekend before Thanksgiving is the last of the three Tucson trials, and I entered all three days for rally.
I got the email - I was in!! Wow! So refreshing!
Today was the first of the three days. I went in today and pulled my entries - why? Because Tagg went into season two days ago!! Unbe-freaking-lievable!! (In-season dogs can't compete in AKC Obedience trials, because boys can't control themselves (don't even get me started!!))
The trial year is over.
Cody did earn herself a HIT back in the early Summer. It took two months for her get the ribbon from the show secretary because they didn't have them at the trial. We are also still waiting on one of her titles earned at that trial - still - six(!!!) months later!!
2023 is a new year, and the goals, unsurprisingly, are pretty much the same! :D fingers crossed the curse - not that I believe in curses - ends with the new year