10 04 2008

With the completion of the first UFLI tournament of the year, we head to the first NAFA event in 2008.  This tourney was in Bakersfield, Ca, and 200+ miles from my home town. This event was hosted by Turn N Spit Flyball Club, during the same weekend as the Kern County Dog Show…which is great news because some of the best vendors will be at the event as well. Needless to say, I was ready to shop!

The tournament was indoors, with a two ring format, (meaning 2 sets of racing lanes), racing on tuff spun matting. The facility was a bit crowded, but was air conditioned and just the right venue for a dog who feeds off of the energy of the activity. ( *cough* Jet *cough*) Once again, we were running 3 teams of 5 + dogs each, meaning some dogs would sit races.

Getting to the event was a little hectic-it was my first time driving that distance on my own, but luckily I had my brand new GPS system to show me the way. Or did I? More than half way into the trip, the crappy thing lost power and died on me, in the middle of nowhere at a lone gas station. The good thing was that I was a mere 15 mintues away from the site, and a friend walked me through the directions. Now I know it is always wise to bring the car charger for your GPS, as the thing sucks up battery power like I like to suck up Starbucks. (Which, in case you dont know, is alot of Starbucks)

This was one of the most enjoyable NAFA events I have attended in a long time. I usually have my good times at UFLI, since its more laid-back on the rules and the teams we race are usually faster than in NAFA. But, the layout of the tournament was nice, and the dogs really had fun.

The set up of the lanes confused a few dogs from other teams, who did some lane crossing. Our teams were excellant, and Jet was showing his stuff. At home on the matts, Jet was running some 4.4’s in a passing positon over 11 inch jumps. He would have ran some 4.3’s and broken his fastest NAFA time, if it had not been for my lousy start-delays when he was racing in start a few times. At one race he was the start dog against once of Turn N Spit’s teams…and happened to be raceing a rival border collie also going by the name of Jet! Needless to say, the other Jet was game to race Jet Set Go, but couldn’t keep up…Jetson totally smoked him, finishing his races in about a half a second faster every time. Nice try little Jet, but Jet Set has already made a name for himself!

I was a bit worried as to weather Jet would recieve his 10,000 title, since he was sitting some races. He started the tournament with a total of 9343 points. He would need 600 + points, and got about 300 the first day. It was tight, but he grabbed another 500 on Sunday. The tournament has not been scored yet, but Jet was able to earn enough points and grabbed his 10,000 point title and became a Flyball Master Excellant that weekend.  To have over 10 grand in points for racing in under 2 years is awesome. Perhaps we will get our ONYX plaque next year! (Fingers crossed!) (Indeed, Jet started racing in May, 2006. So, technically, he has gained 10,000 points before his 2 year racing anniversary)

NAFA has yet to send out the finalized scores, but the highlight for the teams was Stray which got 1st place Sunday, and Loose Dogs, which got 1st place in division 1 on Sunday! This means we had done better than the 17 second teams in that division ! Go Loose Dogs!!

We also tried out the new Pemmikan bars from TheDogAthlete.com. The Pemmikan is designed to keep a performance dog’s stamina and ability at top peak throughout the weekend. This was the first tournament Jet used the Pemmikan, and it worked wonders. I saw no drop in energy level and Jet’s times remainded pretty consistant. (Although when passing dogs tend to have different times due to the extra time added to the dog’s based on how close the pass is).

As a special treat (mostly for myself) for a sucessful Flyball career so far…I visited the vendors and bought a beautiful black leather collar-and had a name plate personally engraved with his name and address. The collar was taken to the engravers and they used special staples to add the plate to the rim of the collar. No more tag holders or jingling tags!! Everyone thought the new collar was very nice, and Jet looks handsome in it. I also bought a new crate bowl that has hooks to attach easily to the wire crate. He also got a new KONG shaped tennis ball, which he adored from puppyhood.

It was great to start off the tournament season with such sucessful events and have such a good time with my pups!

Until next time,

Get out there and have fun with your dog!




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