Truckin’ in Truckee

25 07 2009

logopatriotOnce again, its that time! Time again for the Patriot Games in Truckee, Ca. NAFA sanctioned, on grass, two rings of racing and clear blue skys overhead. And heat, not to mention the heat. Last year it may have been cooler, but this year was definatly more humid.

Unlike last year’s event, i had no problems driving up and got there earlier than last year as well. I had forgotten how beautiful Truckee is, with all the pine trees and clear crisp rivers. The entire tournament venue is surrounded by tall pines and overlooking the Truckee river. The elevation is pretty high, so the sun feels stronger and it was only thanks to the nice breeze through out the day that kept things from heating up even more.

MRR went out on a limb and entered 5 teams for the first time. We’ve had so many new dogs and some new members joining the club, that the only way all the dogs would get enough racing time was to run 5 teams. We have a running theme when choosing team names, since we practice at the Marin Humane Society. We now have Loose Dogs, Stray Dogs, Unleashed, Unfettered, and Runaways. It was amazing to think that each of these teams had some dogs listed as backup, and a couple dogs were running on more than one team. So, even with 5 teams we had dogs to spare.

Nice Riley-roo box!

Nice Riley-roo box!

Jet ran on Loose dogs and Riley on Unfettered. LD was seeded at 19.3 seconds, but on the first race on Saturday posted a 18.0, a sub-17 second time. I still wasn’t suprised at this, as i have mentioned before our Club seems to seed teams slower than they can run. Loose Dogs ran in the 18’s all day, but mostly 18.2’s and 18.3’s.  Jet’s fastest time at a NAFA tournament is 4.19, which was in a starting position last year. Usually, in a passing position, he runs a 4.4 pretty consistantly. As a rule, when a dog is passing, you add 0.33 seconds to the dogs time for every 1 foot pass the dog has. I was just hoping to have a clean tournament and not push Jet so hard since he was still out of fitness from his back issue. But, not only did Jet run his usual 4.4’s with a pass but he also proceded to break his personal best NAFA passing time and ran several 4.3’s! His passes were still around 3 feet, so if i had tightened up even more he could would have ran some 4.2’s.  As a rule, dogs have to work harder on grass tournaments than on mats, and the grass at Truckee was thick and tall. If Jet can run this way when he’s has less conditioning, i cant wait to get him back up to peak performance.                            

Four on the Box!

Four on the Box!

Riley’s team Unfettered was seeded at 23.00. Most of the dogs on her team were veteran dogs, as she herself is. The bad thing was, the heat was affecting these dogs and slowing them down, so that we were struggling to make time. Any team time over 24.00 seconds and no dogs on that team earn points. Riley worked hard all day but i’m not sure that she made many points. Still, she tried hard and was a trooper for being back from her infection.

I also run a team mates dog, a border/staffy mix that is all muscle and very vocal. He’s super fun to run, and i’m pretty much the only team mate that will run him other than his owner. He was super crazy this tournament, hard to hold and to run. Usually he’s easy, but Riot was waring me out. On Saturday he missed the tug on his way back to me and circled around and grabbed the tug and my leg in his jaws. I had a bruise the size of a large apple. Then, on Sunday, he jumped up and his head wacked me in the nose. I managed to complete the race, but it was a bit hard when my eyes were tearing up. my nose was super red and swollen, but thats all. His owner assumed i’d never run him again, but, i totally will. Flyball is still fun, despite the risks. : )

Jet started the tournament with around 13,800 points. He needs 15,000 points for his next title, which is Flyball Master Champion. The points haven’t been updated in the books yet, but he at least got into the high 14,000’s. The next NAFA tournament is in three weeks in Hayward, ca. It is MRR’s last NAFA tournament of the year, (this year, there was only 3 total, the rest were UFLI!) he should get enough points for this.

There was an excellent photographer at Truckee, and i was super excited to get a really great picture of Riley. I wish that they had gotten the same angle on Jet’s picture as well, as i really liked his pic too. Both my dogs have nice 4 footed box turns.

The Patriot Games is fast becoming my favorite NAFA tournament, we’ll have to go next year too!




One response

31 07 2009

That’s a great action picture of Riley.

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