Flyin’ in Fresno

14 05 2011

Last weekend was Bark in the Park’s NAFA tournament in Fresno. The Dogs and I were pleasantly surprised to be able to attend both days at this tournament because originally we could only attend Sunday due to work. But, great things happen when you expect them, and even though I was denied vacation time for Saturday a nice co-worker of mine offered to switch days off that week because of a day she needed…so low and behold, I also got Saturday! I was lucky that my team could include us on such short notice and re arrange teams to include Jet on Saturday.


It was scheduled to be a pretty hot weekend, and we were out in the open for the first time this year. Its weird but after running on mats for so long indoors, you really appreciate them when you go to an outdoor tournament on patchy grass. I hadn’t gotten much of a chance to do heat conditioning, so I figured it could be a interesting weekend for Riley at least.  But, there is so much history for us at this tournament. It is Jet’s first tournament site, where he ran on a team for the first time and earned his first titles in his Flyball career.


I have to say that one of the things that make a good tournament weekend is being able to stay at a motel that is calm and comfortable. In fresno it seems like every time of year we attend there is a biker rally or something and so it can be LOUD. Most of the motels were sold out of rooms, but I managed to get a place at the La Quinta. It was awesome! I  managed to get a second story room  right next to the elevator and the stairs, and parked right at the foot of the stairs! And the room was huge, with a separate kitchen area which is always good for preparing Jet’s raw food.  There was also a trader joe’s type of food store right next store, so I know I already had dinner plans.


Saturday we had 3 teams entered, Loose Dogs which was regular, Stray Dogs which is Multi, and unleashed which is also regular. Jet ended up getting 5 races with 4/4 heats, which is good because I like a worked Border collie! He got to start on his first race, running several 4.2’s and a 4.3.  I had to get used to starting him at 45 feet, because with the new change to the NAFA light system we actually let go on the second yellow light, and so that changes where you start as well. Riley wasn’t running on Saturday but was enjoying relaxing. Jet, on the other hand, was barking and carrying on in his crate between races, which I was trying to discourage so he reserves energy, but I couldn’t do a lot about it if I was in the ring.


On his second race he was passing as the second dog  into our little jack russel who was starting, and Jet was so wound up that I knew I had to back him up so I wasn’t early. The first heat I was back at 65 feet, and let him go when Emma was jumping the last jump from the box on the return. He took off so fast I thought I would be early, but luckily I had a 3 foot pass. Jet ran a 4.2 with a pass! Minus that pass and he ran a line to line of 4.1 with a pass, and on grass too! Now, it was harder at this tournament to figure out what to do handler wise, as we had two rings but one of the rings had a issue with the lights and there was no display to track your dog’s time or starts. Also, we didn’t have a pass caller. So I had a good friend hang out at the score table and write down our dogs times. Knowing what Jet ran the last heat, I backed up to 70 feet, but then I was early! Oh wells.


Throughout the day Jet ran 4.4-4.5 with a pass and last race of the day ran 4.3 and 44. He was happy and energetic with a full days racing, and I was tired!!


On Sunday Riley looked awesome. She literally took off when I let her go! And was soo happy that even after getting into one of our team dogs back at camp she didn’t shut down and wasn’t stressed. She even played tug at camp and was so eagar to fetch. I really wish I knew what she was running the first race, but we didn’t have a time checker on the race so I will never know. But on the second race of the day she ran a 5.6 which is great for my 10 year old girl!! Her box was great and she was happy.


Jet seemed a little tired from working so hard in the heat on Saturday, but he ran several 4.3’s on Sunday and was a happy boy. It was a fun weekend, and at the end of the day Sunday we learned that our Multibreed team are the regional Champions for 2010! Overall a great weekend of racing and I am going to take that with us in the next two weeks before Gridley!




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