Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NAMAA Nationals 2014: ASFA Trial

Immediately following the conformation show in the morning, we moved on to the fun stuff: RUNNING SPORTS.

 Pi, running in Singles
Photo by Gary Claggett

The footing at Kirigin Cellars is always exceptionally good, but the drizzle we had had during the show in the morning made some parts of the field a little slippery, which caused more than one dog to take a nasty spill. Our total entry for the field trial was 4 in the Limited stake (Gil, Gator, Luna, and Patti) and 2 in the Singles stake (Dude, and Pi), making this the largest entry of Magyar Agars at an American lure coursing trial to date.

 Gil on the lure
Photo by Gary Claggett

Our judge was Tom Golcher who traveled all the way from Colorado. In prelims it was boys versus girls with Gil and Gator running in course one and Luna and Patti running in course two. Gil and Gator were pretty evenly matched on the run up until the first turn where there was a particularly slippery patch of grass. Gil attempted to turn right and fell, HARD, on his shoulder and tumbled a couple of times over. He was disoriented when he got up, but re-sighted on the lure and kept on running. My heart was in my mouth for the rest of the course, and upon completion I gave him a good look-over. He did not present with any lameness at all, to my relief, so I figured he was good to go for the finals.

 Patti, Photo by Gary Claggett

As luck would have it, Patti had also drawn the yellow blanket and took a tumble in the exact same spot on the first turn of the course. She did not fall nearly as hard as Gil did, and also recovered well, but could not make up the ground necessary to win her course.

Dude in Singles, Photo by Gary Claggett

Next up were the singles. Dude ran first and had a marvelous run; his very first time running in an official trial. It must have been just my bad luck that day, because Pi also fell during his run at the very same first corner. Nevertheless, he managed to earn the highest score of all dogs running in the prelim round, but I decided to scratch him from finals anyway to make sure he would be good to run in the LGRA meet the following day.

 Patti and Gil in slips
Photo by Ann-Marie Holmes

In finals it was one family versus the other, with Gil and Patti drawing the first course together and Luna and Gator drawing the second course with each other. With the course plan reversed for finals there were no more spills to be had (thank goodness!), and both runs were very evenly matched.

Luna and Gator in finals
Photo by Gary Claggett

Patti and Luna ended up tying for 3rd and 4th overall, but not wanting to take my chances on another fall I decided to forfeit the win to Luna. So, the final placements for the Limited Stake were (1/BOB) Gator, (2) Gil, (3) Luna, and (4) Patti. And, of course, Dude was the high scoring hound in the Singles Stake.

 Gator, Best of Breed, with Judge Tom Golcher
Photo by Gary Claggett

Even Rietsu got a chance to do a practice run, which she thoroughly enjoyed! She seemed to like the plastic baggies much more than the furry lures she's seen before. Perhaps she learned that from Hattie ...

Rietsu on the lure
Photo by Gary Claggett

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NAMAA Nationals 2014: Conformation, Day 1

 Pi: Best of Breed, Patti: Best of Opposite
Photo by Iola Stetson

Our little contingent of American Agars held our second annual NAMAA National Specialty on the weekend of October 25th/26th at the beautiful Kirigin Cellars winery in Gilroy. The local Silken Windhound club has been extremely generous in allowing us to "piggy-back" off of their regional specialty, and we could not be more grateful!

Gator, in the Open Class
Photo by Iola Stetson

The specialty takes place over two days with one conformation show each day, followed by an ASFA trial on Saturday afternoon and a LGRA meet on Sunday afternoon. I figured it would be best to organize my report of the entire event by separating my posts into four separate categories. So, for this installment I will be reporting on the conformation show results for Saturday.

 Dude, in the Open Class
Photo by Iola Stetson

Fortunately for the state of California, but unfortunately for us, we had a pretty serious episode of rain on Saturday morning. As you may or may not know, California has been going through one of the worst droughts in history, so as unpleasant as it was for us to show the dogs in the rain, we very much needed it!

Gil, from the Open Class
Photo by Iola Stetson

Our judge for Saturday was Mr. Dennis Blickenstaff of Cabaret Beagles. Dennis is a seasoned UKC judge and has judged our dogs several times before, so he was no stranger to our breed, and having a friendly and familiar face at a show is always a welcome comfort. Nevertheless, the entire weekend was characterized by a bittersweet atmosphere, due entirely to the fact that Pesh is no longer with us. While her absence was notable, we still had a good overall entry size of seven for our Saturday show, including our newest import, Rietsu, and Dude the "golden boy."

 Pi, showing from the BBE Class
Photo by Iola Stetson

Just prior to the Agars entering the ring, the field committee for the lure coursing trial had been laying out the lure course for the afternoon, and our dogs eagerly took quick notice. As such, it was a bit of a challenge to run them around the ring along with the wet turf, but we managed, and a good time was had by all.

 Rietsu, showing from the 10-12 Puppy Class
Photo by Iola Stetson

Pi and Patti were shown in the Bred-by-Exhibitor class, while the other adults all showed in Open. Rietsu showed from the 10-12 Puppy class and did very well considering this was her first show ever! Pi defeated Gil for Winners Dog, and sister Patti defeated Luna and Rietsu for Winners Bitch. At that point it was all a win for me, and I could not have been prouder. Pi edged out his little sister for Best of Breed, but it really could have gone either way. Rietsu was Reserve Winners Bitch, and Gil was Reserve Winners Dog.

 Luna and Patti, competing for Winners Bitch
Photo by Iola Stetson

Many thanks to Dennis for judging, to Iola Stetson for the fabulous photos, and to Kyle and Rita Yates for the beautiful metal art trophies!

Patti, showing from the BBE Class
Photo by Iola Stetson

P.S. Dude and Luna entered the Halloween costume contest which was held right before the ASFA trial and they were awarded "Best Couple"!