Thank god the bitch finally finished...

because as bad as she's cheating the field now, she's cheating like a FIELD CHAMPION!

BIE Mahar's Reza of Mihdian FCh, SC

Part 18 in the coursing series - Reza completes her ASFA Field Championship!

Reza's Current standing:

  • ASFA Lure Coursing
    • FCh - 103/(100) points, 2/(2) First Places, 0/(2) Second Places - Done!
    • LCM - 18/(300) points, 0/(4) First Places
  • AKC Lure Coursing
    • JC - 2/(2) Completions, Done!
    • SC - 4/(4) Completions, beyond JC, Done!
    • MC - 4/(25) Completions, beyond SC
    • FC - 10/(15) Points {2/(2) majors}
  • AKC Conformation
    • CH - 8/(15) Points {0/(2) majors}

This post will cover several trials with multiple pictures because I lumped a bunch of pics together in one purchase.

Bluegrass Coursing Club - BGCC - Chattanooga, TN
September 14th, 15th & 16th



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Metropolitan Atlanta Whippet Association - MAWA
Tara Afghan Hound Club - TAHC - Cartersville, GA
October 13th & 14th



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Bluegrass Coursing Club - BGCC - Columbia, KY
November 16th, 17th & 18th


This was the trial that finished Reza.

Ever since Reza had a couple bad experiences on the field, we've been trying to run her with clean running dogs to show her there's nothing to be afraid of. At the moment, whenever a dog starts coming up from behind her, she'll slow down, watch the dog, and let them pass her so she can watch them for attacks. Obviously, this isn't going to win her any points on the field, but she needs to beat other dogs in order to place and get her championships.

Lexy and I split a room in Kentucky for the three day weekend of ASFA trials. I really wanted to hit this trial because all Reza needed pretty much were placements in order to complete her championship. Jim Anthony was going to be there with two open dogs that are puppies and two FCh dogs, Hocus and Santi, the top two coursing afghans in the country. If Reza could place above at least one of the puppies each day, she would have her championship.

The first day, Reza is running much better than she had been in Cartersville a month ago, having come out of her post-heat, hormone slump. She's picked up cheating the lure alot, so she ends up placing 3rd in her stake against the two puppies. "Cheating" is when a dog has run enough to know that the lure isn't probably going to run into that fence, so cutting the corner will give a better chance to catch it. Most dogs after they've coursed a while figure out this game, and if they're lucky by that point, will have officially gained their Field Champion title. Another meaning for FCh is Field Cheater.

Reza also avoids confrontation at the lure when it stops. She'll let the other dogs run in and play with the bunnies, but will trot up and stay back about 10-15 feet which knocks points off her follow and enthusiasm scores. Once the dogs are done though, I encourage her to come up and play with the bunnies and she's starting liking the plastic bunnies and will play and rip them to shreds.

I did have to jump the 4-wheeler to catch one of Jim's puppies on Friday though when he failed to snag one of them at the finish. Thank god there was a pile of horseshit that she stopped to sniff. being smart, I walk up like I'm interested in the horse poo too and not catching the little pain in the ass. "Wow, look at that yummy horse p...." as I jump on the dog. Jim comes up and gets her and we head back down field.

So onto the second day. Jim Anthony has issues catching dogs, the puppies in particular. You pretty much have to pounce on them and snag their blankets to keep them from running off, up field. On Saturday morning, Jim wasn’t as lucky as he should have been, the lure breaks midfield and the two puppy girls started horsing around... literally. They started chasing each other on the field, playing, when they noticed horses across the electric fence. They bolt through the e-fence, unphased, and start harassing the two horses up the field. They're chasing, barking and running circles around the horses for about 15 minutes. The trial is on hold while people are running after the dogs so they don't get kicked or chase the horses through a fence. Meanwhile, Reza and I are sitting in the middle of the field, smoking.

They finally get the puppies back and the judges are not happy. They end up excusing one of the puppies and hitting the other with an 8 point penalty. Good for Reza so far.

Finals roll around and as long as Reza completes her course, she should have the qualifying first in the bag because 8 points is very hard to make up. The girls both complete their runs, but Jim fumbles the furball at the end and the little bitch is headed up field again. I walk Reza out as I see Tom jump the 4-wheeler up field to help Jim corral the puppy. I crate the bean and start heading back to Ridgeys running, Tom off the 4-wheeler and everything back to normal, but I never saw Jim come back. I'm thinking, "There's no way they left him up there, in a partially unfenced field, to get the dog himself and just continue the trial....

Yeah, they did. I'm pissed at that point because the safety of the dogs should be everyone's #1 priority at a trial, that means runaway dogs too. So I hop on the 4-wheeler and haul ass upfield right after the ridgey course lands. I pull down the e-fence, like the day before where I helped him snag one of the girls and find him on the far side of the hill hoofing it after an afghan that is over 100 yards away. I'm running parallel to the afghan, trying to cut her off and slow her down until Jim can come up to her for a snag. We end up catching her, but damn if it didn't take a while and we were afraid there was going to be another delay of course with the OTHER puppy being excused. Thank God that the judged knew that this was all that Reza needed to finish her FCh, so they let the bitch stay in and scored her.

Sunday was pretty unremarkable for me. Reza ran pretty well, had a good time, but placed 3rd under the Top 2 in the country as expected. No big deal, who gives a shit, she finished this weekend.

Sunday was pretty awesome for Lexy and Bridge, who took Breed over Sailer, the winner of the Gillette Stake at the II.

In a professional capacity, I did get to run the lure for many breeds all weekend, including whippets on Sunday. I got several complements on my op'ing, including one of the judges who did the AKC National Lure Coursing Trial. Lexy did tons of Hunt Mistressing, giving me a reprieve from the duties, which was nice in between standing on the ladder, working on the equipment and chasing dogs on the 4track. Also, Friday was a drag lure meaning that we had to restring the course EVERY time it was run... Lexy and I did tons of restringing; I'm so proud of her and how much responsibility she's taken on at the trials.


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I had to buy one good one of Lexy and Bridgey:


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Reza's FCh finishing shot with the two judges:


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Metropolitan Atlanta Whippet Association - MAWA - Calhoun, GA
November 23rd, 24th & 25th


This last weekend, we hit Les Pekarski's new backyard for a trial in Calhoun. Lexy couldn't make it to this one, but Selma did! Selma was taking on new roles of Field Clerking (fucking paperwork, I don't even know how to do that shit) and Hunt Mistressing. It was good having Selma come out because with her MEDSCHOOL schedule, she has to skip most weekends to work or study.

Friday, Reza was up against three of Linda Shipley's bitches. Reza got 4th because of a combination of her fears of other dogs running up on her, Reza's cheating and Linda's bitches being new to the sport and not cheating. Saturday and Sunday, Reza had no competition and took firsts/breeds both days. We ran her in Best in Field on Saturday for experience and rehab running with clean running dogs, but she didn't win.

Joey made it out and had fun out there stalking the lure and goofing around.














Saturday was fucking tragic for other reasons. Basheera, our good friend Carol and Russ' Saluki, ran into the line, got wrapped and was severely injured during the Best in Field run. The line had cut through her Achilles and separated the muscle from the bone higher up on her leg. Selma can tell you all the medical shit, but it was bad, very very bad. They're looking at thousands of dollars in surgery for her and it will be probably a year before she runs again, and that's if she can run again. She'll probably never be shown again because he gait will be uneven.

I wasn't hunt mastering or op'ing at the time and was several yards from the machine. I remember watching Basheera and the whippet come across a long straight, high up on the field. Basheera was low and on the inside, running abreast of the lure, and coming up on a rounded 50 yard about turn. Basheera made a take as the lure came into the turn, hit the line and was caught up in the line. She began howling in pain and trying to run from the line, possibly doing further damage. People were screaming cut the line, and being about 40 yards away, I haul ass in a spring and dove, knife first into the line and was still the first person to cut it, something I was NOT happy about.

I ran over to the golf cart and get out there with Carol and Jan to see the carnage first hand and cut the line off her foot. They cart Basheera back in with Carol in tears and rush off to the vet after a vet on the field took a look at it and stabilized it some. On Sunday, to benefit Basheera's vet bills, MAWA held a 50/50 raffle. They were talking about donations and Selma and I agreed on $100 because they're probably our best dog-people friends. They then announced the raffle, and I was upset all the money wasn't going to them, but still bought $100 in tickets planning to donate it back to the fund. Well, when they drew, we didn't win and I was even more upset that someone was going to take the money.

The Pharaoh lady that won the draw, out of the corner of my ear, I could hear, "I'm going to respectfully decline..." I teared up. After the ribbons, I walked over to Howard, who was organizing the draw, asked for confirmation that she donated it back, and had Les announce what she'd privately done. There was a huge round of applause for her generosity. Selma and I walked over afterward and thanked them personally. She said that pretty much everyone had agreed to donate it back among all of the breeds. I was so busy on the field, I had no idea. And that's what it's all about.







Five Days of Lure Coursing

Reza's Current standing:
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BIE Mahar's Reza of Mihdian SC

ASFA
FCh - 85/(100) points, 1/(2) First Places, 0/(2) Second Places
Best in Event - 1

AKC
JC - 2/(2) Completions, Done!
SC - 4/(4) Completions beyond JC, Done!
MC - 0/(25) Completions, beyond SC
FC - 9/(15) Points {2/(2) majors}
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Bluegrass Coursing Club - BGCC - Columbia, KY
July 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th 2007


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ASFA Premium List

Another coursing weekend, another coursing thread, blah blah blah.

Not too much to report on the actual coursing this weekend, only that it was for five straight days. Reza ran AKC on Wednesday, but skipped the Thursday trial because there was no competition. In the AKC, that means no points. I'm playing phone tag with the AKC people, trying to figure out if she gets a SC point out of Wed. Usually, you have to qualify against competition, but since she took breed and ran in Best in Field (but didn't win), I'm hoping that it will count for her competition portion. {EDIT} And it does! updated the top.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were ASFA with the Friday course being a "Drag" instead of a "Closed Loop." What this invariably means is that every time you run the lure, it winds up on a spool instead of just looped on the "pie plates" and you have to rethread the pulleys by dragging all 800 yards of line out again. What normally would have taken us running from 7AM until about 1 PM took us 7AM until 7:30 PM. The course was restrung by 4 wheeler with 2 people riding, a driver and a guy with a pole with the lure on the end, pulling it out from pulley to pulley. The awesome part about Drag was the behavior of the lure; instead of a pretty static line, the lure bounces all over the fucking place, almost like a bunny would. Dogs that normally wouldn't course or god bored of closed-loop would go apeshit and be dead-on for drag. For weight on the line, a badger pelt, a fox tail w/ squeaker and tennis ball and a baggy were all tied on the end. The pelt was huge and many dogs went nuts just for that. Of all the days, Reza coursed the hardest on Friday. People were tired after such a long day on Friday, but the dogs had such a great time with a different lure that everyone thought it was well worth it.

Saturday she ran against Gunner in mixed stakes, but he's a goof-off and failed to qualify. This means that Reza automatically took breed and couldn't get her second necessary 1st placement if she beat him in a breed run-off.

Sunday, Reza took a pretty bad spill in the final. It was nothing serious, but did bruise her up pretty good we think. She still ran decently for Best in Event after judging that she didn't have a limp in her gait.

Personally, I had tons of fun this weekend. Starting on Wednesday, I got to Hunt Master. That's the guy on the field that yells "Tally Ho" to release the hounds. That's not your only job though; you also have to make sure the lure is in good condition, call the correct dogs to the line, verify the dogs are in the right colors, perform a visual check for lameness as they come to the line, check to make sure silks are on securely, check to make sure leads are correctly held and wrapped, check that judges and lure ops are ready and then you signal the lure to start and then Tally Ho.

The most important job is keeping the dogs safe. You have to be the secondary eyes for the lure op; so while the op might be watch 2 dogs that are coursing correctly, you have to keep an eye on the third that might run back to momma and tell them to retrieve or just signal to the op that some dog is in right field and to be careful. You don't want a dog running the wrong way on a course because 2 dogs running 40 mph at one another and colliding is not a pretty sight. You are also one of the people with the authority to stop and restart the course if a dangerous situation presents itself or a dog is hurt.

So on one course of three whippets, all three dogs went out great and were on the lure. The lure made a close pass to the starting area and blue wandered back in to start. It looks at his dad, then back at the lure and the other dogs running, then back at his dad, still approaching. I call, "Retrieve Blue," but only when I see the dogs rounding a far off bend and heading back in for the final approach. If that blue dog took off at the other two, not only could that result in an injury, but it fucks with the other two dogs' course and their performance. He goes to get his dog, and mutters, "That's a bullshit call." I told him, pleasantly, that I don't want his dog running head first into the other two and causing an injury. I head up to the judges and asked if I made the right call and they backed me up that it was a good one. Later, Jan comes up to me and says, "If anyone abuses you like that again while you're performing your job, come tell me or Steve. They can be excused from the trial for that. The judges will always back you for the safety of the dogs." He had gone over to the table and complained about my call, but I think Jan set him straight.

I did have a couple screw ups though. One lady, who'd been coursing for days, had screwed up her lead. On release, her dog hit the end of the lead and whipped around, still in a choke configuration. The lady struggled for what felt like minutes, but was only a couple seconds to release the dog. It was my double failure because I didn't check her release lead and I should have told her to hold her hound instead of releasing late in a panic. Another dog was injured on the field, but didn't take a tumble or anything; it just stopped using one of its back legs. They thought it was a fibrocartilaginous embolism. Thankfully, the lure op saw it and stopped the lure immediately. That was pretty sad, and thankfully, the only injury of the weekend.

I ended up Hunt Mastering more and more as the days progressed, starting with 2 breeds on Wed and ending with 5 breeds on Sunday, including whippets who were the most prevalent. On Thursday, there were around 11 courses of whippets iirc. In addition, I was driving the 4 wheeler for most of prelims and some of the finals for the restringing on Friday. Friday night, I was so ragged out, I got back to the hotel after dinner, let the dogs out, cuddled them a minute and literally passed out. I woke up at 2:30 AM in my clothes, sleeping on top of the comforter and realized that I didn't potty the dogs, didn't feed them and neglected to brush Reza out before bed like I needed to. I walked the dogs at 2:30 in shorts and nothing else, and fed them and went back to sleep until the 5:30AM wakeup. I got better in my duties too, and by Saturday, I asked if I could run the lure for practice!

Lure Operator is the guy that pushes the button to make the bunny run. The rules basically say that the bunny has to be kept 10-30 yards in front of the dogs, but it's far more complicated than that. In my opinion, the lure op is the guy who makes the decision on how well your dogs run. A lure op can make a dog look really bad or really good through position and speed throughout the course. It reminds me of playing a video game; you definitely need some hand-eye coordination to do it effectively.

It's not as simple as it sounds; for example: on a turn, you have to pull the lure out further from the dog and "show the turn." Too close on the lure and you can have very bad things happen from the dog making a dive and ending face first into a pulley, turning too hard and tumbling or skidding resulting in broken bones or blown pads or just losing the lure altogether. A good corner is where you show the turn and let the lure coast out of the turn, the dog looks, makes the turn and at that point, you resume the lure. On the straight-aways, you want to tease the dog, so you let them get in close, almost to the point of a "take," but not that close. But, the longer the straight, the more momentum they have and the further out you need to show them the next turn.

I had Steve Curry and Cathy Sanderson walking me through everything. Some of the practice, I actually had Steve pushing my finger when the button was supposed to be pushed in order to get a feel for pulse frequency; pushing and holding the button on a starter motor (which is what a lure motor is) leads to a $400 dead motor. I also got to get up on the actual scaffolding during the trial judging while Cathy was on the lure and she talked me through what she was doing. I ran about 10 runs during the practices; they said I had very good ability, and with practice, could make an excellent lure op. I'm pretty excited, and Steve said that coming up in the September trial, I might be able to lure op for some of the more experienced dogs doing a JC test. You don't want to run young or inexperienced dogs during a test as a novice lure op because sometimes they require more finesse. I'm a while away from op'ing for a trial with multiple dogs, but this is a start and plan to push the button for practices every chance I get.

We had lots of fun every night at Jan's house on the property, drinking and eating homemade food that Sabine, their neighbor made. All the beef came from one of her own cows; those had to be the best kabobs I've ever had. Steve and Jan were so thankful for all the work I put in that they presented me with a set of racing silks with "BGCC" embroidered on them after the ribbons ceremony on Sunday; an amazingly cool and useful present that we'll always have.

As photos come in from people, I'll post some of the cooler ones in the thread.


(All videos are under 10 megs, with some being under 5. All in WMV format.)

Friday (Drag Lure, WATCH THESE)

Preliminaries -
Afghan Open Prelim - Reza (Video)

Finals -
Afghan Open Final - Reza (Video)


Saturday

Preliminaries -
Afghan Mixed Prelim - Reza and Gunner (Video)

Finals -
Afghan Mixed Final - Reza and Gunner (Video)


Sunday

Preliminaries -
Afghan Open Prelim - Reza (Video)

Finals -
Afghan Open Final - Reza (Video)

Best In Event -
Best in Event - Reza, Basheera the Saluki, Keira the Basenji (Video)

Lure Coursing - 2 Majors, 2 legs of SC, a JC and an ASFA Cert

Reza's Current standing:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
BIE Mahar's Reza of Mihdian JC

ASFA
FCh - 73/(100) points, 1/(2) First Places, 0/(2) Second Places
Best in Event - 1

AKC
JC - 2/(2) Completions, Done!
SC - 3/(4) Completions, beyond JC
MC - 0/(25) Completions, beyond SC
FC - 9/(15) Points {2/(2) majors}
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Metropolitan Atlanta Whippet Association - MAWA - Cartersville, GA
June 16th and 17th 2007


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This weekend Reza and I went out to our favorite stomping ground outside of Cartersville, GA. Selma had to stay home with Joey because she is studying for MED SCHOOL boards test which is tomorrow. We met up with and shared a hotel room with Masokissed and her dogs, Bridge and Merlin. Bridge is a 12 month old Ibizan Hound and Merlin is the black/blue poodle. Three dogs and two people in a hotel room is totally doable, but Bridge is a nutcase when out of her crate, constantly searching for stuff to get into, and if it's flat, Bridge can walk on it. I don't think she realizes that she's a dog, and dogs don't walk on tables and nightstands.

A couple weeks back, we had a three day coursing event at the same place. The hay field that we run in has gotten terribly dry and hard, and is difficult to run the dogs on. Dogs were "blowing pads" all weekend because of the terribly dry conditions on the field. This mean that they shred the large pad on their feet, usually taking a chunk out of it. Reza took breed every day, but she was the only afghan. At the end of the three days, she was eligible to run for Best in Event. So many dogs were knocked out of competition over the weekend, that running for best in event were only two dogs: Reza and another Ibizan. She had more in her at the end and ended up taking the Best in Event for the weekend. That gives her a new title on the beginning of her name, "BIE."

Back to this weekend: Under the advice of the sage-like Les Pekarski that has been lure coursing since pretty much lure coursing was invented, we soaked the dogs' feet in water 5-10 minutes before every run. This softens the pads of the foot. The pads are basically big calluses that they run on, and if the callus is dry and hard, it's more likely to sheer off and rip open like a blister. If you soften it, it has more give and will adapt to the stresses the dogs put their feet under on the dry, rough terrain. In addition, our dogs were soaked to the bone both before and after each and every run. This helped keep their temperatures down in the 106 degree heat index that is June in Atlanta. That's why Reza looks like a stringy mop while running out there.

We got to the hotel on Friday evening, got the dogs settled and went out for sushi. We came back to the hotel, drank a bunch and played guitar hero until later than we should have because we had to be up and at the field by 7:30 AM. Once at the field, we setup the dogs' crates, ate our McDonald's and then walked out the dogs. Maso filled out her day-of entries and I filled her in on all of the nuances of the event, including how the day will run, the differences between ASFA and AKC and how to hold the leash and release the dog. It was cool having Maso there not only for the goonishness, but also because unlike Selma, she can hold a camcorder steady.

First up for the day were the JC Tests. They wanted to get the JC's out of the way early incase there were any dogs completing them day-of and would therefore be able to run in the trial later in the day in Open class. This was Bridge's first time at any lure coursing event, and upon seeing the lure, went absolutely batshit for it. She was ready to go, and I don't think there was a doubt in either of our minds that she'd run well. Bridge got up to the line and Maso had a great release, no pre-slip. Bridge, for being a 12 month puppy and a first timer, did extremely well and paced herself throughout the run. This got her her first leg of her JC title. To earn a JC or Junior Courser, the dog has to run alone successfully twice. This allows them to enter the "Open Stakes" at a trial against other dogs to compete for their Field Championship.

After all of the JC tests were completed, the trials started. There were so many day-of entries, the trial didn't start until the afternoon, and it was getting oppressively hot. We were hiding with the dogs under the shade of a tree, unable to see much of the coursing. I really need to invest in am Easy-Up tent.

I was really excited this weekend because for once: there was Afghan competition. There were two Open entries, FIVE Specials and one Veteran. If Reza took her class, that's one point. If she took Breed, that was a FIVE POINT MAJOR. To complete a Field Championship, a dog needs to get 15 points total, with two of those wins being majors which are 3-5 points. I really had no delusions of taking breed over 5 other specials and a vet, but would have been happy just to take her class. The dog she was running against in the Open class was German import dog imported specifically to lure course. This dog wasn't competitive in the conformation ring because it was so dramatically different than the dogs here, but was supposedly very fast and tough competition. To win over that dog in my opinion would be an amazing achievement.

After the first run, in Open, Reza was behind in score by one point, 74 to the German dog's 75. I was worried, but it was possible to make that up or at least tie for a class run-off. The dogs go back in for their second run and Reza gets a score of 74 again, but the German dog only scores a 67 because it ran off in left field and was cheating the lure and predicting badly. One of the facets of scoring is "Follow", and if the dogs are predicting by eithering having run the course already or having seen it run, then points are taken off for that.

The funny part is when I walked up to the board to check scores, Reza had a 144 to the German dog's 145. I was disappointed, but decided to check the scores over closely for each individual judge. Totalling up in my head, I discovered that they had added the totals wrong and Reza had actually taken the class! It pays to check.

The Specials class (dogs that are already Field Champions) that day had 5 dogs, but one was lame at rollcall. During the lunch break, the owner that owned four of the specials including the excused one left the grounds for lunch. He had missed his heats and was thereby marked absent. He drove up while I was walking Reza out about 15 minutes later and asked if he missed it, so it was apparent that he didn't mean to. He also expressed displeasure with the heat and how long the trial was taking. I dunno, you can bitch about clubs, but when it's all run voluntarily, the best thing you can do is be understanding and patient or join the club and volunteer to help; I help when they ask me to, like put up tents or other menial things. Other than that, we were running so late that day because of the number of day-of entries that have to be processed before the testing/trial can get underway. This gave the one remaining special her class and the veteran moved up to the breed run. I checked beforehand to see what I was up against and the special that was left was the top special in the preliminary round, so I was still going up against the top special of the day.

This brings us up to the breed run-off where Reza had to run against the winner of the Special class and the Veteran class. At the start, Reza was the strongest both on follow and speed. Coming out of the first turn, you can see her overtake both dogs that were already predicting the lure. Going across field, the Veteran in blue had an advantage because it was on the lure like Reza was. I could tell watching that the competition was the Veteran bitch, but was still happy with Reza's run. She ran hard through and kept up her speed. Sandra, one of our friends with Borzoi and a judge that was judging tomorrow, walked over while I was walking her out and said, "Congratulations: Five Point Major. You beat the Veteran by one point." I was ecstatic; I could not believe that Reza had just taken a 5 point major over 1 open, 5 specials and a veteran. We never really expected to get her AKC title because AKC events are fewer in number throughout the year, so it would be pretty hard with a rarer breed to not only have competition, but also win against them for those majors. Everyone was very happy for us and congratulations abound. We held off for the Best in Field run that day because you have to pick your battles. A BIF would give her another title, but in my opinion, running harder tomorrow for a major towards her Field Championship is far more important.

That night, there was a picnic and crawfish boil at the local state park. The club presented Les Pekarski with a trophy in his honor that would be offered annually at the MAWA AKC trial for the winner of the Best In Event run-off. Les was extremely touched by the gesture, and I thought it was fitting for the man that not only anchored so many different clubs in the SouthEast, but lure coursing in general. Lure coursing is what Les does, and does well.

We get back to the room that night and are absolutely drained. Standing out in the Georgia sun from 7:30AM until 5:00 PM will beat the hell out of a person. We were so gross from sweat too, but cold showers were amazing. We were in bed by 1:00, and had a wake-up time of 6:30. We had it set earlier for a nicer-than-McDonald's breakfast, but hit the snooze and settle for McDonalds when the time rolled around. Those RAZR's were lucky they weren't thrown against the wall.

First up came Bridge's JC run for her second and final leg. She ran like a champ and was defintely getting the hang of it. She did better than her run the day before and ended up getting her green ribbon and completing her JC! Yay Bridgey!

The Afghan guy that had missed the final the previous day decided not to show. This dropped the Special class down to one dog. The Veteran from the day before was entered to run as a Special with the Open classed in a "Mixed Stake." This doesn't mean the dog was in direct competition during those runs, only that it was scored along with the other dogs in the Special class. The lady who was also a judge, Stephanie, owned both the Veteran and remaining Special, so to release both dogs, she had to separate both dogs, but wanted to keep the number of times the lure had to go around to a minimum. The owner of the German dog also happened to be a judge. Don was this crusty old sea captain looking guy that was a little rough around the edges, but funny as shit; I liked him alot. He did alot of oval track racing and straight racing with his dogs.

Going into the Mixed-Stake Prelim, Reza did a bad, bad job of predicting the lure because I let her watch the course before hand. The german dog was also doing a bit of predicting and the other special was all over the place. At one point, the Special actually collided with Reza on the field because it wasn't looking where it was going. Reza saw it coming and slowed a bit, avoiding a full speed hit and any injury. She was confused, but picked right back up on the lure. Post collision, I definitely felt she was on the lure harder with better follow than the other dogs. She took the Prelim with a point over the German dog.

Then comes the drama: During a borzoi run, a pretty coated breed, two judges, Mike and Don got into a spat. The string broke during the run and one of them wanted to bring the dogs back and start the run over. The other said there was enough of a run to judge on and it's hot and cruel to run the dogs again. One ended up calling the other an asshole and words were exchanged. A grievance was filed. The club had to take an hour and a half break to call a meeting. If they didn't follow the law by the book, they could have their club status taken away by the AKC. In the end, both judges were sent home for the day. Don, who owned the German dog Reza was running against, left the field, so didn't compete in the second run. Mike, who was judging Afghans that day, left too, so Sandra, the other Afghan judge was left to single judge the dogs. Because Don left, Reza took the open class and therefore got one point. A dog's entry counts as long as it successfully completes it's prelim run, so the German dog counted towards the point total.

Reza's final run was uneventful while running with the Special in mixed, but was a very nice run. The Special decided to stop in the middle of the field to smell something, not that it mattered toward her open win. It did freak Reza out and made her slow down, but she picked back up when she passed the other dog. The problem was Afghans were the last breed to run in the order. This means that breed run-offs were directly afterwards giving Afghans almost no down-time to rest. There were the Afghan Specials Class and Borzoi and Saluki breed run-offs, but that's only three runs before Reza had to go back in. I basically walked her out, wet her down, put her up for 2 minutes, then wet her down again and we were back on the line.

Both dogs ran exceptionally well for having to run a back-to-back, but I think Reza edged the other dog in the "Speed" category. She ended up beating the Special for the three point major. That gave her both of her needed majors towards her Field Championship, so now she can just peck away at singles and get her title.

Next, we were going to run Bridge practice, but decided to get something useful out of it; her ASFA Certification. Unlike the AKC, ASFA requires you to prove that you can run with another dog cleanly before you can run in the Open stakes. All of the AKC judges are also ASFA judges, so they have no problem signing off on it. The problem was that we couldn't find another dog to run with Bridge either because of the heat, the fatigue or blown pads. I was getting Reza out, even though I wasn't going to run her for Best in Event, just to get Bridge certified when some nice Pharoah people pulled one of their males out to run with her. That dog ended up blowing THREE pads on the run, making both Maso and I feel extremely guilty. To heal a pad, you have to Epsom salt soak them for a week for 30 minutes a day and they heal up, but it's still not a good thing to have happen. Bridge had an excellent run and qualified. She looked surprised that there was another dog on the field a couple times, but figured it out quickly and stayed on the lure like a champ. I'm very proud of her, as Maso is too!

All in all, an amazing weekend with Reza getting 8 points in two majors and two legs of her Senior Courser and Bridge earning her Junior Courser title and Cert'ing for ASFA so the next time, she can enter Open against other dogs in both the AKC and ASFA!


(All videos are under 10 megs, with some being under 5. All in WMV format.)

Saturday
JC Test -
Bridge's JC Test (Video) >Photo Gallery<

Preliminaries -
Afghan Open Prelim - Reza and German Import (Video) >Photo Gallery<

Finals -
Afghan Open Final - Reza and German Import (Video) >Photo Gallery<

Breed Run-off -
Afghan Breed Run-Off - Reza, Special and Veteran (Video)


Sunday
JC Test -
Bridge's JC Test (Video) >Photo Gallery<

Hansa's JC Test (Video) >Photo Gallery<

Preliminaries -
Afghan Mixed Prelim - Reza, German Import and Spec. Bitch (Video) >Photo Gallery<

Finals -
Afghan Mixed Final - Reza and Spec. Bitch (Video) >Photo Gallery<

Breed Run-off -
Afghan Breed Run-off - Reza and Special (Video) >Photo Gallery<

ASFA Certification -
Bridge's ASFA Certification (Video)


Here are some random snapshots:

This is what you get when you piss off the ops in #petisland, our IRC channel on irc.zirc.org:



Merlin with a lobster on his head:



Puppy Bed:




Look at them ears:



PBS Program with Salukis

Just thought I'd throw this out on the web.  Ken Caruso was nice enough to dub it for us for the part about Salukis.  It's not too far in, take a look.