Jun 10, 2011

CPE Nationals June 2011

I can’t remember where I found out about CPE agility, but somewhere along the line of running in 7 agility venues I decided to add another one so we could compete in their Nationals planned for June 2011 in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.
We had to qualify for Nationals, so our quest for National status begins:

June 2010 Dolcenea and I entered our very first CPE agility trial in Iowa. It was a three day trial and we entered 12 runs at Level 1; we did not grandfather in.  Dolcenea Q’d 11 for 12 all 1st placements! It was 95 degrees and 95% humidity… yuck!

July 2010 Dolcenea and I entered our second CPE agility trial in Las Vegas Nevada. We entered 10 runs in Level 2 and Q’d 10 for 10 all 1st placements. It was 125 degrees outside but a very comfortable 68 degrees in the air conditioned agility facility! It was a great trial!

August 2010 we entered our third CPE agility trial in Cleveland Missouri. We entered 10 runs in Level 2/3 and Q’d 9 for 10 with all 1st placements. It was hot at this trial too!

April 2011 we entered our fourth CPE agility trial in Wahoo Nebraska. We entered 10 runs in Level 3 and Q’d 9 for 10 with all 1st placements. This was a great little town.

Finally! After all the above traveling and trialing we have now obtained all of the legs necessary to qualify for the Nationals! Yippee!

The Nationals finally arrives!

CPE Nationals day 1: Setup and check-in
We made it to the hotel, found the fairgrounds, located our stall and proceeded to start hauling in all the crap I lug around each and every weekend. I looked around for the electrical outlet I was promised and being only 5'4" tall, I never managed to “see” one. Really strange? The stall coordinator said to bring an extension cord for electricity! I'm looking all over, behind doors, walking into other people’s stalls looking around corners and no electrical outlets to be found?

So I wonder over to the 2nd section of the horse stall building and notice that another person has plugged into an electrical outlet that was conveniently located at eye level on the main entrance wall.  I think to myself, don’t tell me there is only one electrical outlet in a building the size of a football field? You’ve got to be kidding... right?  So I head back to my part of the building; walk to the main entrance area to see if there is an electrical outlet at eye level like what I was just looking at, then I notice the problem! The electrical panel that is identical to the other side of the building is ripped completely apart and wires are sticking out of it everywhere! Obviously not a good sign! Oh crap!

Discouraged I head back to my stall. As I’m standing in an empty stall pondering what I should do I notice the lighting above my head was buzzing. So I look up glaring at the offending noise thinking boy this is going to be a long weekend having to listen to that all day, then I realize OMG there are electrical outlets in the rafters of the building about 20 feet over the top of my head! What? Why would anyone install electrical outlets in a horse barn 20 feet over a persons head in the rafters? Now I'm in trouble! How in the heck am I going to be able to get my extension cord plugged into an outlet that is 20 feet off the ground? I start looking around for an idea. I see a plastic barrel sitting in the corner of the doorway and think maybe I could turn it upside down and stand on it to reach the outlet. Needless to say, I’m not that good of an acrobat, and I certainly don’t need a broken leg before the trial even begins! Second Idea that comes to mind; drive my car into the isle way and climb on top of it to plug in? Probably not a very good idea, some of these people don’t look like they would appreciate me trying to maneuver my large vehicle down the size of a bike path requiring them to move their stuff out of the hallway and into their stalls. I’m still pondering why anyone in their right mind would install electrical outlets in the rafters of a horse barn???

So I wonder outside and happen to notice a young kid driving what looked like a fairgrounds maintenance vehicle.  I chase him down and ask if he can help? He says, oh sure no problem, we plug into the rafters all the time (now this is the strangest answer I’ve ever heard anyone say at a horse barn) I'll go get a ladder and meet you over at your stall. Wonderful! I’m thinking to myself… problem solved! Yippee!!! So I meander back to my stall thrilled with the notion of not breaking my leg on the first day, and not pissing off my stall buddies with my car parked in their way.

Now I’m waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, listening to the wonderful buzzing from the rafters. Twenty minutes goes by and he finally shows up on the other side of the building dragging a 12' ladder in one hand. I quickly approach him before anyone else can get is undivided attention and show him what I'm trying to do. Like a professional roper, he grabs one end of my 50' extension cord swings it over his head like he’s aiming for a steer and flings it up and over the first set of rafters. He goes to the next set, grabs the end of the extension cord and once again with grace and ease slings the end of the extension cord over the next set of rafters. Now we're in the stall next to the hallway and once again he grabs the end of the extension cord slings it straight into the air and hits the electrical outlet straight on the top of the box! I say to him you must have done this once before, and he responds yep, every time there’s a horse event. He had my extension cord plugged into an electrical outlet 20 feet above my head and 30 feet away from my stall in less time than it takes me to eat a candy bar!

I thank him profusely and tell him to just leave the ladder in the hallway because I’m sure everyone else will need it if not his services that’s for sure. I no sooner get the words out of my mouth and another guy walked up and said hey young man can you bring your talents over here, and he was off roping rafters for yet another shorty like me!

So after the rafter rodeo event was over, I checked in, got my arm band number, grabbed a running order for tomorrow and received the BIGGEST welcome bag I’ve ever seen. These guys managed to stuff 20 pounds of dog toys, treats, leashes, collars, samples, balls, “you name it, its in there”, into a 5 pound bag. Then handed me another bag full of Minnesota stuff, and yet another bag embroidered with the welcome slogan of the CPE Nationals trial on it.

Not bad for a first day at the rodeo…. oh I mean agility trial check in and setup! 
CPE Nationals day 2:
Dolcenea Q'd 2 for 3 in Standard & Jumpers, but I screwed up Jackpot. I found a tic on her 2 dogs before we ran and it creeped me out! Thank goodness she is in full coat and it didn't make it to her skin, but it was in her fur, BIG mistake on it's part! Nasty things!!!

Anyway I wasn't focused during our run and I didn't get the send correctly and she ended up taking the wrong finish jump, but it was a BEAUTIFUL run!

And yesterday she got three 1st places!!! They didn't have the results up for today, so hopefully they will speed things up tomorrow since it's the last day. I would really like to know how we did before I head back to Colorado.

One more day to go (thank god) my feet are killing me from all the walking to the rings, to the horse barn, to the score table!

CPE Nationals final day (yippee!):
Dolcenea Q'd 2 for 3 today in Colors and Standard, but we got robbed out of our Snooker Q!!! I sent her into the tunnel and the next thing she sees is the jump setter charging her from the side as she's exiting the tunnel!!! I was pissed to say the least! Judge wouldn't do anything about it and neither would Linda.

Dolcenea got two 1st places yesterday, and two 1st places today!

Dolcenea finished her Fullhouse title on Friday, and she won High in Trial for Standard Level 4 20" division for the whole trial.

I'm glad it's over! Got to the trial site at 6:00 am and left at 8:00 pm!!! very very long day! Dolcenea is pooped and my legs hurt so bad from walking the entire fairgrounds a million times; I must have walked 30 miles this weekend!

I plan on sleeping for a week once I get home!

CPE Nationals final results:
Dolcenea won HIGH in TRIAL Standard 20” division level 4!!!
Dolcenea qualified in 7 of 9 runs in Fullhouse, Wildcard, Colors, Jumpers and three rounds of Standard ALL with a 1st placement!!! And to make the trial a complete success she finished her 77th title!!!