I've wanted to go to the Canada Cup for many years but in the past I would have had to go as a spectator as dogs have to jump their regular jump height and Ceilidh and Tucker both jumped as Specials. This year, since we weren't going to Nationals and because a friend also decided to go, I entered Beckett. I hoped we wouldn't be totally outclassed by the level of competition and that we'd be at least in the middle of the pack.
We arrived on Thursday afternoon, 27 June in Guelph and headed out to Royackers to set up our screen tent so that would be one less thing to worry about in the morning. We set up the tent, even though with the weather forecast of rain and lots of it, we had been told that the event would likely be conducted indoors. I was totally impressed with the venue from the top field, to the pond, to the outdoor ring. The fields were like golf fairways, impeccably groomed.
|Beckett playing Frisbee and Keltic running off to visit yet again|
|The top field with RV parking just off to the right|
|View of the pond from the top field|
In three of the events, Grand Prix, Steeplechase and Jumpers, there are two preliminary rounds with the top 45% of dogs moving on to the finals. The other two events are Snooker and Gamblers with the winners being decided by the single run. There is also one event for veteran dogs, a jumpers challenge.
I only entered Beckett in the Grand Prix, Steeplechase and Jumpers as your entry fee ensured you two runs and because the registration form said that the rules for the Snooker and Gamblers would be announced on the day of the event so I wasn't sure what to make of that. The rules at Canada Cup are a bit different than those of the Agility Association of Canada. For one there are no refusals called; we like that, as having a dog that sometimes gets a bit spinny, it was nice that we were only losing time. As well, most things were only accorded 5 faults, teeter fly-offs were 10 faults and non-completion of an obstacle was 20 faults. The placements in each event, other than the two games, was determined by time plus faults so a fast dog could afford to make a small error.
Friday, 28 June, we arrived at Royackers in time for the general briefing and afterwards set up our crates in one of the buildings that were connected to the indoor arena. It was nice that we did not have to go outside to get our dogs as it poured rain for much of the day. We got to watch most of the Snooker runs, which were really amazing, as the only way to win was to go for four 7's and get the full closing for a perfect Snooker.
Our first event was Grand Prix. We had never run a Grand Prix event before, it was a lot of fun. It has all the obstacles you would find in a Standard event but the courses, I found, flowed smoother and weaves were judged at Starter or Novice level like Steeplechase. In this first run, Beckett had two bars down and as a result he didn't place very high but being his first run, I was just glad he hadn't come in last.
Our next event was Steeplechase which is one of our favourite events because even in the AAC, there are no refusals called. I felt really in sync with Beckett on this run and we finished the clean run in a time of 33.61 seconds which was good enough for 5th place.
|Fifth place finish for Beckett|
I was very happy with how Beckett was running, two clean runs and he was right in the thick of things.
Since it had rained so much they made the announcement at the end of day that Saturday's events would be indoors too. It was a very long day, we headed back to the hotel to feed the dogs and then went out for dinner ourselves. The next morning came far too early but since we weren't in the Games event, we didn't have to be in a big rush to get back to Royackers.