The facility was very nice. The soccer field area was completely fenced and surrounded treed park areas and asphalt trails for the shade tenting areas. There were also fountains around the park and a couple in the soccer field that they also had hoses connected to, so there was water available for soaking cool coats, filling wading pools for the dogs and misting tents for people and dogs. The soccer fields were also lighted which came into play on Saturday as due to delays, some dogs were still running at 9:30 pm. There was even an off-leash dog park, that some of the organizers didn't even know about, that we found on Saturday.
|Tent City (Photo credit: Leslie Cameron)|
Thursday afternoon, we had two warm-up runs, two Steeplechase. My favourite event with Beckett as there are no refusals so spinning only loses time. We had one bit of spinning on a tunnel in the first run and a really nice run for the second. Beckett got a qualifying score in both runs and came in 7th place in both runs as well. There was a Steeplechase finals to be held on Sunday but I didn't know if that would be good enough to win us a spot. We ate again at the hotel but the hotel had not learned from the night before and there was still only one wait staff. He gave us our drinks for free since we had waited so long.
|Competitor's view of ring 5|
|Beckett running at Nationals (Photo credit: Tamara Gallant)|
|Jumpers 2 and Score Sheet|
|Our placement ribbon (Photo by: Elaine McLean)|
|Standard 2 and Score Sheet|
This year there was an event that was started at last year's Nationals; it is a 3-dog team event. You register a team of three dogs and handlers, the handlers have to be members of the AAC. They record the scores from your runs counting only the top score although each dog has to count for two of the scores at the end of the scoring. The top team wins $1200, the second place team $600 and the third place team $300. It doesn't cost anything to enter other than your AAC membership. Beckett was on a team we called " This, That and The Other". There are also small prizes for Best Name and Best Costume. Our team came in 35th of 92 teams, not too bad. I thought we had great costumes but we didn't make the cut in the costume contest, a team with only t-shirts did. The team that won the costume contest had a little white convertible car that their dogs rode in, that was really cute. We had t-shirts and headboppers for us, tires and mini cowboy hats for our dogs to wear. I guess you had to see the photo we had for our team to really understand the dog's costume.
|Photo designed by Leslie Cameron|
|In costume, t-shirts and dog tires designed by Leslie|
I wanted to wait for the ribbon ceremony for the aggregate placements as I had many friends who had made it to the podium including my roommate and her dog but I had set a deadline for my departure of 6:30 pm. At 6:38 pm, when they had not yet started the ribbons I decided to leave, after all there was the two and half hour drive home. I still had some stuff to pack up so had to make two trips down to the car, I heard the start of the ribbon ceremonies when I packed up Beckett's crate and made that last walk to the car with him to begin our trip home.
The 2016 Nationals was over for us, they were fantastic despite the heat. I hope god-willing we'll be able to go to the 2018 Nationals where Beckett will definitely run as a veteran dog and perhaps even Keltic will get a chance to show his stuff. The 2017 Nationals are being held in British Columbia and that's just too far for us to travel.
|New agility t-shirts|