Monday, December 1, 2008

AAC Regionals and Nationals

Exciting news: The 2009 AAC Ontario Regionals as well as the AAC Nationals will be held right here in Ottawa! Both will be at the Nepean National Equestrian Park, a mere 20 minute drive away. Regionals will be on May 29th to 31st, Nationals July 30th to August 2nd.

If all goes well next spring and Walter remains healthy and injury-free, it will be a lot of fun to run him in what would be our first Regionals. Last year's Regionals were a 7 or 8 hour drive away. I didn't go because it coincides with a really busy time at work and would have entailed several days off, but also we were still a really green team back then with only a few Masters runs under our belt, so probably best to wait another year before "jumping" into something way over our heads. Of course, we're still pretty green but at least we've accumulated another year of experience. Lucy will definitely be sitting this one out as she will still be on trial hiatus at that point while we work through some issues.

Walter's the sort of dog who's always very aware of his surroundings, so I've learned that any time we go to a new place for a trial he tends to be a bit unfocused for his first few runs, running past obvious obstacles while eyeing the new scenery. So, my biggest challenge will be to try to keep his focus as best as possible, on top of dealing with whatever course challenges are presented!

Whatever happens, it will be fun to have the opportunity to watch competitors from all over the province and country right here in our hometown.

6 comments:

roxanne said...

How exciting for you. Maybe I'm being foggy, but do you/have you gone to an event at this arena (since it's so close)?

LucyandWalter said...

Hmmm... I don't think so. But then, my memory is generally foggy too, so who knows?

andrea said...

WOOOOHOOOO

no way Sally or Thea will be regional ready but I'm hoping Brody is still into the game enough that we can make the trek for both Nationals and Regionals

I'm thrilled too - the drive will be closer than last year but not close enough to commute but that's ok by me

Nat said...

Ahh, can't believe I haven't read this post yet...I'm excited for Regionals too, should be a whole lot of fun! I might run Mika, but Masters Gamblers, I dunno....

Well, after a winter (or more like, four or five *real* practices on *real* equipment!) of distance training, hopefully our distance skills will improve (including my handling!). And then we have all of May to train three times a week at the field, or part of May, depending when the field opens.

I know we wouldn't qualify for Nationals, but it would be a great experience. And if we mess up with the distance in Gamblers, I could always just cross the line and help her out to end the run on a good note. I've been getting better at not letting Mika know that she made a mistake, and Mika's been shutting down less and less; I actually can't remember the last time she completely shut down =D

Also just realized that Wall-e's 1st birthday will be on the first day of Regionals :) It'll be a great birthday present for him, he loves seeing other dogs and going to new places.

~Nat

LucyandWalter said...

No need to be too concerned about the gamblers part of it. I've never been to a Regionals but have heard it's quite possible to qualify for Nationals even with the most velcro of dogs. In case you're not familiar with the point system, don't quote me, but it's something like this: The Standard runs start with 100 points each, with points deducted for faults. The Jumpers runs start with 75 points each, again points being deducted for faults. Bonus points are available for clean runs under SCT. For the Gamblers runs, the points must be earned: you keep all your points gained in the opening, and you get an additional x points if the main gamble is successful. Well, something like that anyway. 350 points are needed to qualify for Nationals this year.

I'm hoping the weather will be unseasonably COLD (minus 5 would be perfect, lol) for Regionals. When it's hot, Walter seems to go into "I have never ever seen weave poles before" mode more often which would mean 40 points deducted right off the bat! Regardless, it will be fun.

Nat said...

Thanks for the info about the points, doesn't seem too bad...if I can remember to give my cues earlier on course and if we get that weave problem fixed up, we could have a chance of qualifying for Nationals.

You and Walter will do great though, you've accomplished so much already! And I know what you mean about the weather, Mika runs best when it's cool outside.