In case you are not from FL and are not aware…..DACOF this weekend is “The Room Where IT Happens”! Our statewide competition is in full swing and has come back better than ever! Last DACOF (2019), I was invited to work at the score table and loved it, and so Dennis Martinez and I are both working there again this year, with the added twist that I decided (well, was convinced/prodded) to bring my own student teams this year. So we have two teams of students out there this year: “Rise Up!” and “Scrappy and Hungry”. Can you tell we are Hamilton fans? Bringing teams and working the table, along with all the madness currently going on in my life, is not for the faint of heart, but I have had so much support from my students. Chloe Evetts Williams basically spear-headed this insanity, aided and abetted by Kerry Stevens and many others! Kathy Scholes Abel took on the decorations, Cathi Buckley helped keep workers going, and Norrine Noonan helped with baskets and practice and a bunch more. I am so lucky to have such wonderful people! Everyone has worked so hard and got out there and ran their hearts out. This is not an easy event for newbies because lets face it, its utter chaos, but its such fun!!!!!! I really hope everyone is having a great time and enjoying it. I was part of the FAST scoring team today, and that is always the most challenging aspect of scoring, but we got all glitches sorted and scores figured out….and hey, it was a near thing, but I even got to run my own dog! With all the scoring stuff, my brain wasn’t fully engaged in the course today, that’s why I only bring one dog to the event. This weekend it was Rebel, and boy has she stepped it up! She is running in Excellent 16″ and today Won FAST and got 2nd in Jumpers and T2B by mere fractions of a second, even though her handler kept forgetting the course! I hope to do better by her tomorrow, but I couldn’t be prouder of my teams and my Rebel Princess!!!!
“Look around at HOW LUCKY we are to be alive RIGHT NOW”
DACOF 2022 has now come and gone and I really feel it was the best one yet! Bill Becker and the rest of the board really outdid themselves this year to give us an event that was just perfect! From the awesome dirt prepared by the consummate Dirt Guy Mike Padget, to the introduction of Agility Gate App (thanks Roger Ly !) and so many new improvements (who doesn’t like to be able to see the maps on YOUR PHONE at 6am in the morning!?!?!?!), this year really will be tough to beat, but I am sure they are already thinking of new ways to do just that. Thank you DACOF Board for all the many hours of hard work, and thanks to Jean and Ginny for allowing me into your sanctum of the Score Table and providing so many laughs this weekend!!!!
As to our performance….what can I say?…..WE WON!!!!!!!! I brought two Teams to the event this year, “Rise Up!!!!” and “Scrappy and Hungry” and though only one team can earn the coveted top spot (and believe me the competition was FIERCE, but “Rise Up!” was aptly named because those dogs battled it out!), the truth is one team doesn’t function without the other….we are all ONE! I am so proud of everyone, for being kind, for being supportive, for all the screaming and cheering and the willingness to work but most importantly the bravery to step to the line and show your stuff!!!!!! There were some amazing things out there but I am most proud of the fact that 3 of our Novice teams earned High in Trial, all Novice A dogs who have barely competed before, if at all….I am not sure they even know how huge that is, but I know from their smiles that they absolutely know how special their dogs all are
As for Rebel, my little girl who was chosen to be THE dog this weekend….it was admittedly a hard decision, I have three wonderful dogs that I just absolutely LOVE running with, and choosing one is not easy, but I wanted more chance for others to be on the team, and also knew my focus would potentially not be there with working the scoring table and bringing teams for the first time. I thought it wouldn’t be fair to have Sci-Fi out for the first time with my focus divided and so I chose Rebel, solely because Chloe Evetts Williams (who deserves ALL the thanks and credit for making this team happen!) and Kerry Stevens were the driving force behind this mad idea of bringing Teams to DACOF and our “Smooth Moves” partnership deserved to be complete. Lol! Boy am I glad I did! Rebel won placements in 4 of the 5 Masters 16″ classes: 1st FAST, 2nd T2B, 2nd Jumpers, 1st Standard, which earned me my first ever DACOF High in Trial award for the 16″ Masters Class!!!!! I have come close many times before but never managed it, always had a bobble in the last round, but this year’s last round was simply MAGIC with my girl!!!! Apparently, all I needed to do was be so busy during the event I couldn’t really focus fully on my runs – it did WONDERS for my ring nerves! I finally felt focused and connected and it was so great to have all our Masters dogs run clean and strong for that last one!
At the end of the day, I was also honored and humbled with a DACOF “Outstanding Sportsmanship Award”, which someone may need to fill me in on why, since I totally missed the presentation! Lol! I was getting chairs for some of my teammates, and ended up coming in to be singled out. Sent me back to my school days! Lol! Seriously, though I am super honored and blown away by people’s kindness. Thank YOU!!!!!! I was happy to work the scores and loved working the table!!!! All in all, this weekend will have me grinning from ear to ear for a while!!!!!!