Saturday, April 8, 2017

The NAC Report: A Fantastic Weekend!

This year's AKC National Agility Championship (NAC) was held March 24th, 25th, and 26th at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia. This was a wonderful venue and we had perfect weather!

This site had beautifully groomed dirt rings that were neither too deep of footing nor too hard.

Jimmy and I had a wonderful experience! If you are a long time reader, you may recall our last time attending this big event didn't go so well. I went into this NAC with much more confidence plus Jimmy is now running in the 8 inch class instead of 12.  I  did not need to worry about bar-knocking nearly as much.

We had five runs over the course of Friday through Sunday. An optional warm-up Standard run on Friday morning that was purely for practice and getting the dogs used to the footing. You could even take a toy in the ring! We had a bobble  at # 2 to #3 but nothing to worry about. Here is the map:

And more importantly, the video:

Later in the day came the first "real" course,  Premier Standard. While this course did not count toward the championship, you could actually earn a leg toward your title. Premier is a trickier version of the regular Standard with a shorter amount of time to get it done. Here's the map:

You can see it holds a few similarities to the warm-up run so those of us who ran the warm-up either had dogs who thought they knew where they were going and went off-course, or were primed for this version. Fortunately Jimmy was primed! We qualified and even came in 10th which is really good at a big event like this! The standard course time was 65 seconds and we did it in 43.51 seconds.

Here's the run:

Photo by Great Dane Photos

For whatever reason, the AKC awarded their prettiest ribbon for this run (not counting the BIG ribbons at the end of the weekend). Look how nice....

Once we had finished this run, the rest of the day could be devoted to visiting all the vendors. This show gets lots of them! I've always loved Paco Collars, and they had a booth! The temptation was too great so Jimmy came home with a new collar as "his" souvenir (yeah, right! That would be "my" souvenir)....

Saturday's runs were Standard and Jumpers. Have a look at the maps:

Standard was in the morning, and we cleared the first hurdle and had a successful dogwalk contact. Once I saw the video however, I think we were just lucky on that and the judge was generous. Next was the tricky box after the weave poles. That area was my biggest worry and while I don't think it felt smooth, we made it through cleanly! Over the Aframe and down the line of a triple then double jump. I hear a tick as Jimmy's toenail hit the triple and down goes the bar! SIGH! Watching the video, I think I got too far ahead, causing Jimmy to get off-stride. We were so close to the end. At this event a knocked bar deducts points but is not a full disqualification. So we ended our run with a good time but a score of 95. A slow dog with a perfect score of 100 would beat us.

Photo by Great Dane Photos
My Standard video:

Jumpers came later in the day. An interesting course with lots of opportunity to either knock a bar or go off-course. Fortunately, Jimmy did neither! Yay! We had a clean run, finishing in 32.77 with a standard course time of 51 seconds.

My JWW video:

Photo by Great Dane Photos

Sunday had an incredibly early start! We needed to be on site for a 6:15AM walk-thru of our Hybrid run! Yes, 6:15AM! Add to that the fact my hotel was a full 40 minutes away, plus parking, getting the boys settled in their crates, etc. Hybrid is a combo of Jumpers and Standard, but no dogwalk (yay!) and shorter standard course times to meet. Here is the map:

The concerning areas on this course were #3 through #7 and making sure the dogs didn't go to the weaves after #9, and #13 to the weaves as # 17 was a big distraction/off-course possiblity. Our only near-bobble was in that last section. I almost forgot to send Jimmy over #13! So close to missing that jump but we didn't. Whew! Nerves at a big event really mess with you! The standard course time was 53 seconds but Jimmy only needed 34.20 to finish up.

The Hybrid run:

Photo by Great Dane Photos

So, after all those runs where did it leave us?  We fully qualified in our Jumpers and Hybrid run and had just a knocked bar in Standard. Our times were pretty speedy in all the runs. So we ended with a score of 295 instead of a perfect 300. In the Preferred class there were 52 eight inch teams, and we finished in the #20 spot. Not too bad all things considered. If it hadn't been for the knocked bar, our times were good enough that we would have been #7!

I had tons of fun at this event! I spent time with good friends, enjoyed the challenge of the courses, and was glad that even old man Wilson could come along for the ride!

When the event was over and I headed back to the hotel for the last time, I will confess to feeling a bit bittersweet. This will definitely be Jimmy's very last Nat'l Championship. He turns 10 next month and I have no plans to push him for another qualification. Plus, next year the NAC is back in Reno, NV, way too far away. His career will be winding down in 2017 with less trials and training. We do have one more big event planned at the end of April/beginning of May. We will head to Ohio for the Cardigan National Specialty and an agility trial of JUST Cardis! I haven't gone to that annual event in several years so this will be FUN!


  1. Looks like Jimmy is going out in good form. Loved all the video and the photos. They really helped me feel like I was there.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I loved the maps and the videos; some of the courses were quite tricky, to my mind. Terrific photos of you all! Jimmy has done a great job!

  4. It is a huge accomplishment just to qualify to go to the Agility nationals - a small percentage of teams even make it to that point. And to make it through the competition with just one dropped bar is fantastic. You and Jimmy both looked super and you should be very proud. That JWW run was most impressive. I hate running when all the jumps are identical! - much harder for the handler. Big Congratulations!!!!!

  5. We're impressed you went to Georgia! And it was well worth it! Congratulations.

  6. Way to go! What great pictures and videos.

  7. You and Jimmy are an amazing team. I can imagine that, in the midst of the big smiles, you felt a tiny bit sad. But I'm glad that you have events planned for next year. Congrats!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...