2016 Western Petit Prix Update ~ May 20

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Today we ran two standard courses and played Dare to Double and Gamblers. Below we have the course maps and games briefings. Look for the individual results under each.

Download the overall tournament standings (as of this evening) here: Petit Prix Standings

Standard 1

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Standard courses shall be judged under rules for performance for the Superior class. Qualifying scores shall be accorded to the titling level of the dog.

Scoring and Qualification

Standard courses shall be scored Faults, Then Time. To qualify the dog must run the course without fault, under the course time. The judge will measure the course to determine the Standard Course Time for each level.

Download Results

Dare to Double

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Briefing

Dare to Double is a dog’s choice game. 4″ and 8″ inch dogs will have 55 seconds, 12″ and 16″ dogs will have 50 seconds to accumulate as many points as possible. Time starts when the dog crosses the Start line, and ends at the table. The table is live after time has started. A horn will signal the end of point accumulation. If the team reaches the table before the horn, all points earned on course will be keep. If the team fails to get the table before the horn, half of their points will be lost. There will be no warning whistle.

The value of the obstacles is based on a 1-3-5-7-point system.

  • 1 point for jumps
  • 3 points for tunnels and tires
  • 5 points for dogwalk, teeter, and the weave poles
  • 7 points for the dog walk, the first time it is performed.

Scoring obstacles can be taken only twice for points. Back-to-back performances are allowed. Jumps that are knocked down will not be reset.

A successful performance of the A-frame doubles all points earned up to that time. If the dog faults the A-frame, half of the team’s points are lost.

The A-frame is not restricted to only two performances. The dog may double points at any time, and as many times as the handler (or dog) wishes. The important restriction: The dog must complete another obstacle — for points — before reattempting the A-frame.

Scoring and Qualification

Dare to Double is scored Points, Then Time. The dog with the most point’s wins. Time is the tie breaker.

Points needed to qualify:

  • Games III – needs a score of 160 or better
  • Games II – needs a score of 80 or better
  • Games I – needs a score of 40 or better

Dowload Results

Gamblers

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Briefing

Gamblers is a point accumulation game with a distance challenge. The objective is to accumulate as many points as possible in the opening period, then to perform a designated distance gamble within the specified closing time.

In the opening point-accumulation period, teams accumulate points by performing obstacles up to twice for points. Back-to-back performance of any obstacle is allowed. If an obstacle is faulted the team can still attempt it twice for points. Jump bars are not reset if dropped, and that jump is dead for the rest of the run.

In the closing, the dog must do the numbered gamblers sequence while the handler stays behind the containment line. The dog may re-cross the line, but the handler must stay behind it. The dog must complete the obstacles, without fault, before time runs out to get credit for the gamble.

The gamble is worth 20 points.

Special Notes about the Gamble:

Any fault during performance of the gamble will negate the gamble bonus.

Performing two different gamble obstacles one after another in the opening will negate the gamble bonus.

Unproductive loitering near the start of the gamble before point accumulation time has expired will negate the gamble bonus.

Dropping a bar on a gamble jump during the opening will negate the gamble bonus.

Times:

12″ & 16″ dogs = 30 seconds opening, 12 seconds closing

4″ & 8″ dogs = 33 seconds opening, 14 seconds closing

Obstacle values, opening period:

  • jumps – 1 point
  • tire, tunnels – 3 points
  • Aframe, teeter, weaves – 5 points
  • Dogwalk – 7 points
  • Mini-gamble, 2 jumps performed, A-B circles or squares (as marked) while handler stays behind line – 10 points. If done any other way or not behind line, each jump is worth 1 point. Each jump can only be done twice for points, either as gamble or individual obstacles.

All obstacles, including the mini-gamble, can be taken twice for points in the opening period. Weaves can be corrected for credit.

Scoring and Qualification

Gamblers is scored Points, Then Time. The dog with the most point’s wins. Time is the tie breaker.

To qualify:

  • Games III – needs 23 points in opening plus gamble
  • Games II – needs 21 points in opening plus gamble
  • Games I – needs 19 points in opening plus gamble

Download Results 

Standard 2

 

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Standard courses shall be judged under rules for performance for the Superior class. Qualifying scores shall be accorded to the titling level of the dog.

Scoring and Qualification

Standard courses shall be scored Faults, Then Time. To qualify the dog must run the course without fault, under the course time. The judge will measure the course to determine the Standard Course Time for each level.

Download Results

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Joker’s Notebook, an invaluable reference for teaching an agility dog (and his handler) to work a distance part.

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Weakest Link ~ Games of the Petit Prix

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This is the final post in our series featuring the games of the TDAA’s Western Petit Prix in 2016. We’ll have a look at the Weakest Link. This is a dog’s choice game that requires the dog to save or “bank” earn points, or lose them on any fault! This is a dog’s choice point accumulation game features a valuable (but optional) distance challenge.

Following is a sample course with the simple briefing. After the briefing I will provide a short discussion of strategy.

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The Weakest Link is a game invented by Tara Choate. This is a game of point accumulation and strategy. Trisha Stall, from New Lebanon, New York will judge the Weakest Link at the Petit Prix. This game is scheduled for the morning of May 22nd in Castle Rock, Colorado. The sample course shown here is not the course designed by Ms. Stall for play at the Petit Prix.

Briefing

The Weakest Link is a point accumulation game. The object of the game is to score as many points as possible in the allotted time. Only “banked” points will count toward the final score. Points are banked when the dog performs a tire. There are two tires on the field!

Each obstacle taken by the dog must be worth as much as or more than the previous obstacle taken. To keep points earned, they must be “banked” by the dog going through the tire. There are two tires on the field! After points have been banked a new sequence of points-gathering begins. Each sequence banked must be unique, which means there must be at least one difference from any sequence previously banked.

Back-to-back performance of obstacles is permitted, but only back-to-back. A third performance shall constitute a fault.

Unbanked points are considered “potential” points. If a dog commits a fault, all potential points are lost. Faults include dropped bars, missed contacts, taking an obstacle of lesser value than the previous one, failing to bank points before the final whistle. Weaves just must be completed for points, but once started, if not completed before going on it will be called a fault. When a dog faults the judge will call “fault”. The handler then must direct the dog to the first obstacle in a new sequence to earn potential points.

If a bar is dropped on a jump that jump is out of play for the remainder of the game.

This course features a gamble that earns the dog significant bonus points. The numbered sequence (jump, weave poles, tunnel) is worth 28 points.

The gamble must be taken in the order and direction shown, with the handler behind the gamble line. If the dog knocks a bar, or misses a weave pole, or goes off course in the middle of the gamble – the judge will call “fault”. If the handler steps over the containment line the dog is faulted only if the order of performance breaks the weakest link point value rules.

Points values of obstacles:

  • jumps – 2 points
  • tire, tunnels – 4 points
  • contact obstacles – 6 points
  • weave poles – 8 points

12″ and 16″ dogs have 50 seconds; 4″ and 8″ dogs have 55 seconds to accumulate points. When time is up the horn will sound and the dog must cross the finish line to stop the clock.

Scoring and Qualification

The Weakest Link is scored Points, Then Time. Time is a tiebreaker only.

To qualify:

  • Games I – 30 points
  • Games II – 40 points
  • Games III – 50 points

Strategy

The Weakest Link is loosely based on an old television program in which contestants had to answer questions while they accumulated a load of “potential” money. If they missed a question a slightly rude English lady would proclaim “You ARE the weakest link! Good bye!”

In this game, like in the television program, all points earned by the dog are “potential”, until they are banked. And once banked, they cannot be taken from the dog. The only real restriction as to order and direction is that each obstacle performed must be worth as much as or more than the last one taken.

If your dog earns a fault keep your composure! The next obstacle that the dog takes will be the first obstacle in the accumulation of potential points.

The distance challenge or “gamble” gives a bonus that amounts to double (or more) the normal value of the obstacles in it. On this course the “bank” has a clear and easy approach from the last obstacle in the gamble. So, if a dog has nice distance skills the distance challenge is the key to a solid scoring strategy.

The only real restriction in the performance of the gamble is that each sequence must be unique. The savvy handler should plot a variety of preamble sequences that change the overall sequence. The gamble should be considered like a single obstacle which has the highest point value on the floor. Consequently, it must always be the last one taken.

Note that stepping over the containment line isn’t automatically a fault, unless the scoring of obstacles violates the as-much-as-or-more-than rule. Well, if you make the approach to the gamble from a higher value obstacle (like the teeter, in the sample course)… then automatically the judge will have to call “Fault” if the handler steps over the line.

The real question about banking is how often the dog should be directed to go there. The tire has no actual value of its own, and will use up a bit of time to direct the dog through it. Do you run to the bank every time you earn a nickel? Or, do you risk lugging around a big bag of coins (points)… the risk being that any fault will lose the entire bag.

Remember that unbanked points are lost when time expires. It is better to do the longer sequences first, and then finish with shorter sequences in anticipation of the expiration of time. It is better to be caught short of finishing a three obstacle sequence than it is to be caught short on a fifteen obstacle sequence.

Be aware of the proximity of the bank any time you direct the dog to a high value obstacle. It’s possible to trap yourself well away from a tire with no reasonable approach. In the sample course, for example, if you take the A-frame from the back of the field to the front… you are slightly stuck (though it might be very possible to turn the dog around on the dismount and head for the teeter to save the points). Also, since the judge has allowed back-to-back performances, the handler might just turn the dog around and take the A-frame in the opposite direction.

As in any point accumulation game, you should find nice logical flow for the dog so that you can move smoothly with your dog and rack up points at the dog’s best working speed.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Joker’s Notebook, an invaluable reference for teaching an agility dog (and his handler) to work a distance part.

2015 Petit Prix ~ Final Results

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The 2015 TDAA Petit Prix is now in the history books. This has been a great competition and an exciting display of agility skill.

The Petit Prix is a unique championship format. The tournament is won by skill and consistency over ten rounds of play. These include three standard rounds and seven unique games which test a variety of skills.

You can view final tournament results here: Final Results.

A special thanks to our judges who did an outstanding job, Beth Moline from Central Point, OR; and Joan Wieckowski from Grants Pass, OR. A big thank you also to Darlene Schmucker for opening her marvelous facility, B&D Creekside Agility for TDAA completion. And as always, thank you thank you to the many volunteers who made this all possible.

TDAA National Agility Championship Title

The Teacup Dogs Agility Association has awarded the TDAA National Agility Championship Title (TNAC) to four dogs that achieved the highest overall score in each jump height at the 2015 Petit Prix.

We proudly announce ~

Winner of the 4″ division: Hank, a Yorkshire Terrier run by Donni Breaden; scoring 728 tournament points. This was the second TNAC earned by Hank.

Winner of the 8″ division: Chanel, a Cavalier King Charles run by Stephanie Stempfer; scoring 890 tournament points.

Winner of the 12″ division and High in Trial dog: Stitch, a Boston Terrier run by Christina Wakefield; scoring 945 tournament points. This was the second TNAC earned by Stitch.

Winner of the 16″ division: Wiley, a Shetland Sheepdog run by Paula Higgins; scoring 781 tournament points.

Call, Direct and Send

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Call, Direct and Send is scored Time, Plus Faults, Less Bonuses.

This game was won by McCorkle, a Scottish Terrier in the 8″ division, handled by Melinda Mull. McCorkle ran the course in a time (adjusted) of 16.34, and earned 15 bonus points; earning a score of 1.34.

You can review the results of the class here: CDS Results.

Helter Skelter

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Helter Skelter is scored Faults, Then Time.

The game was won by Kassie, a Shetland Sheepdog run by Darla Annonio. Kassie ran without fault in a time (adjusted) of 16.54.

You can review the results of the class here: Helter Skelter Results.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, an invaluable reference to clubs engaged in league play.

2015 Petit Prix ~ Results from Day 1

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Petit Prix competition has been pretty fierce on the first day. We’ve run two standard rounds and two games. Course maps and results can be viewed below.

You can view cumulative tournament results (unaudited) here: 4 Round Petit Prix Results.

Power & Speed

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Power & Speed was won by Hank, a Yorkshire Terrier run by Donni Breaden, with a score of 13.87.

You can view complete results for this class here: Power and Speed

Standard 1

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This first standard course of the Petit Prix tournament was won by Ebby, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi run by Mark Wittig. Ebby ran without faults in a time of 30.32 seconds.

You can view complete results for this class here: Round 1 Results

Cha Cha

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This dog’s choice game proved to be a lot tougher than it looks! The game was won by Ebby, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, run by Mark Wittig, with a score of 58 points.

You can view complete results for this class here: Cha Cha Results

Standard 2

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The second standard course of the Petit Prix was run on Friday afternoon. The winning dog was Ebby, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi run by Mark Wittig. Ebby’s adjusted time was 29.58 and had 0 faults.

You can view complete results for this class here: Round 2 Results

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The

Games of the Petit Prix ~ Helter Skelter

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This past weekend I attended a TDAA judging clinic in Columbus, Ohio. We played a couple of the games that are scheduled for the Petit Prix in Latrobe, PA in October.

I renewed my respect for these games as legitimate challenges that will test the skill of dogs and handlers at the Petit Prix… both Helter Skelter and Cha-Cha. I will have to dedicate a discussion to Cha-Cha in the next few days.

Helter Skelter

The Book of Agility Games says “In the U.K., there is a dog agility class called Helter Skelter. The game is named after a children’s ride at parks and fairs where a slide spirals down the side of a tower.

On first look the same-sided spiral looks almost too simple to consider as a game of competition. But in practice the handler needs to understand the subtle handling and movement differences between a tight pinwheel and a big wide open flow of obstacles. The Helter Skelter will certainly expose small errors in timing and position.

Coincidentally, we played a variation of Helter Skelter in the National Dog Agility League game for August, 2015. You can see results from my club here: http://wp.me/p2Pu8l-4h. I want to use this course as a basis for discussion of how this game tests the skill of the handler.

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This variation of the Helter Skelter is called “there, and back again”. The course starts tight, then opens up; and then turns back on itself on a big sweep and tightens backup into the central pinwheel. One of the important advantages of the “there, and back again” variation is that it allows a long and robust numbered course using a minimum of equipment, and is suitable for a small space.

The Basic Pinwheel

The pinwheel is a classic arrangement of obstacles in agility. While it is typically made up by four jumps, it might also be only three jumps, and may be five, or more.

The pinwheel often invites bad movement from the handler even to the extent that the handler is standing still. If a numbered course includes a pinwheel, then the percentage likelihood that a jump is refused or a bar dropped is considerably higher in the pinwheel than anywhere else on the course. That faults result from bad movement.

A dog tends to work in a path parallel to the handler’s path. I should point out that if the handler isn’t moving, then he has no path. A handler standing with his shoulders squared as though moving parallel to the dog is actually inviting the dog to tuck in away from the jump.

The simple advice for the handler who feels compelled to camp in the middle of a pinwheel without movement… the very least you could do is face the hurdle you want the dog to jump.

Triangular Pressure

On the sample course especially, as the Helter Skelter unwinds to the outside, the handler could easily find himself behind the dog. It’s one of the laws of a dog in motion that a dog forward of the handler’s position will tend to curl back toward the handler. With the dog forward, the handler shouldn’t be quite so committed to moving in a parallel path. Instead the handler’s movement should apply pressure back into the dog’s path to keep him to the outside.

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There are a couple places on this course where the handler might use this triangular pressure. This illustration shows the transition from jump #6 to jump #7 which surely requires pressure back against the dog to keep him out to the #7 jump. If the handler layers to the opposite side of the #3/17 jump, then the dog biting on the wrong course option is considerable.

Test Your Brake Shoes

When you first learn to drive you learn to put your foot on the accelerator to get where you’re going in a big hurry. But at the end of the day, it’s the brake pedal that keeps you safe. So while in the tight little pinwheel of the Helter Skelter the handler might favor the brake more than the accelerator.

In this “there, and back again” variation of Helter Skelter the dog winds out; then turns around; and winds back in. After working on the big fast outside of the slide the dog will be in full extension. So the handler will want to slow things down a bit for the dog to work in a collected fashion. Use your brakes to slow down. Running an agility dog can be just like driving a car.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, an invaluable reference to clubs engaged in league play.

Petit Prix 10 Event Winners

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We’d finally like to recognize the 10 Event Winners from the 2014 Petit Prix East tournament: 2014 Petit Prix 10 Event Winners

See you all next year!

 

Petit Prix Results through Round 9

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Almost done…here are the results through Round 9: 2014 Petit Prix Scoring Rnd 9

The round 9 course/game follows.

Pinball Wizard

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Briefing

The goal is to accumulate as many points as possible within course time: 50 seconds for 12/16; 55 seconds for 4/8.

The start obstacle is the dogwalk (either direction). After completing the start obstacle, the team will continue to accumulate points by performing obstacles of the handler’s choosing. Obstacles may be completed only twice for points. No obstacle may be taken back-to-back.

Obstacle values: Jumps 1 pt; tire, chute, weaves, and tunnel (other than a Bonus) 3 pts; Contacts 5 pts.

Once the start obstacle has been completed without fault the trigger obstacles become active. The designated jumps are the triggers. To earn the bonus (triple all points) the dog must take the trigger and perform the bonus obstacle. Both are bidirectional. The bonus may be earned three times during play.

To re-activate the triggers after completing the bonus, at least one point must be earned. At the whistle the dog should be directed to the table to stop time.

On any fault the triggers become dormant and can only be reactivated when the dog again completes the start obstacle.

Aside from routine performance faults, the dog will also be faulted for taking a bonus obstacle without taking the trigger; taking an obstacle between the trigger and the bonus (including back-jumping the trigger).

If a trigger bar is knocked, that trigger is out of play for the rest of the game. The remaining trigger may still be used.

Scoring and Qualification

The table is live throughout play. If the dog touches the table it is a tilt and play ends.

To qualify: 50 points for Games 1; 100 points for Games II; 150 points for Games III.

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