From Thursday, Feb. 4 to Monday Feb. 8, I spent 5 days with my dogs participating in conformation and rally trials in Phoenix. There were 2 specialty shows hosted by the Sporting Dog Association and the Rio Salado Vizsla Club in addition to 4 all-breed shows. And there were also 4 days of rally trials. All in all, it was great weekend for rally. Tyro earned his AKC Rally Excellent title so is now known as CH Varazs Napkelte Tyrone Am/Can RN, Am RA, Am RE. It was exactly one year to the date when he earned his AKC Rally Novice title at the same show along with his mother Nova who finished her RAE title (see photo below of Tyro (L) and Nova (R). (More memories of Nova.)
Miska also did well and earned 4 more RAE legs. RAE means she has to pass both the Advanced and Excellent rally classes at the same trial. So each day she was doing 2 trials - and passing. She earned several placements (3rds and 4ths) but should have done better as she was hit with several 1 pt losses for being out of position. And one time I didn't run fast enough by the jump and she nicked it which cost her 3 pts. Without that deduction, she would have had a 99/100. More practice, practice, practice!
And Diva was not to the judges' liking except for the very last day (Monday, Feb. 8). Several people had gone home and so there was no major in Vizslas (a major is a show with enough dogs of the same gender to make it a 3-pt win or higher). However, when judge Robert Salsbury of Waterloo Iowa said to me as he examined Diva, "Congratulations on breeding a dog with a front!", I thought me might like her as none of the other dogs, including his Winners Dog, had a decent front. There were a lot of Vizslas there with straight shoulders. Anyway, he gave her Winners Bitch and then pulled Diva out first (and here I was thinking Best of Breed!! how exciting) but then he pulled a male champion out ahead of us. However, he did also award Diva Best of Winners of the Winners Dog. This didn't give her any more points (she ended up with 2) but at least it said he preferred her over the Dog. So that finally gave Diva her first 2 points and ended out disappointing losses from the rest of the show weekend. As the saying goes, "A different day, a different judge." which is sometimes a very good thing.