From Sandra Zajkowski.

On July 9th we held:
• ACT 1 and 2 show
• Barbecue – Kudos to Liz Smith for coordinating
• Learned about the history of TRACS Tracking program and watched a video demonstrating dogs tracking – thanks Sue Larson and Cathy Beam for sharing your enthusiasm for this event
• Fun Runs

I had a number of people who came up after the ACT classes and again in the afternoon before they left and complemented the club on how this day was run and appreciated the chance to earn ACT certificates – I also enjoyed reading a number of happy facebook posts and photos showing the awesome ribbons won.

Carrie DeYoung from AKC spent most of the morning watching people run and interviewing various entrants for an article – she took a number of photos so keep an eye out for when the article comes out. She interviewed a number of youth that were showing in the ACT classes and shared her experiences with the various 4H agility programs throughout the USA. El Dorado County 4H helped throughout the day as they have done at various TRACS shows.

Carrie stated she believes this was the first ACT show in California and about the 20th nationwide

Terry LeClair not only donated the field and equipment he was also the ACT Evaluator.

Colton Meyer manned the gate for both ACT and Fun Runs – thank you

In the afternoon people had their choice of so many full courses that they could choose from or like me, winged it to work on specific items.

For those into numbers, this day had
• 61 Act runs
• 86 Fun runs

Resulting in:
Gross Income $1,170
expenses (AKC fees) $ 305

net profit $ 855

This day replaced the AKC show previously held at State Fair by TRACS and Sacramento Dog Training Club, where the profit was donated each year. In 2015 it was reported in the December minutes that the combined profit was $1,436.70 which would mean that $718.35 would be applicable to TRACS. It is nice to realize that this day maintained our contribution reputation.

Looking forward to holding our “Second Annual” day next year.

Sunday, January 25, 2015, Mather Regional Park – The first track was laid at 7:10 am in soupy
fog that challenged the abilities of the tracklayers. Fortunately the fog burned off sufficiently to
start the test on time about 30 minutes later. The day remained overcast with a slight wind and
temperatures in the 40’s. Thanks to the heavy rains in November and December, the fields
were in excellent tracking condition.
The draw for running order was held at 7:15 am, and the first team was in the field and ready to
go at 7:40. The judges and chief tracklayer ran an efficient and organized test; the tracks were
fair and fun. The test ended with six handler/dog teams earning TD’s. Congratulations to the
following teams:
Francis Keays and Rottweiler Mistyridge’s La Belle Aurore
Gwyndean Candelaria and Bernese Mountain Dog Blackcoral Ocean Sunset
Linda Alexander and German Shepherd Dog Amazing Thor Von Alexander
Julia Priest and German Shepherd Dog Agilquest U R Being Watched Von Sontausen
Heather McDowall and Golden Retriever Sunfires Shiny Trinket
Patty Nicholas and Border Collie Kit Kat Gimme A Break
The two teams that didn’t pass today performed well but made mistakes that brought the
whistle. They are sure to track another day and earn their titles.

Our judges this weekend were Bob Rollins and Kamrin MacKnight. It was a pleasure working
with them. They were pleasant and respectful of both workers and handlers.
A TD test wouldn’t be possible without the volunteers who come out and support the sport.
Thank you so much to the following workers:
Test Secretary – Jean Schafer
Chief Tracklayer – Sharon Prassa
Hospitality – Cathy Beam
Tracklayers: Cathy Beam, Sue Larson, Penny Larson, Meg Azevedo, Colton Meyer
Driver: Colton Meyer

Tracking Dog Excellent Test held January 26, 2014

The workers who arrived early on Sunday morning were treated to a beautiful sunrise with gorgeous orange sky displayed through the branches of the deciduous trees around the pond at Mather Regional Park. After very warm, sunny weather on plotting day, the weather took a turn for the better on test day – slightly overcast with negligible wind and a high in the mid-60’s.
Unfortunately, the ground cover, which is normally lush and green this time of year, was dry and brown due to our record-setting dry winter. This presented different tracking challenges than we normally see in our Sacramento tracking tests.!

The Test Secretary and Chief Tracklayer were very efficient and kept the test on schedule. The draw for running order was done promptly at 9:45 am and the first team was in the field and  ready to go at 10:00 am.!

The first dog was a Bassett Hound from Woodside, CA. The Bassett started well, then
struggled a little just short of the first turn. After working through the issues, she moved briskly down the track passing the cross tracks, finding both intermediate articles, and making 3 turns. Then the dog/handler team faced the most challenging obstacle. The track dropped down into the middle of a dried-up creek and turned left. Sadly the team was unable to work through this challenge and they heard the whistle. !

The second dog was a Bernese Mountain Dog from Boise, ID. The Bernese had a hard time starting and didn’t make it through the first turn before hearing the whistle. After the whistle she tracked  beautifully but there are no do-overs at a tracking test!!

The third dog was a Smooth Collie from Menifee, CA. The Collie moved out quickly from the start flag – the gallery was sure this was going to be a pass. The Collie made the first two turns, passing the cross tracks and finding the first intermediate article. Then the team faced their most challenging obstacle: the track turned and crossed a paved road into loose gravel. The Collie made it across the road but didn’t continue into the gravel. The team struggled. Eventually the Collie turned in a parallel direction to the track, intersected the true track but didn’t take it. The judge blew his whistle.!

The fourth dog was a Vizsla from Del Rey Oaks, CA. The Vizsla, Soolie, ran a fun track with a few difficult areas. Sooli’s style is not “head down, pull hard.” Instead she tends to go back and forth across the track while moving forward. She found the first corner and started down the second leg, crossing a gravel road, heading toward the area downstream from the dam. On that leg, she found her first intermediate article, a glasses case. Normally, the area where leg 2 turned is under water, but not so in this drought year. The track meandered through cattails and pennyroyal until it reached the dam. The track climbed back up to the dam road over rocks. At that point, the track crossed over the culvert, diagonally to the left, and went into the field. Sooli worked hard (rolling on a dead fish in the process) before finally crossing the road and picking up the track. At the next corner she found GOPHER HOLES, which she dutifully indicated…and indicated…and indicated. Once the handler finally called her off, Sooli searched for the new leg but found more gopher holes. Finally, she found the track and got the second intermediate article, a black sock. On they went to the next corner where Sooli noticed more critter holes but finally made the turn and pulled down that leg of the track. The next turn came at the base of a tree, back in the area that is usually under water. The track turned left at the tree, but Sooli overshot the corner. After searching she came back and found the final leg, which meandered,
again  through dead grasses and ultimately straightened out, leading her to the glove. YAY!!! The first pass of the day.!

The tracklayer, Sharon Prassa, commented: “ It was terrific to see such nice handling. Her owner had the right combination of patience and persistence to interrupt Sooli’s critter discovery. Needless to say, I was elated when they found that glove. Turns out Sooli had gotten her AKC Senior Hunter title just two weeks beforehand.”!

The fifth dog was a German Shepherd Dog from Napa, CA. The GSD started slowly but progressed nicely past the first set of cross tracks and the first two turns before making her way to the coyote bushes, the first major obstacle on the track. Unfortunately the GSD didn’t want to enter the bushes and went too far right along the front of the bushes to recover. The judge blew the whistle.!

The sixth dog was the second Smooth Collie of the day, handled by the same person who ran the third track. Some days the odds are stacked against a dog, and sadly this was true for the Collie. This track, and only this track, was within hearing range of both the shooting range and the model airplane facility. Extremely sound sensitive, the Collie was obviously stressed by the sound of rifle shots and did not want to leave her handler. To the relief of the handler, the judges finally blew the whistle when it became painfully evident the Collie would not be able to overcome her stress.!

Congratulations to Amy Reinecke and her Vizsla, Sooli (CH Mtnpride Mazey’s Stars Lined Up Bright as Sunshine CD SH TD – now TDX). Well done! !

The other five dogs will go on to track another day and earn their TDX titles.!

Our judges this weekend were Sil Sanders and Kyla Smay. They plotted some interesting and challenging tracks and were very supportive of the participants. !

A TDX test wouldn’t be possible without the many volunteers who give so freely of their time. Thank you so much to the following workers:!

Test Secretary – Penny Larson!
Chief Tracklayer – Meg Azevedo!
Hospitality – Cathy Beam (who did double duty as a tracklayer)!
Tracklayers: Jean Schafer, Sue Larson, Cathy Beam, Sharon Prassa, Mary Roseberry and
Margot McKeregan!
Drivers: Nancy Furay and Colton Meyer!
Primary Cross Tracklayers: Randi Knutson, Sue Bailey and Pam Flanagan!
Secondary Cross Tracklayers: Cindy Hult and Jenny Cuccinella

Starting end of January, USDAA is raising the cost to register a new dog IF DONE VIA A TRIAL ENTRY. As you all know, a new dog can be registered with USDAA at the same time as they enter their first trial. However, now owners will be charged a small premium for doing it that way. Starting end of the month, USDAA’s fees for new registrations will be:

  • $25 if done with a trial entry
  • $20 if done directly online by the owner, using the USDAA competitor services link, prior to sending in the dog’s first trial entry.

Note that doing it online gives you your new reg number immediately, right on the spot. You do not need to have a paid USDAA subscriber subscription, but you do need to have a (free) USDAA subscriber account. All explained under the competitor services link, and get back to me if there’s anything I can try to help clear up.

TRACS ended 2012 with another great agility trial on December 28-30 at the Murieta Equine Center.  I would like to thank all the TRACS members who took the time and made the effort to go out and help at the trial.  The weather was chilly but dry, and the courses were fast and furious.  Positive comments were made throughout the trial regarding what nice trials TRACS puts on – I agree!

We were able to celebrate with the following teams as they completed their MACHs:  Sharon Freilich with Scandal, Sharon Murphy with Reo, Terri Greer and Piper and Helen Hamilton and Whisper.  Each team received a beautiful MACH ribbon and a decorated MACH bar.

As you all know lots of work goes into putting on an agility trial.  I would like to thank Kathie Leggett who always goes above and beyond in acting as the Trial Secretary and Head Score Keeper for our AKC trials.  Without Kathie’s endless hours of work, our trials would not be what they are.  In the scoring room along with Kathie were Nicole Young and Mary Roseberry.  These guys spent the entire weekend meticulously logging in scores and double-checking scribe sheets and computer printouts to make sure everyone’s score was recorded correctly!  Jim and Sandy graciously haul our trailers and take care of the equipment – again without their help, the trial could not go on!  Heading up our course building we had two teams of three whom actually worked together throughout the weekend helping each other, which makes for quicker course builds and builds on the clubs camaraderie.  Our course builders were Cindy Macklin, Sharon Murphy, Beth Miller, Becky Hardenbergh, Cathy Beam and Karen Kaua.  You guys rocked!  The rings ran smoothly with the guidance of our Chief Ring Stewards Nancy Damarodas, Vickey Meyer, Katy Robertson and Karey Krauter.  Again, these folks were out there taking care of the ring staffing and making things roll along the entire trial!  The workers raffle was a huge hit thanks to Georgia Demetre and Sue Bailey.  Folks were lined up and anxiously waiting for the names to be drawn to see if they won the prize of their dreams – there were cool prizes too!  As always, our rewards table was happily visited as the placement prizes were so much fun.  Thanks to Pat White for finding such great prizes and making sure we were fully stocked with the super TRACS ribbons.  Then there was the breakfast that was always ready for us when we got to the hospitality area.  Jill Gustafson provided us with fresh hot coffee and cocoa each morning along with some other delectable items.  We all were sent out to work with a happy tummy!

This year TRACS hired full time workers to staff the key ring positions of timer, scribe and gate.  We had six people come out each day to man these positions in exchange for TRACS certificates.  Again these folks helped our trial run smoothly and made life easier for our Chief Ring Stewards.  (We plan to hire folks for our May trial also so if you are interested let me know!)

An added bonus this trial was the presence and hard work from a group of 4-H kids from the Placerville area.  Jill Gustafson and Sandy Zajkowski have been mentoring and teaching dog skills to this dedicated group of young people.  They were so excited to be at our trial and took on many of the rings jobs such as setting bars, leash running and even gating a ring.  It was really fun to have such young, fresh and enthusiastic young people at our trial.  (I really hope they come back in May!)

So all in all we had a great trial and had a great time.  I thank everyone who came out and worked the trial and donated your time and efforts in helping TRACS put on another wonderful agility trial.  There are limited key positions and hired positions and not everyone can take on one of these positions, but as a member it is just the right thing to do to come out and help because it is your club.  To those folks I give a huge thank you!  I hope I see all of our club members pitching in our trials coming up and enjoying the fun that agility brings to us.

See you all in May!

Susan Cochran

Trial Chair