Event 2 of this past month involves the always exciting first trial of our JRTCA season. This year we chose to kick off a little early and attend the St Croix Terrier Trials in Lake Elmo MN. Structured a little differently than your typical terrier trial it was a JRTCA sanctioned trial on Saturday and an AWTA (American Working Terrier Association) trial on Sunday. The drive down was long but thankfully uneventful and we met up with old friends immediately upon our arrival. Being isolated up here in the "Great White North" I miss my American and Canadian terrier friends dearly over the winter and as such I am always very happy to have the opportunity to catch up with them. Friday evenings dinner was one of stories, cocktails, and good food - all the things a meeting of good terrier men and women should entail. Afterwards I unpacked the dogs, settled into the hotel, and was in bed at a shockingly reasonable hour.
With Kiwi now an adult I did not have to be at the racetrack quite as early as I had last year but for someone used to not having to have dogs ready to go until afternoon when conformation starts anything before 10am seems torturous. The weather as well was not entirely with us on Saturday as a little drizzle made for a damp start. Kiwi of course did not mind one bit, so long as there is a lure and a track she is happy to run in any conditions. She made her adult debut in style and won the Over Bitches flat race and then went on to take the hurdles race as well securing her a spot in the championship race. As an adult the initial races are separated by gender so the winner of the flat and hurdle races for boys and girls compete in the final. Like Kiwi the same dog won both the flat and hurdles so it was just the two of them for the Championship. It was a thrilling race to say the least as they ran neck and neck down the course, hit the hole together (an event that always makes me catch my breath) and ended in a dead heat! A rerun saw Kiwi come out victorious but I think that close match let her know the "big boys" will not be easy to outrun. We spent the rest of the day over at conformation where Kiwi and Robert took respectable thirds in their Open Conformation divisions and Robert won his suitability to Raccoon/Badger class. Sadie was the Veteran Terrier Champion and Patton took the Colored Terrier Championship.
There was no racing on Sunday so we were able to fall back into our old routine of sleeping in a little and taking our time arriving at the trial site. The day was much more inviting with near perfect temperatures and enough wind to keep any bugs that had been thinking about coming out away. While we waited for conformation to start I ran Robert through the Go-to-Ground tunnel and it did not take him long to figure out what he was supposed to be doing there. Cali and Patton both did a little trailing and locating work as I am hoping that Patton will take over as my tracking dog this summer once Cali has been bred. He did quite well on the scent trail, despite high winds, and as he matures a little more I think he will become a handy terrier to have around.
A cup of coffee and a little lunch later and conformation was ready to start. Cali was first in the ring and impressed me immensely taking the win in her class over some nice littler terriers and going on to take Reserve Champion Open Bitch. Robert repeated her performance in a little while later and took Reserve Champion Open Dog. We had a little fun and entered Cali, Kiwi, and Robert in the "Tool Box" class which they eventually won over some pretty handy competition.
All in all it was a great weekend filled with friends, of both the old and new variety, dogs, and pretty colored ribbons. What more could a girl want from life?