2011 USDAA National ~ My take on it



We had a great time at USDAA National this year. The energy was better than last year but not quite what I have experienced when it was in Scottsdale. The organizers seemed to have learned from all that went wrong at the 2010 National and really stepped up to the plate and fixed the issues for this year. The event was well run and a pleasure….. still really not quite sure why it has to be dragged out to 6 days tho…… too much money!!!!! And quite frankly I think it is stupid to have only one run a day for several days…..And don't even get me started with my moral dilema about where the USDAA National is going to be held in 2012 – I can not even believe that we as dog people are going to support an area with our money that has banned a breed with horrific consequences!!!! Shame on USDAA and shame on CO!!!!


We took little Stunner with us for the grand adventure. He was stellar!!! Stunner handled everything in stride with a smile on his face. He was great in the hotel and even got to sleep out like a big boy…. tho he woke up at 3:30 a.m. two of the nights and would not go back to sleep. He thought dive bombing our faces, tugging and biting our feet under the covers was way more fun than sleeping… and his teeth are still razor sharp 🙁






What a treat that Melody came to watch and brought puppy Lazer!!! I love seeing our puppies so loved and adored by their people!!!! Lazer was walking around like he owned the joint.



Stress… pressure…WOW!!!! I am beginning to see a pattern leading up to and at these big events. Daneen has been working very hard at the mental management of this game….. but something is missing or being overlooked or not dealt with 100%. Seems that at every big event something significant goes down with Daneen's body…. like a core issue. She is all good in her head but I think we are not addressing  the emotions or something very well…. So that is causing the body to release energy through her body in the form of something icky.

USDAA National 2010 – pulled her back out during team and before GP and Steeplechase
AKC National 2010 – caught a bad cold and bruised ribs from coughing so hard
and the list goes on…..

So this year she got sick with a cold/flu a week before USDAA National. After a week of bed rest she seemed to be in fairly good shape for the first day of the event. i thought to myself…Cool!! We got the ickies over and done with BEFORE the event…. smooth sailing!!! Not so much!!! She ran one class each day the first two days, the night before the day she had 5 classes to run she had probably the worst belly ache I have ever seen her have :(  UGH!!!!! I have never seen her doubled over in pain and the moaning!!!! I felt so bad for her. I tried to make her as comfortable as possible between runs and i was not too worried about the runs because the body is amazing and the adrenaline kicks in and no pain is felt. I think we are going to start looking into yoga or something…..

Since Daneen was trying out for the IFCS 2012 World Team…. EVERY run counted!!!!

On the post belly trauma day she had 5 runs… IHC jumpers, IHC standard, Grand Prix Semi's, Team jumpers and Steeplechase finals later in the evening…….

The good the bad and the WTF!!!!

IHC standard was first. She felt good about the course. It all started out beautiful and then Daneen fell…hard… on her knees… Masher continued… he dropped a bar… she got up still trying to hang on to the run….one bar- they are still ok…. Masher takes the correct next 3 obstacles… daneen is behind and not where she needs to be…still trying to hang on… and in a split second Masher pops over an off course jump…. tweet…..

We pow wow after the run as we traumeel and ice both knees….. " It happens" It's ok….. one run…. no problem….

IHC jumpers is next… like right next…. I am watching this course being run and thinking to myself… there is NO way she is going to get this one corner of the course. You had to manage the sequence into the straight tunnel and race to manage a close and ugly rear cross threadle…. not going to happen.

It all started out beautiful and she ALMOST made it through that ugly spot…. tweet.

Pow wow after that run while continuing to ice her knees…. Wow that was FAST!!!! it's ok… two funky runs…. no problem… shake it off….

Next was Grand Prix semi's. It looked like an easy course. I felt good about it and I guess even more important Daneen felt good about it 🙂

I have never seen a Mahy run like this ever!!! not even in novice !!!

It was jump to a tunnel to the dog walk.

They are on the line. Daneen says OK tunnel and mushy heads to the tunnel and then back to her like " What did you say?" Daneen says Tunnel, tunnel and takes off to mange the end of the dog walk…. one refusal… we are still ok….. Masher flys out of the tunnel, squirts behind her and takes an off course jump… tweet… I don't really know what happened after that.

I had been videoing all the runs so far and can't post the last 3 because my potty mouth was a flapp'n…..

So the day is not going so well to say the least….. we still have team jumpers and steeplechase finals to go today.

I must say that I am very proud of Daneen and her attitude this whole time. She still had a smile on her face and while I know she was disapointed Masher never knew about it. She treats him the very same no matter how the run went down. That to me speaks more than anything else.

So Jean had made the trek to KY to watch. We had fun hanging out and watching. Jean and I both were talking about the runs gone bad and she had noticed that all the runs she watched of Daneen's had gone bad. Daneen smoked the runs that Jean was not here to watch. Jean quickly announced that she was going to be nowhere in sight and in fact she was going to leave the building when Daneen ran her next two runs. I said that I was not going anywhere near the ring she was running and I was NOT pulling ou the Xoom to video. We laughed and talked about how silly this all was and how that was not how this all worked. Neither of us stopped each other from leaving or not videoing 🙂

Team jumpers was next. There were more off course options and back sides of jumps in this course than the IHC jumpers course…. lots of E's. Daneen really needed to nail this run I thought more for her confidence seeing as how steeplechase finals were next. So the stage was set…. Jean was out in her car reading her book and I was at the other end of the arena with my xoom packed away. Daneen and Masher are on the line…. the run is flawless… and fast…. they nail it… they are back on their game….

Steeplechase finals……STRESSFUL!!!!   The crowd, the music, the energy in the air…. very cool!!!  Again Jean and my Xoom assume their positions…. Jean in her car and Xoomie in my bag…… Daneen and Masher are the last 12" run….. It started out beautiful… the middle was beautiful and the end was beautiful and fast!!!! Wide turns and ALL!!!!

Daneen and Masher USDAA 2011 12" Steeplechase Champions!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!

Bfsun12in steeple winners
                                                                 photo by Karen Moureaux


Even with having 3 crappy runs and a not so good snooker run Daneen and Masher came in second of the 3 spots for IFCS World Team in 12". So they won a spot on the 2012 IFCS World Team!!!! Congratulations to all the team members!!!! I know the hard work that went into getting on the team. Looking forward to World Championships which will be held here in the united States in Texas in May!!! If you have never been I highly recommend it!!! It is truly a great experience!!!!

2012ifcs team selected

Congratulations to Dana Pike Chamberlain and Tangle, Daneen Fox and Masher, Andy Mueller and Crackers, Kevin Brown and Hunter, Maureen Waldron and Mickle, Jean Lavalley and Cheer, Stuart Mah and Ares, Jeannette Hutchison and Rumble, Dudley Fontaine and Sweet and Maverick, Mia Grant and Vic, and Terry Smorch and Presto.     Photo by Karen Moureaux

Even tho I was dissapointed for Daneen …. I had a very calm and good feeling through the whole thing. I felt that this day of really unfortunate runs that Daneen and Masher had just kept it real….. kept it real for us and kept it real for others watching. I met and spoke with so many people that this was their first National…and maybe they didn't do as well as they had hoped or had a bobble here or there…. I think seeing that it can happen to anyone … and more so it just plain happens… is very comforting and real. I know that when I started training my Dalmatian Ella and hit a frustrating patch in our training, I talked to daneen about it as I felt hopeless….
She quickly gave me many examples of her own experiences and of others I know and that it was all normal and we would get through it…. It helped a bunch…. I was not alone in having hitting a training plateau…. and we would get through it… and we did:)


It was a little hard and a little weird to be sitting in the stands watching Grand Prix finals and not have Daneen and Masher running…. As the first 12"dog stepped up to the line, I glanced over to Daneen and she looked at me and just smiled…
… the the good part is poor Jean was able to watch the class:)


Great people, good food and amazing dogs!!!! What a great week!!!




On the last day we took the pups to Cherokee park for a run. Masher beelined it to the water and wanted the ducks in the worst way…. Stunner was not so brave but had fun doing the zoomies all over the park.

Fun times!!! Glad to have met so many new people and see so many wonderful runs!!! i know that I do not have it in me to compete at this level so I look at every single one of these people running and they are truly inspirational!!!!

One Response to 2011 USDAA National ~ My take on it

  1. Reply Denise Christou says:

    thanks for sharing this wonderful trip with us. beautiful pictures. Congratulations to Daneen and Masher for makeing the IFCS world team!

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