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Old 09-27-2010, 02:55 AM   #1
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Default UKI Agility review

As some of you do agility, I thought I'd give you a review of a UKI trial I went to this weekend. It was a very small local trial, and I only showed on Saturday.

The local school did an AWESOME ob with the trial, which is usual for this school. The competitors were treated wonderfully, the volunteers were friendly. Food was abundant, and I have zippo complaints about what the local school did. It was an outdoor show, which is unusual for this area because our weather is so unpredictable. (I'm in Tornado Alley). Aside from common thunderstorms, we can also get winds up to 50 mph on any given sunny, normal day. It's very common to have winds 20 mph and very UNCOMMON to have a day without winds. However, the weather was beautiful and we had the uncommon almost windless day on Saturday. (Sunday was more typical with winds but I didn't go).

Now for UKI itself...

For some reason, they combined the Beginner and Novice dogs (Novice and Open dogs for those who speak AKC), and both had to run the same course. The course seemed a little hard for a true Beginner (Novice in AKC) dog. There was a 180 in the course and a dog walk/tunnel obstacle discrimination. While I believe all teams should be able to navigate an obstacle discrimination with 90 to 95 percent accuracy before beginning any trialing and should be able to do a 180 in their sleep before trialing, most of the beginning teams really struggled with this. I *think* the course used was actually UKI's "Novice" (AKC's open) level course. The Beginners/Novice umpers course was not hard however. My Beginner/Novice dog did not Q, but not because we lacked the skills for the Novice (Open) level courses. It was only because we are a new team, my timing is not developed well for this dog yet, and I was treating the trial as a training opportunity for this new dog. In other words, I'm not complaining about the courses difficulty for a Beginner dog because my dog didn't Q as my dog is a UKI Novice dog. (He's in Excellent in AKC). These courses were perfect for him, but not, IMO, for a true Beginner team.

They also combined the Senior/Champion levels (AKC's Exc. A and Exc B levels) into one course as well. Maybe this will be how it always is, but these courses were way too EASY. I found them unchallenging. One course had a threadle, but those are easy. The Senior/Champion Gamble line was like five or MAYBE 10 feet!!!! :O Really? AKC;s Novice FAST is about as hard. I couldn't believe how simple it was, and run my dogs in any given course at a further distance. In fact the line actually forced me to get closer to one obstacle than I was comfortable with, and this was a GAMBLE? The umpers course had weaves in it and was also overly simple. My Senior/Champion level dog Qed on all three courses.

UKI doesn't have their own udges yet, so the udge was from another venue. While she really did her best, and I liked her quite well, the rules seemed to be fuzzy. I suspect some of the rules were fuzzy because they were written fuzzy. When I compete, I want rules that are written clearly and are strict so that there is no question about what is to be done.

I over heard a few other remarks about UKI and "fuzzy concepts" that I won't repeat as they were over heard and not first hand.

I won't travel any distance to compete in UKI. It doesn't offer anything special in my book. If the courses were more challenging, then I might be interested. As it stands, I'll keep showing in the venues I'm already invested in and only show in UKI for fun and training purposes if it's local.

That's my take.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:16 AM   #2
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Sounds like a good critique!
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:58 PM   #3
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I had heard that UKI was a bit different from some newer student who decided to run in one. They are not the best for accurate information so it was hard to know, but MUCH of what they had described you have here. So, it must have been fairly close. For now I'm sticking with AKC just so the rules are consistent for us.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:05 PM   #4
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Interesting that you heard some of the same stuff from someone competing at a UKI show in another part of the country.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:06 PM   #5
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We have had a few UKI trials in state but I have not attended. Word on the playground is it is well organized, due to the club, but it really didn’t offer any advantages over my current venues. BUT, another but, it is really good for new dogs because they allow training in the ring. I can see running Myka a few times in it just to calm his ring nerves but I think we will stick with CPE and USDAA and maybe a little ASCA...
Gawd I wish I had money

Oh, yeah, I think you can do day of show sign ups too.

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Old 09-28-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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They do allow day of show sign ups (it's what I did) if the trial isn't drawing the proper entries. And they do allow toys in the ring and training in the ring. I totally agree it's a big plus. And the Nursery class is a different spin too.

I think the market is saturated with venues. It will be interesting to see if this one flies.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:52 PM   #7
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Me too. So many venues wanting our $$.

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Old 09-28-2010, 10:49 PM   #8
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$$ AND time. If I had the money and time I'd be doing soooo much more. But such is life when we're working for a living. Wish I could have my boys earn their kibble fund!
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