2013 UFO World Cup Finals

We went to the 2013 UFO World Cup Finals and all 4 dogs were qualified in the open division. It was exciting to be able to play with 4 dogs in the finals. It was difficult, physically, as I had over 20 rounds!!! Can you believe it?!?! 3 Days of disc doggin’ at its extreme! Muse, of course, was my top performing dog.

Tooney had her retirement freestyle at this event at 11 years old. I did not throw very well for her, but she made up for it with a nice round:

Enzo and Slayte both had some nice rounds. Enzo finished 11th in the World Cup and Slayte 21st. Here are two of their rounds.

Enzo:

Slayte:

Muse was amazing at the finals and finished 5th in the World Cup. She was only 14 months old at the finals! Going into the finals, I told Jenn I really wanted to try to have a perfect round with her because I felt she had it in her. I would have probably had a couple of perfect rounds during the year, but in two of those routines, she missed a specific throw in both of those routines (the flamingo throw). I decided to modify the throw so I could throw it more consistently and the results were as good as I could have hoped. TWO perfect rounds at the finals! Having a perfect round is exceptional, but doing it 2 out of 3 rounds at the finals is truly remarkable. I feel like I’m the luckiest person in disc doggin’ to have what is probably the most consistent disc dog on the planet! The fact that catching a disc is by far her most favorite thing in the world to do and her super sweet personality, what a perfect disc dog she is!

Muse perfect rounds:

The long distance D-Tour Championships also took place at the UFO Finals. Muse qualified with Ellie in the Women’s division and with me in the Men’s division. Ellie won the Championship with her dog, Preston, and managed to get 2nd place with Muse! Ellie is going to be awesome in 2014! For me, I had 2 of my longest throws EVER in a competition. Unfortunately, Muse tipped both of them. She would have ended up very likely with at least a 2nd place finish if she caught either of them. Despite that, she still caught a pretty long throw which probably put us in 4th place, just outside of the placements. The official results are not posted yet, but it was very likely near the top.

Here are my favorite moments of the finals:

1. Tooney final freestyle round of her career!
2. Muse 2 perfect rounds!
3. Muse 5th place overall UFO World Cup!
4. Slayte having some great rounds at the Finals!
5. Enzo finishing 11th in the UFO World Cup! (Ellie and Muse 2nd in D-Tour almost made the list…)

The 2013 disc dog season is over and my 4 awesome dogs finished it off with some of their best performances of the year. I plan more blog updates to sum up some things from the season and other various disc doggin’ thoughts. Who knows, maybe Jenn will eventually post a blog update on agility. She still does it… I think….

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Muse is the 2013 California State Champion and Best in the West!

The Crusty Classic is a 2-day event that culminates in the California and Best in the West champions.  Saturday was a very windy UFO local.  Despite the wind, Muse had the second highest freestyle score and the highest toss/fetch score (19!) and won the competition!  Enzo had the highest freestyle round and brutal wind for his toss/fetch round and only missed 1!  He finished 3rd and was on the top of his game!  Tooney entered the intermediate division and won!

Sunday was the Crusty Classic format that included freestyle and the circle toss which is similar to Skyhoundz bullseye.  Muse and Slayte both had near perfect freestyle rounds and Enzo’s round was good.  Bullseye is Muse’s game.  She scored a 22.5, which is a massive score and with her great freestyle round, she won Sunday’s competition.  Enzo finished 3rd and Slayte finished 5th.

Muse won the combined weekend competition and became the youngest dog to win the California and Best in the West championships.  This is one competition that I have wanted to win year after year and have always come up short.  This time Muse won the event for Team Furrari and I’m proud to say she is the Champion!  Enzo finished 3rd overall, which I am also happy about.

We are now getting geared up for the UFO World Cup Finals. It is in Colorado at the end of October and I can’t wait! All 4 dogs are qualified and Tooney will perform her final freestyle round since she’s 11 years old now and she doesn’t have the stamina to finish a 2 minute round of freestyle while still running at top speed. I am most excited to play with Tooney for the last time in freestyle. Yes, Muse and Enzo are both ranked high in the UFO World Cup, but I will remember the time with Tooney on the field the most.

Here’s Enzo, Muse and Slayte freestyle rounds from the Crusty Classic.  Enzo and I went out as skeletons per our usual October attire.

Enzo:

Muse:

Slayte near-perfect round:

Enzo sick, Slayte’s toe …then… Skyhoundz World Championships 2013

Enzo got sick, which is unusual for him. He never had acted sick in his entire life. He was puking, had no energy, wouldn’t eat and acted like his insides were hurting. We took him to the vet and after a few days of being hospitalized, he recovered from pancreatitis, which can be fatal. The cause was unknown, but we switched him to a less fat rich diet as a precaution. At the same time, Slayte somehow tore his toenail out (that was damaged when he was a puppy) while doing agility in the back yard. He was out several weeks after he had minor surgery on it. A month later, it seems like his toenail won’t grow back.

After Enzo got sick, I felt I should take him to every Frisbee event I could this year. I decided late in the game to attend the Skyhoundz World Championships and try to get him qualified and of course, Muse was already qualified in freestyle and distance/accuracy. Enzo did really well, but didn’t get a qualifier spot. Muse also had some awesome rounds and finished 15th in freestyle and 11th in D/A while making the finals. Here’s her second freestyle round with only 1 drop! She had one of the highest scores in the final round.

I am so happy with how Muse performed at her first World Championships. What a good time!

Colorado Canine Challenge 2013

We went to the CCC again this year. This is one of the biggest and most difficult competitions around. I went for the UFO primarily and wanted to try to get more UFO points for Enzo and Muse since they are in the top 5 overall standings right now.

On Saturday (UFO major), Muse and Enzo both had strong freestyle rounds. Poor Slayte was having a great round before he bit his tongue and had to stop 😦 Slayte has been doing great at competitions and I’m glad we’re past his performance anxiety issues he was having! Enzo was the top freestyle team not to make the cut to the top 10. Muse had a good round of freestyle and made the cut to the top 10. She added to that a 17.5 point round in toss/fetch and finished 4th overall! One of the premier events and this little puppy that JUST turned a year old last weekend finished 4th overall, ahead of multiple former champions and even Enzo, who finished 2nd overall at this event last year. Muse moved up a bit in the UFO standings and is now in 4th place, just 0.5 points ahead of Enzo in 5th. Slayte is tied for 9th.

Muse freestyle:

Sunday was the Quadruped long distance event. I enjoy throwing long distance but my disc dog life revolves around freestyle. I managed a 69.8 yard catch with Enzo in the Men’s division, but even that wasn’t enough in this kind of event! We had 4 total catches, all of which were over 60 yards. We finished as the top team not to make the finals at 5th place. Jenn played with Slayte and was the top team not to make the finals for the Women’s division with a catch at 42.5 yards. Our friend Ellie played with Muse in the Women’s division and got 2nd place along with a 58.5 yard throw, getting the longest throw of the division award!

Enzo Quad:

Ellie and Muse Quad:

Slayte Quad:

Not only is Muse showing that she’s becoming a top notch disc dog, for those that haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person, she is an absolute sweetheart. She loves people, she loves other dogs, she loves to play and especially chase a disc. She just loves life. If you watch me walk onto the field with her you will see her casually come out, looking around and wandering almost aimlessly like she has no clue what is going on. She acts like she’s not even interested in playing! I give her the command to start our routine and it’s like a switch is turned on and for the next 2 minutes, she is a crazed Frisbee dog. As soon as our freestyle round is over. “Click” she’s off and accepts that we’re done. She doesn’t question how we do things, she doesn’t challenge the rules I have set and she doesn’t try to make up her own game. We affectionately call her “Mubot” which is short for Muse-Robot for this reason. She is completely, 100% reliable and predictable when she performs and pretty much never makes a mistake.

Muse 2013 D2iSC Quad Pawed Champion!!!

D2iSC put on a fun event that consisted of four games. Obstacle course, circle toss, toss / fetch and speed disc. It is similar to a Skyhoundz discdogathon. These events are fun because I don’t need to prepare myself for any freestyle, just go out and do what is natural – throw the disc to the dog.

Jenn did agility with Slayte nearby and came to play some disc with him later in the day. Enzo was solid on 3 of 4 events. Tooney did well but stepped on something that bothered her foot and wasn’t able to do the circle toss (her best event), or I’m pretty certain she would have won the event. She still managed to get 2nd place in speed disc, which is not her strong event!

This is becoming a bit like a broken record, but Muse won the overall combined championship on the strength of the best circle toss and solid results in all the other events. She is 11 months old now and she has won or at least placed top three in the past 4-5 competitions. It’s pretty exciting!!!

I decided to go to the Colorado Canine Challenge to try and get Muse and Enzo more UFO points in preparation for the finals there in October. Last year Enzo finished 2nd overall and I hope for a similar result this year. If Muse can make the cut into the top 10, she has a chance to gain more UFO points. Enzo needs to make top 3 to move up. Muse and Enzo right now are 4th and 5th in the overall UFO standings.

Muse is the 2013 Pacific Coast Canine Disc Champion!!!

We traveled to Eugene, Oregon for the 2013 Pacific Coast Canine Disc Championships (PCCDC). It included people from Washington, Oregon, Montana and all over California. It was a pretty big event with Saturday lasting until 7 or 8PM. Saturday was a UFO Major (freestyle + toss/fetch) and Sunday was a UFO D-Tour distance event. Between the two days, there are winners for individual events and for the two days combined.

Jenn played with Tooney again in the intermediate division on Saturday and the D-Tour on Sunday. In the D-Tour, she was hilarious. It’s not a timed event, but Tooney would bring the disc back and immediately run back down the field 40 yards while Jenn is yelling at her to come back.

Slayte and Enzo were both very solid for me on Saturday. I am surprised that neither of them made the top 10 cut in freestyle, but Slayte was in 3rd place going to the 2nd round of toss/fetch. Slayte ended up finishing as the top team not to make the cut (beating Enzo!).

My goals for this event were to get a catch over 70 yards in the D-Tour, qualify a dog for the D-Tour finals and place high or win the overall championship. I hoped to do these things with Enzo… to my surprise, Muse managed to accomplish all of these goals herself.

On Saturday, Muse had great freestyle rounds, a solid toss/fetch and finished 3rd overall in the UFO and 3rd in freestyle. She will move up significantly in the UFO standings! She is only 11 months old. It was apparent early on that Muse would be a great toss/fetch dog, but to my surprise (and delight!), she is actually showing that she is even BETTER in freestyle. Anybody that has seen her toss/fetch knows she is nearly flawless. To be even better in freestyle is something that is going to be scary-good for Team Furrari! I see a lot of big wins in her future. I made a strategic error in her toss/fetch round because I threw a short throw as the 4th throw to make sure I could get 5 throws off. It turns out I could have easily made 5 long throws. She’s getting faster and I’m still learning her timing. I actually could have probably got 6 throws off (with 2 short ones), but I wasn’t expecting all the extra time!

For the D-Tour distance event on Sunday, I wasn’t even planning to play with Muse because of her inexperience with distance. She only recently has been able to catch 40 yard throws. I only played with her because she placed so high on Saturday and she would have a chance to win the overall championship. The D-Tour gives you three throws in the first round with your longest catch being your score. The top five teams make the cut for the second round where you get another three throws and the longest catch of those is the winner. The top three are the qualifiers for the finals. The wind was not good for getting long throws. In my first round, I threw a 50 yard throw just to get her warmed up to distance. The next throw went a little over 55 yards. I was happy with this and was going to scratch my last throw and started to walk off the field. The line judge, Tombi, said I should do another throw. I wasn’t worried about making the cut, I just wanted to get a solid score with her (FYI, it would not have made the cut). Muse was running around, biting at the disc and making it look clear she wanted another throw. I walked up to the line and threw one more and tried to get more distance out of it. She caught it at 65 yards and easily made the cut to the next round.

In the final round, I had two throws that weren’t very good. She caught one, but only at about 55 yards or so. There was a slight head wind I wasn’t expecting so the discs were going high in the air. On my last throw, I made my footwork very simple and concentrated a lot on my arm motion and rotation. It was a good line drive throw. Muse ran out to about 40 yards and lost the disc! She is looking around while everybody is yelling “GO GO GO!!!”. She relocates the disc, which is WAY out in front of her. She runs for it and luckily, the disc got some head wind and popped up in the air just enough for her to catch up to it. Then she tipped it! Everybody again says “GO GO GO!!!”. She runs it down and snags it just over 70 yards! It was long enough to secure 2nd place in the distance and qualify for the D-Tour finals. Muse also entered the D-Tour Women’s division with Ellie and placed 3rd and had the longest throw of the women (close to 60 yards in the first round). She is now qualified for both the Men’s and Women’s divisions. I don’t know if any dog has ever done that before.

With the 3rd place overall on Saturday combined with 2nd place Sunday, Muse won the 2013 PCCDC Championship… at just 11 months old. Wow! There were a lot of awards given out for this competition for the various events and the combined events for the weekend. Muse won 7 of the 8 possible awards she was able to win, which is astonishing. Here is the rundown of what she won: 2013 PCCDC Champion, PCCDC Freestyle Champion, PCCDC Toss/Fetch 2nd Place, UFO Major 3rd place overall, UFO Major 3rd place freestyle, Men’s D-Tour 2nd place, Women’s D-Tour 3rd place. Here is a picture of Muse with six of her awards (Ellie has the award she earned with Muse). The D-Tour and UFO awards are dog tags hanging from the big championship trophy:

Here is Muse and her awesome freestyle round:

2013 Skyhoundz Southwest Regionals and Discdogathon

Saturday was the Skyhoundz World Championships Qualifier. I competed in the Open (freestyle) and Distance / Accuracy (toss and fetch) divisions with Enzo, Slayte and Muse. Jenn played with Tooney in the Masters D/A division. As Tooney is getting older, I want Jenn to get some play time with her and I want to save Tooney for the UFO finals at the end of the year.

Enzo made the cut in freestyle, but I don’t know his final placement. Jenn and Ellie did a pairs freestyle routine and got 2nd place! Jenn also won the Masters D/A division with Tooney. Slayte was awesome for me and I think he only missed 1 disc in freestyle! We finally think we have him figured out for Frisbee and the basic rule is we need to stay as close as possible to him and run as much as possible with him. In toss and fetch, we need to run out to about the 20 yard line and run back with him. It’s a ton of work, but it does the trick and it’s actually fun!

Muse, on the other hand, was quite exceptional. She placed 3rd in the Open division and won the Distance / Accuracy division (38.5 points!), qualifying for the World Championships in both divisions! The Skyhoundz regional is the most difficult qualifier for SoCal competitors because only the top three qualify, the competition here is very strong and without traveling a significant distance, we only have one shot at qualifying. Enzo has never qualified for the Skyhoundz World Championships…. It’s almost beyond my comprehension that a 9 month old puppy can accomplish something like this when my 7 year old superstar has never been able to, despite qualifying for the championships in all the other major organizations year after year. I am not going out with Muse having any intention of winning… it’s just happening and I am honestly not even sure how to feel about it. It’s a very strange (but incredibly awesome) situation for me!

Muse deserves to go to Chattanooga for the Skyhoundz finals, but I can’t justify going. She is only 9 months old right now! I can’t bring myself to get serious with her training like I would with a more mature dog to prepare ourselves for the finals. She is only doing a puppy freestyle routine and I am not going to do much beyond that the rest of the year. I have a number of difficult and trick throws that helps our score, along with Muse catching virtually everything I throw. We already made a big east coast trip this year and we have plans to go to the UFO finals where all the dogs get to compete (they are all qualified for UFO finals). She would have a chance at a reasonably high placement in the Open division since she is averaging right around 20 points per D/A round this year! I believe at the 2012 finals, only one team had over 20 points in the Open division and that was by the awesome Pennie and Psych. Of course I don’t know exactly what the conditions were for that competition but those kinds of numbers are what push a team way up in the standings and those are the numbers Muse puts up consistently. In the Distance / Accuracy division she’d clearly have a chance at winning that outright when she’s putting up 20’s regularly. Her lowest D/A score in Skyhoundz so far has been a 19. I hope I don’t regret not going, but it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

Sunday was a Discdogathon which is a less-serious competition with four different disc games. I want to say my favorite result from Sunday was that Slayte played with both Jenn and I (8 events!) and he was awesome the whole time… but Enzo outshined him with a rock star performance along with my rock star partner, Kirby, by winning the team Distance and Accuracy event with a huge score of 22!

Muse got 2nd place in the Bullseye event which is a perfect event for her style. You stand in the middle of 3 progressively larger circles and throw to the outmost ring. You have two discs and Muse gets a great flow with it as she runs back and forth catching one disc, then the other. She only missed one throw and I got 14 throws off in a minute!

Here is a picture of Muse with her awards.

This is Muse showing what she can do in freestyle. My throw at 0:45 is pretty awesome, by the way 🙂