It was a warm, humid day and was the same inside the building. Lots of human sweating going on and my hair frizzed out like nobody's business
Remember I said my guys had lightbulb moments on digging in 2 weeks ago at the Port Clinton pull? Well, it took and they both were digging in. Cinnabar has more desire than Sebastian, but the big goofy boy did not go all baby on me. Although he did give me pause by finding something interesting on the ceiling in a couple rounds :) In the early rounds I had to wake them up when it was their turn. During the later rounds, Brenda held one or the other for me so I didn't have to run back and forth to pull them, and we kept them awake between rounds that way. They did great.
In fact, drum roll please, they both pulled 2540 lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They pushed Ranger to his personal best of 2660 for most weight pulled. In a million years I wouldn't have thought this. They've been steadily improving, but they really had a breakout. Cinnabar beat his previous personal best by 640 lbs, and Sebastian beat his previous personal best by 840 lbs.
I'm still on a high. Got to pick up hotdogs for treats for Saturday's pull (just biscuits Friday). I don't know how they'll do Saturday, but I want them to have good incentive at the crate with the hotdogs, and at least get another leg.
I didn't set the scene at all yesterday, just had my head spinning with the big breakout of my boys. :)
This 2 day weightpull is a special event at an AKC Regional Alaskan Malamute Specialty for the Mid-Atlantic Region. It takes place at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. This is a huge sprawling, multi-building complex. There are tons of dog shows going on. The ones in the building in which we were were breed specific as far as I could tell. I think there's about 3000 dogs altogether. The parking lot is filled with dog-mobiles (RVs, Buses, Vans, Trucks).
Both days the weight increments were 100lbs per round until the horse feed (at 50lbs per bag) ran out, then we used 2 dog food bags at 60lbs each for increments of 120lbs per round.
There were novices the first day, and the second day. Some did really well, and some got hooked on the sport.
All weight classes & novices pulled together, in order of class.
Both days, I did not start my boys on an empty cart, but at 400lbs. This is a first for us, but I knew they were ready. Also a first, I passed on rounds so that for them there was a 200lb difference between each pull until we got up to the higher weights. On Friday, I stopped passing at 1700lbs because that had been Sebastian's previous high. On Saturday, I stopped passing at 2100 lbs so that the extra weight could ease onto them.
Friday, I helped with the cart and also got a small turn as timer (the one with the stop watch calling out "pull" and also under Rich's (chief judge) guidance enforcing the rules. Saturday we had some fresh help on the cart with Jennie & Conrad who did the lion's share and I spent alot of time as timer. Another great learning experience for me.
Well, I didn't know how my boys would do after such a great performance by each on Friday. They did not dissapoint me, again it came down to 4 dogs left in the competition - Ranger, Raider, Cinnabar & Sebastian.
Friday at this point, when Cinnabar made his 2540 pull, he almost left it 2" short of a pull, but finally moved the cart enough for it to be official and I pulled him at that point. Friday, Sebastian got to try the 2660 pull, but needed an assist to start the cart and then he pulled it.
On Saturday, they both got to attempt the 2680 pull. Cinnabar really tried to start it, but with 10 seconds left I motioned for a push and he completed it. Sebastian did some navel contemplating (looking at the ceiling - saying "hi how are ya" to the crowd) before he made some attempts to start it and with 10 seconds left I called for a push and he completed it. Both boys had successful 2560 pulls!
Those were the last 2 pulls of the day, as Raider and Ranger had already completed that weight. Ranger won by 3 seconds!
Quite a number of dogs had personal bests on both Friday and Saturday.
There were 2 retirements - both 10 year olds - Ace and Brenda's Shasta. Both of whom did a great job in the chute.
Great cart help both days, people pitching in where needed. A totally great group of people supportive of each other. Lots of humor, along with serious intentions to help their dogs do their best.
I can't begin to describe the feeling of joy and satisfaction to see both of my boys understand about bearing down and digging in when the weights get higher. It's a total high. They get it! Friday wasn't a fluke, they did it again Saturday. As Barb said to me referring to Cinnabar, "who'd have thought the winner of last year's novice class would end up pushing the top dogs to their personal bests to beat him".
Cinnabar best pulling form - photo by Moses Martin
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