Author Topic: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast  (Read 6608 times)

CWilson966

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Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« on: June 04, 2012, 10:48:30 AM »
Iím normally just a lurker, but finally feel the need to express my concern about NADAC agility in New England.
There are primarily 2 major clubs that offer NADAC agility in the New England/northeast area.  One hosts primarily indoor trials, the other only outdoor  trials.  While I enjoy the indoor venue, I love the outdoor agility.  Being cooped up in a basement all week at work, I look forward to the sun and fresh air on the weekends. Yes, there are weekends of inclement weather, but we just plan and dress for it, and take it in stride.   There are some beautiful outdoor venues offered: a horse barn in S. Glastonbury CT; fairgrounds in Greenfield MA; fairgrounds in the Catskills;  SugarBush Farms in Stephentown NY and a campground in Dummerston VT, which offers plentiful shade.  These venues are spacious, offering plenty of room for set-up and walking your dog.
My concern is that entries for these trials have been dropping, and all future trials are seriously in jeopardy. Due to my work schedule, I have not been able to attend the indoor trials, so if it werenít for the outdoor trials, I would not be doing any NADAC agility so far this year, and would have to consider another venue.
I would like to encourage everyone in the New England area to give these trials a try; EGC is even being offered at a few of them, which isnít offered too often in this area.  If youíve never tried it, it is truly a blast for both dog and handler!   All of these trials are low Ėkey, stress-free, and have provided Chelsea and I with some of the best agility weekends.  Please consider giving them a try to keep NADAC agility going in the northeast!
Cheryl W.

Linda W. Anderson

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 02:31:04 PM »
Iím normally just a lurker, but finally feel the need to express my concern about NADAC agility in New England.
There are primarily 2 major clubs that offer NADAC agility in the New England/northeast area.  One hosts primarily indoor trials, the other only outdoor  trials.  While I enjoy the indoor venue, I love the outdoor agility.  Being cooped up in a basement all week at work, I look forward to the sun and fresh air on the weekends. Yes, there are weekends of inclement weather, but we just plan and dress for it, and take it in stride.   There are some beautiful outdoor venues offered: a horse barn in S. Glastonbury CT; fairgrounds in Greenfield MA; fairgrounds in the Catskills;  SugarBush Farms in Stephentown NY and a campground in Dummerston VT, which offers plentiful shade.  These venues are spacious, offering plenty of room for set-up and walking your dog.
My concern is that entries for these trials have been dropping, and all future trials are seriously in jeopardy. Due to my work schedule, I have not been able to attend the indoor trials, so if it werenít for the outdoor trials, I would not be doing any NADAC agility so far this year, and would have to consider another venue.
I would like to encourage everyone in the New England area to give these trials a try; EGC is even being offered at a few of them, which isnít offered too often in this area.  If youíve never tried it, it is truly a blast for both dog and handler!   All of these trials are low Ėkey, stress-free, and have provided Chelsea and I with some of the best agility weekends.  Please consider giving them a try to keep NADAC agility going in the northeast!
I feel your pain.  We have seen a drop in entries here in Virginia.  I will be helping you out some this fall.  I'm heading north for the Addicted to Agility, NAE anfd Four Seasons trials in Sept. and Oct.  1,600 miles round trip.  Best of luck with higher future entries!
Linda & the Daxes
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Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 04:43:07 PM »
I understand your situation more than I would like.  Entries for my  trials in IL have drastically gone down.   My next 2 weekend trials have just over 300 runs and that is 3 days-- 6 classes.    I don't know what to do either.     Most of the people in the area want to only trial inside.  I love trialing OUTSIDE TOO !!!      I don't even think it is a "NADAC" thing vs other venues as much as the inside/outside thing.   With entries being so low, I cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars for inside building.       

IT SUCKS !!!
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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 05:58:22 PM »
All the trials in northern Nevada are outside.  It's what I have become used to, and I feel a little claustrophobic inside.
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dogrsqr

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 07:59:57 PM »
Some of us have been discussing that same issue in Minnesota.  Too many people want to play in a perfectly controlled environment.  I would much rather risk a little rain than to sit inside on a beautiful 80 degree day.  I also think that the dogs and people are much more stressed out in the indoor environments where space is limited.  I'm kind of making it my personal mission to attend as many outdoor trials as possible this summer.  Of course I feel like I have to support our local NADAC trials even if they are indoors because entries have been declining.

Gina Pizzo
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Jeannie Biggers

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 08:39:07 PM »
We have several (like around 30) trials here in Montana through out the year.  Right now there is only one trial that is held outdoors.  We used to have several outside during the summer months.

I cant say for the other clubs but I do know that the 1 we had here locally went indoors do to the fact that outdoor trials got extremely hard to put on.  The venues got harder to find, security at the venues was tough and most of the time we loaded all the equipment back into the trailer each night to lock it up, and frankly just all in all this trial was the most difficult and human labor intensive that the hand full of us that did all the work decided it was not worth it.

Also the weather is just so unpredictable and the barn we use is soooo nice that it doesnt matter if it is cold or hot outside, the barn is always around 60-65 degrees!   :D
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Shirlene Clark

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 12:37:22 AM »

I cant say for the other clubs but I do know that the 1 we had here locally went indoors do to the fact that outdoor trials got extremely hard to put on.  The venues got harder to find, security at the venues was tough and most of the time we loaded all the equipment back into the trailer each night to lock it up, and frankly just all in all this trial was the most difficult and human labor intensive that the hand full of us that did all the work decided it was not worth it.


Most of our trials (in Australia) are held outdoors.......and yep the set up and pull down and then set up and pull down over 2 days is a killer !  When many hands turn up early to help set up it is not so bad but on the occasions where it is just me and Wendy on those early frosty mornings it is massively hard !

We have had a few regular weekend trials indoors and also hold our Nationals indoors now and I must say I love the freedom of turning off the scoring pc....locking the door and going to have a Chardy at my accommodation.

I have to say though you can't really beat a lovely outdoor trial on a beautiful day with lovely cut lawn  :)

In regard to drop in entry numbers sometimes when an exhibitor base is not large to start with in an area you really do notice when some "regulars" don't enter.  You just have to plug away and keep doing what you are doing and doing it well.  EGC sure does generate some "buzz".  Getting some NADAC Clinicians in to help teach the skills for NADAC helps.
Shirlene Clark
Australia

Scott Casino

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 01:39:09 AM »
This thread raises a few questions...

DISCLAIMER: this not intended to be about venue bashing/defending but rather trying to look at improving entry numbers for outdoor agility trials.

Are there fewer outdoor trials being offered now?
Is the decline in entries only at outdoor trials?
Based on this thread's posts, weather concerns seem to be driving competitors indoors. Are there other concerns "pushing" exhibitors indoors?
Is this unique (outdoor trials entries declining) to NADAC or are there similar declines in other venues?
How do we get competitors back to outdoor trials?

Would love to get some thoughts on these questions if anyone has some insights to share...
Thanks y'all!
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Cris Larson

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 06:01:16 AM »
Hey Cheryl!  ;)

I'm one of the New Englanders who would rather trial indoors. Cheryl knows my boy Lars. LOL I avoid running Lars on wet grass and that also goes for when I'm training at home. He's a rottweiler with border collie like drive and speed...he's wiped out badly on wet grass and has injured himself before. He wiped out on a landing and slid across the ground on his face. His jaw was sore for a couple of months. When that happened, that was at a training facility and the grass was wet with dew. There, he was running on half of the drive he usually brings to a trial. He has no sense of self preservation and when he's in drive, I cannot slow him down. For me, the risk of injury for him is too great if the weather is bad. This past weekend, if I had been showing outdoors, I would have scratched at least Saturday.

On the flip side of the bad weather...if the weather is too hot, I won't run him either because of the risk of heat stroke. Being a big, black dog and amped up to where he won't settle, I could see him over heating.

I will run in barns on dirt footing...that equals "indoors" in my book.

Being indoors for me isn't actually a bad thing. I work outside...and was outside in the mud, wind, and rain yesterday lugging heavy, wet plants around. (I'm a landscape designer for my day job.) My days off, I'm usually indoors. LOL  ;D The indoor facility is 20 minutes from my house. I show up there no matter what venue, club, or dog sport is running. The events you mentioned are at a good haul for me. My jeep is failing and with a new car payment looming...I'm going to have to stay local.  :P
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 06:03:16 AM by Cris Larson »
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TheQuestKnight

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2012, 06:27:23 AM »
I'm in northeast Ohio and we have limited access to NADAC trials as it stands right now . . . unless we drive 5-8 hours one way.  Indoors on dirt or a dirt/mulch blend is OK by me; but I still prefer the great outdoors "regardless of weather" . . . I just firmly believe that a natural surface is best for my dogs' health.  Under NO circumstances will I jump any of my dogs at ANY height on ANY artificial surface . . . and I'm really not fond of any artificial surface for the "rocket dogs" because their motion/stride at speed looks "off", as though they're not getting the traction that they expect.

IMHO, people have gotten "self-centered" about their comfort and have neglected their dog's overall well-being in the process.

When we do trial indoors, it's only in the non-jumping classes . . . and if I don't like the surface, I pull my dogs . . . I'd rather loose a few bucks on entry fees than risk an injury to my "kids" . . .

Agility, just like football, baseball and soccer was and is meant to be played outdoors . . . and not under a "dome" on fake grass . . .

Just our couple of coppers . . .

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CheriMo

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2012, 06:28:06 AM »
It sounds like the drop in entries is not necessarily dependent on indoor versus outdoor since clubs with indoor trials and clubs with outdoor trials are both saying their entries are on the decline. The only way to know whether it's venue related is to survey previous trial participants and get feedback as to why they are no longer participating in trials. I would be interested in knowing as I have seen the entries in my local trials decline to a point where I wonder how the club can continue to offer the trials. Once the cause of the entry drop is actually known rather than just speculated upon, then the problem causing the drop in entries can be addressed.

Cheri

KarissaKS

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2012, 09:26:07 AM »
I love trialing outdoors -- when the weather is nice.

Back when I was showing one dog I could afford to go to more trials.  If we went to an outdoor trial and it was hot or it rained it wasn't the end of the world if we didn't run our best -- because we'd have another trial to go to in a week or two.

Now I'm running three dogs and I choose my trials very carefully.  Two of my dogs won't run in the heat *at all* (literally, the Northern breed has been known to hide in tunnels when it's over 90 degrees).  I pay quite a bit in "maintenance costs" (chiro, etc.) on the two bigger dogs and don't really feel like running them in the rain and undoing all of that if they happen to slip and tweak something.

Because my trials are so limited these days, I do find myself choosing indoor trials over outdoors.  Looking ahead at my options this year, I only see a potential for one outdoor trial (not in NADAC) and the only reason I'm considering it is because I'll have gone almost three months without doing a trial in that organization.  It's the first weekend of September in MN, though, and it could be hot.  Or rain.  Who knows, we'll see if I feel like risking the money when the time comes I guess.

I train outdoors.  My dogs run great outdoors.  I'm just completely broke and prefer to spend my limited trialing experiences in the comfort of heat or air conditioning.

NADAC trials aren't doing all that great (indoors or out) in the upper midwest.  It is what it is.  I know recent reports from the NADAC office have stated that registrations and entries are up, but it's certainly not coming from this area.

CPE and AKC trials fill with giant waiting lists while NADAC trials are being canceled for lack of entries.  USDAA trials have no limits, but seem to be pulling in profitable entry numbers.  These trials are indoors & out -- so it's not just that which determines the entry numbers.
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agilityjunkie

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 09:58:32 AM »
I agree with Lisa, in Illinois it is clearly an indoor/outdoor thing. Exhibitors don't want to risk inclement weather, they don't want to have to cart and set up tents and above all keeping a dog in the ring with four walls and rubber grass is much easier and, for some, safer than the distractions available in the "great outdoors." All of the things we loved and found challenging in the "good ol' days" are no longer desired. From the club's perspective - last year, for the first time in 10 years, someone was messing with the equipment while we took the judge to dinner so now we have the added concern of security. Don't know what the future holds for outdoor trials in Illinois.
Lora
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Maureen deHaan

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Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 10:32:02 AM »
Well said Cheryl.. As one of the smaller clubs that used to host 4 trials a year in NY - I am now down to only  2 and thinking of not hosting trials anymore at all. I am a one woman club whose trials pay for themselves, so if people don't come, I can't afford to pay the costs. I love NADAC and only want to do NADAC trials...but like Cheryl, I really don't like to trial indoors  and personally don't like to run my dogs on soccer turf -

I try to visit and support non-local NADAC trials a couple times a year (what I mean by that is more than 3 hours away) to support other clubs and play agility with my friends from afar...

Unfortunately the huge number of weekends some clubs are allowed to monopolize within a month or consecutive months  is really having an effect on the smaller trials like mine and the NY/Western New Englad trials.
 
I too fear the NADAC will die out in certain areas and that it will come down to only one or two groups hosting all the NADAC trials and that will box out the smaller groups.

We all need to support eachother's trials and NADAC as a whole . Spread the love people!  ;)
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Lin Battaglia

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Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 05:16:37 PM »
We're suffering out West too. We're small in Nevada. Entries are down to 300 or less per day.  We used to have waiting lists to get into our trials. We have three agility clubs here, who combined host 9 trials per year. However, there are many California clubs on our circuit. Only a few of those folks will drive the two hours to our trials. We do support all their trials. We've been hosting trials for many, many (20) years and we are just holding on now. Our trials are all outside during our season from April to Oct. We're a hardy bunch. We've been snowed on, rained on, blown out and run in the cold and heat.

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