29 August 2008

Did you want to go to USDAA Nationals?

So the premium is up for the USDAA Nationals. Which actually isn't called that. Call it the Cynosport World Games. Because that is way easier to say.

It's big, it's expensive, and it's in Arizona. Scottsdale, Arizona. The fancy part of Arizona. And I saw this over on the Elite Forces of Fuzzy Destruction, the most uber dog agility blog, about the dress code. And the camera code. Like dress nice, because it might be on tv. Don't want the USDAA to look bad. So they suggest as an example, polo shirts that are tucked into appropriate slacks and shorts. Because that always looks good. Fashion forward. And then they don't want anyone who might take good pictures who might use a professional style camera to take pictures. Because if you are going to take pictures, they should be really crappy ones. Let the pro's handle the big cameras.

I know, I know. Legal and branding. Legal and branding. Legal and branding and making their dime. Horse shows? Total dress code. Most moms can't find their kid out there in a sea of other kids in same helmet, jacket, boots and breeches. And everyone always making big dime at horse shows. Is a living. And want the photographers to pay for their right to sell photos. Which isn't how it works in the rest of dog agility but how it works here. Because this is the Big Leagues.

So are we taking a huge work vacation, packing the car with dogs, driving down to Arizona to use only my tiny snapshot camera and wear a tucked in polo shirt? Which we would have to buy. Oh wait. I have one with a giant screenprinted snake and Johnny Cash face on it. Although too short to tuck. I am SO NOT A TUCKER! But it matches a skort which they forgot to mention on dress code list but I know they think is ok. Golfers wear them and Tennis ladies. The dogs are qualified, they could be ready to go a the drop of a hat. They LOVE roadtrips. MOTEL ROOMS! Deserts!

I'm deciding next week. If the Stepford dogs are with me this weekend, then its FOR SURE no. Even if the good dogs come, here's the thing. Here's how a committed and serious dog agility lady makes decisions. A committed lady who still practiced this week and noticed how Super the dogs were and no Stepford like and fast and competitive in their respective jump heights. During practice. Always a likelihood that Stepfords could return at Any Time. Stepfords work like that. But the other decision to be made is, USDAA Nationals will cost about, almost, exactly the same as Sliding Glass Door in the bedroom wall and it's tiny little deck. A thing which, is a closer drive. Just to Home Depot. And I can actually stay home and make money instead of Losing Money for a week for sliding glass door. When you are self employed, a week of vacation is called Pay A Lot to Lose One Week of Money.

So yeah. Pay a lot of money for days of driving for specific outfit wearing and rule following and potential Stepford dogs never making it off a startline due to the whole Spectacle factor? To a vacation that husband has already vetoed as not a vacation? I'll let you know next week.


Elf said...

Polo shirts: The first time that I read the description about dressing tastefully and wearing tucked-in polo shirts, I went out and got myself a flagrantly tie-dyed polo shirt. Although my tastes tend to run conservative, so it's a conservatively flagrantly tie-dyed polo shirt.

Mostly people wear whatever they want to wear until they are in the semis, where they have to wear their specially brand new polo shirts (although they don't all) and finals where you also have to have Black Pants, although black shorts & probably skorts and skin-tight things I wouldn't wear also appear, all in black I'm fairly sure about. I will have to lose 5 pounds if I'm going to be able to fit into my black jeans again. Preferably 10. AND really shape up my agility performance so I have a reason to wear them. Piece of cake!

Camera: I always use my amateur SLR with my amateur telephoto lenses and no one has ever tackled me and told me to stop. And if they did, I'd tell them to go take a flying leap, this is the camera I own and this is the one I'm taking pictures with.

Deciding to go: I'm with you--wait until the last possible minute and see whether you have dogs who really want to go to the nationals or who just really want a trip to Marfa and are using the Nationals a doable alternative.

Elayne said...

That stuff about the dress code has been in the premium for the past couple of years and it's totally not enforced. If you make it into the Grand Prix semifinals they give you a free polo shirt, you don't need to buy one. In fact the premium says you need black shorts/pants for the semifinals and someone wore bright aqua shorts, noone said anything. I think she even wore them in the finals too.

There were people taking pictures with fancy cameras too, I had my SLR camera and my video camera and noone said boo to me. Lots of people in the stands were videotaping the finals.

The commercialism was annoying and I felt like USDAA was taking every advantage they could to make a buck off of me but still I was glad I went. It's a great experience to have at least once. And afterwards I felt like if my dogs could run there that a regular trial would be a piece of cake. But it is hugely expensive and last year they had fault limits for every class so you got whistled out of the ring and I found that hugely demotivating. Overall I think it's a great experience to have at least once but there are certainly downsides and I doubt I'll ever go back.

Anonymous said...

One more possible reason for you to go is that there are rumors that it will be moving next year AND IT BETTER MOVE EAST but rumors are rumors so....

Lisa B. said...

Ick, I hate polo shirts. They are not very flattering. But I guess If I were to make it into the finals at Nationals I'd be willing to put on a stupid polo shirt for them.

I SOOO hope they move nationals East, at least by the time Pinky gets good enough. Assuming she actually does ... They were scouting the horse Complex at Southern Pines a few years ago and there was a big rumor then they were going to move it east, but it never happened.