The Triple Crown In Louisville Kentucky

Posted on 10/18/10 75 Comments

Wow, wow, wow what a week my dogs and I have had. We just wrapped up the USDAA Nationals. This year it was a 5 day event in a new venue in Louisville, Kentucky. Great show site, yes it needed some work on the footing for the dogs, but I trust that Ken and the USDAA will make the needed adjustments for next year and make it even better.

I myself had a magical weekend. It didn’t start out quite so with me running into the seesaw in Team Gamblers. If you haven’t seen the video here it is.

I recovered nicely and my dogs performed brilliantly all weekend. When the dust settled (literally) Encore won her first National Championship with a Grand Prix win in the 22″ class while Feature won her first 2 National Championships winning both in Steeplechase and in the Team Championships.

What a thrill to win all three USDAA Championships in the same weekend and how fitting it happened in Louisville Kentucky the home of one of the legs of horse racings Triple Crown.

And as if that wasn’t enough– Feature had such a spectacular weekend she ended up being the highest pointed dog of the more than 600 dogs covering all of the heights categories (in the four team class scores combined). Along the way she ended up winning 2 of the 4 classes and coming in the top 5 in the other 2. So proud of both of my red girls.

Here are some videos of the event. The first big win was Feature’s Saturday night Steeplechase win.

Next came our team victory on Sunday morning. Feature and I lead off, Kim and Recess ran second and Terry Smorch and Presto ran the anchor leg. Terry and I have teamed together for this event for many years and although coming close have never been able to pull off the win. What an awesome feeling to win such a big event with two good friends on your team.

This was followed up by a very special Grand Prix win for Encore and I. Encore has come close to winning this event on more than one occasion. I am so proud of what a strong performance she put in to win the class by almost a second and a half!

Today I am grateful to my heavenly Father, who I know makes all things possible in my life.


  1. Debra says:
    Friday, October 29, 2010 at 4:43pm

    Thank you for sharing those awesome videos, Susan. I’m just beginning with my border collie, Snap. Those videos make me so excited, I hope Snap has as much fun doing them as your dogs!


  2. beth bowling says:
    Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 10:46am

    Wish I could have been there, congratulations! Wow what beautiful runs with your dogs! Hope USDAA comes back to Kentucky again.


  3. Theresa says:
    Friday, October 22, 2010 at 10:40pm

    Just catching up, tears falling and tightness in my chest….
    Beautiful , beautiful , beautiful.
    Oh, I could repeat what everyone else has said and still it wouldn’t say all you are to us.
    YOu are a true model of a fantastic athlete, and trainer. Your relationship with your dogs is deep and alluring as all the world can see.
    However, in my eyes, you shine off the field as well in your keen observance of the world around you and most of all, the generosity of your spirit which I personally have felt, and I know many others have too.
    may God continue to bless you with great love and success in all you do !
    Theresa ( Not that one ! 🙂 )


  4. Anna says:
    Friday, October 22, 2010 at 4:04pm

    Congrats congrats congrats Susan! You guys certainly deserved all of it!!!

    Except maybe, your accident with the seesaw!

    Again, congratulations!


  5. Liz Williams says:
    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 5:32pm

    Congrats and I am glad you are ok. It looked like you hit the teeter hard. Thanks for all your sharing and for the knowledge you give us.

    Thanks for sharing the videos. It is a great learning source.


  6. AlisonM says:
    Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 6:24pm

    I laughed when I heard Lynda cheering on the video of the last run. Get to know some great people and make such good friends in this sport!

    Aren’t dogs brilliant when you give them the opportunity! You bring out their best. You are such a good role model, Susan!


  7. Bev Anderson says:
    Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 12:49pm

    WOW!!!! ….. so glad you posted those. You certainly do get in position (well, except for the teeter) and it looks so effortless for you(I KNOW that isn’t the case). Way to go Susan, Encore & Feature!


  8. Nelci O'Brien says:
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 7:31pm

    Congratulations Susan, I can’t imagine the feeling of gratitude and happiness and everything you are having… you have two amazing dogs and you yourself are the human “Secretariat”, Big Red, that made all your dreams, winnings and successes all happened 🙂

    You are my hero!


  9. Linda says:
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 6:44pm

    Watching you and your dogs run is like poetry in motion.


  10. Gosia says:
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 6:14pm

    OK, I have to know this. Did you teach Encore to pose for the camera or something like that?
    Cause that was just way too funny how she spun around after all that tugging to get into perfect photo-op position and just turned her face right at the camera. Better yet, she even did that dang cute head tilt.


  11. Deb D says:
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 1:18pm

    Those runs were amazing to watch. You and the girls make it look easy. I really find their gracefulness in jumping breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.


  12. brittsdeux says:
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 10:33am

    Susan, I too was lucky enough to see these great runs in person (except the teeter encounter – YIKES) and there is nothing like it. You and your pups raise the sport to an art form; truly a beautifully choreographed ballet — your runs look so smooth and effortless — not a wasted movement. Just wonderful to experience. Congrats and thanks for everything! P.S. In the GP finals, I first noticed the one young man/poodle from Japan running the course around the tunnel/A-frame. When I saw it, I thought, gee, that seems like a really good decision. A few others ran it that way too — including you! Then I figured they all must have been right where I would have been — following behind you on the walk-thru! It was the best course path for the dog and the handler IMO. Good job! Maybe an e-course on course analysis will be next?


  13. Suzanne Wesley says:
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 10:15am

    Just amazing Susan!! Such lovely runs. Congratulations to you and your red girls.


  14. shirley holmes says:
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 7:01am

    It is great to know that you put aside your last outing and came back with both guns blazing.

    Your rounds were wonderful to watch.


  15. Annieke says:
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 6:30am

    Wow, Susan, what a GREAT weekend! Your runs look so beautiful and effortless. A great comeback from the World Championships.

    Your collision with the seesaw is hilarious, sorry! 😉


  16. Suzie Eller says:
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 6:03am

    It brought tears to my ears what a wondeful team the two of you are.


  17. Katie Oilschlager says:
    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 11:06pm

    Susan it was awesome to watch you, Encore and Feature’s runs over the past week! The way you stay connected with your girls and the clarity in your runs with them is just amazing and so inspiring!


  18. Pat D says:
    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:26pm

    Congratulations! I got to go to the Nationals as a spectator since they were so close to GA this year. One of the highlights of the trip was watching you and the girls doing so well and having such a good time! I especially enjoyed your Semi-finals GP run with Encore. Spectacular! Cheers to you and Encore and Feature!!


  19. Wendy A (Seattle) says:
    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:13pm

    Extremely well done. These you dwell on. Well, maybe not the teeter one so much. 😉 One heck of a month.

    Wendy A
    owned and trained by Mikey, CocoaPuff and the Ollie-man


  20. Katarina says:
    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 8:37pm


    Your runs were amazing, I just keep watching and watching what wonderful jumping style both girls have. We should have an e-course on that too, and the running contact:)

    As for the Ouch video, Green Eggs and Ham! I bet Encore said to herself, oh, it’s the Green Eggs and Ham game and just flew ahead on DW:)


  21. cherry brewster says:
    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 8:35pm

    How sweet it is!!!! Bravo


  22. Jodi Altman says:
    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 8:32pm

    I know that a knocked bar has kept you and Encore from winning Grand Prix for a little while now. Next time we knock a bar at a local trial I will remember where your patience and grace with your dogs have gotten you and smile in gratitude of all that I have learned from you. Mazel Tov on your brilliant dog training and it’s results.


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