Archive for the ‘Kanzu Endurance’ Category

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the US (RRCUS) held it’s national specialty in Ventura, CA, September 18-24, 2010. One unique event that was held was the Endurance Trial. The Endurance Trial determines the ability of the dog to withstand a certain degree of physical strain without showing any undue stress or lack of constitution.

Twenty dogs participated in the trial. Each dog was accompanied by a handler. Handlers either ran or biked with their dog. The dogs ran 12 miles in three, four mile legs. There was a break in between each four mile segment. Each four mile leg had to be completed within 40 minutes meaning the dog had to pace at a speed of 6 mph or greater. A vet check was performed at the beginning of the trial and after each leg. There was also a simple obedience test before and after the trial to assure that the dog was willing to work for its handler in a similar manner after the run as before.

Kanzu ran 12 miles along the Ventura, Surfer’s point beach path. The day was misty and perfect for the run. We quite literally gathered in the dark and began the run at daybreak. Kanzu was a real trooper and finished the run wanting to play with all of the ridgebacks who had gathered. At the completion of the trial he earned an ET title, a beautiful ribbon and certificate.

One of the special features of this ET was the fact that 4 of the 20 dogs were sons or grandsons of Kanzu’s grandpa Kobe. One of Kanzu’s breeders, Lisa Patterson was there for the finish and got to congratulate all of Kobe’s offspring.


For Endurance photos
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(This story originally appeared in the ORANGE COAST RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK CLUB Newsletter Fall 2010 edition)

Kanzu and Linda Peyton and JimIn case anybody reading this has not awakened at 4:30 AM recently, here is the pertinent information. It is quite dark out. In fact, on September 21st, the day of the Endurance Trial, or ET, the sun would not be gracing the sky until quite a bit later. So what was I doing up at such a ridiculous hour? Preparing to take my Ridgeback Peyton for a nice 12-mile jaunt, of course. So I guess it makes sense to start early to avoid the heat. Then again, the trial was being held in the fog of Ventura where the highs that day were in the low sixties. But I guess I am getting ahead of myself. Let me step back a few months in time to when I decided to enter Peyton in the ET.

As background information, Peyton is a very fit three-year-old male Ridgeback, who barely breathes hard after a serious rabbit chase or a long hike. I, in contrast, am a fifty something year old male whose peak athletic days are more good memories than current fact. Yes, I have run a marathon, and yes, I still do jog now and then, but I am no match for Peyton. Still, the idea of the two of us teaming up for the ET sounded like a good idea at the time we signed up. After all, we do live in the foothills where we often go for fairly long hikes, along with occasional trail running. So how hard could a 12-mile jaunt really be?

Hard! The ET requires the dog and the handler to complete a 12-mile run, broken into three four-mile segments. The handler may either run with the dog, or ride a bike. The dog is not given the choice, they must run. I felt this was somewhat unfair, so Idecided that if Peyton was not allowed to ride a bike, neither would I. Each segment must be completed in forty minutes orless, with ten to fifteen minute breaks between segments. During the breaks the dog’s temperature and heart rate is checked to make sure the dog is fit to continue. There is also a simple obedience drill before the start of the trial and at the end the trial to see that the dog is still willing to work after the trial. For some reason these tests are limited to just the dog and not the handler.

To train for the ET, Peyton and I went for morning runs, starting at a few miles, and working our way up to a complete 12-mile practice run. I learned that running with a male dog on a leash is a lot more difficult that off leash running. Perhaps Peyton was a Boy Scout in a prior life, because he certainly has a desire to mark his path so that he does not get lost. This habit resulted in my shoulder being nearly dislocated on a few occasions. Eventually we came to a compromise where he would be allowed unlimited marking during the rest periods, but not during the running segments. We also settled on what seemed a good pace, around 9.5 minute miles. There is really no reason to go much faster, since this is not a race. It is a trial, and as long as you finish with at least a 10-minute mile pace you win. Things seemed to be falling into place by the time September 21st approached.

So how did we do? Too well. Peyton is apparently more competitive than I am. He insisted that if we could see other dogs running ahead, we should catch up and say hello. The trial was organized into three groups of 7 teams, with the groups beginning the trial with 10-minute gaps. Peyton and I began in the last group to start. However, because of Peyton’s ability to pull me along, we finished with some of the second group. I have to blame Linda D’Antonio and her wonder dog Kanzu for our crazy pace. The two of them really kept the pressure on Peyton to drag me at their insane pace.

The picture you see of Peyton and me is from one of those rare moments where Linda and Kanzu are actually behind us (only because the turnaround required Linda to dismount her bike). So now Peyton has an ET after his name and I can get back to training so that we can get our girl Kali to earn her ET at the Nationals next year in South Dakota. Note: Photo by Kim Buchbinder-Strid. Additional photos from other 2010 Nationals events can be found at Congratulations to the following OCRRC members who completed the Endurance Trial at this year’s Nationals in Ventura:

Linda D’Antonio & Kanzu
Debra Driza & Skye, Stingand Diamond
Jennifer Gysler & Maxx
Jim Wallace & Peyton
Kate Zimmer & Kobe

The Endurance Trial was cochaired by OCRRC member Jean Spengel and could not have run without the volunteer help of many OCRRC members including Dick and Barbara Rupert, Maril Suess and Debbie