• Joe Shoemaker

Top of the Heap

If I had started this series of posts at the beginning of the year, the event planning sheet at the top of the pile would have been the May coursing ability tests in Kalamazoo. It’s sitting fifth in the pile at present, so we’ll get to it eventually, just not this day.


What is at the top of the heap currently is the 9-10 May ASFA lure coursing trials at Lake Erie Metropark in Rockwood MI. Today, I’ll talk about what I have done for that event, and, in the following post, I’ll check off a few more items. Here’s what that event planning sheet looks like this morning…



(The blue star in the upper right-hand corner is a reminder to me that I’m supposed to be writing about this event—so far, so good.)


Shortly after I printed this sheet, I crossed off the first item, “Submit ad for show premium”. The ads only apply for the CATs and Fast CATs that are being held in conjunction with a dog show.


Thus, the first milestone date for this event was 10 Jan 2020 to “Reserve trial dates”. That’s a simple online process at asfa.org and takes just a couple of minutes. ASFA Scheduling will send an email confirmation within a few days usually.


As I mentioned in an earlier post, the next item, “Obtain rights to use property”, has since been relocated to the top of the checklist. For this event, it means contacting Lake Erie Metropark to get on their calendar. I always initiate this with a telephone call, as their personnel has been turning over from year to year the past few years. The little circle notation on the left indicates that I made contact and was waiting on paperwork. The check mark on top of it indicates that the park sent me the paperwork, I signed it, and sent it back—item complete.


When I made that call, I reminded the park that they already have our proof of insurance. MGA’s insurance renews in September, so we look ahead on the calendar to get a full year of endorsements.


That cover sheet that I talked about in the previous post orchestrates the process of soliciting judges. My focus is, of course, on getting the early events squared away first, but I seek judges for the entire year. I start with judges that I really want to have this year and give them all of the weekends for which they are licensed to select. As the spots fill, the offers get more specific. There’s still more to it than that—anything involving people always has nuances—and it will be easier to describe when it’s actually going on next year. For now, suffice to say that the judging panel is in place for this event.


The next item, which has a milestone date, is “Make camping reservations”. This one stems back to some issues with camping at a show site for CATs. Not an issue for the lure coursing trials where we have the site to ourselves, so I just cross it off.


Next post, I’ll put together the running order for this event. The three items that follow it on the event planning sheet are all specific to AKC tests or trials, and I’ve already crossed them out to make plain what the next firm milestone date on this event is, 25 Mar 2020, when the draft premium must be submitted to ASFA Scheduling for approval. Need the judging assignments for that, which I figure out as part of the running order.

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