Friday, June 18, 2010

Evergreen Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial, Day 1 (Trial 4 of 5)

Well, we're down to the last two trials at the end of the AKC invitational qualification period. I entered Vegas into Standard and JWW today, tomorrow, and Sunday, then she runs next weekend at another local trial and we'll see where we end up in the rankings.

Today was awesome. There's just no other way to explain it. Vegas was amazing. I don't have video because my memory card was full, but not for lack of trying - thanks, Karen!

Our first run was Open Standard. Being a Friday there weren't nearly as many entries so things were moving along pretty quickly. Plus our class was small - only 4 dogs at 24". We also aren't the only Great Danes running this weekend. Our friend, Marta, from Olympia is here running her two brindles, Jive and Hunter. Jive was in our class and ran after Vegas and I. Here is the course:
I will say first off, jump #1 was not nearly as angled as it looks. I set Vegas right back against the wall just inside the ring and we could look straight to the a-frame. She ran the course really well. Our only hang up was her huge launch out of the chute where she then ran past the weaves. I'm not sure if my verbal queue was late - probably - but I got her back and she nailed the weaves fine through the finish. This single refusal cost us a 5 point fault. However, our score was 95 and our time was 52.73; SCT was 59. We qualified after Marta and Jive in second place. This was our OA run!!! Yay - the elusive third leg is finally complete. 

We then had a couple hours until it was our turn for JWW. SCT was 46 for 174 yards. 
I'm not thrilled about the first obstacle being a tunnel but in this case I just made sure we had enough distance that I could help Vegas gain some speed before attempting it. I then was able to quickly move behind #2 so I could call her over and be in position to move through the next sequence. She was running fast! I tried really hard today to spend a decent chunk of time with her before each run, giving her bits of treats, rubbing her down, stretching her, and getting her into "play" mode. I had a couple of bobble moments where I was just slow on queuing or afraid I was getting lost. Someone commented after how well she collects herself when she's on the wrong lead due usually to my handling. For instance, the jump from 9 to 10. I was slightly late queuing her to make this turn and getting myself positioned and she had to recollect to make #10. Then I thought I was too close in and would cause her to "push" out from the weaves but I stepped back and it all worked. The tunnel was a bit tricky to front cross at the end of the weaves and push her into the far side of the tunnel...but again, she did it! We finished in 43.56 seconds and earned two more MACH points!!!!

All in all, a great day. The venue is gorgeous. There's going to be quite a few vendors as the Evergreen Golden Retriever Club is having their specialty there with conformation, rally, obedience, and more. Two more days..... 

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