Saturday, October 2, 2010

English Springer Spaniel AKC Trial

Ever have a day where it just starts off wrong? Wow. So the hosting club breed.....well, suffice it to say they were rather wretched. I hate walking by dog crates and having the dogs come unglued at me and my dogs. Pardon me, perhaps I'm too picky, but I just hate it. I find it appallingly common at agility trials though, but was startled by the ferocity of the Springers first thing today and with their owners standing right there. Not a very good way to promote their breed. Aside from that and perhaps it was further aggravated by my not having coffee this am, the rest of the day was great. :)

Our friends Rachel and Lindsay were trialing with us again today so that was fantastic. Plus, we arrived early enough to grab a nice, big spot to crate in that's close to the doors. Another bonus. And then, there was only about 150 runs per judge today so although the run order was not advantageous, the low entry was. They also didn't offer FAST this weekend. So another yea! In fact, I was done with my runs by 11:45 and stuck around another hour or so to watch Lindsay and Heffner's standard run and video for them as well.

Our first run was Standard. The course was actually a little tricky. The first sequence, 1-5, was very tight. On 180s I've often found doing a front cross works well to pull Vegas through/over the second jump. However, going from the tire to the jump to the 180, the angles were tough with turns and that kind of maneuver. I also almost blew it at 13-14 as I was a step or so farther out than I should have been but, fortunately, recovered in time. The weave entry presented another challenge. Did I want to try an off-side weave or attempt to get a front cross in? I wasn't concerned about pushing Vegas out to the finish jump but I was concerned about being in her way and causing a refusal. As it turns out, all went well except one knocked bar - kind of like last weekend; tiny mistakes. As per what has been normal lately, the mistakes are mine in handling. I could have pushed out one more step for the 180 at 3-4 and avoided Vegas trying to turn mid-air on a jump that she was already taking at an angle. I live and I learn. Vegas is still a rock star and had this been a clean run she was 11 seconds under SCT.
I know in some cases (often) I over-manage parts of the course. I'm quite competitive (sometimes unfortunately) so not succeeding frustrates me. I've gotten a lot better and definitely give Vegas all the credit, love, and uplifting she deserves. Right now it's my handling 99% of the time that screws us up. All that is to say, it is a huge bummer again to not Q in this class as we need just one more leg to earn our AX (Agility Excellent) title and start having a shot at earning MACH points in more than just Jumpers each trial. We get another shot tomorrow.

Our Jumpers course was a mind-boggler for me. I'm not sure why I had such a hard time remembering where to go. Maybe I didn't walk it quite enough; I'm not sure. But, as you'll see here, it started off wrong and I have the agility gods to thank that we got what will probably be a once in a lifetime "do over" opportunity that saved the day.
So the story to the run clip above.... The judge said she had to look at my collar. It wasn't until a break during a lower height walk through that I could ask her what the deal had been with my collar. The judge whistled us off the course. You notice the whistle was right about jump 4-5. I wasn't 100% sure it was the judge whistling in my ring so I looked to the judge and she didn't look at me so I thought I was okay to go on - better that than stop if I was wrong since there were two rings going. Of course people were wondering what the heck was going on. Like I said, thank goodness we got a do over because it would have been an NQ due to a refusal/restart on the weaves. When I talked with the judge, she said she had seen something glinting in my collar. Funny because it wasn't even a glittery collar. I think it took her those few obstacles and it bugging her to decide to whistle me to stop. She was concerned about me having a hidden pinch collar as some people are doing these days. Okay; understandable. I thought it might have been a random check just because I am one of few people that completely take the collar off to run. All's well that ends well, though. We ran clean and under course time, earning six more MACH points and our 8th MXJ leg. Two more and we'll have our  MXJ title! I was very proud of my girl. After all, she essentially ran almost half the course and then the entire course back-to-back for a total of 30 obstacles.
Tomorrow is the last day of the weekend, and the last day of the trial. It's also our last trial until the second weekend in November which is our last trial before the Invitational in December. Vegas is currently snoozing away on my bed, happy as a clam. Hopefully tomorrow will bring us our first ever Double Q and the finish to our AX title. Happy Sunday!

No comments:

Post a Comment