Better late than never...here is my recap for the last day of last weekend's trial.
Often trials don't hold Fast runs on Sunday but this trial offered it each day. However, being the last weekend before Christmas the entry wasn't full so things moved along well. In fact, it almost seemed like we practically ran back to back being a tall to small day again.
The Fast course for Sunday was designed and judged by the same judge from Friday's Excellent Fast course. Just to give an idea of her course design, only two dogs in the entire Excellent class Friday qualified. It was into a tunnel, over the a-frame, and then 10' out from the a-frame was a 90-degree turn into the weave entry. All of this, of course, from the distance of at least 10, if not 15 plus, feet. Yeah, so basically I hadn't a prayer for the Fast course - so I thought. After all, we don't work distance.
And then I pulled her off the #13. I stepped and turned just a moment too soon to align us for the teeter and that caused a refusal. This was a major bummer and I wanted to jump up and down in frustration because we had made it so far without a hitch. And there were still more challenging areas to come. For instance, I needed to make it to the end of the chute for a front cross into the #18 jump without getting in Vegas' way. Could I do it? Fortunately I was able to do so and the remainder of the run went off without a hitch. Vegas performed beautifully. Once again, handler error.
After Standard I grabbed Leo and took both dogs out to the back of the fairgrounds in the grass to sniff, walk, and enjoy the sunshine. When we came back in I couldn't hardly believe it but we were already needing to walk our Jumpers course. I quickly put the dogs away and had a quick go at it.
Apparently we had enjoyed our high of the weekend though as this course was not to give us our reward either. I felt like I was behind the entire time. Perhaps I was getting tired or perhaps Vegas was just really moving. Regardless, we were not in sync the way we had been. We made it through to the weaves though, and once again things fell apart. I thought we would be okay but the 10-pole problem happened again. All of a sudden Vegas' head went up like she saw something and she popped out of her weaves. At that point I didn't even finish. We moved on. And that was that. Time to pack up and make the two hour drive home.
I learned some things, of course, over the weekend. I continue to struggle from time to time with our tiny, little mistake that costs us a run and wish for a calamity. But as I mentioned earlier, I am grateful for the realization that those tiny little mistakes on complex courses show we are up for the competition. And I love my Vegas girl. She gives it her all every single time and she does it with a smile.