Saturday, March 19, 2011

PAC/GSDCO AKC Trial Day 2 - March 2011

As short and sweet as possible for today's recap....

First, it was strange not leaving until later in the morning. There have been a lot of complaints lately from some competitors about how long they have to be at the trial site or how late in the day they run. Some clubs have started shaking things up a bit and, in retrospect on this one, wow what a mistake. Today they ran Novice classes first in both rings followed up by Open and Excellent rounding out the day. Although today was Tall to Small, it still didn't meant an early day or a short one. We arrived and still had about an hour and a half or two to wait before we even walked Standard. Here is the course:
This was a nice course but after yesterday and the local judge, I had butterflies. Major ones. Luckily I seemed to keep them from Vegas. We ran about half way through the 24" class. I planned to start out on the right and rear cross the chute, put in a scoop and front cross after the a-frame, and from there was on the inside to the table. The table was actually a lot closer to the double than it appears in the map. From there I needed to front cross after the weaves to the triple and avoid both an off course with the #7 jump plus the wrong end of the tunnel. Other than losing Vegas on the wrong side and risking a refusal after the a-frame, things went well! She rocked her weaves and we finished this 185 yard course in 52.40. 16 MACH points!!!
We had some time then while they finished novice, set open, walked and ran open, then set excellent JWW. The dogs and I had a chance to get out and walk for a few minutes, chat with some friends, and I got a bite to eat for lunch. 

Then it was time for JWW judged by Gillian Crawford. When looking at the course, most of us were under the impression #16 was a back jump similar to what is seen in international courses. Luckily we learned that was incorrect and the jump was taken from the same direction as #15. It was still an ugly course and I saw that with absolutely no compunction - even highly seasoned competitors were fretting over it. Let me just say this: I have no problem whatsoever with a challenge. The excellent level should have challenges, but every single obstacle should not be a battle to complete successfully nor should there be so many pitfalls that handling them risk your dog's body. I have to say that there were more people in the stands watching during this class than I've seen in a very long time. And most of them were shaking their heads. The 26" class had a terrible time and there weren't many Qs that I saw. More starting running clean in the 24" class before our turn and I can't decide if that was good or bad. It kind of reaffirms the approval of that kind of course and I would hate that to start being more common or become the standard. So here it is:
I think the part I hated the most is the two tunnels at the end. One, okay. But the same one back to back at the end of the course. Aye yai yai. All there is left to say is..... Vegas qualified!!!!! 166 yards, SCT of 47, our time: 45.79. We even earned another MACH point for the day! I could not be happier with my girl. She ran her heart out. She handled like a dream. She is one hell of a first agility dog and I am quite simply humbled by what she does for me. And I thank God every run for how much she enjoys it because without that joy we wouldn't find such success and I couldn't be nearly as happy if she wasn't smiling off the course like she does on. What a day! 


  1. Congratulations!! That's a QQ too, right?

    I saw the Open Jumpers course on Linday's blog and thought it was ridiculous, but Excellent is even worse. I'm with you - I don't mind a challenge, but that's just...ugh. I would not be happy with a course like that, and even someone with a small dog wouldn't be okay with it. It seems like the judge tried to make it as impossible as they could for some reason. Well, not impossible, but you know what I mean.

    Congratulations - especially on that Jumpers course!

  2. Thank you, Amy. Yes, the courses were fairly brutal. But only from the one judge. It's somewhat discouraging to have a judge design courses in such a way to make nearly every obstacle so difficult and to really have it designed with one breed in mind. We made it through but I will never run under her again.

    Thanks for stopping by and for the congratulations. I cannot tell you how lucky Vegas makes me feel. She's a special girl.