Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dog Days of Summer - Trial Review

Aug 8 & 9 was a big agility trial put on by 2 agility clubs/schools in the area. Hosted at Wet Noses, they ran 2 rings. One ran Masters all day, the other Starters/Advanced.

It was a really nice trial despite the swarms of mosquitoes and the 30°C heat both days.

Tired beasties after the trial during pack up (otherwise the 3 don't share a "kennel"

Very happy with my boys. Baxter only needed one more Standard to finish off his Expert Silver Standard to achieve his Silver Award of Merit after the Top Spot trial in Indus, so we finished those titles this weekend.

Smug Fluff

Due to the setup, they actually ran 10 Masters runs for the full weekend. 11 if you entered both Steeplechase! I thought that 11 might be a bit much to ask of Baxter, but did enter him in 9 runs - 4 on Saturday and then 5 on Sunday. What I should have done was flipped that - 5 on Sat and then 4 Sun. I could tell he was tired from the start on Sunday, which had the most runs.

I think I'll stick with my designation of Veterans being "EZMode" agility. Even being slow on Sunday AND knocking a bar in Steeplechase Baxter finished about 5 seconds under time and Q'd.

In fact, he qualified in 6/9 runs this weekend - where 2 of those NQ's were Gambles that nearly no one got. I am also sticking with my disgust with Gambles for "ruining" our Q rate. We'll keep entering them to stay in practice for Regionals, but ugh, donation runs! His only other mistake was really mine due to handling where I pushed him into a tunnel instead of up the DW on a discrimination in a Standard run.

Spencer ran really well in the heat all things considered. He ended up 3/7 runs. One of those runs was the most beautiful Standard. I wish I had video of it. We didn't Q, but I couldn't have been happier with my little dog!

Most people ran this and with DOL wrapped them around 19, either post turning or as a FC. I don't like wrapping my dogs. They do better in extension, and I actually liked the line better 19 to 20 on the path I drew on the course map above. The problem is it felt horrible awkward sending 19 as a throw back threadle. So I ran DOL 17-18-19 then sent the dogs over 19 from the take off side (at the X) and picked them up on a front cross so they stayed DOL to finish.

Both dogs read it nice, but Spencer was spot on perfect. It felt so good, despite the fact I had already messed him up and we E'd when he went back up the DW instead of into tunnel 14. Most beautiful E run ever! I actually want to set this up sometime where I can video and time it. I feel it's faster to stay in extension, and my dogs run my speed, so I think my handling was appropriate - but I wonder about other ways. It would be interesting to test!


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