Thursday, May 19, 2011

South Carolina Agility Trial

Riley and I had a great time competing at an agility trial in South Carolina last weekend. This was a new facility for me and already one of my favorites.  The footing was ideal being soft and forgiving, but not deep.  The building was surrounded by acres of grass, trails, and other horse arenas giving the girls plenty of potty, fetching, and walking space.  Inside the building, there was plenty of space for crating and ex pens.  You did not have to be the first person there to get an ideal place for you and your dog.  Once again, I separated Riley and Seven.  I hate to do it, but it is much easier to ignore and avoid Seven when she is being an idiot if I am not having to attend to another dog next door.  Plus she screams the most when she sees that Riley is getting the attention.  So my set up goal is to keep her from seeing Riley run, warm up, or come out of her crate.

This is an Excellent B Jumpers class that we qualified in on Friday. Other than the ugly spin at the end of the course, I was very pleased with our performance. A spin is when the dog thinks she is going one direction and then finds out she needs to go in the other. So the dog spins around to correct. It is a miscommunication between dog and handler.
Best of all, Riley and I earned our third double qualifying score towards her Master Agility Championship on Saturday. A Double Q is when we qualify in both Excellent B classes on the same day. They are still few and far between for us.

This Double Q was well earned too! In the first run, I layered the A-frame towards the end of the course. Layering is when an obstacle separates you and your dog. Generally, you want to stay next to your dog as they are completing obstacles, but layering can be handy if your dog tends to work far away or you need to cue something early. If I had run around the A-frame with Riley, I would have pushed her out towards jumps I did not want her to take. Cutting in front of the A-frame allowed me to tell Riley to turn at the right time and it worked very easily. Layering the A-frame is not always a good idea since the dog and handler briefly lose sight of each other, but obviously Riley did not miss me much.

In the Jumpers Run, there is a long line of jumps with a small zig zag in it. This can be very tough because Riley can quickly get ahead of me and its hard to cue these deviations in the line when I am behind her, but again things worked out perfectly.
Master Agility Championship Tally: 481 MACH points, 269 to go. 3 Double Qs, 17 to go.