Mikey did pretty darn awesome too; his problem was dropping bars. No Qs in Jumpers; I'm starting to think we're never going to get out of Open Jumpers. Worse still, one more Q and Holly will be running in Open too! Aaaaargh! In Standard (Excellent!) Mikey got first place (score of 100!) on Saturday! Excellent is very competitive, in fact I think Mikey was one of only two or three 8 inch dogs entered in Excellent A, all the other entries were Excellent B. On Sunday Mikey dropped another bar in Standard. Other than the dropped bars, Mikey had great runs all weekend. I couldn't have asked for more. I think the dropped bars are partly due to body type, and partly due to handling. All of our dropped bars were on turns. Mikey's got a long, heavy body (hello! Cardigan!) to get over those jumps. He can turn on a dime, but, obviously, he has a hard time turning and jumping and doing it clean. I think I need to work on my handling and figure out how much room he needs to get a clean jump on a turn. It seems like the problem is when I signal for a turn while he's in the air; Mikey is so responsive and reacts immediately to my signals, which I think is causing dropped bars. Nonetheless, I was very, very pleased with how Mikey did this weekend.
My dad and Meg had a similar weekend to Mikey and me, except her problem is getting over excited and running off to take a tour of the ring (resulting in an off course and elimination). On Saturday, she took off in Jumpers and he called her back, excused himself, and marched her right back to her kennel. Later, he took her to a huge open field next to the show grounds and threw the ball for her - for a long time. In Novice Standard, she showed what she is capable of doing, and had an awesome run for first place to finish her Novice Standard title! Part of their problem is that she doesn't take off like that in class, so he's having a hard time trying to figure out how to prevent it from happening at trials. Obviously it helps if she's a little tired, but he tried the same thing before Jumpers on Sunday morning, but apparently it wasn't enough.
The funniest part of the weekend was when I went and sat in the bleachers with Holly and Mikey for a while on Saturday. Holly was semi-interested in watching the people walking back and forth, particularly if she could lure them into coming and petting her (she's such a flirt!), but Mikey was glued to the action in the ring. I'm telling you, he watched EVERY dog that ran, from start to finish, with intense concentration, occasionally letting out a little yip of excitement. I guess he really, really likes agility, even as a spectator!
Good times and fresh air had by all!
Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.