Monday, October 27, 2008

Blue or Bust - Flash Paws Agility Trial

That was the theme for our trial this weekend. We either came in first, or where eliminated.

Holly was all blue and no bust! She resisted the temptation to visit ring stewards, and took first place in Novice Jumpers (by breaking score ties with faster times) both Saturday and Sunday. At 8 inches no less! Stupid judge measured her at 11 1/4 inches Saturday morning, which bumped her up into 8 inch Preferred. Looks like we'll have to do a challenge measure at our next trial. I was so proud of my little Holly! When she first starting doing agility agian after a year off, she was kind of unpredictable and soooooo slooooooow; but now she is back to her dependable and consistent agility diva self! And she was running pretty darn fast!! Fast enough to break tied scores two days in a row. Guess those sprints we've all been doing are coming in handy for more than just me. And I always get such a kick out of seeing her have a good time.

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'.


Nicki said...

Congrats on the great runs!

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