This weekend, we braved the heat and humidity and attended two days of agility trials in Somerset County, NJ. The trial site has, in the past, been a local favorite location for events, but bad experiences with flooding scared most of the host clubs to indoor sites. However, a couple of clubs in our area clustered together to bring a trial back to the park this year.
Fortunately, we didn't have any rain, but boy, was it hot! Arrow is unaffected by the heat, but Marge didn't put in any stellar times this weekend, courtesy of the sun beating down on her black coat.
Saturday, Marge was on the line for her MXJ. The course looked quite doable, and I only identified one problem area for Marge. If we were going to NQ, we were going to NQ on the tunnel. Guess what? That's what happened! Instead of driving ahead in to the tunnel (the third to last obstacle), Marge made a left and stopped the timer, taking an off-course jump.
At first, I couldn't figure out why this happened. But, on my way to the site the following morning, it clicked in my head: I screamed out "tunnel," which probably sounds similar to my rear cross cue, "turn." This has happened a couple of other times in the past, and it makes sense now - Marge is confusing the two words! I am going to have to start saying "go tunnel," which has worked in the past.
Marge's second run that day was another near-miss. A tunnel-to-dogwalk challenge did us in, and instead of rocketing out of the tunnel on to the dog walk, she went straight back in to the tunnel. I didn't upload this video, because there's not too much to see in it otherwise.
Arrow had a stellar Saturday. We snapped a streak of NQ's in Jumpers for her 9th MXJ leg, and then put the cherry on top with a Q in Standard. I was on Cloud 9 after her Jumpers run... it felt great to finally qualify, after coming so close so many times.
Sunday was brutally hot. My day was made much more pleasant by Louie, who surprised me by driving out to the trial after telling me he wasn't coming to cheer me on and hopefully see me get at least one MXJ title. (He brought with him a little MXJ present in anticipation of Marge finishing her title.. she didn't get it, but a present is a present and she'll get it soon enough!)
Once again, I stepped to the line in Jumpers, now with two MXJs on the line (one for each dog). It wasn't meant to be. The weave pole entrance was extremely difficult, moreso than I gave it credit for, and neither dog managed their entrance. That was Marge's only fault - Arrow had a bar down in addition to the weave run-out.
Between runs, we hung out in my friend's RV with our buddies, Bailey and Spirit. The dogs were very happy to get out of the sun and in to the AC for a little while.
Later in the day, Arrow had a little bit of a wild Standard run - she missed her weaves, took a bar down, took an off course, and released herself on the dog walk after hanging off of the side with her back feet way above the contact! She also missed a jump after I botched a front cross. Not a great way to end my weekend with her, but I wasn't too upset, considering our very successful Saturday.
Marge, on the other hand, added a Q to what was about to become Q-less weekend. Though I really wanted to finish her Jumpers title, I'll always take a Standard Q - they're hard to come by!
Some candids from the weekend:
And, my personal favorite...
Next up - one day (Friday) at a park we haven't been to in two years. Two MXJs on the line again - here's hoping we snag them both!