Monday, September 19, 2011

We Went Back

Marge's reaction to trialing in Sewaren was profoundly different this year.  She had no trouble with the planes overhead and, for the most part, her head wasn't swiveling all over the place while she was in the ring.  Thanks to some really heartbreakingly small errors, we didn't walk away with any Q's.  But I am SUPER happy with Marge's performance since it was her first trial outside since June.

Saturday - Standard

Standard was the first run of the day on Saturday, which is usually recipe for a lousy Standard run.  The course appeared pretty fun and flowy, with the problem areas coming towards the end.  The contact obstacles came in the first half of the course, though, which I think helped Marge stay focused; it was almost like a hybrid Standard/JWW course.

It started out quite well, with Marge holding the A-Frame, getting right on the table, holding the dog walk.  The next part of the course was an offside tunnel entrance to the teeter.  Marge held her dog walk while I led out just a tad and then attempted to flip her in the to tunnel.  She didn't pass the plane of the tunnel, but went in on an angle.  I didn't think much of it and continued.

The serpentine at the end was a bit sloppy but we got it done.  We crossed the finish line after jump #20 and I was ecstatic.  Our first Excellent Standard Q? Yes? Maybe? No.

No one clapped, which was the first warning sign that perhaps I didn't qualify.  Louie went over to get my scribe sheet and sure enough, written on it was "R (Tunnel)."

Perplexed, I watched the video that he had just recorded to see what the problem was.  Marge had entered the tunnel kind of weirdly, but she didn't stop her forward motion and didn't go behind it.  Furthermore, the judge didn't raise her fist to mark the refusal.

I approached her after the class ended and asked her where the error was.  She said that because Marge entered at a nearly 90-degree angle to the entrance of the tunnel, based on the "rule of thirds," she had to score it as a refusal.  She said it was a close call and told the scribe to write "tunnel" on the sheet so that I would know where the problem was.

I'm still not really seeing it.  In my mind, Marge Q'd on this course.

Saturday - JWW

Determined to run a good run AND have the AKC actually record it as a qualifying score this time, we set out to run Jumpers.  The course played well to Marge's strengths and I thought that perhaps we could do it.  However, this time, an error by me sent Marge over an off course jump.  A rear cross cue likely would have gotten her in the tunnel where she was supposed to go.

Sunday - JWW

Tricky course, and I knew it.  I THOUGHT that if we managed the weave pole entrance, that we'd be okay.  But, frankly, there were a couple of off course traps that I missed, including the one where I sent Marge out after the triple and she took an extra jump as I tried to front cross.  Calling her in might have saved that.

Then, she went around a jump, which, again, would have been solved by actually calling her in.  It didn't help that she was jumping HUGE.

Sunday - Standard

Our last shot at a qualifying score for the weekend.  I was worried about the beginning and the icky line from the table to the teeter.

I opted to not lead out in the beginning, and that went alright.  Got her on the teeter and was thrilled with how she flipped away from me to get on the table.  Her eyes were darting all over the place on the table, though, so I wasn't too thrilled with that.

But the damn tunnel got us again.  She swung out too far and incurred another tunnel refusal.  Later, she nailed a really hard weave entrance while I rear crossed behind her, but then popped out of the poles.  I truly think that it had to do with where the judge was standing.. several people commented that he was awfully close to the dogs.

Still, not a bad run, and really, just two freak little things that kept us from qualifying.

Look who visited us right after our Standard run.  One of these jumbos was on approach to Newark when I pulled in to the park in the morning, also.  They didn't seem to bother Marge today at all so I was happy to get to spot my favorite plane.

We're *so* close to a breakthrough, I can feel it.  Our next trial is at East Freehold Park in two weeks, where, historically, we have had awesome luck.  Some of my best runs have come at this park, so I'm ready to get kick our Fall agility season in to high gear then.


Tucker The Crestie September 19, 2011 at 10:51 PM  

Congratulations on a successful weekend!

Amy / Layla the Malamute September 19, 2011 at 11:10 PM  

I still say it was a bullshit call. I know what you mean about considering it a Q (like my Open Jumpers run), but it's a bit nicer when the AKC agrees.

I'm feeling hopeful for the Freehold trial. I just realized - Layla didn't even get to see you guys this weekend, that's how little we got to visit. Maybe you need to pet her to rub some good luck on her? Just a thought :)

Also, that judge WAS very close. Ironically he kept missing contacts. Ann ran Ty and he called him on the dogwalk, but he clearly hit it. He even paused IN the contact zone. It's on tape, Ann saw it, and after her run several people came up to her saying that he definitely hit the contact. He'd knocked a bar anyway, but still.

Fingers crossed for a better trial in two weeks!

Shane Kent Louis September 20, 2011 at 12:50 AM  

Congratulation Marg! You really have a Good Job! I love the videos of yours I have a great time in watching it! :)

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Kathy Mocharnuk September 20, 2011 at 6:05 PM  

It is all looking good, like you said it is looking very close and to see Marge running so fast and happy and having such a good time.....that has to count for at least as much as a Q.

Teesha and Bindie September 21, 2011 at 9:08 AM  

When it all comes down to it, what really matters is that she had fun and you enjoyed your time with her. Some judges need a laxative chocolate cake.

KB September 23, 2011 at 8:13 PM  

Marge has come SO far. You should be very proud of her and your amazing attitude. You're right - it sounds like a breakthrough is just around the corner.

Muttsandaklutz September 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM  

Wow, Marge was totally ON for all of her runs! So fast and happy. Love her bouncing with you at the end of that last run. Great job, both!

andrea September 24, 2011 at 10:06 PM  

nice work :) congrats - I agree with you about a breakthrough - you are doing such nice work together - the qs will come :)

Never Say Never Greyhounds September 30, 2011 at 1:22 PM  

So glad you had a good trial. I sure wish I could have worked thru Reagan's. I think we probably could have worked though a lot of it if she just wasn't terrified of traveling. We still make her hike 2 - 4 times a week. She loves it, but hates the 10 minute drive.

India Heritage Tours October 3, 2011 at 6:21 AM  

congrates...nice one. keep it up.

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