No Q's for Strum on Sunday but he had some nice runs and once again was a very good boy at the trial site and in the ring. His only naughtiness was lungeing at the dog still running the Jumpers course while we were entering the ring. The judge wanted us in the ring while the other dog was only halfway through the course and this was tough for Strum. He didn't bark though and the other dog never noticed him but he was a bit rattled on the start line at first and I took an extra moment to let him settle before I left him for my lead out. I want to condition him to relax when I put my hand on his side for just this sort of situation. We're working on it but he's not quite there yet. In any case he was fine in the end, held his stay and had a beautiful run with the only fault being a knocked bar. Well, knocked jump standard actually. I'm not sure how he managed to take the whole thing down but that's my Strum. It's not clear from the video what went wrong but my thought is that I moved too quickly when I cued the turn and the harsh cue caused him to misjudge the turn. I thought about putting a front cross in at that turn then a rear at the 180 then another front when we came around the turn again. I only saw one person do this in Open (nearly identical course) and she had the fastest run with a BC who's fast like Strum. Most everybody else handled that turn as I did. The course was not terribly exciting which is my big beef with NADAC these days. I handled the whole thing without a single side change. I almost put those extra crosses in just to make it more interesting but in the end decided to handle it the way I thought was best and it did expose a weakness so it was just as well.
No Q in Tunnelers either but it was another nice run. I was almost through the course and I got too far ahead of him and he wasn't clear on which end of the next tunnel I wanted and just my luck he guessed the wrong end. Don't ask me how I managed to get ahead of him on a blazing fast Tunnelers course. At that moment someone yelled 'Go Elayne' (they were cheering everyone on at the end) and I was distracted and went forward too quickly when I should have hung back a bit. Normally I don't notice the crowd at all, not sure why I was distracted but I'll have to remember to stay focused on the task at hand next time. Still I was pleased with his run, a huge improvement over his first Tunnelers run back in December where he ran by half the tunnels. The big lessons of this run were that I need to be more patient and I'm woefully out of shape.
NADAC always seems to have some weird new thing going on and this time for me it was hoops on the Weavers course and 24" spaced weave poles. I wasn't overly worried about either mostly because we were there for practice. The first hoop was the first obstacle on course so I didn't want to lead out since I wasn't sure if Strum would try to run around it. He ran through it no problem but this put me further behind than I would have liked and lead to some less than desireable handling. The other hoop was in the flow of the course and I ran him in a path straight for it and he went through it no problem. The 24" poles were no problem either. He had a nice run, the only mistake being a run-by on a set of weaves. I called him back to me and reset him in the poles and still with all that wasted time he managed a Q and 3rd place out of 14 dogs.
His Jumpers run on Saturday was nice but with a wide turn and a refusal at the last jump. I was far behind on a straight run of jumps and he stopped right in front of the last jump. I caught up and sent him over and despite the wasted time he still managed a Q and his first 1st place out of 12 dogs. I was surprised by that because in NADAC you usually have to be tight to get a good placement especially in Novice because the courses are so easy and few people fault.
Of course I don't have his clean runs on video but oh well. There's some bonus footage at the very end of Teddy, one of my favorite dogs and our Trigility teammate from DOCNA Champs. The person filming me happened to catch some footage of him walking to the line. I hope his owner doesn't mind but Teddy is the coolest, I couldn't bear to cut him out.