Strummer's most entertaining run of the day, and his only Q, was Starters Snooker. Because apparently we can't get around the World's Easiest Snooker Course without providing entertainment for the crowd.
This map is for Advanced but the only difference was that the #5 jump was more perpendicular (ie easier to jump in the closing) and we had to do any of the tunnels twice for 7 points. Advanced had to do 2 tunnels and Masters had 3. Only one dog did the 3 and got through the closing in Masters.
Easy peasy right? I did the #2/7 tunnel twice for all three 7's and then boom the same tunnel again and you've started your closing. The stupid part is that I did actually cue the poor dog to do what he did. He takes me so literally.
It may look silly but it was good enough for 1st place. Thanks to Greg for filming. It was the only run I didn't bother to ask someone to film because I thought it would be so boring but he happened to catch us on his camera.
I chose a risky handling move in the opening of Advanced Jumpers and didn't quite pull it off. Otherwise a nice run except for a dropped bar that sounded like it hurt at the end.
Video is of Standard, Jumpers and International Jumpers. I couldn't be bothered separating them but they're short runs. Unfortunately I can't find my International Jumpers map.
Missed dogwalk (sigh) and dropped bar (sigh) in Starters Standard. There was a tunnel after the dogwalk and true to form he extended and missed the yellow. We were finally seeing some improvement in practice but that was with jumps after the dogwalk. More on that later. Then the silly dog goes charging for the dogwalk at the end of the run. The power of reinforcement I suppose.
International Jumpers was my favorite run. Such a fun course, I wish I could find my map. Nice challenges but totally do-able. Strum missed his weave entry (sigh) and that threw me off a bit so I mishandled the subsequent serpentine (turned into him, ugh, will I never get out of that habit?) and got momentarily lost. I did actually have a handling move planned after that serpentine but couldn't pull it off because I briefly forgot where I was going. We also had a standard fault called but I didn't see any bars down so I'm wondering if he ticked the broad jump. It's too hard to tell from the video.
Here's a video (also courtesy of Greg) of just International Jumpers.
Overall some little things keeping us out of the Q's but still some nice stuff from the Strum man. Sadly all the things we've been focusing on in training are still the things we're struggling with at trials. It feels like we're at a frustrating plateau with it all. I'll have to put some thought into ways to charge up the training to hopefully get us through it. He's such a great dog, if only we could fix these few things.
My friends were duly impressed both with Strummer and all the other dogs. My local friend enjoyed it so much that she called me up the next day to tell me what a good time she had and let her know if I go to any more down in Colorado Springs. She also offered me a place to stay so I may change my fall plans and go down to Fountain for USDAA in October. Haven't been to that trial in several years. Best of all though she liked how the dogs all seemed to be loving the game and playing with their humans. I hear a lot of criticism about USDAA trials being too competitive and having a bad atmosphere but I've never felt that myself about the majority of our local trials and it was nice to have an outsider comment on what a nice atmosphere she felt there.
It was a small, low key trial that moved along quickly, at least on Sunday when I was there, and I had a great time. The judge had some fabulous courses and was nice to work with. It was hot, in the 90's, but so dry and with a breeze so it wasn't too bad. There's lots of shade surrounding the rings and that helps a lot. I love the venue, so nice to be in the woods and doing agility and there are nice hiking trails for warming up/cooling down the dogs or just having a moment of quiet. I had been in two minds about going and in the end I'm very glad I did.
Perf. Starters Snooker Q, 1st place
Perf. Starters Snooker Title
Dogwalks: 0/1 (0%) (tunnel after dogwalk)
A-frames: 1/1 (100%)
Weave entries: 1/2 (50%) At least he didn't pop out.
Knocked bars: 2
Teeters: 1/1 (100%) But it was sort of naughty, could have been better
Table was awesome