Friday, October 24, 2008

Dream Fields mini trial

What better way to spend one's Friday night than running in circles making strange gestures and sounds to one's dog? :-)

First up was Gamblers #1. Walter had a reasonable chance at doing the main gamble. He did the mini twice (teeter at 18' lateral distance) and racked up a good number of points in the opening. On to the closing: jump heading away from you, to lateral frame 18' away, 180 turn away to tunnel under frame, then back over jump #1 and back out to one more jump. We didn't have quite enough umph for him to go all the way out to the frame (that was the part I had been worried about, especially with the tunnel being a possible offcourse), so he came in. But wonder of wonders, he let me send him out again, looking unsure but he did go out and do the frame, yay! He easily nailed the turn away to the tunnel which was 21' away from the line -- all that "pip" work has been sinking in, woo hoo! Then he took jump #4, and just before he was over the final jump the buzzer went. This is the second MG main gamble that he has successfully completed but over time due to a handling bobble early in the gamble. This time only .58 of a second kept him from the Q. Next time!

Gamblers #2: Hmmm, gonna have to save that "next time" for another time! This main gamble was brutal, involving a frame/tunnel discrimination where the dog has to take the "out tunnel" not once, but twice. No surprise, couldn't even get Walter to take the tunnel the first time. Next year to work on: send-aheads to tunnel!

Snooker: The $%^& weaves were #5 instead of the usual #7. Since Walter's weaves are unreliable, I always try to plan the opening so that we don't need them. Usually that means doing three #6. So I did the math and hooray! We could still Q without the weaves by doing four #7s (frame/jump combo) (or three #7s plus 1 #6, but I liked #7 better, and besides, why not go for gold!), so that's what we did. Walter did just great, a really nice opening. For Walter's frames I try not to watch the yellow to see if he hits it (que sera sera, though he's never missed a contact in competition), so I was listening to hear if the judge called out the points or not; sure enough he got all four 7s. Our transition to the closing wasted some time because his last #7 took him right to the exit gate, but after a few seconds he consented to come and do the rest of the course. The buzzer went as he was half-way through the weaves, which he did perfectly, yay! I was so out of breath by the time we got to the weaves, it was all I could do to squeak out the usual "gogogo" for him. He took a Q, 1st place out of 9 22" specials dogs, and best run (which Walter hasn't seen many of since we made it to Masters) although the 1st place and best run are kind of silly since he only had one point more than was necessary for a Q; for some reason he was the only 22" specials dog who Qd.

Standard: By this time it was about 10pm. That probably sets a record for Walter's latest agility run! It was a nice straightforward course, the only tricky area being a tunnel/jump set close together where the first time they take the jump, the second the tunnel. Walter ran fine except for problems at the weaves. First, he entered at the second pole (I should have hung back which helps him get the entry); let him finish them and he skipped a pole somewhere I think. Took him back to try again; this time he got the entry but again skipped a pole or two and/or popped, can't remember. Sigh. Why couldn't he have goofed up the weaves in Snooker and saved his good ones for Standard? Oh well, isn't that always the way. :^)


andrea said...

always the way indeed!

congrats on the snookers q though

I love the course details you give - I can really see the flow (or lack thereof ;))

Johann The Dog said...

10: PM for a run. Insane!!!!

Big congrats on the Snooker Q, sounds like a fun run.

Those tunnel, frame discriminations in gamble, are tricky. Very tough, very few got that at Regionals.

Nice job!!!