Retirement Party (Wigton 2012)
Important things first: this was Kim’s last show. She was awesome, all happy and springy and running like an idiot and doing whatever she wanted. She had 2 clear rounds, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, and was just out of the placings in each. I really wanted her final win to get her up to Grade 7, she has been such an amazing agility dog and it does make me a little bit sad that her ‘status’ doesn’t reflect that. But she is eleven and a half now, and she is getting noticably slower at every competition, although she still clearly loves being there. My rough plan was to possibly enter her in some September shows, but she will have slowed down even further by then and there are always younger, faster, G6 dogs to beat her. I have no interest in Veterans classes with Kim as she finds jumping boring, and always has done. Contact equipment is her true love.
So, Kim is retired. Of our original Junior dog training group, I think that leaves just Bailey still going; Poppy, Saphie, and Meg all retired a few years ago. Every single one of those dogs started in Grade 1 as first-dogs, and now all but one of us are competing successfully with our second-/third-generation dogs. That is kind of amazing.
On to Dyl!
Dylan had one really appalling run last thing on Saturday, set off well and then freaked out at the jump with the filler and it went badly downhill from there. Otherwise he was pretty good all weekend! The G6 classes were quite small and I really wanted a top-5 placing; we picked up a 6th at Easter so it wasn’t a completely vain hope. Dylan’s first clear of the weekend was in the G3-7 Agility, a decent run but not spectacular, but we came 4th! So happy with that result. We also grabbed a respectable 14th in the C3-7 Jumping on Saturday, which was a straightforward speed course.
All the courses were great all weekend, challenging but not nagging or impossible. A couple were on the easier side, but they weren’t boring. The C6-7 Jumping we ran last on Sunday springs to mind, the course was fairly straightforward but the couple of odd little challenges made it fun to run. This was the first time we have run on aluminium rubber-coated contacts, no problem with the dogwalk or aframe beyond the issues we already have with rubber contacts; Dyl is really overcautious on this surface, his contacts are noticably slower, and I have no access to train him on these. But oh, the seesaw noise freaked Dylan out. We had sloooooow seesaws all weekend, he was not all that happy with those. Kim actually had no problems, but she is partially deaf now so maybe it wasn’t so weird for her!
No rosettes on Sunday, sadly, although I think we generally had better runs. The class I really wanted was the First Contact Qualifier on Sunday morning. It was a small class and the course was just the kind of thing that Dylan and I like, lots of big open spaces and requiring some decent contact independence. We were very late to run and knew at that stage there were only 4 clears, so we had a good chance. But … Dyl popped his weaves at the 10th pole. Gutted! I still think it was our best run of the weekend, I’m really pleased with how I handled the mental game of running in a qualifier that I knew we could do, and also how Dylan worked the course. But I would really have liked to qualify … maybe next year!
We finished just out of the placings in the G3-7 Agility, Dyl had a decent run but I played it too safe, with hindsight. I am not very good at handling pull-thrus and so I chose to run that section as an out and wing-wrap, which wasn’t the fastest route. Still wouldn’t have been enough to get us into the placings, Dylan’s dogwalk was too slow. We then picked up 5f in the C3-7 Jumping, which was my fault for being too cautious with his weaves, and then also picked up 5F in the C6-7 Jumping when I moved off a tunnel too quickly. Oops!
We definitely have a few things to work on, mainly weaves going toward a long jump and flick-backs over jumps. Work on avoiding obstacle traps has been paying off if nothing else, we did not have a problem with that this weekend!