This is long. For the non agility folks skip to the bottom...
Jumpers- It was NICE, NICE course. NO THREADLE. Woohoo! In fact, it was only difficult in the fact that you had to haul a$$ to get there for the crosses. But I did it. And we were clean. And we had the fastest time in ALL OF THE SPECIALS division- that is all jump heights. Yeah. 24.77 We placed first in our height category.
Standard- again, a really nice course. A few technical parts, and a very odd weave pole entrance. Wicca was feelin' her oats and was super fast. I was out of position and she didn't hold her contact. I rotated and she flung her body over an off course jump. She also knocked a bar. But- I was pretty happy with it. We placed second in our division with a time of 38.81 and 30 faults. Oh...the other five faults I am sure is from calling her a bugger....yeah..
Gamblers- rough opening. It was hard to plan a path with lots of points, but I did have a pretty decent plan. Wicca had her own ideas however and was wild. Not listening, and pretty much taking equipment at her own will. Brat. We did manage to pull it together and got the gamble in the end though. But we only had 28 points in the opening- which is AWFUL for her, with the 35 points for getting the gamble it ended up putting us in 2nd place.
We started with the Standard. Wicca was a b*tch. The course was totally do-able, and for the most part it was beautiful. Except for the part where she hurled her body through not one, but two bars. And then knocked a third bar for good measure. Sigh. But- I was completely thrilled with her otherwise. She nailed her weave entry, and I did a great job of handling her.
Gamblers- You know, I think I'm going to have to stop calling it our best class. Our opening this time was beautiful. Something like 41 points. She got the mini twice, and except for some minor confusion about the whistle in the next ring it was a great opening. We ALMOST had the gamble. But well, almost doesn't count. She needed to turn off the dog walk and take the far jump. She turned, and then sucked into me and took the wrong bar. This is a weakness of ours, and something we've been working on.
Jumpers- the course was great. Super fast, and flowy. We should have had it. It was a beautiful run except for the two bars she smashed into. One was my fault, the other completely hers. I was confident going into the ring though. And I didn't get lost. And other than the bars it was beautiful.
Mostly, Wicca had a great weekend. Really. There were moments of brilliance, and I am very proud of us.
I don't have a clue how she really placed individually today- I read the results myself and didn't even get around to giving myself ribbons. And, we found a few errors in the gamble results later- I should have gotten first in the gamble today- but when I read results she was called as being in second place. Not a big deal as the aggregate score is not affected.
I can't really tell you what her aggregate was either- again, I totally didn't even hear it. I think it was around 439? maybe? I can't remember, and I didn't write it down. We'll see when it is posted I guess. I do know that we came in Second. Which is okay. We were beat by a Papillon who totally deserves it. He is GREAT dog (Penny, are you reading this???) and I don't feel badly losing to a dog who earned it. There was something like 50 points separating the two of them.
It was a whirlwind weekend. Organising a large event like this was pretty painful actually, and although we had hoped that it would just kind of fall into place on the actual day it didn't happen quite like that. I'd like to blame the fact that Wicca and I weren't "on" on playing the role as organiser and host. But really, it is training and handling.
Wicca is a GREAT dog. Truly, she is. But she has holes, and issues that will haunt us for her entire career. The bar knocking kills me. But she is five years old, and structurally is not great for the sport, I don't see the bar knocking ever going away. The other part of the team is me. I am a "good" handler at best, and mediocre handler at worst. I have improved a lot since even a year ago though- I am not afraid or unsure of how to handle her. She still frustrates me but I try not to let it show. We are a work in progress.
Every year we get better and better. She had some fabulous runs this weekend- her jumpers on Saturday was breathtaking. I am so excited to see how far we've come. I think our score last year barely broke 350 so I am very happy with the improvement.
But there is lots of work to do before Nationals. Wicca has earned a few weeks off- she won't do any agility for the rest of the month, and then we will have three weeks in July to train for Nationals.
I am exhausted, sun burnt, and might even have a little heatstroke...but it was a great weekend.