This weekend was a two-day agility trial in Winchester, Virginia. It was in a nice indoor sportplex, but was a one-ring trial. This makes for a VERY long day as the Jumpers courses follow the Standard courses (or vice versa) instead of being able to run concurrently in another ring. The poor Novice folks must have been there until at least 7PM! But still, it is one of my favorite trials...a pretty drive over the mountains, a nice building with new turf, a couple of good vendors for retail therapy, and the club provides great snacks for the volunteers.
Saturday started with Jumpers and it was a fairly easy course. Unfortunately, a jump, jump to the right side of the tunnel didn't go as planned. Jimmy set his sights on the left entry and barreled in. Screaming from me did not change his mind. In hind sight, I needed a more exaggerated pull to the right to be sure Jimmy came with me, but as they say hind sight is 20/20. Any chance of a Double-Q was now gone.
A long time later was Standard. Again it was just one mistake in an otherwise nicely run course that did us in. This time it came near the end of the run. I have trained Jimmy to have a running contact on the dogwalk, and this has served us very well thus far with just a couple of hiccups. Unfortunately, this time he decided to bail early, missing the contact by about an inch, the little bugger! Disconcertingly, this has begun to happen in class as well, so I have a new and very serious training issue to work on. So I solved the table.....and Jimmy gives me a new challenge!
Sunday started with Standard, and a very tough course! There were several tight turns with odd angles that required close attention to keep the bars up. There was a slightly tricky weave entry, which Jimmy nailed. Of course I was nervous about a repeat of his dogwalk issue, but luck was on my side and we completed the course cleanly! We even got 3rd place and 17 more points.
A ridiculously long time later came Jumpers. It was another tricky course and since I had the potential for a Double-Q, I was extra nervous. I felt the butterflies I used to get back in my Novice days, Egads! Fortunately with no dogwalk to worry about, I was more confident of success. Jimmy loves a good JWW run. He cruised through cleanly in just a little over 33 seconds (and 13 more points!) and there we had it, our very first Double-Q! Woohoo!.....Now only 19 more to go!
I feel like we are truly on our way now. What a good boy Jimmy is!
Tracking Jimmy's MACH progress:
Excellent B JWW legs: 11 (out of 10 needed for his MXJ) Now he's working on his MXJ2!
Excellent B STD legs: 1 (out of 10 needed for his MX) But at least we are now in B class!
Double Q's: 1 (out of 20 double-Q's needed for a MACH)
MACH Points: 159 (out of 750 speed points needed for a MACH)