We had a great trial this past weekend, and here's the promised full recap!
We started off with Novice JWW on Saturday, and as has been common lately, Philip knocked a bar on one of the jumps, earning us a yet another NQ on JWW. It's getting a little repetitive to write that about our JWW courses, but that is what he wishes to do. Our next run was much more exciting - Novice Standard. It was a beautiful course, not too hard, but not too easy either, and Philip nailed it perfectly, finishing his third Q, and getting his Novice Agility title! I was beyond excited after this run, my little guy is all grown up, getting a title :) He also got 1st place in that run, and we got 3 ribbons - a blue one for first place, a green one for qualifying, and a pretty multi-colored one (purple/black/teal) for the new title.
Of course, finishing the title meant that Philip could move on to Open Standard, so I filled out the paperwork and we were set for our very first Open run the next day, though I was nervous just thinking about it. Sunday started off interesting - we signed up for a local fundraiser walk which was taking place that morning, so we got up at 7am and headed over to the park where the fundraiser was taking place. We had a whole team of Corgis and friends assembled for the walk, and we raised lots of money for the Humane Society benefiting from this fundraiser - a great deed for a great cause! We walked 2.5 miles along with hundreds of other dogs and their owners, and then hung out at the park a bit before heading over to the trial site.
When we got to the trial, I think both of us were a bit tired, but luckily we still had a couple hours before our turn to run. I put Philip up in the shade and went to check in and look at the course maps. My jaw practically dropped when I saw the Open Standard course we would have to run. It included several tight turns, tricky off-course obstacles, and a tunnel under the dog walk with one pass onto the walk, and another into the tunnel. How in the world was I going to make Philip do all this?! I walked the course once it was set up and I was absolutely sure this would be a miserable fail, but what did we have to lose? After all, the worst thing that could happen is an NQ.
Soon our turn came, and we took off on the course - into the chute to start, over a couple of jumps, and onto the dog walk. I did a funky front cross before the dog walk, and saw Philip think about the tunnel, but he took the walk after I pushed him out further, first danger avoided. After the walk was a jump and a set of 12 weave poles - we've been doing 6 for a long time, I was sure Philip would mess up, but he practically laughed at me as he zoomed right through it - wow! Then we had a 180-degree loop of jumps, made sure not to take any wrong ones, went over the A-Frame, another jump, and onto the table. So far so good, you'd never think this dog just finished Novice! From the table we did another 180 through a tire and a jump, and onto the teeter. Philip walked it confidently (a rarity lately), and happily pranced over another 180 of jumps. We then had another approach to the dog walk and tunnel, but this time we needed to take the tunnel. This was a super close call, but somehow I managed an awkward front cross, and got Philip into the tunnel, and then over the last jump! So there we were, with a beautiful clean run and our first Q in Open Standard! What's even more amazing is that Philip was the only dog in his jump height to Q in that run, so we even got first place :)
Last but not least we had Novice JWW left. While in Novice, we've been doing JWW followed by Standard, and I had a theory that Philip was doing so badly in JWW because it was always the first run of the day. This time it switched due to being in Open Standard, plus the course looked really nice and easy (especially compared to the Open Standard), so I has my hopes up. Philip took off nicely, but messed up the weaves entry, so I called him back and redid it - no biggie. He then tried to take a wrong turn, I called him off, and then he almost immediately attempted another wrong turn, this time crossing my path unexpectedly. This forced me to kind of jump over him and I kicked him right on the head, poor guy! That definitely stopped him before taking a wrong obstacle though :) The rest of the run was clear, we had finished without knocking a bar off! You are probably expecting me to say that we got that ever-elusive Q in this run... I thought so too, but came to find the results with an NQ for Philip, marking 1 wrong course. You aren't allowed a wrong course in JWW, which is what caused an NQ, but where did it come from? I was confused, and so I went to the judge for clarification. The result - Philip had back weaved the poles when I was getting him back to restart them! How could I forget? Of course, when I had called him back, he turned right around and weaved! I was so mad at myself, if only I had remembered this one little rule, I would have stepped to the side and gotten him out, but no, my mistake caused us to NQ :(
So there you have it, an eventful trial that ended with two more Standard Qs and still no progress in JWW. I better remember the weaves thing for next time, and let's hope all the bars stay up. Our next trial is this weekend, in just a few days. It'll be interesting to see what comes first - Excellent Standard, or Open Jumpers. We have 2 Qs to go for each...