We had an awesome trial this last weekend! Lot's of exciting news, so let's get to it :)
On Saturday, we had an Open Standard run and a Novice JWW run. It's been a while since our last trial, but if you remember from my last recap, Philip only had 1 more leg to go in each in order to move up. The whole day before our runs, I was thinking that if Philip would Q in Standard and not in JWW, we'd end up in Excellent Standard and still Novice Jumpers the following day. That would mean we'd have to be at the trial all day, and I really didn't want to have to do that.
Both courses looked very nice on the maps, and soon enough we were ready for our Standard run. Philip was the first dog on the line, so I didn't get to see any possible mistakes a previous handler would make, but I wasn't too worried. We took it at a good pace, and Philip went over everything nicely, letting me get all my turns in as I wanted. He did mess up his weave pole entry, so I had to get him to start over, but he went through smoothly on the second try. Otherwise a very nice run, and since 1 refusal is still okay in Open, we got our Q. That completed Philip's Open Agility title, and we request a move up to Excellent A for Sunday!
The JWW run was a very nice and easy layout - with just one pinwheel maneuver, and the rest as nice straight lines. Again, Philip was the first dog on the line, and I crossed my fingers that we would pass and not have to be there the whole day on Sunday. Off to a good start, and again Philip missed his weave pole entry. I remembered my mistake from an earlier trial and made sure he wouldn't back-weave this time. After a couple of tries, the weaves were done right, and Philip practically flew the rest of the way! Since weaves don't count in Novice, this was a clean Q, and we finally had our Novice Agility Jumper title! Lucky for me, we moved up to Open JWW for Sunday as I hoped :)
We had to get to the trial much earlier than usual on Sunday in order to get to the Excellent run. I almost overslept, but thankfully Philip's fussing woke me up just in time :)
We got to the site and I went to walk the Excellent Standard course. Again, the run was laid out very nicely, but it certainly had a couple of tricky spots. With many dogs participating, Philip wasn't first this time. I got to watch other handlers before me and picked up a couple of good moves that I ended up using to our advantage, so that really helped. Philip started off to a beautiful run, you wouldn't even know he was a first-timer there. He looked to me for all the commands, he did the tricky spots gracefully, he even hit the weave poles spot on! I was excited - maybe we'd get a Q on the first try, but those dreams shuttered as Philip went over the last jump before the dog walk. You probably guessed it already - he knocked a bar down. What a bummer, but nonetheless, I am very proud of that run! He did very well for his first try at an Excellent course. He looked to me at every obstacle and he did everything like I asked. We'll get that Q another time!
Last, but not least, we also had our first Open JWW course. We were first on the line again, and this one started off to a tricky turn into the back end of the tunnel. Thankfully, Philip has a very solid lead out, so I had no trouble walking out to the tunnel and directing him to the correct entrance. Then we were off to some jumps and weaves (good on first try!), and a final turn out to the finish line. Funny thing happened here - I meant to get a front-cross in between a couple of jumps, but somehow spaced out. This put me on the wrong side, so I pushed Philip to the next two jumps with really awkward back crosses. What an ugly move on my part, but amazingly enough, Philip handled it like a pro (probably thinking I'm insane), and we finished cleanly. No faults at all in this run - a beautiful clean Q and 1st place for Philip :)
So there you have it - we got 3 out of 4 Qs this weekend, and Philip earned his OA and NAJ titles now. Another trial next weekend - I can't wait!