Well, we spent another weekend doing Agility, so here's the usual recap :)
This was a two-judge trial again, which was really nice, and it also had a FAST course on Saturday! We get these so rarely in our area, as a matter of fact this was just our third try at it since we started competing in January without missing any local trials.
Hold the horses (or dogs?) though - we had our Standard and JWW runs first. Both were simply a disaster on Saturday. So much so, that I lost track of all the mistakes Philip managed to squeeze into just a couple of minutes. From what I remember though, Standard included a couple of wrong courses, a refusal on the weaves, and even a table fault! Philip actually decided to get off the table right before "Go" and we had to do it all over again - ugh! The jumpers course started just like I thought, with an immediate wrong course to a very lucrative tunnel. To top off the embarrassment though, Philip pranced in a circle before getting back on track, and also went completely around one of the jumps towards the end. I'm pretty sure his mind was on another planet during these two runs... It goes without saying that both runs were NQs.
Now back to the FAST run - we are still in Novice (due to its rareness), and the course was extremely easy. The send portion was a tunnel followed by a jump and was no problem at all. It was worth 9 and 3 points respectively, plus the 20 bonus points, for a total of 32. So we only needed to gather 18 other points for the required 50 to get a Q. These were easy to get on the way to and from the send area. So, going all the way around the outside of the course, this path would give us a total of 53 points. Just looking for an easy Q, this was my plan, but Philip seemed to have missed the 4-point jump at the beginning. I thought I heard the judge call it, but I didn't see him jump it, so just to be sure, I added a little extra path to our plan and had him go through the 10-point tunnel on the way out. This way we would have had enough if the 4-pointer didn't count, but it turned out that counted too, so we finished with 63 points, got our Q, and took second place. Only one more Novice Q to go in FAST!
On Sunday, Philip started off with a great Standard run. He listened to me well, got the weave poles entry spot on, and held his contacts as needed. I heard him tick a bar with his nails, but hoped for the best, and while that one did in fact stay up, unfortunately he stealthily knocked another one in the middle of the course. It's really too bad as this was a beautiful run and we would have gotten our very first Q if it wasn't for that one bar. But alas - another NQ instead.
The Jumpers course started out nicely as well, Philip was paying attention and got the weaves right again. The end was a little tricky though, having to turn away from me and wrap around a jump. Philip managed to knock a bar while maneuvering through that turn, and another at the finish line. So NQ for us, and we are still hanging in Open JWW with just one more leg to go.
Oh, and here's something interesting from the weekend - the Excellent JWW course on Saturday had the most curious tunnel set up. There was one tunnel in a fairly tight C shape, and another in a wider C going right around the back of the first one. The dogs approached the outside tunnel first and then had to do a U-turn over a couple of jumps and into the inside tunnel. I really wish we would have been in that class just so that I could try it - it looked fun and challenging!