Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pals and Paws December Trial

This past weekend was our first trial with Pals and Paws.  We know several members (who often come up to Charleston for our trials), and it was very nice.  It was our first time indoors, and on dirt.  I don't think Bentley was fazed at all.

Lexi spooked a little at the sound of the teeter (she didn't get on, but watched quite a bit).  We made sure to feed her as it banged until she relaxed.  It didn't take long once she realized I had treats.

Had a decent weekend.  It's tough when you lack one particular skill that keeps you from qualifying time and time again (dogwalk).  I know we really shouldn't move up to Masters without being able to complete the dogwalk, but it is frustrating being in Advanced Standard and needing just 1 Q for so long.

Advanced Gamblers:

Of course Bentley uses his one awesome contact on the dogwalk for gamblers, when it doesn't really matter!  He doesn't get the gamble, and I didn't think it looked that hard.  That is a skill that we need to work on--a straight line of jumps that are slightly askew.

Grand Prix:

I was particularly happy with this run.  A LOT of dogs had a trouble with it, and there weren't many Qs.  Luckily, our little dog is so handler focused that the potential off courses were no trouble for him.  However, his handler focus mode also caused him to incur a refusal at the tunnel, his only mistake the whole run.

Advanced Pairs--Q:

Not sure how we Qd on this one.  Jonathan didn't get a chance to walk to the course, and pushed Bentley into the wrong end of the tunnel, and he even missed the last jump.  Our partner, Mojo, was fast, so somehow we Qd.

Advanced Standard:

In interest of full disclosure, I don't even want to watch this run!  It was awful.  Bentley missed his dogwalk contact (of course) and then had an off-course, which is highly unusual.  We've found out at the last two trials (see Bentley's last two Snooker runs) that he does not have a call to side.  You can see off the table that he gets really confused, and my slight motion pushes him into the a-frame, despite it being very far away.  He also refused the chute (he did this twice this weekend).  I guess it looked different from ours.  Very odd.


Pretty nice run here.  Not great on speed (he was the second slowest out of 8 to Q).  His a-frames were nice all weekend, including here.  I was planning a FC at the end out of the final tunnel to the last jump, but backed out at the last second.  Several people collided with their dogs here, and I didn't want to risk it.

Advanced Standard:

Thought I could trick him into getting his contact if I went really fast...he still missed!  I'll have to go back to try to figure out why.  Despite my speeding at the end, he turned nicely into the tunnel (on a dime!)

Masters Snooker:

This was by far the toughest snooker course that I've seen.  The two 7 point obstacles (2 jumps, A and B) had to be taken in sequence, and were not bi-directional.  Knowing the competition we were up against, we wanted to try to get all 7s.  It was difficult.  Not many other dogs attempted all 7s.  Bentley did the hard part (completed the opening) and then refused the chute in the close.  If he had completed the chute and the next obstacle, it would have been an easy Q, and probably a placement because of points.

Steeplechase Finals:

Jonathan planned on pushing Bentley for speed in this run, since it didn't matter (you can't Q in finals).  In watching the video, I still felt as if he was waiting on him to complete things before setting up the next sequence.  Despite Jonathan trying to get Bentley to go faster, he still didn't place (although he ran clean).

Masters Jumpers--Q:

I was very, very happy that we managed a Q in this run.  In fact, he even got third place!  That's saying a lot because there were several very, very talented 16" dogs.

All in all, it was a fun weekend.  I especially enjoyed seeing all the extremely talented dogs and handlers.  Of the bunch there was Nancy Kleinhans, Suzanne Wesley, Stuart Mah, Gabrielle Blackburn, Janet Rahn, Rhonda Koeske, and Karen Holik.

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