Agility Trial April 2021

NADAC Agility Trial in Sheridan
April 9 – 11, 2021

The covid pandemic finally eased enough that we were able to have an agility trial in Sheridan.  Hurrah!!!!  I was excited to be able to compete again, after over a year.  A lot of other people were also excited, so it was a very large trial.

On Friday the trial started at 11 a.m.  I left at 9 p.m., and people were still competing.  On Friday we had two runs of Weavers, one of Jumpers, two of Regular and one of Chances.  I took Cantor and Spirit.  Both dogs were so excited that they made little mistakes that kept them from Qualifying in most of \their runs.  I was especially pleased, however, that Cantor managed (FINALLY!) to keep his brain turned on, listened to me, and for the first time ever managed to get his feet in the safety zone on the contact equipment (A-frame and dogwalk). He is an extremely powerful dog who LOVES agility and struggles to collect himself in order to do such minor things as walk down the contact equipment and hit the required (yellow) zone at the bottom, rather than launch into space or to gauge a jump so that he doesn’t touch the bar with a foot or his tail.   In previous trials he never to hit the contacts, so this was a MAJOR breakthrough.  His only Q for Friday was a 5 point Q in Novice Regular, but I was thrilled because it was his first every time to qualify in that class.  He only got 5 points instead of the usual 10 points because he knocked a jump bar, but I took it gladly.  And celebrated big time.  Even with the penalty, he still took 2nd place, which shows the speed this guy has – and the potential

This was Spirit’s first time competing in Novice classes.  Last time I put her in the Intro classes, which are much simpler and have less ways to fail, because she would get so excited that she would make her own course rather than follow my directions and do the obstacles in the correct order.  She made up her own courses in Weavers and Jumpers and in Chances didn’t go out far enough to make a required obstacle when I ad to stay behind a handling line.  She doesn’t have a lot of distance yet and it was a hard course, but she tried and I was proud of her.  She did Q in both Regular classes – taking first place both times.  Very proud of my girl.

On Saturday we started at 8 a.m. and I got home at 7:30 p.m.  I took Lovely that day, her very first agility trial, and entered her in Intro classes, so i was there to the very end.  Each class begins with the most complicated class (Elite), then they make the course a little simpler and run Open, then they simplify it a lot more and run Novice, and last they make it REALLY simple for the beginning dogs running Intro.  

On Saturday we had two runs of each class:  Regular, Gamblers, Jumpers and Tunnelers.  I entered Lovely in Regular, Jumpers and Tunnelers.  It was my first time to try the new class, Gamblers, so I didn’t enter her in that.  She has a huge sense of humor and regularly entertains everyone at agility class, so I wanted to experience Gamblers just with my experienced dog, Cantor.  One class, Tunnelers, doesn’t offer an Intro division so Lovely and Cantor both ran in Novice.

On her very first run, which was Intro Regular, Lovely pulled her teasing stunts and ran around looking at everything, trying a few obstacles, then putting her nose down and acting like it was nosework class instead of agility.  I heard a few titters from the people watching. The second time she came out to run, however, she was all business and earned a Q and 1st place.  She also Q’d in both Jumpers runs, taking 2nd place each time, and once in Tunnelers, placing 4th.  Good girl!!  I may enter her in Novice at our July trial.

Cantor, meanwhile, got a full Q in one Novice Regular – and took 1st place. I was so excited I was floating.  He also Q’d both times in Gamblers, earning a 1st and a 2nd place.  He also Q’d once in Tunnelers, taking 1st place. For a dog who had previously managed only 1 Q during a three-day trial, this was incredible, fantastic, and amazing.  I feel that finally he has matured and trained long enough that he can get over-the-top excited yet keep his brain turned off so that we can work as a team.

On Sunday, we have fewer classes so that we finish early enough for the out-of-town participants to head home.  We had two runs each of Touch N’ Go, Regular and Chances.  I took Spirit and Cantor, both again competing in Novice.  The weather was wild outside – super high winds and snow – and most of the competing dogs were wild, too.  I heard lots of comments from people who had never seen their dog do THAT silly, crazy thing before in competition.  My two were wild, too, bouncing up and down and talking and excited.  Spirit invented her own courses in most of the classes, only qualifying once, in Novice Regular, earning a 2nd place.  But that was fine with me, as the three Q’s meant she earned her Novice Regular title.  Good girl, Spirit!!

I worried that Cantor, with his low excitability threshold, would revert back to his previous turn-off-the-brain-and-just-run mode, but he managed to control himself.  He Q’d in both Novice Regular runs, taking 1st place in both. WOW!!!!  And he also Q’d in one Touch N’ Go, taking 2nd place.  That gave him 8 Q’s for the weekend!!!  AND his Novice Regular title.  Amazing…

Jamboree, from the JJ litter, also competed all three days in the Intro level.  I don’t have the list of how many times/what classes she Q’d in, but she did well enough to earn the High in Trial award for the Intro division.   Congratulations, Laurie & Jamboree!  So proud of you.

Kristi, who has Quizz from the QQ litter, was at the trial Saturday and Sunday.  Sunday she brought her camera and managed, despite the terrible lighting conditions in the arena, to get a few photos of Cantor, Spirit and Jamboree.  To make it easy to tell which dog is in which set of photos (since Spirit and Jamboree are both sables), I put Spirit’s photos first, Cantor’s ()my black dog) in the middle, and then Jamboree’s.  Thanks so much, Kristi, for the photos.

Sunday happened to be my birthday.  Laurie, bless her, brought some great chocolate cakes and a cute card that a lot of people signed.  There are even a couple of photos of me at the end.  What a fantastic way to spend my birthday – among good friends (some of whom I hadn’t seen forever it seemed) and having fun with my dogs.  Cantor finally earning a title was more icing on the cake!

Note:  if you follow the links to the different dogs’ pages, you may find some photos not showing.  Curses on GoDaddy, which hosts the server sites, for so screwing up things on the server that a lot of website photos were lost (tons from my site).  I am working to find photos on my external backup, reduce the size and reload on my website, but it’s quite time consuming and I don’t have a lot of free time, so be patient if you look at a page and some photos don’t show.