Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cheshire Kennel Club Agility Trial

We spent the weekend down in Keene, NH - the weather broke and it finally felt like fall - I was one hurting camper leaving the hotel at 6am when it was only a hair over 30 degrees - Brrrrrrrr! There was frost on the ground and on the contact obstacles - I was quite relieved that the trial ran little to big both days. This was Murphy's first agility trial since the Golden Retriever Club trial in July. The cool weather certainly agrees with him - he's had some pretty lousy practice runs over at Ruth's when it's been 80 degrees or so - he's got the beginnings of his winter coat now and he gets really hot pretty easily this time of year.

We tried the new AKC FAST class for the first time - interesting rules - once I really understood the strategy it's not so bad. We missed Q'ing by one point (I wasn't where I should have been when the time ran out) on Saturday so on Sunday I planned a little bit better - go out, get the points and the Send (gamble) and then get out and be done. The net result was that on Sunday we racked up 53 points in about 26 seconds - good enough for 3rd place over some really talented excellent B 24" dogs - so I was pleased.

Speaking of being pleased, Murphy came out and played the game every single run - he enjoyed himself, he stayed with me, listened to me and made time all but one run. Heck - look at that power and the smile on his face - that's a happy dog! We did seem to have trouble with the weaves this trial - which is weird because he's been making his entries consistently in practice and staying in the poles - this weekend he either missed his entries or popped out at pole 8 or 9. I didn't bring him back - obviously we have work to do or we wouldn't be missing them in competition - I think part of it was speed - he was really moving out this weekend and I'm not sure that I move as fast in practice (yep, that would do it wouldn't it) as I do at a trial. Definitely something to work on - as well as more reps - he's been doing a lot of obedience work lately and not so much agility so that's certainly a factor too. I was concerned that if I brought him back to correct the weaves that I'd lose the enthusiasm that I had across the board - plus I really wanted to see where we were from a course time perspective - if we can fix the entry problems over the winter then we'll be in super shape.

I also got to spend some time with my Nana and my cousin Brandi - I don't see either very often so it was nice to actually hang out with them during the trial. Nana brought some coffee cake (yum) and she got to see Murphy run a couple of times...in fact the only run Murphy didn't make time was when Nana arrived 30 seconds before his run and he was quite distracted looking for her. Everyone had a great weekend - lots of ribbons all around the tents - it was a great way to cap off the agility season....

Oh and some pictures of Teller (Photo credits to Ruth):




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