Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quite the Ride!!

Well this past weekend, we attended the Agility Association of Canada Ontario Regional Championship. It was the third time we have participated in Regionals but this time they were right here in Ottawa.

The weather didn't cooperate, it was cold, windy and rainy all weekend; it seemed more like March than the end of May. But luckily we did have some dry spells and most of our runs coincided with the somewhat nicer weather.

Tucker again was quite consistent. He got the first Gamble and was clear on both of his Jumpers runs but he was very slow in both of his Standard runs. In the second Standard, he was 16 seconds over time. In his second Gamble event, he only got 14 points in the opening. I certainly couldn't use the excuse that it was too hot for him this weekend. Maybe I'll have to up the value of his treats again. Overall, he didn't do as well as he has in the past, he was 6th in his height class but there were only eight dogs. Last year, he also placed 6th overall but there were 15 dogs. Anyway, he qualified for Nationals with 415 points.

The real excitement this weekend came from my little Ceilidh. We finished the day Saturday with only 155 points so while it was still mathematically possible to qualify I thought that it was very unlikely. My goal for Ceilidh going into Regionals was to score better than we had done the previous year and I tried to keep focused on that. Our first event on Sunday was the second Standard. The run went beautifully, it moved mainly to the right and I could do off side weaves which Ceilidh prefers. We approached the last contact obstacle, the teeter, and I held my breathe as I told Ceilidh to "spot"; she got it and then all that was left was just three jumps. A clear round and under time, the first Masters Standard run that Ceilidh has ever run clean in a trial. With that she racked up 103 points and we now had a fair chance of qualifying. The next run was Jumpers run which we completed getting only five faults and accumulated another 70 points. That left us needing only 22 points to qualify going into the last event, a Gamble. I planned a nice safe course for Ceilidh and she continued to get her contacts for me and accumulated 23 points in the opening. The video is of the second Jumper's run, again it was made for Ceilidh, wide open and moving mainly to the right. Thanks to Lisa Routhier for videoing a number of my runs, it is fun to actually see them from a different perspective.


Ceilidh qualified for Nationals with 351.37 points, the score needed is 350. But the best part of the weekend was that she performed so well. She got all of her contacts and stayed in weaves in her Standards even getting the very difficult entry from the teeter to the weaves in the first Standard. And although her first clean Master Standard did not earn her a "Q", she did come home with a 7th place ribbon in that event for 10" Specials.

The weekend was very memorable and to paraphrase the Regionals motto, I really "enjoyed the ride". Now we have some training to do to get ready for Nationals.

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