This weekend we trialled at Dream Fields which is the closest facility to us but it's still a 45 minute drive in good weather. Well, wouldn't you know it Saturday morning we were having a spring snow storm with a snowfall warning of 15 cm having been issued. I didn't have to be at Dream Fields until 2pm but I decided to go early and have my lunch there; so after clearing the driveway I took off at about 10:30 am with Keltic. Beckett stayed home. We arrived in good time as the roads weren't all that bad. Spring snow is wet and with the traffic on the roads it melted quickly so the roads were pretty clear.
Keltic was entered in four Starter events, Jumpers, two Standards and a Gamblers. He did extremely well for a little guy who hasn't practiced much. He has decided he can't do weaves and that one teeter a trial is his limit, so our Standards were a bust but those are things we can work on. His Jumpers run was just awesome. He ran the course in 26.65 seconds, 4.85 yards per second. I thought that would have been good enough for first place but a little black dog named Widget beat him by less than half a second.
Keltic also had an awesome Gamblers run. I may have stepped over the line for the mini gamble of tunnel, dog walk, tunnel but the judge gave us the points for it. Keltic did that mini pretty well but then wouldn't stay out to do the two jumps that were the other mini Gamble. I finished the opening in good position and walked to the gamble line letting Keltic settle down. It worked! He was off like a flash and I don't think I could have called him off that tunnel.
Both of these qualifying scores were his second in each of these game events so now Keltic moves to Advanced in those events. And he now only needs one more Snooker Q for his Starter Games title.
On Sunday, Beckett had four events. I didn't enter the first two events of the day so we got to sleep in a little as our events didn't start until after 10 am although they always tell you to arrive at least an hour before. I figured they couldn't get that far ahead after only two events. Beckett had a two Masters Standards, a Masters Snooker and a Steeplechase to run. Beckett's first Master Standard was a train wreck. He knocked two jumps, took an off-course at the a-frame (we were supposed to be doing the chute there), then took a tumble from the A-frame and then a non completion on a tunnel when I did my blind cross too soon.
Master Standard 2 was much better but I didn't handle the tunnel dog walk discrimination well and Beckett took the tunnel. You can see after he rounds the jump he's pointing directly toward the tunnel and I don't give him anything but a verbal to which he obviously wasn't listening. I should know that as he is so attune to my body language.
Next was Snooker, Beckett ran well but knocked a bar on obstacle six. I wasn't using my head. I should have tried for the fourth red jump but as I had done three red jumps, I started the close. Beckett decided not to do obstacle 2, the tunnel but rather obstacle 3, the single jump in the wrong direction. Tweet went the judge's whistle, we were done.
Our last event was Steeplechase, no video, I'm afraid. People were starting to pack up, as Steeplechase was the second last event. I told Beckett he could redeem us, he loves Steeplechase and so do I with no refusals we can just go for it and if we're fast enough can usually make up five faults. And that's what happened, a beautifully smooth fast run with one bar down. The course time was 46 seconds, Beckett ran the course in 37.06 seconds so with our five faults we had a score of 42.06. I was very happy with his time as many of the 22" dogs (border collies included) were running it in around 36 seconds so my little Beckett boy was close on their heels. That is our 21st Steeplechase qualifying score, four more and Beckett gets his Bronze Steeplechase title.
So all in all it was a good weekend, I was feeling great, Keltic did awesome, Beckett did awesome and more importantly wasn't hurt by his fall and we had fun. The other thing that was really nice. You might remember our blog post about an agility competitor who passed away at a Dream Fields trial. Well, her partner, Dave, was at the trial this weekend running their dogs. He decided that the dogs enjoy agility so much he should give it a try so here he is basically a Starter handler trying to run Masters courses with these dogs. It was beautiful to see, he got a big round of applause after each run and while he found the Jumpers course too much to remember, he did manage a couple Qs in Steeplechase. That's how agility should be run for the joy of being with our dogs. Life is too short to worry about the small stuff.