The first day, Friday was a sanctioned AAC trial. I had entered Beckett in a Steeplechase, a Gamblers and a Standard and I had put Keltic in two Steeplechase. Things didn't go so well, in Steeplechase Beckett took an off-course tunnel for 20 faults and we are never fast enough to make up 20 faults. In the Gamblers, which wasn't really that hard, I could not get him to send away to a tunnel. I pulled Beckett from Standard as it had been a long day and the weather was hotter than expected. I was a bit discouraged and a little worried about whether my leg would survive running full out without some other injury. Keltic did fairly well in his two Steeplechase runs. In the first one, he had to do two sets of weaves. I tried to get him to do the first set but he wasn't having it so we went on by but he did do the second set. In his second Steeplechase, there was only one set of weaves and, after a bit of encouraging, he did do the complete set of 12. This run was good enough for third place even though it was well over time.
Saturday came bright and early but since they've split the province into two groups not as early as they used to be, so that's a good thing. My friends from Ottawa were in the same rotation as Beckett and me so we kept each other company over the weekend.
|Our weekend home|
Next up was our Gamblers event, as you know we've worked hard trying to improve our gamble skills after the Gamblers on Friday I was not sure how things would go especially with this gamble where I had to send him out not just once but twice.
Our last event of the day was the Standard. It walked pretty well but watching others ahead of us showed that the weaves entry was getting a lot of dogs and it was no different for Beckett. He missed the weave entry for five faults and also got five faults for a refusal on a tunnel (obstacle 9).
I was surprised to find that our 10 fault run was still good enough for 6th place. It turned out that many dogs had off-course faults and an off-course costs you 20 faults so you really want to avoid those. Beckett finished the day in 5th place overall in his height class with 247 points. You only need 350 points to qualify so we were in good position to qualify.
Sunday was another beautiful day, the courses seemed harder but it's just the luck of the draw as they are chosen randomly from a bank of Regional courses. First up for our group was Gamblers, again another nice way for the dogs to blow off a bit of energy as every obstacle they successfully take in the opening counts for points.
In our opening, I just did a loop with the jumps and the teeter and then headed to the four point jump (marked with a b). We did that jump twice and then headed over jump a, I then tried to send Beckett out to the tunnel. I figured if he took the A-frame instead I could try flipping him out to the tunnel to get that mini. He went out to the tunnel beautifully and went up and over the frame so we had the mini once, I tried to flip him out to the tunnel but he wouldn't go so I went in with him and sent him into the tunnel. When he came out we went over the jump (near the 70 line) and started the weaves. We didn't get the weaves done before the buzzer went though. In the main Gamble, I tried to set him up on a straight line to the tunnel but after taking the jump he came back to me. I sent him again to the tunnel and away he went. We've worked on finding a blind tunnel mouth so that paid off. I never even saw him come out of tunnel 2 but I just started running and calling "get out, tunnel". Next thing I knew he was coming out of tunnel 3, but it wasn't over yet as there was still jump 4, some dogs had come by it and one handler celebrated a second too soon and her dog knocked the bar. We were in sync and Beckett took the last jump without a problem. Two main Gambles, I was just ecstatic; the hard work on gamble skills is starting to pay off. We now had just over 310 points so only needed 40 more points to qualify for Nationals
Next up was out Standard, this course was killing the best of dogs with off-courses especially the dog walk - tunnel discrimination after jump 8. I decided that I would call Beckett into me hard and then send to the dog walk even if he started to spin a refusal was far less costly than an off-course.
The Jumpers course seemed difficult on the map but hadn't walked too bad. After seeing some other people run though I changed my plan from what I had walked during the general walk through and walked the course differently during our event walk through. Everything worked well except...
...Beckett came over jump 11 correctly and then since I was just finishing a front cross, for some reason he turned away from me. I didn't see him but someone told me afterwards, he turned away and he then took the jump again, 20 faults for the off-course. I'll bet I could do that part of the course over and over again and he would never repeat that again. But anyway, we got back together and the rest of the run was nice but the 20 faults kept us out of the placements for that event.
We finished with a score of 465, the highest Beckett has ever had. The highest aggregate score for any of my three that have gone to Regionals, I'm sure.
Beckett placed in five of his six events, one fourth and four 6th place finishes and finished fifth overall in his height class.
|Beckett, Indie and Coco|
|Beckett and his ribbons|
|Maybe next year Keltic|
|Watching dogs playing the fields.|