This past weekend Beckett got his Bronze Award of Merit at a Morning Star Dog Academy trial. The title is granted to a dog that has earned ten qualifying scores in the Master Standard event and twenty-five qualifying scores in the Masters Games events. That might not sound like a lot but first you have to get into Masters and then you have to earn your Agility Trial Champion (ATChC) title as the Award of Merit is a post-ATChC award. Some people earn it faster than we did that's for sure but most of them trial a lot more than us and their Q rate is probably better than ours. After being injured this past spring I didn't think we would see this goal being reached this year but Beckett got three Master Standard Q's out of four Standard events. That's much better than our average Q rate which I would estimate is about 20% to 30% even less for Master Gamblers.
This was the course that gave Beckett his 10th Master Std Q, he already had the 25 Games Q's. It wasn't the prettiest of runs, I wasn't sure we had even Q'd as out of the chute Beckett headed to the tire (obstacle 10) and I had to call him back for the teeter. I wasn't sure if we had been called either for a refusal or for not having a good line to the teeter. The rest of the course ran quite well. I worried about the tunnel (obstacle 14) after the dog walk, I thought Beckett might spin too much and get a refusal, but he was good. He did one spin off the dog walk and then scooted right into the tunnel. Unfortunately, you'll have to trust me on how it went as only half of the run is on the video; the person who was videoing the run tried to zoom and accidentally shut off the video. The next Standard run was a train wreck, one refusal, one knocked bar and an off course so thankfully we already had the Q for the title. I should say the two titles as with this one Q, he also earned his Expert Bronze Standard title for the 10 Std Q's.
We also did two Master Snooker runs. The first one I thought was our best chance for getting a Q but Beckett knocked a bar in the closing and so we were out before we had enough points. Snooker is so unforgiving that way; as soon as you fault in the close you're done and there are many ways to be whistled off in the opening too.
The next Snooker was quite a difficult course. When I walked the course, I decided we were just going in to have fun so I didn't focus on my plan as much as I normally would have. I didn't think that I could get to the end of the straight tunnel in time to get him to the tire without having him start to spin on me. Just before I went in to run, I changed my plan and decided I would just run to the tire and cross behind him on the landing side of the tire. So with that I got him through obstacle 4 then in the few seconds until the first jump of obstacle 5, I had to recall what direction to take 5a. Luckily my memory didn't fail me; it was a lucky thing that while walking the course another competitor thought the jump was numbered incorrectly so we had taken a last look at the course map. I also wasn't sure about which way to take obstacle 7, the combination obstacles are usually multi-directional in the opening but as numbered in the close but I just did what seemed right and waited for the whistle which didn't come. We had enough points after 6 to Q so it wasn`t a big risk. Another Q for Beckett, he now needs only two more Master Snooker Q's for his Bronze Expert in that event.
The day before Keltic also had a good day at a More Dogz Starter and Advanced trial. While he didn`t get a Starter Standard Q, he did get an Advanced Snooker Q in his first time out in that event at the Advanced level.
I did, red jump, frame, red jump, obstacle 6 (jump, tunnel, jump), red jump and obstacle 6 again before starting the close. Keltic missed his weave entry so we were whistled out then but we already had enough points to Q.
Overall another awesome agility weekend and the weather was beautiful too. The only down side was that it was my last weekend before going back to work after 5 weeks off.