Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Eastern Ontario Regional Agility Championships

This past weekend we went to the AAC Eastern Ontario Regional Championships. I entered both Beckett and Keltic. We didn't go to last years as the Regional Championships are also the qualifier for Nationals and since Nationals were being held out in western Canada, too far to drive; I decided to give Regionals a pass too. I entered Keltic this year as he was 4 in March by the same age Beckett had already been to two Regional events.  I wasn't too sure that Keltic was ready.

We arrived Thursday afternoon and got our shade tent all set up before heading to check in at our hotel.  After feeding the boys, we went out to dinner at an excellent Indian restaurant.  If you are ever in Kingston Ontario, check out Saber's Taste of India.

The next day was the sanctioned events, which are separate from the regional championship. I had entered Beckett in Steeplechase and Standard, and Keltic in Master Jumpers and Master Snooker.  When I took Beckett out of his crate I noticed he was limping; he seemed to walk it off but I didn't want to take any chances and I withdrew him from his events. That left me with only Keltic to run, I momentarily forgot the Jumpers course so we kind of crashed and burned there, then in Snooker I tried to get him to weave which Keltic didn't want to do, so I tried to go on to the next red jump but Keltic wanted to do the tunnel. Tweet went the judge's whistle and we were done, three obstacles and only one point. Needless to say I was very disappointed with the first day and worried about the championships.

That night I gave Beckett some warm massages and he seemed to be somewhat better. I decided that we would go event by event and if he was noticeably limping I would withdraw him from the championships.  Our first event the next day was a Standard, Beckett ran clean although we had some spinning that was luckily done outside of the refusal zones.  I watched Beckett as he walked toward me after the run and I didn't notice any limping. Keltic managed to get through the run with only 10 faults for two refusals. Amazingly, when I sent him into the weaves the second time, he got in an stayed in. I was very happy with that run.

Next up was Gamblers, Beckett had a 35 point opening and if he hadn't argued so much about the tunnel (obstacle 2 of the gamble) and the jump (obstacle 3 of the gamble), he would have gotten the main gamble as he was on the dog walk when the buzzer sounded. Keltic got a 31 point opening but wouldn't go out at all to obstacle 3.

Our last run on the Saturday was Jumpers, Beckett was clean and yet again Keltic amazed me by only getting two refusals, mostly because I couldn't keep up.

Time out chair- we really didn't need it.

When they posted Saturday's results I was very happy to see that Beckett was sitting in third place overall but was flabbergasted to see Keltic sitting in 6th place overall and that he had gotten sixth place in that Gamblers event just based on points. Beckett didn't show any signs of limping but I still gave him another warm massage back at the hotel. Cryopaks are now part of our agility bag.  We had Greek take-out on Saturday night and ate out on the back patio at the hotel that was nice as we could have a drink and not worry about driving.

On Sunday, the weather was nasty. It poured rain in the morning. I was lucky to get the dogs out for their morning business and to get the car packed up before it really poured. We did our general walk through and first event in the rain.  We had Gamblers first, the weaves were the distance obstacle, I knew neither would get that so we concentrated on opening points. Beckett was spinny and refused nearly every tunnel, luckily in gamblers you are just wasting time. Keltic was better and beat Beckett by two points.

Next up was our second Jumpers, Beckett was clean. he was running well and I was able to rear-cross without  him spinning on me. Keltic had two refusals, one because again I couldn't keep up and the other due to his inexperience. I did the same rear cross between jump 15 and 16 and where Beckett saw jump 17, Keltic read the rear cross all right but came by the jump without taking it.

Last event was Standard, Beckett only needed 38 points to qualifying for Nationals but for the aggregate results he would have to have a nice run as everyone in the top 4 was pretty close. We didn't have a stellar run getting 3 refusals for 15 faults which gave us 85 points for the run.  Keltic managed to get his weave entry but popped the weaves, he went in the second time and stayed in, he finished the run with only 5 faults, getting 95 points, again beating Beckett.. He had needed about 75 to qualify for Nationals.

4th place for Beckett and receiving Keltic's National Qualifier ribbon
I was really happy with our results overall, although a little disappointed with the Beckett's last Standard run; I changed my plan from what I had walked and I'm sure that threw us off our game. Beckett placed in 5 of 6 events and got 4th place for 10" Specials, he had gotten 5th place in 16" Regulars in 2014 so we moved up just a little.  Keltic had not only qualified for Nationals but had placed in 3 of 6 events; not bad considering I had only entered him for the experience.

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