Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Short Season

We started the Spring 2017 season off with a trial at Absolute Agility. I had entered both Beckett and Keltic in three events.  Beckett had two Snooker runs and one Master Jumpers; Keltic had a Master Jumpers and then later in the day two Advanced Standards.  We got there early but the event was running late because the facility had been nearly flooded out by the spring thaw; lots of effort by the arena crew and with the sump pumps running they kept most of the arena dry. Courses still had to be modified to avoid the muddy parts of the arena. I only went on Sunday and people said things were already much better.

Beckett ran very well. He Q'd the first snooker run and if I had run the second snooker run they way I walked it he would have Q'd the second run too. I got myself in a position where I had to rear cross a tunnel and Beckett, with eyes in the back of his head, turned around in the tunnel and came back out the entrance for a refusal and a whistle from the judge.  He ran a very nice Master Jumpers too but I stopped too abruptly thinking he had committed to a tunnel but Beckett stopped too and spun getting a refusal on an otherwise clean run.

I had started out just fine but as the day wore on my Achilles tendon began to bother me. Next up was Keltic, in the second Master Jumpers.  He ran beautifully but I didn't pick him after tunnel #  12 and he got sucked into the decoy tunnel for an elimination.  My Achilles tendon by now was very painful, I did some volunteer jobs leash running and bar setting and it got progressively worse so I decided that was it. No use rupturing it I thought, as that would take ages to heal.  Poor Keltic, we arrived at 9:30 in the morning and his 34 second run was at about 4pm; all day in a crate for that.

Master Jumpers 2
 This was the course as the judge designed it but because of the muddy parts of the arena all the courses had to be flipped and tweaked. One of judges didn't have the opportunity to re-do the course maps so we had to make do with the original ones and trace them out on the backside.  The hand drawn maps gave you the flow but the tweaking in the ring meant you couldn't really decide on your handling until you walked it.

Mirror Master Jumpers 2

We had our next trial the very next Friday, only four days later. I spent the evenings icing my tendon and hoping I'd be able to run.  I had entered Beckett in 4 Steeplechase runs and Keltic in two Gamblers. Beckett needed two qualifying scores for his Silver Expert title which in Steeplechase is 50 qualifying scores. I ran the first run and my tendon did not feel great at all but we got a Q. I decided to wrap it. I had brought sports tape but forgot scissors so I used vet wrap. I hoped he would do it with only two runs but in the next run I handled one jump badly and Beckett back jumped it. The tendon felt much better wrapped. On to Steeplechase 3, this one looked nice and it ran well for us, the place where Beckett began to spin, I knew would happen. If I had been a little faster I could have gotten in a blind cross there and avoided that spinning.

I pulled out of Steeplechase 4 so that I could rest my ankle a bit and so that Keltic would get his runs. Keltic ran well; I even ran out of things I had planned to do in the first opening.  The first Gamble I knew he wouldn't stay out with me on the other side of the dogwalk, but he did do a nice dogwalk so maybe the winter training was not in vain. The second Gamble we had a chance, if he would just go to the tunnel but no, he wouldn't. I have to work on getting him calm in order to do the gamble, you see when I sit him down he goes right out the first obstacle without hesitation.

So that's it for the 2017 spring season, I had hoped to do more before the Regional Championships in June but I have to be able to run to play agility so it's better to let the tendon heal.


  1. You guys stay so busy and I am so superimpressed with all of your great work!

  2. That was such a long wait to get there a 9 for a 4 oclock race. Hope u had lots of treats to make the time pass by quicker.

    1. Lots of treats and off leash romps in the field next to the arena.


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