- Jackpot - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ 41 points
- We missed my planned opening, Basil got a bit stressed in the beginning and ran off. I had to double back to get the correct gamble obstacles and avoid the incorrect ones. It was a fun gamble (two contacts and a tunnel). We did well on the contacts and he ran right for the table when I called for it.
- Jumpers - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ time of 37.90 and 5 faults
- Even with the judge changing the opening jump to something easier, I still lost him between jump 1 & 2. I got him back, kept going and finished out the course that way. I thought I'd completely missed Jump 2 resulting in a NT (no time, thus no score) but after checking the records we were only given a 5 point fault for an off course. I was surprised.
- Standard - Level 1 - NQ - Off Course
- Had start line stay issues on this one. Tried a running start but completely lost him and he wandered off to smell the back fence line where the feral cats mark. Then he ran completely out of the ring.
- Full House - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ 23 points.
- I had a plan and mostly stuck with it. Still had some issues starting out but once we got back together everything flowed pretty well. He likes tunnel to tunnel entries! Kept me sprinting that is for sure. And they had the table wrapped around the jump so when I said table and pointed he took the tunnel. I managed to get him up on to the table though so everything worked out.
- Jackpot - Level 1 - NQ - Ran out of the ring.
- Thought we'd get the gamble but didn't and then the table was so close to the ring exit he just ran right out and peed on a tree. I guess he really had to go. It was a fun gamble though, I made the mistake of doing it the hard way by having him enter on the more difficult side because he happened to be over there.
- Standard - Level 1 - NQ - ran out of the ring.
- Couldn't even get his attention after the first jump. Did a good start line stay, then totally lost him when he refused the A-frame (obstacle 2). He ran to the back of the course to smell the cat pee fence line and then ran out of the ring.
- Colors - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ time of 25.72
- This course flowed pretty well. He ran around obstacle 5 but I managed to fix it and we finished the course just fine. I avoided obstacles near the cat pee fence line and took the course that kept us away from that. Start line stay was pretty nice, got a bit of a 1 jump lead out.
- Full House - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ time of 39.38
- He stayed with me really well on this course being that it was the last run of the day and I know he was tired. Had great running contacts on dog walk, got the jump combo and ran to the table like a champ.
Things I learned:
I found a good routine for us to get him into a down for the start line stay. That isn't to say I won't be doing the crate games to help with his start line stay stress, I will, but it was nice to see that I could get him relaxed enough to be in a down at the start line. I think it was a big mistake of mine to do running starts without even asking for a sit or a down at the start line, just sort of letting him go to the first obstacle. It didn't give him any info as to where we were going and then I got all messed up when he would run off confused. Bad handler.
His rear crosses were really good. I was surprised since sometimes we have issues with them if I don't signal the rear cross early enough. I got several good sends to far obstacles.
It always bothers me when I see people not being nice to their dogs, especially when they are green dogs quite new to the sport. So many times dogs would have issues because of what the handler was doing and the handler would take it out on the dog. Mostly yelling and yanking them around on the leash after the run all pissed off it didn't go well, sometimes loudly complaining to their companions about how awful the dog was. I understand that people get frustrated, trust me I totally was on Saturday after Basil ran out of the ring twice in a row. I let myself be frustrated for about 3 minutes and then I came up with a gameplan on what I'd do differently next time. I was there to have fun with my dog, who cares if I went home without a ribbon. Things changed after that.
So at our next CPE trial (not sure when that will be, isn't looking too good on the calendar unless I want to drive up to Williston) I need to try for 2 Standard Q's and a Snooker Q to get our Level 1 title. I really have a hard time with Standard courses. They just aren't that fun to me. The past year I've come to love Jumpers (I thought I'd never say that after having Bernie). Basil makes Jumpers fun because he pays attention and doesn't just take everything under the sun willy-nilly like Bernie did.
Running Bernie is like trying to handle a bullet after you've shot it out of a pistol, fun for about half a second until you realize you've completely lost it and will never get it back.
Upcoming trials that I will make a good effort to go to (if funds are available):
NADAC Games Trial - Jan 8-9: I want to do tunnelers and touch and go. Could care less about Hoopers or Weavers.
CPE Trial - Feb 18-20: Do some level 2 stuff where I can and have some fun. Will probably do a one day trial if I go to this one since it is a 2 hour drive one direction.
CPE Trial - April 15-17: Will try to get my standard runs in and attempt snooker as much as it pains me to do so.