Back in May, Dally and I competed at our first AKC agility trial since March. This was in Hamilton, Ohio, at an indoor soccer facility that has great artificial turf footing. Dally loves it--it's always the place where she runs the fastest. It's a fan favorite.
At Hamilton, we started the weekend off right with our first AKC Excellent Q since September in Exc B STD! She ran beautifully, and stopped the clock 7 seconds under the standard course time. Unfortunately, a slight mistake in the Exc B JWW caused me to correct her, which also meant she shut down--a slow Corgi means a mistake in a pinwheel (she missed a jump). Oh well, no Double Q ("DQ") that day.
Sunday saw Dally start off very s-l-o-w in the Exc B STD. For some reason, she didn't wake up until half-way through, when I fired her up on the table. She was on fire the last part of the course, but unfortunately she stopped the clock 12+ seconds slower than the standard course time. Our Jumpers run saw a fast Corgi throughout the course! She was on fire!! We stopped the clock at 45 seconds flat....but later found out the standard course time was 42 seconds. Even after seeing her fly through the course, it was frustrating that our fastest wasn't fast enough even for a Q. And, if we do Q, we are accumulating MACH points slowly. So the discussion has turned to dropping down Dally from jumping 8-inches to jumping 4-inches.
What that means is she'll be running in "Preferred," which allows her to jump one jump height lower than she was originally measured for (any dog measuring 11-inches and under jumps at 8-inches), but she also will have additional time added for standard course times. I think they add five seconds to the time to allow for the older, less-capable, dogs running in Preferred. I think "less-capable" is a wrong choice of words, but it's hard to explain via blog and to those that don't know dog agility. Dally measures 10.12" at her withers, but considering she'll turn 5 in July, she's finally matured into a full Pembroke Welsh Corgi body, which means a broad, heavy chest and weaker hind end. It's hard to propel that much body (25lbs) over an 8-inch jump and run through tight courses in record speed.
I jumped her in a couple of 4-inch courses at my two classes this week and she seems to be comfortable and happy with it. We'll just see how it goes.
This weekend we have the Derby City Agility Association trial in Buckner, Ky., but she'll be running in the Exc B 8-inch regular division. Next weekend is the Hoosier Kennel Club AKC agility (my dad is the show secretary) and that is where she'll make her debut in Preferred. One negative about dropping down to Preferred is that we have to start all over--accrue our titles, yet again, and start at Novice. I'm hoping that in the 3-day trial in Lebanon, Ind., we can earn all three legs of both the Nov P STD and JWW levels in the weekend. Then we can go up to Open in an upcoming trial.
I'll keep everyone up-to-date on how the "Preferred Experiment" goes. We are able to run in Regular at any time, just as long as we enter Regular for one trial, and not run Preferred one day of the trial and Regular the next...it has to be the same for the whole trial.