Monday, December 5, 2011

Agility Down South

Mid-November saw Matt and I packing up the car with the girls, snacks, treats, etc., and we headed southeast for Concord, N.C., for the 2011 Swedish Vallhund Club of America Nationa Specialty. It was being held in conjunction with the Speedway Classic of the Carolinas cluster, which was having four days of agility (woohoo!) and three days conformation, rally, and obedience. The agility for the Swedish Vallhunds was Thursday, but it was still all breed, so I was able to run Dally as well. Another bonus to the weekend--the Palmetto Welsh Corgi Club was sponsoring prizes for any Pembroke that qualified! Where else could I go that was doing something special for both of my breeds!?

Back up a few days, though, and let me tell you about our one-day run at the Queen City Dog Training Club's trial. I entered one day only, Nov. 12, because it was the day before my birthday, plus I knew we were leaving for North Carolina on Tuesday, so why work the girls too much? Dally gave me my birthday present: her seventh QQ! Her jumpers run was smooth--it started out a little slow, but her weaves were faster than they have been in a while, and she handled well through the course. Her Standard run saw her booking it! She was going so fast in the beginning she almost missed the 90-degree turn into the chute.

I didn't get any videos of Mesa's run at Queen City, but she did well. Another knocked bar in Open Jumpers, and she missed her weave entrance once. She earned her second Open Standard leg, though, which was a nice present from her! In other news, since she celebrated her second birthday on the 10th, she had to get her measurement for her permanent height card. An AKC Representative did the first measurement and got her at 11 1/2 inches, so that put her at the 12-inch jumper height. :-/

In North Carolina, Mesa got her second measurement, and I was hoping the VMO would get her at 11" or just under, so she'd have to have a third to break the tie and hopefully put her in the 8-inch jump height. Unfortunately, the measuring area was in a high-traffic area right next to the jumpers ring, so she was stressed out, which only makes them stand more upright. Now she's officially in the 12-inch jump height. I'm conflicted, but more on that in the next blog post...

Now, onto the results of the Speedway of the Carolinas Cluster:

Dally earned QQ #8 on Thursday, earning 32 PACH points in the process! Our standard run was one of the smoothest I've ever run with her--she was jumping, weaving, and just moving her badonk! The Jumpers run was a tough one, with a lot of twists and turns--I had to throw in a rear cross after a jump with her because I didn't get in position fast enough for a front cross. Thankfully, Dally's getting used to me throwing different things at her and just went with the motions.

On Saturday, we didn't fair as well. We didn't Q in Standard because she got disconnected from me. The placement of the chute fluffer and additional bar setter right by the opening of the chute caused almost every dog to look at them as the dog came out of the chute, which is what Dally did. This concerned her, but when I got her back and into the weaves, I thought we'd be alright...until the tenth pole, when in the Jumpers ring a Border Collie went into the weaves with a rather loud handler, which caused Dally to pop out. Oh well. We were able to come back just 30 minutes later for Jumpers for a Q and three PACH points. Not bad.

For LaMesa, it wasn't a very successful weekend. I had hoped we'd Q at least once, and maybe earn our Open Standard title, but we came home with no qualifying runs. :-(

On Thursday, her Open Jumpers run was messed up at the very beginning--I set her up too close to the first jump, causing her to knock it down. The rest of the course was great for her--she handled the twists and everything I threw at her--I was so proud of her, and so mad at myself for the bad setup. The Standard run was tough--once again she took an off-course A-frame at the third obstacle, then popped out of the chute. It took her three shots at the weaves, which isn't like her. I was disappointed, but I knew she's still learning and things will start to look up.

Her Jumpers run on Saturday started out great--I gave her plentyof room to start the course and jump the first jump clean. She missed her weave entrance the first time, but nailed it the second time. She knocked a bar half-way through, but the rest was a great run--I was proud of her! Standard was another good run, but unfortunately we took off from the pause table a little too early (on the "G-" of the judge's "Go"), which caused us to NQ because I didn't realize it until after thinking about it post-run. However, she nailed a very difficult weave entrance the first time! That was consolation enough for me.

So the weekend was full of ups and downs for the Stump Kids. I learned a lot with Mesa, which I'll expand on in an upcoming blog post. This weekend we're back to Queen City for a full weekend of agility, then Mesa will take some time off from agility due to being spayed in the next week. My hopes are to work with her on her Rally some more while she has to take time for agility, and cross my fingers she's ready to run towards the end of January in Frankling, Tenn.