The course opened up a little difficult if you have a dog who is slow to start, like Dally is. There were a couple of ways to work the opening, and I guess I chose the wrong one. After the first jump Dally stopped to sniff and wondered past the plane of the second jump, which garnered a refusal. After that bobble we actually turned it on and ran a decent course. There was a tight flip off the double into the weaves that could have been handled with a rear cross on the flat after the double (which Dally isn't a rear-crossing dog) or a post turn. I chose the post turn and hoped for a tight turn...Dally gave me that tight turn, but I might have made my move too early, which caused a knocked bar.
We were knocked out of contention for the Challengers Round--finishing with a score of a 290 (out of 300) and in 18th place (out of 35) in the 4-inches Preferred. I was frustrated with myself because I realized, after the fact, that this was the same opening we had on the Challengers Round last year when Dally and I made it, and the same thing happened because of how I handled it. If I had done my front cross between jumps one and two, she most likely wouldn't have stopped to sniff (which, by the way, is the first time she's ever done something like that, ever). And the dropped bar...well, I could have probably tried to not go so tight on the turn, or maybe it was just one of those times she jumped awkwardly.
Judge for yourself:
But, I'm proud of my little Corgi. We've come a long way. This was the same weekend, five years ago, that started our competition career in agility. Five years ago, if you had told me we would have qualified, and competed, at the AKC National Agility Championships not just once, but twice, I wouldn't have believed you. If you had told me five years ago that we would have earned our Agility Championship, I wouldn't have believed you. I've had people tell me, "She's not an agility championship caliber dog..." And yet, she really is!
Dally has done more for me than I could ever have imagined, considering I found her litter for sale in the Indianapolis Star want ads and I saw her come tumbling out of a barn stall with the rest of her brothers and litters.
So what if I didn't accomplish my goal of going a perfect 3-for-3 and getting back into the Challengers Round? A fellow competitor reminded me that she has competed at Nationals many times and has yet to qualify for Challengers, and I did it last year in my first trip! And, we came out the best of the rest of the Posse with two clean rounds. We live to see another trial another weekend.
I've been asked if this was Dally's last Nationals. I'm not going to say yes, or no. Quite frankly, I wasn't sure we'd qualify for this year, and we did. I know the qualifications have become tougher, yet again, and I'm not aiming to trial a whole bunch to try to get those points and Qs. I want to focus on LaMesa and her training--we're starting to finally click and come together, and it's time to put energy towards her. Dally will still be competing, possibly making a run at PACH2 (we have a while before we're even close, though). So, we'll see.
I'm proud of how our weekend ended up. I'm done being disappointed in myself. Time to move on and enjoy my time with both of my girls in the agility ring!