I can't believe I am just now writing this blog post! Anyway, this past weekend was one heckuva weekend for my little Vallhund--I am so proud of her!
We travelled to a new facility for the Derby City Agility Association's Labor Day trial. This place was more in Louisville (whereas Buckner was outside of the city), but it wasn't too far of a drive--just 80 minutes or so, give or take some speed limits. The Mockingbird Valley Soccer Complex was very nice--great footing (no slipping, very cushy), however it is not air conditioned. The facility manager swore they can keep the building comfortable with their Big Ass Fans and "climate-controlled roof", but I don't think they were prepared for the cramped crating around the outside of the fields, which didn't get much air flow. But, I have to say, they worked very hard to add fans to blow air down the aisles. I had packed the girls' two fans, and froze a water bottle for Dally to lay on, but it was still unbearable. (More on Dally in a following post.)
LaMesa handled the heat very well, though--she amazes me what she can handle.
I had just two goals for LaMesa this weekend, and though they were maybe pretty lofty goals, I had a feeling we could do it--she's been training so well! The goals were to finish both her Excellent Standard and Excellent Jumpers titles. We needed one leg in each.
Saturday morning's Standard run was so nice...except I didn't trust her enough to do a rear cross after the A-Frame and was too slow on my front cross to direct her to the jump. So we had to do a little loop (refusal) to the jump, but everywhere else she was clean and fast--even her weaves! While it wasn't a Q, she still had the fastest time of all the 4 and 8 inch dogs!
The jumpers run was smooth. I learned from my mistake of not trusting LaMesa enough that I ran the course with almost all rear crosses (it was the type of course where you either had to do a lot of rears or a lot of blinds to a smooth run). She rewarded my trust with a Q, first place, and her AXJ! The difficult angle of the weaves off the triple jump was no match for "the Bitz"!
Sunday morning had a lot of call-offs in Standard--you really had to have your dog in tune with you so they wouldn't take an off-course. This run seemed like it went by way too fast and was way too easy--but Georgette told me those are the types of runs that tells you that you're finally a team, and it's finally clicked. And boy did we click. That run finished her AX title with another first place!
Her first foray in Masters Jumpers saw her tire out a little on a winding course. She knocked two bars (first time since she's been moved to 8-inch Regular)--the first bar was by a rear toe it looks like, the second she just took off too early I think. But she still nailed her weaves the first time, and was pretty fast--she would have placed 3rd in a very fast 8-inch Jumpers class with a time of 31 something.
So I've already moved LaMesa up to Masters for our next trials. I'm so excited to finally have her up to earning MACH points, QQs (which we have yet to Q in both Standard and Jumpers the same day, ever, in our career together, so who knows when that first QQ will happen), and see if we can get up in the points for the AKC Invitational! I know I have a great athlete and a superstar agility Vallhund in the making, and now I'll finally get to start showing it. But I also have to remind myself to take it day by day with LaMesa, not to get too cocky, and to remember we're still not a solid team--I make mistakes, which makes her make the same mistakes. But a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders--it's been over a year that we've been in Excellent, so it's nice to finally move up.
She's pretty proud of herself, too: