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October 25, 2011

Autumn Agility

October 22 & 23, 2011 at FDR Park…what a glorious autumn weekend for an agility trial! This was my 4th AKC trial for the year, and will be the last until 2012. Hosted by Skyline Agility Club, the weather was very crisp, mostly sunny, no rain or mud…perfect weather for the dogs!

Saturday was perfect, Dandy qualified in both Excellent B Standard and Jumpers With Weaves for his 3rd Double Q. Tempo qualified in both Novice B Standard and Jumpers With Weaves to finish his Novice Agility and Novice Jumpers titles. I moved Tempo up to Open for Sunday, and though he ran great in Open Standard, we incurred two refusals (run outs at jumps) so we did not qualify. However, he did earn his first leg in Open JWW with one refusal. Dandy did not qualify in his Excellent Standard class as he was a bit wild and I was not focused enough to anticipate his early off-course. But he did qualify in Excellent B JWW to earn his 5th MXJ leg. So overall, each dog was 3 out of 4.

I ran both boys in the 26” class for two reasons. First, they are both jumping 26” in USDAA and I prefer to maintain the same criteria since we run in USDAA most of the time. The second reason is that AKC has a new rule that the tire jump shall be set one jump height lower than the true jump height.  In the 24” class, the tire is set at only 20”. The 26” class uses a 24” tire. Since my dogs must jump a 26” tire in USDAA, I feel the 20” tire could be dangerous for them. A 20” tire will encourage a flatter trajectory which makes the tire even more risky. I will eventually have to move one of them to the 24” class, once Tempo gets to the Excellent level, since the 26” class is so small that it’s very difficult to run two dogs in it. Maybe AKC will eventually allow a break-away tire for the safety of all dogs, and then it won’t be so worrisome.

Since Tempo was the only 26” dog in Novice and Open, he easily took 1st place when he qualified. But he was faster than all the 24” dogs, so there is no shame. Dandy took 2nd place in all of his classes; there were only 3 dogs in Excellent B 26”, but the competition was fierce in this tiny group. Had Dandy been in 24”, he would have had a much easier time getting a blue ribbon! But placements do not influence me when making my decision on which height to compete in.

Some VIDEOS from the weekend:

Dandy in Saturday's Excellent B Standard

Dandy in Sunday's Excellent B JWW

Tempo's debut in Open Standard

Tempo's debut in Open JWW with a Q

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