I think what I enjoy most about the international courses that I have been setting up lately is figuring out how I to handle them without keeling over. Yesterday, Bud Houston's blog post included this South African Qualifier. (For Bud's analysis click here.)
The first thing I noticed on the course map was the long sprint from the #7 tunnel to the #9 jump and then the long return trip to that tunnel from the teeter.
Running a conservative handling path as shown on the left, I would have to cover about 375 feet. Using a little more distance, I can cut that by about 40 feet.
Although the difference in the two lead out positions translates into only a 10-12 foot difference, the lead out position on the right means I won't have to try to catch up with my dog right of the bat. It also does away with the necessity of having to do a side change between #3 and the dog walk.
However, the dog has to thoroughly understand the handler's cues to take the back side of #2 in order for that option to succeed. I tested Belle's ability to respond to those cues and discovered it was something we have to work on some more, so I set up this two-jump exercise.
Start as close to #2 as necessary to push your dog to the back side of #2. As your dog catches on, you can increase your distance from the jumps.
Just to keep your dog on his toes, vary the exercise by wrapping right or left around #2.
Here's the video of my two runs with Belle. It was a fun course to tackle.