Sunday, September 30, 2012

Scott County Kennel Club Trial - Part 2

Saturday was the day I had been practicing for and I knew that the challenges on Craig Josling's courses might be quite subtle.  First up was JWW.  Because I wanted Belle to run her fastest, I started out with her on my right.  Unfortunately, I got ahead and my timing at the tunnel was very poor and almost forced her into the wrong end.  I should have just lead out to the landing side of 2 and run to the tunnel with Belle on my right.  Much less chance of me messing that up.

Having cued too early once on this course and getting away with it, I lost total presence of mind and out ran Belle by what seemed an eternity to the weave exit.  I turned and faced her and ended up pulling her out.  Bad handler; poor trainer :(

Now for the subtleties of the course.  If the handler goes in deep to the tunnel and fails to get ahead of his dog, he will be forced to move in the direction of the unnumbered jump between 8 and 9 in order to not run into the wing of 9.  Next, if the handler is not far enough ahead of his dog going through the box for 11 to 12, his line into the box will drive his dog off-course to 19.  Lastly, tunnel 14 caused handlers problems both coming and going.

By comparison with the JWW course, the Standard course was pretty straightforward with no cleverly hidden potential off-courses.  My plan for the opening was to send Belle over 3 to the tunnel and pick her up from the landing side of 5.  However, after watching the runs before me, I realized that there was no good reason to use distance handling here, so I ran with her.

Almost everyone, including me, did a front cross or a blind cross between 9 and 10.  Most did a second front cross between 11 and the table.  I was hoping to achieve a tight wrap by cuing it with deceleration and a verbal "wrap."  I should have also thrown in an offside arm to grab Belle as she took off.  Something went wrong and Belle turned left upon landing.  I think it may be because I moved back and a little bit to the left to signal the turn.  Also if you look at the line from the 9/10 gap to where I ran for the post turn, it is trending left.  This is a sequence I want to set up and try to run in as many different ways as I can think of.

Surprisingly, very few dogs took the wrong end of the tunnel after the A-frame.  However, several did not pick the weaves as their next obstacle upon exiting the tunnel ;-)

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