My agility buddy (and Odd Dogs DAM teammate) Amanda Stipe and her Foxhound Weaver got five perfect 100 scores to take 5th place overall in the 20-inch class at the AKC Invitational agility tournament. Way to go Amanda and Weaver!
Also, I had a fun weekend doing USDAA at the Blue Ridge Agility Club trial in Fletcher, NC. I had a couple of exciting successes with Lucy, but first the bad news: our DAM team came in dead last. All three of us contributed our share to the failure, but I was really disheartened that Lucy and I did so poorly. I blame it on my mental management--I'd had a stressful week and I wasn't feeling up to snuff on Friday, so I really don't think I was being sharp at all. Too bad it had to happen on a day when my bad performance helped pull down my team.
I spent most of Friday evening trying to get myself in a more positive frame of mind so I didn't blow the whole weekend (and I made sure I got a really good night's sleep). It paid off on Saturday morning when first Gomey and I got a Gamblers Q and then Lucy and I managed to squeak out a Snooker Super Q! Since the Blue Ridge trial attracts some of the top dogs and handlers in the South, I'm particularly proud of this one because we had to do better than some really awesome teams. Even though there were enough dogs in the class for three super Qs, it was still a big (and very pleasant) surprise.
I must say a word here for checking your results carefully, because we almost missed out on the "Super" part of the Q due to a scribe error--my final point tally didn't add up. So I went to the secretary and sure enough, the scribe sheet showed only 3 red+obstacle combos when we had actually done 4. The difference was only 3 points, but it tied us with the lowest SQ winner, and our time was faster than hers (always, always RUN for the finish line and stop that clock!). The judge clearly remembered my run (because it almost wasn't a Q at all but I managed to dramatically save myself from my own stupidity) and corrected the scribe sheet. Unfortunately I had to go tell another competitor, whom I had just congratulated on her Super Q, that I had yanked it out from under her. She was a gracious good sport about it and we decided we'd have a re-match at a future trial.
Lucy and I also earned a Gamblers Q on Saturday, and that was it, but I'm really happy about the rest of our runs despite whatever little thing NQ'd (or E'd!) us. We missed the qualifying cutoff in the Steeplechase by .28 seconds, mostly because she missed one of the weave entries and I had to re-start her (plus she just wasn't going her fastest, probably because the class was at the end of the day). Her Grand Prix run on Sunday was just beautiful ... except for the little off-course tire she did ... but she was fast, happy and really responsive to my handling (which is why I'm sure it was something I did that sent her off course!)
Gomey was a wild boy. In addition to his Gamblers Q on Saturday we got a Jumpers Q on Sunday, but all weekend running him felt like roping a rodeo calf. He was fast and he was happy, but he really, really wanted to make up his own course. So I spent most of my time reining him back to MY course ... with only moderate success! Still, he made me smile so much that I can't possibly care about whether or not we Q'd. I think we were very entertaining for the spectators, and every time I caught a glimpse of the judge's face she had a big smile, so I'm happy we were spreading joy in the arena. There are worse ways to spend a weekend.
A friend of mine got video of some of our runs, so I may be able to post them sometime soon. The Gomey videos are bound to be a real hoot.