|Tika's weekend ribbons at the top (qualifying on the left, placements on the right); Jake's at the bottom.|
We got lots of compliments both from people who know us and from people who saw us run last year while we were having the foot-grabbing, contact-popping, start-line-leaving, etc. problems.
Tika Qed 8 out of 10; of the missing 2, one was a dumb handling error and the other was one of very few knocked bars for the weekend. Took 2 2nds, 7 1sts, and one 5th.
Jake Qed 9 out of 10; of the missing one, he was a high-scoring dog but I got greedy and went over time and in that class the rule was over time=no Q. Took 6 1sts and 4 2nds.
Basic trial statistics: This was a very small trial, limited to 350 runs/day over 5 classes, which means a maximum of 70 dogs--divided into 6 levels and 6 jump heights. (Some levels and jump heights have more dogs than others--e.g., 4" jump height had only 1 dog at any level.) On average, if we ignore the 4" jump height, that's only 2.3 dogs competing directly against each other at any time. In reality, Jake competed against 1 other dog all weekend; Tika against from 0 to 4 other dogs (on average, there were 2.5 of us). Tika, however, really earned her first places, as you shall see.
CPE is kinder in time limits and number of faults allowed, but in fact both dogs truly earned their Qs this weekend. In CPE, levels 4, 5, and C (championship) (and sometimes 3) run the same course, just different SCTs and fault limits. So I can compare against all dogs at those levels.
|Saturday||Standard||Flawless, nothing even resembling a refusal or runout. Faster than all 4/5/C dogs except (the extremely fast German Shepherd) Diva, who beat us by .5 second but had a bar down.|
|Jumpers||Among the fastest dogs although a handler error made an offcourse into an extra tunnel. But no bars down! No Q; 5th place.|
|Jackpot (Gamblers)||Nontraditional with 2 on-course gambles that you could perform at any time; needed only one to Q. Each worth 15, 20, or 25 depending on how far you got... she got one 25 and then knocked a bar in the 2nd one but did it beautifully--1st in her class and 4th-highest of 28 4/5/C.|
|Snooker||No contacts, wahoo! A flawless three 7s and 2-7, fastest among all 39 3/4/5/C dogs.|
|Full House||(Design your course like gambler's but with certain obstacles that you must complete.) In the rain after dark. She ran past an Aframe so missed 5 pts (friends watching says that they thought I had done it deliberately, so it must've been a gross handling error) but still took 1st in class and one point short of highest among 47 3/4/5/C dogs.|
|Sunday||Standard||Tika left the DW early so I made her stop, then waited until she Touched on the Afr, so we were slow; then knocked 1st bar on a serpentine. Half a Q (like NADAC).|
|Snooker||Again no contacts; an almost flawless three 7s and 2 thru 7A--knocked the last bar on #7 combo; 1st in her class and faster than all the dogs that successfully completed 51 pts.|
|Jackpot||Similar to Saturday, except there were 3 gambles, one 15, one 20, one 25--she went perfectly out PAST a dogwalk entrance to the beginning of the 25 (a tunnel facing away)--but ran past the tunnel entrance, too. Got the 15 and 20 perfectly. 1st in her class; 4th highest again overall.|
|Wildcard||(A short standard course but with some obstacle choices; you must take a certain combination of hard and easy choices.) No contacts again, VERY fast, no bars down--and an aussie named Mesa, whom I never saw run all weekend, beat us by 1.4 seconds on this 81-yd course! A little scary. But Tika was still 1st in her class and 2nd only to Mesa out of 49 3/4/5/C dogs.|
|Colors||(Three 8-obstacle courses intertwined. You pick one.) Tika has a problem with this class because, unlike most classes in CPE, a knocked bar is an NQ at all levels. Last run of the weekend. She has knocked only 3 bars in 9 classes so far. BUT--She wouldn't stay sitting at the start line. In most classes I had to stop and tell her once after leaving her at the SL. This time I had to tell her about 5 times, and then when I finished my lead-out I waited until I knew she wasn't moving before releasing her. She knocked the 1st bar, dagnabbit, first time all weekend for the 1st bar. So NQ. BUT she did the rest flawlessly and was the fastest of about 45 dogs even with an Aframe EXCEPT for Mesa who beat her time soundly again! Still, a 2nd place in her class.|
|Saturday||Standard||Missed a weave entry on a fast start (I was ahead of him); in CPE this is just wasted time but in other org's would have been a fault. Otherwise nice; got his contacts with me reverting to his original modus operandi of yelling "Contact!" and then he stops where he is.|
|Jumpers||Not superfast but nice and clean. Outside the ring, in lots of ways, I notice that his back legs aren't always working the way they should. He does very well for an arthritic dog.|
|Jackpot (Gamblers)||Highest score of all 3/4/5/C dogs! One of those courses in which age & treachery (I mean experience) wins out over youth & speed. He got 20 points on each of the 25-point gambles and took a bunch of extra obstacles that I hadn't intended that turned out to be worth more than the extra 5 points on the gambles. Huh.|
|Snooker||Ran the same course as Tika, got 3 7s and 2-7. Both dogs ran nicely; Jake was 7 seconds slower than Tika over the same course with a time of 38.12 seconds. In other words, Jake is more than 20% slower than Tika. I don't often get to compare them directly where they're running the same course and both are essentially flawless. They had, overall, 50 seconds in which to complete the course, so neither dog is at all droopy. A total of 12 dogs, including mine, out of 39 dogs got 51 points on this course.|
|Full House||An excellent run although I got greedy and lost 2 of my points by being 2 seconds over time. What kills me is (and I've done this so many times before) that, at the last minute on course, I thought to myself, "hey, I can squeeze in a couple more points than the way I planned it if I do *this*--and then it turns out that my original course would have earned us about 2 more points and NOT lost us 2 points for a net gain of 4 points. And I always kick myself afterwards and then I end up doing it again some other time.|
|Sunday||Standard||Starting to get light on his contacts again, but this time otherwise very nice.|
|Snooker||A nice smooth 3 7s and 2-7; same course as Tika again but enough slower than other dogs to earn only a 2nd place. 16 other of 43 dogs also earned 51 points on this course.|
|Jackpot||See notes in Tika's. Got the 25 pointer and 15 pointer perfectly but trying to send to the 20-pointer, which I thought was *easy* for him, he instead went out to a set of weaves going directly away from me, did them perfectly, then much to the audience's amusement, turned around and did them perfectly headed back towards me again. Among the highest-scoring dogs again, but again I got greedy on my way to the table and did one more obstacle--and ended up over time, but in this case the penalty was no Q.|
|Wildcard||Fairly fast even with 2 sets of weaves. Same flawless course as Tika's, but his 19.77 seconds was noticeably slower than Tika's 15.44. Standard Course Time allowed was 38 seconds!|
|Colors||Ran a different course from Tika to avoid the dogwalk. Nicely done with just one drift away from me but we reconnected before he went offcourse. Good enough for 1st place.|