SUMMARY: It wasn't a perfect weekend, but it was pretty darned close.
Boost had so many nice smooth runs this weekend; almost like I'm running a different dog. For example, in her Standard round today, we were *there* until I gave a threadle cue when all I wanted was to pull her over a jump, and dagnabbit she threadled! So then, already faulted, I decided to try a risky front cross later in the course and pushed her past another jump. But she was so good!
Her contacts have been lovely all weekend, and the problems with weaves that were partially manifesting Fri & Sat vanished today.
She and her littermate sister Beck teamed for the Relay and had lovely runs, both of them, Boost just blazing fast. I thought we might place, but for whatever reason we were several seconds out of 1st place. Still, it was our 10th Q in Relay, giving Boost her Relay Champion title. Woohoo! (And her only Q for the weekend.)
Jumpers was lovely and fast and exciting, just one bar down I think.
Her opening gamblers points today were 8th highest out of 84 championship dogs (and I think that most or all of those have running contacts, where I'm still holding boost on her 2 on/2 off)--plan executed to perfection--but knocked the 3rd bar in a difficult gamble (only 6 of 43 22" dogs Qed!).
Tika ran the same gamblers opening course, which managed to be *the* highest opening score of all 27 Performance dogs--but I moved too quickly in the gamble and pulled her off the 2nd obstacle. Ah, well.
In Steeplechase Round 2, Tika ran the course in the fastest time of all Performance dogs... er... except that she didn't stick her start line, so when I led out and turned around to face her, discovered that she was blasting towards me full speed just a few feet away. Ergo I couldn't signal the turn over the broad jump correctly, so she whacked it going over, for a 5-second penalty. Even so, she placed 3rd among the 22" performance dogs of the 7 who ran, to bring home a small check. Less than the entry fee for Steeplechase, but, hey, I'll take it anyway. It was such a pretty run! And she got feet solidly into both her A-frames. I wanted total speed out of her, so had warmed her up lots, massaged her, really hit all her hot buttons to get her excited--and apparently got her so riled up that she just couldn't wait on the start line for my permission to go! Of all the times to decide to break her stay--
Tika also Qed in Championship (26") Jumpers, leaving only 2 more to go for that Silver, after which she'll be entirely in Performance. She didn't look comfortable jumping 26", though--landing heavily, it seemed to me, although she was less than 4 seconds off the winning dog, which isn't bad at all in this crowd. It might have been because it's the 3rd day of competition, she'd already run 11 runs for the weekend, it was getting pretty warm, and she's 8 and a half.
I actually scratched her from 26" Standard earlier in the day. Since she finished her 25th Standard yesterday, this one really wouldn't count for anything, and she just didn't look enthused when I took her out of her crate, and she hit the 26" practice jump bar 2 out of 4 tries while warming up, and I wanted to save her for Jumpers and Steeplechase. Seemed to work--her usual perkiness at being out of the crate resurfaced for the rest of the runs.
She and her partner took 2nd in Perf Pairs Relay out of 11 teams--missing first by .05 (five one hundredths) of a second! That's, like, a blink of her eye or one slightly faster step on my 2nd-dog lead-out. But I'm not unhappy with that lovely run, either.
I am exceptionally pleased with our weekend, for both dogs, and you all probably know that more often than not I come home saying "there were good things and bad," but this time I feel wonderful. Tika Qed in everything this weekend except the 2 gambles (so 11 for 13--great for USDAA), and Boost's runs felt consistently like Masters-level runs and not like Remedial Agility Candidacy. Go you merle girls!
I had all kinds of things I wanted to write about, but I'm tired and showered and fed and I think just about done with being awake for today.
(Photos by Erika from the May Turlock trial. Thanks, Erika!)