SUMMARY: Maps, videos, and brief discussions from this last weekend.
Saturday Masters Standard
The opening of this course was interesting, because I was the only one I saw who ran with the dog on my right. It worked very nicely for both of my dogs, but I have a good "Right Through" (which goes against the Darrett system but is OH so handy in cases like this). Saw lots of dogs knock the #6 jump or get a refusal, as that was a pretty challenging rear cross to get in. 15 of 47 big dogs Qed on this course.
NOTE: As always, the course map doesn't exactly reflect reality: you could actually set the dog into a stay before jump #1 so that she could see the Aframe from that position. Made a difference (to me, anyway) in whether you worried about the dog going off-course into the tunnel--which we saw some of, even with handlers on the opposite site.
Another frequent problem was 12 to 13. Several people who handled it with a single front cross before 13 got an off-course onto the back side of 17. I saw some successful serpentines of 12 and also the front-cross equivalent--both before and after 12. I did a rear cross, as did others, thinking I'd get a tighter turn to the table. Worked OK for Tika but Boost still went wide, although we survived. The other main off-course problem was 15 to 19.
Saturday Masters Gamblers
Posting this mostly because I have videos, in which you can see:
- while I think that I am directing the dogs clearly and distinctly--my body is flapping around all over the place
- Tika miss a send-out to a weave entry--and she's supposed to be my GOOD dog-- (and that was twice in one weekend with the same sort of send in gamblers); something to work on
- Boost go under the tire repeatedly
- that the reason that I couldn't get Boost out over the jump after the teeter was because she didn't stick her contact and wait for a release, self-released to come towards me.
Steeplechase Round 1
Another case where the course map isn't a perfect reflection of reality. The line over 3-4-18 was a bit more obvious to the dogs than shown here. That's very important to note, because that was the most common off-course.
People probably split half and half on whether they kept the dog on their left and pulled to #5 and rear crossed #6, or led out towards the tunnel to do a lead-out pivot and run with the dog on the left over #5. And about the same number of dogs went over #18 instead of 5 using both handling methods, so your timing and body language had to be good in both cases. The down side to the pull method was that it left the off-course tunnel wide open, which some dogs took.
The most successful lead-out pivots had the handler standing pretty close to the entrance for the #12 tunnel, so that when they turned and ran towards #5, they were running straight at 5, not having to veer past #4.
#7 to #8 was more of a time waster than anything, with the dog turning back to the handler often. Some people ran around the left side of #7 and the Aframe, but I don't think that worked any better.
Lots of people worried about the 10-11-12 line. There were lots of refusal-type errors at #12 tunnel entrance, usually with the handler over-pushing and blocking the dog's entrance into the tunnel, but I don't recall seeing any actual off-courses over the #4.
Another big choice was whether to front cross between 17 and 18. I tried that with Tika, who flew off the Aframe and went straight for the offcourse #6, which I saved her from, but she hit the #18 at such a bad angle that she knocked the bar.
Master Snooker Sunday
Of interest because of the unusual layout and no contact obstacles. Hope you can read it with all my scribbles.
Most Super-Qs were earned with a 4-5-7-7 plus 2-7, although there were also some 7-7-7-4 and sometimes a 5 instead of a 4 in both sequences.
My numbers on the map are close but not actually the way I handled it. If the top of the map is north and the left is west:
- West over the first red (southwest corner) to the back (west) side of 4a, to 4b.
- to the southeast red, run around the outside to the 6a tunnel and the 6b jump.
- South over the northeast red, turning the dog toward the west, which made a straight line over 7a to the south end of the 7c tunnel, to the 7b jump
- south over the northwest red, wrap to the east, over 7b into 7c and east over 7a.
- Threadle past the northeast red to the east side of #2 (which was NOT bidirectional in the closing).
- Might be hard to read, but the jump that serves as both #3 and #4a is set up to force you to backjump. The 4a was bidirectional in the closing, so that if you felt strongly about it, you could bring your dog around and do sort of a figure 8 over the 4a after doing the 3. But that wasted a lot of time, set the dog up badly for the straight line 4b to 5, and also provided more off-course opps to either side. I saw only a couple of handlers try the figure 8. It actually worked very well to blast the dog straight out over #3, because there were no obstacles out there, and as you and the dog blasted into the open area, then you turned, called the dog, and went back over 4a-4b-5 in a straight line, and because the dog had moved fairly far beyond the #3 jump, it didn't have the look or feel of a backjump.
Masters Jumpers Sunday
It was 6:30 in the evening. I was really tired. Tika sailed comfortably through it, taking 4th place of the 12 remaining dogs (lots of attrition at the end of such a long weekend), and I never really did communicate clearly with The Booster--too bad, because I felt that it was a nice, flowing, speedy course.