a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Tournament Silver and other Tournament Statistics

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tournament Silver and other Tournament Statistics

SUMMARY: Tika's new title plus mining my database for tournament minutiae.
Oh, yeah: Because Tika Qed in Steeplechase, that completed her Performance Tournament Master Silver title (25 Qs with at least 5 in each of the 3 tournaments). It took her 4 years and 4 months to complete her Championship TM Silver; it has taken 1 year and 6 months for her Performance equivalent.

Tika's Grand Prix History

I felt a bit of a pang when admiring a friend's Bye certificate from winning Grand Prix this weekend. (For regular-weekend Grand Prixs like these, a Bye cert gets you into Round 2 at a Regional.) With all of Tika's Grand Prix Qs in her life--37 to date--she has never won a Grand Prix and never earned a Bye certificate.

Wellll, OK, neither of those are strictly true statements.

Because Tika *did* win one Grand Prix--Round 1 at a Regional. Which doesn't get you a **certificate** because you're at a regional so you just go on to round 2 the next day anyway.

Oh, and there is another way to get into Round 2 at a Regional, and that is by Qing in Round 1 at a Regional. Which, in fact, Tika has done 6 out of 8 times. So the result is exactly the same as having a cert from an earlier trial; it's just that--jeez--it would be nice to have one of those certificates on our record plus one of those fancy Grand Prix first-place ribbons (which you don't get by winning Round 1).

She's placed 2nd five times. (Three times in Championship, twice in Performance.)

Her Qing rate is odd recently. After she moved to performance last spring, she Qed in 6 out of her first 7 Grand Prixs. And since then--only 2 out of 10. Gotta pick up my game, obviously!

It's a little hard to compare to her Championship record: Virtually all the time she was in Championship, you could Q with 5 faults, and she Qed 29 out of 47 times. But 20 of those were with 5 faults--ouch!

So in Performance, those first 6 Qs were all clean runs, and since then she's had 2 more clean, which is just about as many in a year and a half as she had in 6 years in Championship! Meanwhile, 4 of her 9 performance NQs have been 5-faulters, so in the old days those would also have been Qs. Ah, well. Not too worried about it yet.

But just in case I WANT to worry about something--

Boost's Grand Prix History and other sad stories

To add to the general feeling that I'm rushing madly nowhere with Boost, she's earned only 3 Grand Prix Qs out of 41 tries.

Not quite as bad as 1 Jumpers Q out of 56 tries, or zero Snooker Super-Qs out of 52 tries, but the three of these combined makes for a good excuse to get depressed and give up the sport forever.

What it SHOULD do is serve as a motivator for me to more regularly do the things that I know I could probably do to probably improve the situation, but for some reason those all fall into the category of Not Interesting Enough. I know what Susan Garrett (and everyone else who's successful at this sport) would say about that, and I can say it in my own words: Do something about it or quit whining and just enjoy being out on the field with your dog doing what you're capable of doing.

Bleah. I hate good advice that makes sense but actually involves work or ceasing whining.

I mean, she DOES have 7 Steeplechase Qs, which Tika only ever got 11 of in Championship, and she has 22 Pairs Qs, which Tika only ever got 27 of in Championship.

And I'm not too unhappy with 10 out of 70ish Standard Qs or 10 out of 60ish Gamblers.

But, really, I was in despair over Remington's failure to get more than one Standard Q out of 41 attempts, and that pales in comparison to Boost's unachievements. Or his only-one Gamblers Q out of 29 attempts (between NADAC and USDAA) that had me sitting in a corner sobbing pathetically on more than one occasion.

Of course now I'm older and wiser and don't tend to go sob in a corner over missing Qs. But, frankly, if it weren't for Tika, I dunno whether I'd have the strength of will to keep going in agility at this rate with Boost. Or, conversely, whether that would in fact motivate me more to do something about it.

And in conclusion

Have you heard all this before? Probably. Like a broken record.

OK, this was supposed to be a 2-line post about Tika's Pf Tournament Silver. Now it's back to the real world.


  1. Here's some advice that doesn't involve any more practice or training and doesn't even require that you stop whining :-)
    Let go of walking the course beyond what you need to get around it without an off course. In fact, don't even walk it, just stand there outside the ring and visuallze running it with Boost. You might be surprised at how well you do. I find that when this happens to me (missing most of or all of the walk through)I tend to run the dog rather than the course meaning I'm much more focused on reading the dog and not worrying about whether I can fit in that front cross I planned or whether or not I "should" do a serp or a cross behind.
    Try it and see what happens.

  2. That's an interesting thought. I just got back from a movie with an agility friend, and she was talking about her ring conflicts (now that she has a novice dog as well as masters level) and how she missed the walkthroughs for 2 runs, got just a really quick walk-through each time, and Qed on both. She said, mostly joking, "I might just give up on actually walking courses."

    I don't really walk courses much at all--I don't have the energy for it. I try to figure out where I need to be the first time I walk thru (which goes contrary to much wisdom that says once through should just be to see where the course goes), and then I walk it just enough so that I *do* know where the course goes. A couple of times this weekend I walked courses only 2 or 3 times and wondererd whether I was missing anything as people kept obsessing over them.

    Anyway, I might try your suggestion and see what happens. Can't do too much worse than I'm already doing with Boost. :-) On the other hand, doing pretty good with Tika, and they run the same courses, so we'll see.

  3. Don't stop whining about this stuff. If I didn't read it on your blog I would think I was the only one.


  4. Well, congrats on Tika's newest title!

    For different reasons I feel much the same way, with Lucy as my Boost. Walter, similarly to Tika, I think, just *gets* things. For Lucy, on the other hand, nothing comes easily or naturally. My lazy side can't bear the thought of doing oodles and oodles of totally basic drills just to get her the skills that Walter picked up on the fly. Would I drive two hours to go to a trial for Lucy only? Nuh-uh.

    And yeah, I agree with Lloyda!

  5. Of course Tika didn't just get it straight off. Tika had issues with contacts and start lines and (yes) bar-knocking, in addition to the feet-grabbing-in-the-middle-of-the-course thing.

    But for some reason those didn't seem as daunting.