05 August 2013

EO Trip - Friday!

Friday was our first day of competition! I was excited. We were the first walk through group in the Team Agility ring, and since walk throughs started at the same time that maps would be distributed, we spent about 30minutes watching them finish building, wheeling and then eventually numbering the course, so that we would know it before stepping into the ring. Luckily this was in the main arena so we could watch from above! Convenient!

View from above
Team Agility was a good, difficult course, that I was not horribly worried about. It had challenges, but nothing that I thought was overwhelming for me and Strafe. We had the right skill set to really lay it down on this one!

#21 and 22 were changed to go back out the other way towards the exit gate, and the angle of the chute was shifted. One thing I did not like was that once you entered the area between the rings (you can see this narrow strip in the first photo above), you were no longer allowed to carry a toy or treats. And they shuffled you in there EARLY. So I think that when we came in probably 6 or 7 dogs before Strafe's run, he started to get a little bit too excited. It was a very "charged" atmosphere. Of course that does not excuse our faults on this course, but it might explain why when I stopped as he was jumping the broad jump, he actually accelerated away from me to put his body into the chute barrel before coming back and getting the weaves. And also why he came straight to me after the weaves, and then when I showed him the backside, he went out sideways to leap over the wall... and then also bounced off into the wrong end of a tunnel at the end. OK. Well. Not an impressive debut on the world stage then. All 3 of my teammates also went off course - we were a well-matched team, apparently!

Good things from this run? Well, he did the tire and see-saw easily. His contacts were very solid even when I left him laterally on the dogwalk. He didn't hit any bars. And I got this cool photo:

So. Team Jumping was a pretty tough course. I honestly don't think we had an easy weave entrance the entire weekend. Again, I thought we were well-prepared for this course, and there were no drastic challenges that made me fret for me and my dog. I did have to really trust his broad jump skills, and I am very glad I focused on that obstacle in training with Strafe, because it was a source of many faults over the weekend. Strafe handled this course very well, with me not pushing but trying very hard to run "well", and we ran clean and finished 12th! Our 3 teammates ALSO ran clean, proving again that we were a very well-matched team. Our team finished 54th out of 104 teams, right in the middle, basically.

So we finished Day 1 with a 50% rate of good runs. But at least we laid down our first clear run Internationally, and also placed in 12th with a run that made me happy but I felt had room for a bit more "push" in it. We went "home" pretty happy, and very excited for Individual runs the next day - I was sure if I could place 12th in a Team run, I could stay in the top 25 in an Individual run if we ran clean, meaning we were capable of making the Final!

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