Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wasn't that a party - agility version

It seems like a lifetime ago, but I suppose it was only a few weeks back that we were loading up and heading to Nanaimo for the AAC Nationals.  At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, everything was perfect!  The ferries were on time, the weather was gorgeous, the hotel was as wonderful as I'd remembered it, the site was great ... getting nauseous yet?  :-)  But seriously, I can't think of much that I would change.  From the fantastic volunteers to the friendly judges, everything was just spot-on.

This was Wick's third Nationals.  My only goal was to get a placement in one of the Jumpers rounds.  Wick is a really good Jumpers dog, but at the last two Nationals, we've had absolute trainwrecks in Jumpers.  On Saturday, our goal was met, when Wick ran a nice clean Jumpers 1 and placed 3rd in her class.  Because she is such a good jumpers dog, I wasn't surprised so much as relieved.  But when she got the gamble in Gamblers 2, plus a ton of opening points, and earned a 9th place ribbon (yes, they give placements to 10 - wahoo!), I was totally and utterly floored.  Two gambles in a month?  After almost a decade of futility?  Just ... wow ...

Speaking of wow, Rex blew me away at Nationals!  That he qualified was a huge surprise, and I had zero expectations of him.  Boy, did he bring it!  On the first run of the day on Saturday, Standard 1, he went clean and 20 seconds under time!  Holy #$@!  Then he went clean in Jumpers 1!  This is a dog who seems to be stuck in Advanced Jumpers, for goodness sake!

On Sunday, Rex had another surprising performance - only one bar in Jumpers 2.  Filled with enthusiasm, after waiting for what seemed like hours, Wick and I took to the course ... and promptly blew up.  WTF?  I think we had at least two off-courses,  one my fault and one hers.  Arrggh! So much for a podium finish for the Wickens.  Both dogs ran well in Standard 2.  Each had a refusal on the same jump - perhaps a handling issue?  :-)  So when all was said and done, Rex ended up out-pointing Wick by 10 - whodda thunk?  Wick finished 16th of 34 dogs in 16" Vets, and Rex was 36th of 84 dogs in 22" Regular.  And I, I was bloody happy with both of them.  For complete results, click here.

And here's a video of some of the highlights of our time in Nanaimo.  Next up - the Kingston Sheep Dog Trials!