Our regular judge (Lisa Rieves) was unable to come so Kimberly Ingraham covered for her. Nina…was Nina. A FAST Q and a Premier Standard Q were it for her for the weekend. Zhora was a Jumpers specialist, earning QQ #49 on Friday and qualifying in JWW on Saturday and Sunday too, all first places! She was running really fast and happy.
Nina Friday FAST (Q):
Zhora Friday Standard (QQ#49, second place, 30 points, 3.954 YPS):
Nina Friday Premier Standard (Q):
Zhora Friday Jumpers (QQ#49, first place, 17 points, 4.896 YPS):
Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 19 points, 5.028 YPS):
Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 15 points, 4.531 YPS):
It’s not that often that a 3 Q weekend feels like a success, but this weekend was one of those times! I was happy with my handling for the most part, and I was VERY happy that both dogs ran fast and well. Zhora especially seemed to find another gear (her Q Saturday in Jumpers was 2/10 of a second behind one of the fastest dogs we trial with). She got the zoomies, and really started running as fast as I know she can. That means I need to make some handling adjustments but that’s a-ok! Judge Michele Fletcher designed some really fun courses, which were an unusual combination of fast AND technical (many technical courses are slower, “city driving” sort of courses). They were really fun but quite tricky (Zhora was the only 8″ dog to qualify in Standard on Sunday).
Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ, nice run):
Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, second place, 18 points, 4.933 yards per second):
Nina Saturday Premier Jumpers (NQ because she didn’t read the forced front at the beginning, very nice rest of the run though):
Nina Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 33 points 4.2 YPS, she slid off the table with her front feet but pulled herself back up, no fault since she kept one foot on the table):
Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ, zoomies into the tunnel, barking at me, being a nutjob, really happy with her speed and drive!):
Nina Sunday Jumpers (NQ, nice run once we got going, nice weave distance):
Zhora Sunday Jumpers (NQ, nice and fast):
Nina Sunday Standard (NQ because I didn’t support the double after the triple):
Zhora Sunday Standard (Q, first place, 30 points, 4 YPS):
Well, our first NAC is in the books and I couldn’t be happier! I wanted to run well and qualify and instead Zhora qualified in all four runs (Premier Standard on Friday, and all three NAC rounds), and she finished in 21st place out of 135 dogs. She didn’t run her fastest (it was a very overwhelming environment), but she ran her heart out, I am so proud of her!
Zhora HATES having her picture taken!
Nina came along for moral support. Here we are outside ring 6.
Thank you so much Zhora for this awesome ride!
Rings 1 and 2
Rings 1 and 2
Our stall with Flat Sue (Sue couldn’t come because of injury, so we brought Flat Sue instead!)
Another “not our best weekend” (although Nina was a Time 2 Beat specialist, going 3/3 in T2B and knocking almost no bars!), and our last trial before the AKC National Agility Championship. The judge, Christine Bishop, is one of the judges at this year’s Nationals, so…it was interesting. Her courses were really fun, an interesting mix of fast and running and flowing with very technical sections. She’s in NAC mode, so we saw backsides and wraps and some interesting elements. Very fun. VERY glad Zhora finished on a nice Q today…
Nina Friday Standard (a nice start to the weekend anyway! Q, first place, 31 points):
Zhora Friday Standard (Q, second place, 29 points):
Nina Friday Jumpers (NQ):
Zhora Friday Jumpers (she crept up so far on her stay like a creeper that she knocked the first bar!):
Nina Friday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place):
Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ, she didn’t believe me about the second time into the tunnel, this was a fun course!):
Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, 19 points):
Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place):
Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ, uncharacteristic knocked bar, I think I showed too much deceleration for a wrap as only the second obstacle so she didn’t have much forward momentum):
Nina Sunday Jumpers (NQ):
Zhora Sunday Jumpers (NQ, the rear cross after the weaves set her up for me having to send her out to a jump which put her on the trajectory to the wrong end of the tunnel, also I didn’t indicate the correct end strongly enough. Actually, as my friend Sue pointed out, the real problem was that I was in her line to the correct end, I didn’t give her enough room and actually pushed her off the correct line to the wrong end!):
Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, second place for 8 points behind Zhora, there were only three 8″ dogs and I had two of them, so I ran them with just one dog between them, thanks to Suzanne Holancin for holding the dog I wasn’t running! Both girls qualified too!):
Zhora Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place):
Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, we did the EXACT SAME sequence in Time 2 Beat, and did it flawlessly, but I didn’t reconnect properly after the blind cross at the aframe):
Zhora Sunday Standard (Q, second place, 27 points, last run before Nationals!):
Some really nice moments (including crazy fast Zhora) but not our best weekend. Zhora earned two JWW Q’s, and a really nice Premier JWW Q (on a course where she and Denise’s Zealous were the only dogs to qualify, perhaps you needed to have a Z name to qualify?). Nina had some gorgeous runs (including a 5.5 YPS JWW run with one lousy bar down) but between us we couldn’t manage a Q. Judge Laura English gave us some fun but very tricky courses. I feel so lucky that Nina is running the fastest she has ever run at nearly 10!
Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 17 points):
Nina Saturday Jumpers (argh):
Zhora Saturday Standard (that jump to teeter section tripped up a lot of teams, we were no exception):
Nina Saturday Standard (some really nice bits):
Zhora Sunday Premier Jumpers (Q, first place, she really understands collection vs extension):
Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 20 points):
Nina Sunday Jumpers (one lousy bar, such a nice run, 5.5 YPS):
Zhora Sunday Standard (I didn’t connect with her after the jump after the first tunnel, which is what sent her off course):
Nina Sunday Standard (I didn’t front cross after the weaves, which is what sent HER off course):
We ran under Oksana Syrkin this weekend and actually ran on her courses (Zhora earned her MACH under her when she filled in for Michelle Fletcher last May). Fun, flowy, fast but deceptively technical courses again this weekend. Zhora set consecutive personal best Standard points totals Saturday (32) and then Sunday (33), and a personal best Jumpers total today of 21. Nina ran really well, she didn’t trust that she was right on a tricky weave pole entry in Standard today that cost us a QQ, I think if I’d verbally supported it more she might have stayed in.
Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ due to handler error at the end):
Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ, but those bars were down because of tricky angles, not plowing through):
Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 32 points, 4.076 YPS):
Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):
Zhora Saturday Open FAST (Q, first place, OF title finally):
Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 48, first place (beating Nina!), 21 points, 5.068 YPS):
Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, second place, 21 points, she didn’t get a refusal for the spin since she didn’t go past the plane of the jump and was quite lateral to it, hard to see on the video):
Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 48, second place, 33 points, 4.119 YPS):
Nina Sunday Standard (lovely run, should have told her she was right about the weaves):
Nina had her best weekend in I don’t know how long. One stupid handler error today kept her from a perfect weekend. She earned QQ # 17 (JUST THREE MORE TO GO!), and didn’t knock ONE bar all weekend! Zhora had a perfect weekend, earning QQ’s 46 & 47. Judge Lisa Rieves designed some fun RLH (that’s “run like hell) courses, which are our favorite kind. Quite technical, deceptively trappy, lots of fun. A double double Q weekend that was almost a double double double Q weekend!
Nina Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 17, first place, 17 points):
Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 46, second place, 15 points):
Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (first place, 10 points):
Nina Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 17, first place, 26 points):
Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 46, third place, 25 points):
Very fun weekend with judge John Defilippi (who is one of the judges at this year’s National Agility Championship). Roger O’Sullivan and Keebler earned their MACH 13, so nice to be able to be there to cheer them on! Nina ran beautifully, just handler errors Saturday and Sunday kept us from qualifying. Zhora earned double q’s #44 and 45 (she is now 1/4 of the way to MACH 3 already!) Saturday and Sunday. Friday was not my best day with either dog.
Zhora Friday Standard (NQ, I accidentally sent her to the off course tunnel after the double because I didn’t rotate fast enough on my front cross):
Nina Friday Standard (NQ):
Zhora Friday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):
Zhora Friday Premier Jumpers (NQ because I overhandled the jump before the second white tunnel):
Zhora Friday Jumpers (Q, first place, 19 points):
Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 44, third place, 18 points):
Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ):
Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):
Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ #44, second place, 26 points):
Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):
Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (Q, 8 points):
Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #45, first place, 17 points):
Nina Sunday Jumpers (I said “tunnel” when she was looking at the wrong end of the white tunnel, then training mode):
Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #45, second place, 28 points):
Nina Sunday Standard:
Zhora Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):
Judge Janet Budzynski is always one of our favorites. Her courses are quite technical (and we often get far fewer points than usual), but my dogs seem to do well on them, plus Janet is always delightful to show to, fun, energetic and very positive.
We had a double double Q Sunday, the last one of those was a double double Q Friday just two weeks ago! The girls ran so, so well, Zhora would have had two double Q’s if I hadn’t pulled her off a jump in Jumpers yesterday. Bad handler! But I didn’t fix it because she did exactly what I told her to do. Good handler!
In case you are wondering why I ask my dogs to lie down at the startline instead of sit (as many handlers prefer), it’s because some dogs end up leaning so far forward in a sit (because they want to get going), that they are “downhill” (to use an equestrian term, meaning that the center of gravity is shifted forward and more of their weight is on the front legs than normal) and this can make lifting off to get over the first jump difficult and more likely to result in a knocked bar. Theoretically, popping up from a down should allow the dog to keep their center of gravity in a more normal position, and make jumping that first jump easier. That’s the theory anyway! It also seems to be a more “grounding” position for my dogs, which seems to make the stay a bit easier to hold. I also like to set my dogs back at least a couple of strides from the first jump, to let them start running before they have to jump. I find they seem to get faster times if they have room to get some momentum going before they start the timer, and more importantly I think it’s easier on them physically.
Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, first place, 26 points):