A Touch of Summer in Fall on Long Island

In the spring and fall, agility trials are so plentiful around here that you might have a choice of several venues and locations on any given weekend. This past weekend there was Skyline’s CPE trial in Stony Point and two AKC trials – a small one on Long Island and a larger one in eastern PA. Door #1, door #2 or door #3? The CPE trial was the closest and being a Skyline member I rarely pass up a club trial, but I’m prioritizing on AKC these days so I broke with tradition and went with door #2 – the Long Island trial.

I’m not at all sorry I did! While participants at the other trials ended up slogging through a cross between agility and mud wrestling, we had great footing and not a drop of rain. If I were to be picky, I would have preferred it to have been about 10 degrees cooler and a little less humid, but it overall we lucked out big-time. A great judge and some fun courses rounded out the weekend.

Big news of the weekend was that Raven got her AXJ on Saturday on a very technical course which didn’t yield a lot of Q ribbons! We had some weebly-wobbly lines which cost us time, but her short body and responsiveness make her fun to handle on that kind of course.

I don’t always bother to take a toy when we win one, but I couldn’t resist that one – it’s a Halloween bat and it’s too cute!

I think Jayda would have done well on that course too, had she not taken down the triple early on. She was feeling rather stressed on Saturday and I think she was taking off early, because she ticked the triple on her Standard run also. After she dropped the bar, I decided to try a blind cross in part of the course – I was really itching to try it, but would never have had the guts if there was a Q on the line. It almost worked – I didn’t give her long legs quite enough room and pushed her to the wrong side of the jump. But she took the cue nicely and didn’t even look at the off course tunnel – had I stepped a little deeper into the pocket and given her the room she needed, it would have been really nice – that move is filed away for future use :).

It was a jumpers kind of weekend. Sunday’s course was promised to be a “wahoo” course, and it was, with lots of running for dogs and handlers alike. On Sunday Jayda was much more relaxed and this time BOTH girls Q’d in JWW. Raven started out very sluggish (she’s not a fan of hot weather) but picked up speed about 4 obstacles into the course, JUST squeaking by on time for her first MXJ leg. Jayda finished the weekend with a beautiful, attentive 1st place run, beating Raven’s time for her 4th MJP leg and the most points she’s ever earned in a Jumpers run! Wahoo, Jayda :)!

So the new Family Challenge is on: Which sister will get her Master Jumpers title first? Stay tuned!