Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rose City Classic 2012

Last weekend (Thursday through Sunday) was the big Rose City Classic dog show in Portland. It's held at the Portland Expo Center with two halls for grooming, one for conformation, and one for conformation, obedience, agility, and vendors. It's one of the largest dog shows in the country and attended by people near and far. Since Leo has some fear issues to overcome, I didn't feel comfortable entering him for all four days. Instead, I entered him in Jumpers only Thursday and Friday, the quieter days. This was his first time entered at the preferred level, too, and he'd be jumping just four inches.

In hindsight, it turns out I didn't have anything to worry about. He was all over it, amped up, super happy, completely tuned into me and the sport. That was a huge relief!

Since I was in attendance Wednesday for the working dog and Dane specialties, I was able to come over and get crates set up before all space was gone on Thursday morning. This is our spot - before the melee. I love having it set up by the curtain. Gives us lots of extra storage space that's also out of sight.

With Leo, my goal is to actually walk and plan the course for him, not Vegas. After running her for three years, it's easy to forget but my handling has to be so very different. And after this trial, it's apparent my handling will continue to evolve with Leo since he was seriously on fire.

For this course I planned on starting from the left. After sending him into the tunnel I moved out toward the #5 jump and my plan was again to front cross for the weaves. I knew that would mean me pushing out around the end of the weaves to be in position to guide him, but the front cross was the best option to avoiding weave issues. Despite my having done some significant training on the off side of the weaves, Leo still acts like he has no idea what the obstacle is when I'm on the off side. So I accommodate for now. One thing I learned...he was caught off guard with the weaves on top of the surface. We're used to running in dirt so with the rubber surface, the weave base is completely in sight. You'll see in the video, it caught him a bit off guard at first, I think.  I planned on being on the right for 7 through 9 then rear crossing 10, front crossing after 11 (or blind), front cross out of the tunnel and a turn to #15. 

Yards: 115
SCT: 55
Leo's time was 37.79 with a score of 100. He got first place which meant a green Q ribbon and a blue, too. Plus, that day they were giving medallions for first place finishers. He was so remarkably happy in this run. He was actually picking up speed as we went. It was an awesome thing to see, and a great way to run with my little guy. Couldn't be more pleased about moving him down to 4". 

With Thursday under our belt I was really looking forward to running Leo Friday and even wished I had entered him the remainder of the days. Hindsight is always 20/20 though, as they say, and I had no way of knowing he'd be completely okay in that environment. 

I also remembered I tend to forget I have a startline stay with Leo and just run with him. In this case, I remembered it and moved out a bit before giving him the release command. For this course, I believe I planned to run up the right side and rear cross going into 4, cut in behind him and come up the inside again for 5-8. Then I planned a front cross after the double and into the weaves. From there I was working the same side all the way. 

Yards: 96
SCT: 47
Our time was 30.04 - another super fast run for Leo! Despite the need for a second attempt at the weaves, he was truly moving out there, having the time of his life. I'm so glad because we were really struggling with time in those last couple of legs for his open title. This was the best decision for him. Although what I do find ironic is how high he actually jumps anyway. Hopefully in time he'll level out a bit and not clear the jumps by so much but at least he's not slowing to focus so much on jumping high enough now. That's the big thing. So two legs toward his NJP title. I couldn't have been more pleased. He was one super happy boy, confident, and loving the sport.

No comments:

Post a Comment