Such a strange weekend and kind of a weird place to trial. I had to ask a friend where the Jumpers ring was since we got there a little later than I had planned. That's when I found out I was the second dog in for Jumpers and the JWW ring looked a little like the set of the Ed Sullivan Show! I was a little surprised that I was in so soon as I thought they were running 26" dogs first and then 24" but Beth had moved me up to the 26" class for this trial. Hmmm...anyway being caffeine deprived and sick didn't help and our first run didn't go as planned. I got a little dizzy as I forced a front cross in after the tunnel & couldn't get where I needed to be to support a jump. Oh well...
Our Standard run didn't go as planned either but the first 2/3 of the run went great. The final loop from the dogwalk to the weaves and the jumps after seemed to not be Vizsla-friendly as both of Ruby's girlfriends, Penny and Lexi, also had problems and NQ'd in that area. Ruby popped her weaves as I found myself on the wrong side of the poles and tried a front cross. Then she took an off-course jump and it was a complete train wreck. LOL!
Then we had the THREE hour wait for Rally. River made his debut and did absolutely fabulous! He placed third with a score of 93. I was very proud of my little guy but I did notice that I got him out too early to practice as when we were in the ring he was slow to sit so I think he was tired of sitting so much. He also had a weird little reaction when his feet first hit the rubber mats, like "What is this?!?!" but he recovered very quickly. I also LOVE this judge - Robert T Self Jr. - this is the second time I've shown under him and he's just very nice, helpful and knowledgeable.
Sunday went a little better but I didn't push her for speed at all. My friend Kim had fallen twice on Saturday and Ruby wasn't that crazy about the AstroTurf. She took 2nd in JWW and 2nd in STD but had a nasty slip on her face when I did a front cross a tad late. I totally forgot to bring the stuff for her feet to help keep her from slipping, otherwise I'm sure she would have run a lot faster. I just wish she'd dig her toenails in like a lot of other dogs will do but she seems to run very high up on her feet. Not many points this weekend but we don't need them for our MACH; she earned QQ #17.
Another three hour wait for rally and this time I had heard the judge was rather "unkind." He was a substitute judge under whom I'll never trial again. Many people there told me how bad, mean he is but I thought that the course seemed simple enough; easier than Saturday's and we shouldn't have any problems...Ha! Before we went into the ring however, I had a woman with the club ask me a million questions about River, his breed, etc. It turns out she's from Animal Talent of Chicago and she thought he'd be great for commercials and print work. So she gave me all her info so I could send her some pictures of him and get his portfolio started. Maybe the boy can make us some money and start paying for Ruby's entry fees. LOL!
Okay here's the bad news: the gruff judge handled things a lot differently than other rally judges I've shown under in the past. Most of them say, "Handler #XX," and you walk into the ring. Most of them are also toward the middle of the course. He, however, was right next to the start line and said, "Handler #XX and dog breed," not good for us because he couldn't pronounce Kooikerhondje, gave me a dirty look and leaned in as he looked me up and down and made eye contact with River! I pronounced it for him twice and he just gave me another dirty look as River tried to say "hi" to him. Things were not starting well...I get River back a little. The judge makes me stand there for a minute and then says "Ready?" I say "Yes," and he says "Forward."
We started out okay but the judge followed us about two signs back and at the first stationary sign River tried to go say "hi" again. So tight leash and then he wouldn't perform the halt/sit right away. He was very distracted and sniffy though I thought River's 270's and 360 were nice and tight. The very last station was a call to front, finish right and I lost River again on the finish part when he went to sniff the broad jump by the edge of the ring. I got him to finish and walk nicely out of the ring but the judge NQ'd us. The highest score he gave out was an 85. I felt it was the judge's fault though. I also find it odd that I've only trialed under maybe 12 different Rally judges but I already have two that I will never show under. In agility I've trialed under close to a hundred judges and only two have question marks, like check what the surface is before trialing under them, or be careful what you say to your dog in the ring if this judge is in a bad mood, stuff like that. These obedience people are 'drunk with power' as my friend Amy would say.
This coming weekend we'll be doing Dock Diving on Saturday in Berwyn and agility outside in Plano on Sunday. I hope we finally get some nice weather. I'm really sick of the rain and cold; I think a dose of warm sunshine will do me some good. =)