The States are the biggest trial of the year. They consist of qualifying events throughout the weekend (this year we had 3), and then the finals on the Sunday. I entered all 4 dogs this year, with the hope that 3 would get in the finals (Ink in novice, Shimmer in excellent and Terra in masters). I had no expectations for Red Dog as she is not really ready for the ring.
Saturday went fairly well, with Terra having a ripper of a run in the 2nd masters agility to win her heat, Ink winning a novice agility and Red Dog fluking a win in novice jumping to get in their respective finals.
Sunday morning was fairly busy, as well as trying to get Shimmer into her excellent agility final and Ink into novice jumping, there were also a lot of errors with the previous days results, meaning lots of trips to the office to try and sort it out (with an EXTREMELY patient and hard working chief steward, thanks Jan!)
Red Dog fluked another pass (and win), this time in novice agility, meaning she was in both her finals (my parents were very excited, but I warned them the chances of her going clear were minuscule!) Shimmer had a lovely pass/win in excellent agility and Ink won novice jumping to get in that final as well.
So, first part of the plan achieved (actually, over-achieved), with ALL dogs in their finals. Which meant 7 finals runs for me. Then, after the morning trial finished late morning we started waiting..and waiting..and waiting for the finals. The 1st lot of finals courses were up, but some people didn't know if their dogs had made it through. 6 hours later the presentations were done with results going out manually (due to a computer error), and the decision was made to run all the finals rings at once. I completely understand why the decision was made as by now it was dark, cold, and raining. We were way WAY over time. However, it was a decision that made myself and many others very disappointed. The state finals have always been run ring by ring, with everyone sitting round and cheering on others runs and has always been special for the competitors and the spectators. Normally, it is like a 'mini nationals'. Unfortunately there was none of that atmosphere this year.
Not only that, with 7 runs I was clashing all over the place (and my parents who had come down to 'groom' for me had to go home by this time). The dogs got very little warm up, no cool down between runs, and no time at all to get focused. Despite that, they coped pretty well overall, except for the youngsters (mainly Red Dog).
Results wise I managed to get Shimmer round a very tricky Excellent Agility course which makes her
2013 Excellent Agility State Champion (500)
Terra had a lovely masters agility run which was well on track until she brought down a bar, and she was too slow in masters jumping. Ink brought down the spread again (she managed to do that all weekend, clearly more work needed there) in novice jumping and got called a refusal for not jumping on the table straight away in novice agility. Red Dog was fairly amped up by the evening and ran rather fast in novice jumping but lost it at the end, and she completely lost her brain in novice agility, which I had to run back to back with Ink, since they were waiting for me from another ring. No preparation time and a very excitable dog = not a lot of focus, a lot of screaming and lots of off courses!
So overall, very disappointing, and even more so considering that was Terra's last states. That actually was going to be the event she retired on, but I think I will run her again at the Royal as I want to give her a proper send off.
Unfortunately, in all the schmoozle that was the finals, I don't have any video, so I can't post Shimmer's winning run. Here are some vids of the dogs running in their heats.
Shimmer EA Heat 3 1st place:
Terra MA Heat 2 1st place
Ink NA Heat 1 1st place
Rosi NA Heat 3 1st place