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Saturday, July 12, 2014


Slightly delayed update, but after the nationals I went to Auckland for a 10 day holiday, and to spend some time with my relatives.
The nationals were great, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Queensland should be very proud of itself, it ran really well. Everything was good.. the grounds, the equipment, courses, course walking, it all ran well. Because we had 5 days we were finished by 4pm everyday (apart from the day they held the games..)
Results wise we did better than I expected, but not quite as well as I'd hoped.
Rosi travelled well, was a little concerned about the plane, but recovered quickly. Had a go on the practice equipment on Tuesday and started the competition on Wednesday. She had 2 excellent runs, and very nearly went clear in both..just a (slightly mean) refusal call on the very last jump in excellent agility. She had a clear and 1st place on the jumping course (getting faster, wider and more vocal as she went round the course!)
Thursday was open day, and I did not expect her to be able to manage the distances. She actually did OK with most of them, but Thursday was also the day she (re)started knocking bars.. managed one conservative clear in an open jumping which gave us a 3rd and a (surprising) spot in the final! Friday we had 2 agility runs and she did a nice clear in the first, to give us 1st place and another final (3 finals!) I had a rather large fall at the end as my feet disappeared from underneath me and I went with a rather large bang. Luckily this was AFTER she had just cleared the final bar! The second agility run she pulled out of the collapsible tunnel when I rear crossed it.. we don't see these in Perth anymore and I had completely forgotten to pull one out and train on it.

Saturday was games day, and the final ex jumping course. It also showed up a rather large hole we appear to have in her training: she won't take any tunnel entry unless it is on the side I am running. Too much Justine Davenport tunnel pull stuff I think.. we had a DQ on this run as she ran straight to the side I was on. Need to start training an 'out tunnel'. Games went well, with a second in both novice gamblers and novice snooker (with an missed DW entry, had to line her up and represent wasting at least 3 or 4 seconds). Big classes too- around 150 dogs. With the fabulous Benny we had a brilliant Strategic Pairs run to WIN the class! Both dogs nailed their sequences 1st go and Rosi approved of the jumps going down to 400 so she could run EVEN FASTER. National Champion Novice Strategic Pairs Champions (400). Yay!
Sunday was finals day.. and that brings it to the downside of having 5 days of competition. Lots of dogs and handlers feeling a bit tired by now, and Rosi definitely was (mentally if not physically!)
Open Jumping was first, and she pulled and early bar, to be followed with the wrong tunnel entry as I was not able to get to the side she needed to be.
Excellent Jumping was next, relatively nice course. I had to force a blind cross in to help her with the tunnel entry, which I managed fine, but sadly she ran through the broad jump. Aaargh! Rest was nice.
Excellent Agility was last, lovely course. She dropped the bar after the See-Saw.. very disappointing as it was well within her capabilities and she was 7 seconds faster than the dog that won it. But..that's agility for you! No good being the fastest dog in the world if you can't go clear.

Overall, its a pretty good effort. To make 3 finals at her first nationals and at age 2. Pretty happy with that.
We have a lot of things we need to work on.. she got her title at the nationals so upto masters agility as well as jumping. Her list to work on is as follows:
1) Taking the opposite side of the tunnel that I am on if cued (!)
2) Turns..turn ON the bar not after she has landed, especially bad when going at speed
3) Continue to grow her AF behaviour, they held up surprisingly well and she didn't miss one but I need to teach her a wrap under to a tunnel on cue and to continue to grow her understanding
4) Tunnels under the contacts, lots of these seen in masters and she hasn't done enough yet to be really good at them.
5)Keeping those %^&;$* bars up!!! (this will probably be an ongoing project..)
6) Threadles- not happy with her 'traditional' threadle performance yet
7) Backsides of jumps (although not a lot of them seen at all)- need to work on her straightening herself up so she doesn't splice the bar as badly.

Was very happy with her weavers and pretty happy with her DW. Start lines stays were great, as were her go-ons.

Now I am back in Perth I will continue to work with Tex as well.. the weavers are our next work-in-progress. I dithered with which method to use, and briefly tried the channels, but quickly stopped as the potential for error is just too great. Papillons don't cope well with errors (or mine doesn't, anyway!) So decided to use the trusty 2x2s (5th dog I have taught using them now). He took a good few weeks to get the hang of 2 poles, and we have *just* added the 2nd set. At this rate it is going to take 6 months.. On the good side, he is happy to work (as long as it is not on the grass, works on the sand only) and he is even coping with the odd mistake without shutting down. So we will see.. I am hoping he *might* be ready to go in the ring for the Western Classic next year.. he will be just on 2 years of age, we'll see.

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