Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Pleasure was Mine

I am an AKC Agility Judge. Sounds like "True Confessions" doesn't it? heh...

One of the things I like about judging is watching the dogs work and do well on the courses that I've designed. In February, I got to judge for the Chuckanut Dog Training Club at the Fairgrounds in Lynden. Over the course of the weekend, there were a lot of good dogs running, some qualifying and some not.

Coincidentally, this trial was the first one for Winnie's dam, Tripper, after her maternity leave. As of that Friday, Tripper needed TWO "Double Q's" to earn her Master Agility Championship. (Double Q means that the dog earns a qualifying score in both Standard Agility and Jumpers With Weaves at the Excellent Level on the same day.)

Friday was an Excellent level only trial, and Tripper made errors on both the Standard and Jumpers courses, so didn't earn any qualifying scores. DRAT.

Saturday and Sunday the other judge was another friend who has Labradors, which was fun by itself. I enjoy judging with friends.

On Saturday, the timekeeper thought that Tripper didn't go fast enough, so I didn't check with Dan to see if she'd qualified in his ring. When I checked the results that evening, though, she HAD qualified in my ring! Sunday morning I checked and she'd ALSO qualified in Dan's ring - ONE Double Q to go! She could do it TODAY.

I was between classes and got to watch her run in Dan's ring AND IT WAS GOOD! It was too much to hope for...

My Jumpers course had pretty good flow. I made extra sure it was laid out well, and I was as inconspicuous as I could be while being able to see everything. You see, I am one of Tripper's special friends and she'd been stealing glances at me all weekend, just dying to come and say hello!

Here's the course map:

Imagine you're in the sky looking down on the ring. Each of the little symbols is an obstacle - in this case they are jumps - straight lines with little rectangles on each side have "wings" to make the jump wider looking, the straight lines with little "T"s on them are "wingless", the one with two lines is a "double" (has two bars to jump over) and the one with three lines is a "triple" jump. The one jump without a number is a "dummy" jump - one that the dog shouldn't go over! The 12 dots in a line (number 12) are the weave poles. Dogs have to weave in and out in a serpentine pattern, starting with the first pole to their left.

The curvy line is the perfect dog's path going from obstacle 1, all the way to obstacle 18. JP and the dashed line is the "Judge's Path" (for me), and the TS and RS are helpers in the ring. Agility takes a lot of helpers.

I had already judged quite a few dogs on this course, and knew it was going well. When I saw Lee and Tripper come to the start line I held my breath, crossed fingers and toes and watched. Tripper started, over 1-2 and around to 3 ... continued 4-5-6-7... through the serpentine 8-9-10... over the triple 11... finished all 12 weaves correctly... jumped around the pinwheel, 13-14-15, and headed down the final stretch...


It is traditional that the dog and handler run a "Victory Lap" when they earn their MACH. All reservations aside, Lee got Tripper to turn on the afterburners for her Victory lap. The whole room was cheering and clapping. What a THRILL.

I got to award Lee and Tripper the final Q for their MACH.
Winnie's mom became:

Int. Ch., MACH Winroc Pedal to the Metal, MH, TDX, FX


- Franna


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Woo Hoo! Would love to see a video of that victory run. What fun!

Dawn said...

Thats pretty cool. I would just like my corgi to get a leg in Novice. I cannot even imagine a MACH. Nice looking course though they always look do-able on paper.

Tina said...

Finally did some catch up reading. Wow! The dogs look great, Tripper did awesome, and the food, oh the food.... Wipe the drool off my chin now. :)