Sunday, October 12, 2008

3rd Annual Hilltown Hounds CPE Trial

Where to start? I think, next to the Act-Up and Addicted trials in Wretham, this location might be my favorite place to trial. The location, Roaring Brook Farm in Conway, MA was stunning, the Hilltown Hounds club members were super, and the day was well run! The actual ring and crating area was in the barn's indoor arena with a dirt floor.

The day did not start auspiciously. I got to the barn and was told crating was indoors and parking was in a back field. Club members suggested unloading gear and then parking. I stopped my car, unloaded my gear, went to start my car and it wouldn't start. WHAT? but we just drove more than 150 miles, how is that possible? I called AAA and they said they would be out no later than 8:42.

The ring steward was kind enough to allow Carmen to run at the top of the 12" dogs for the first class of the day - Fullhouse. In Fullhouse the handler designs their own course. In 40 seconds you must accumulate 21 points (for Level 2). 3 bars, 2 "circles" (tunnels and tire), and then a "joker" sometimes a contact obstacle, the teeter, or spread jumps - it is the judge's discretion. Yesterday the Judge Jen LaPierre had two spread jumps and the teeter all worth 5 points. Hmmm!!

Carmie and I started at the tire with a lead out so I could take her into the arc that went three jumps, teeter, spread jump, jump, spread jump, tunnel. Carmen had a great teeter performance! Sometimes she creeps on the teeter and yesterday I must have timed my wait perfectly because there was no creeping! Perhaps she is also regaining/gaining confidence about it. I knew I had at least 26 points so I opted to take obstacles on the way to the table and finish before the whistle blew. We accumulated 30 points in 31 seconds. Yay Carmie!! Our first Level 2 Leg and 1st place.

I ran into John from Good Whippet who we see in Wrentham fairly frequently and know via the blogosphere. He said he had jumper cables and I was welcome to borrow them. I was speaking to a club member who did not have her "agility dogs" with her and was just volunteering. She offered to see if we could jump start my car. Since AAA had not arrived yet we asked John's wife Dawn for the jumper cables and went to give it a whirl. Success!! Thank you Alice, John, and Dawn! I called AAA and cancelled my service call. I will be bringing my car to the mechanic this week. I either need a new battery or something is going on with my alternator. : (

In between classes and working I took the dogs (I brought Bug as a companion) for LOVELY walks on the farm which is a working stable. Lots of horses, at which neither dog barked! Although Carmen was VERY interested in them, she wondered if they were something she could attempt to tree.

Our next class was Standard Level 1 (due to the weave woes) and Carmen NAILED it. She had a super run, but I congratulated her physically before I crossed the finish line - which the judge had warned us about during her briefing. Oh well - it was a GREAT run. I am just happy we got to run instead of sitting it out. Carmen wasn't worried about the A-frame or the mirrors on the wall next to the dog walk (for riders to see if they have correct form, etc). Not much phases her - part of the reason she makes such an excellent agility dog.

Colors and Wildcard are both pretty simple game classes and Carmen picked up two more Level 2 Qs and placements. During Wildcard I had specifically chosen the A-frame as the more "difficult" obstacle (Wildcard Level 1 & 2 requires 2 easy, 1 hard obstacle choices) because Carmen likes contacts so much. I thought about the fact that it was the end of the day and perhaps she would prefer the tunnel, and then changed my mind. Nah - she loves the A-frame when she's in alignment. Hah!! She was pooped! She said, "Tunnel please." I had time to call her off if I really wanted to, but I feel like part of the point of Wildcard is to think on your feet - so we did.

It was a very fun day - I wish we were there again today! Breeze Thru Agility is hosting a trial there in November and there are still openings. I am VERY tempted to go. I have to think about it - November is pretty busy for me with seminars. A weekend off or more CPE in a great location?

I will scan the courses tomorrow and post them. All in all a great day - even with the car issue!


ann-and-partner said...

Great post Julie! What a nice day for both you and smart girl Carmen!!

Diana said...

Wow, sounds like a great time (except the car thing) Diana

Blue said...

Sorry to hear about your car! Hopefully it's just the battery.

Sounds like Carmen had a great day.