Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bo-Gee CPE Trial

Yesterday Carmen and I were entered in the Bo-Gee CPE Trial. I brought Bug along as the companion dog. This trial was at an indoor sports arena only 1 hour and 15 minutes away from me. Super! The footing was excellent, but the lighting was quite gray (not so good for a dog with PRA, at all). It was fairly noisy - although not an intolerable din - with basketball and soccer games going on in adjacent courts. It was also a two ring trial, Carmen's first.

When we arrived I found a place to crate and went to pick up course maps. Alas, they only had course maps for 4/5/C - all the lower level course maps had gone missing. Fortunately, I do a lot of NADAC and NADAC does not give you course maps to obsess over (a good thing for our minds I think). I copied the Snooker map as that was the only one I was really concerned about and took pictures of the maps later for my blog.

I entered Carmen in Jumpers (L2), Wildcard (L3), and Snooker (L2) - no Standard yet (weaves - although I plan to enter her in Standard in May at her debut trial anniversary).

I felt really confident about the Jumpers course. It allowed for a nice lead out and two easy front crosses.

Carmen had a different idea though and while I got my FC in with plenty of time I took my eye off her for a second and she had an off-course. The nice thing about CPE is you can still Q with an off course in Levels 1, 2, 3.

Here is how I ran the course with Ms. Carmen. The green is our first trip around, the red is her off-course, and the purple is the second loop. It was a nice course. Q/2. This was Carmie's final L2 Jumpers and her Level 2 Fun Games title (CL2-F). She is now in Level 3 Jumpers.

What was really fascinating was watching the Level 3 class. I was the Assistant Scribe so had a front row seat. There were some slight changes that made it so the course would run much smoother with an emphasis on rear crosses. I watched handler after handler neglect to cue their dog for a lead change and spin after spin happen. Now this is not penalized, but it is ugly. You could definitely tell who runs NADAC as those handlers would cue their dog for Switch.

I know Katrin trains with an emphasis on RC because she trials primarily in NADAC and she has fast dogs and feels it's a useful skill. We have discussed how some people do not even train Rear Crosses. I have stated repeatedly that I have a preference for Front Crosses. After watching this debacle (my opinion - not really as the the course was typically easy for the dogs - tough on the handler), I have decided I am going to have Rear Crosses with Carmen and Bug in my bag of tricks if it kills me. Katrin, are you happy reading this?! ;-)

Our next class was Wildcard. In Level 3 you must chose two B obstacles and one A. If your dog chooses for you, you need to change your plan on the fly. If you end up with two A obstacles it is an NQ.

There was a tight moment between Jumps 3 and 4. When I originally looked at the course map I planned on taking the B obstacle, but when I walked it it felt much better and smoother to squeak a front cross in there and take the A obstacle.

We did have an A-Frame perch for the first time ever. The other ring was right beside the A-frame and I swear to the good gods that Carmen got up there and thought, "Holy Cow!" She got right back to working with me though. Q/3.

Our last class of the day was Snooker and it was pretty sweet. The red jumps were in the corners which made it easy to plan a course with flow. The green line is our opening and the red is the closing.

I drew out two different plans and decided to go with the plan above - almost! My plan was after the third red jump to take the tire and the start the closing, taking the tire again. Ms. Carmen saw that A-frame and said, "Pretty please!?" So A-Frame it was. Probably less than a second of perching - due to the hub-bub and lighting.

During the closing she perching again an woo-woo'd at me, which was pretty funny. Q/1 - 47 points (you only need 28 for L2). This was Carmie's final L2 Snooker. She is now in Level 3 Snooker.

I liked the venue. I will trial here again with Bug, but not Carmen. I couldn't figure out why she was running so slow and then I noticed how gray the lighting was. I asked some other Schnauzer people who were there if they also saw the gray cast and they agreed it was gray and dim. One of my Schnauzer friends had a dog who experienced vision loss and agreed that the gray lighting would wash things out for Carmen. This puts the speed and A-Frame perching in a different light!

Due to her PRA I need to be very careful about where I run her. She only has an unknown, but limited amount of trials left and I want to make sure they are fun for her.


Judy C said...

I have a Pembroke Corgi. They are the funnest and funniest dogs ever. Comgrats on your 3. And good luck.

Katrin said...

VERY Happy reading that! :-P I knew you'd come over to my way of thinking eventually! hahahahaha. (and to think, the 1st part of my word verifiction is 'ablerc' heheh, that agree's too!)

Jules said...

Hi Judy, They are great dogs, I agree!

Yup, Katrin, even if I prefer Front Crosses I want to make sure I have teh Rear Cross in my bag of tricks. I am officially convinced it is worth making more of an effort! LOL.

Liz said...

Hi Julie
Congrats on a successful and fun day! It was definitely a unique venue.
Just curious-why not run Wildcard with Carmen on your right the whole time all the way to 5 instead of a front cross after 3 and then a rear cross at 5?


Jules said...

Hi Liz,

For a small dog, Carmie has a lot of pull and without the FC there I think 7a and 7b would have been REALLY really easy off courses for her. I guess I am greedy and didn't want to risk it!

How was Standard?

Liz said...

I understand! Standard was good for us, we got a Q and second place. I made sure I kept my eyes on Shelby the whole way through, and she definitely made me work for it. I needed to reassure her at the slatless dog walk and get her attention back after she stopped to take a look at the other ring on the A frame, but overall she was paying attention and working with me. It was nice to have an upbeat ending after the mess we made of our 2 snooker runs. :-)

Nancy said...

Rear crosses are the best, you will be so glad learned them once you get them down. My instructor beat them into us, and I am so glad she did. I use them 90% of the time.

Liz said...

wow-I was just looking at the photos from the event and the lighting is bad! It didn't seem so bad when we were there.