Steve & Meeker - Columbia Individual Open Jumpers

10 May 2011Steve Schwarz

The Americas and Caribbean Agility Championships were held in Bogota Columbia in March of this year. The courses were quite challenging. I’ve been more and more interested in running courses with International challenges and I picked out David Powell’s Individual Open Jumpers course to try at home. I’ve redrawn the course in US dimensions in case you want to try it yourself (I understand the course was even more wide open in real life than it was shown on the diagram):

Course Setup (click to enlarge)

I set it up right after work a few weeks ago and got a chance to run it a couple times before it got too dark and cold. It is a little too wide to fit in my yard so I crunched the two sides in slightly. I was also in too much of a hurry to put wings on the jumps, at that can substantially change how the course handles.

I recently joined Linda Mecklenburg’s online forum and I also posted this course to get her group’s input. I’ll share my handling successes and failures. You can join her forum to get the benefits of the group’s thoughts.

In the diagram below there are three handling options shown. The black handler line is how I planned to do it, the red is how I first ran it (not how I planned it), and the green is my second successful attempt.

Handling Strategies (click to enlarge)

  • I Lead Out a couple steps with Meeker on my right arm. Then showed him a Left Arm for a Front Cross before he lifted for the jump so he knew to turn left in collection. I completed the Front Cross and had him on my left arm on the landing of the jump.
  • I had planned (black handler line) to Push Meeker to the back side of the jump and Front Cross over the jump on the landing side so I could show him the chute on my right arm. That would let me Rear Cross Rear CrossLearning the Rear Cross the take off of jump 5. My thinking being, if I was behind he would curl to his left and a push would straighten him back out and back toward jump 5.
  • Instead I ended up Scooping him over the jump (shown in red) and keeping him on my left arm on the way to the chute and jump 5. I was far enough ahead that I thought I might meet him at the end of the chute. No dice, he beat me out of the chute, curled in to me, and when I pushed forward he took the off course jump 6.
  • My other solution (in green) after jump 2 was to keep Meeker on my left arm, move past jump 3 and Front Cross on the take off side of the jump. That put Meeker on my right arm on the way to chute. When he beat me out of the chute I could push him over 5 and Rear Cross.
  • From there on I was able to run my plan (as shown in green).
  • Once Meeker was committed to the back side of 6 I took off down the line and got around the standard of jump 7 just ahead of him. Then it was a send to tunnel 8.
  • I didn't want to go in the gap between the tunnels. It would have definitely put me behind him. He sent so nicely that I was able to run the straight line, while supporting jumps 9 and 10. Then he caught me at the tire, where I Rear Crossed on the flat to turn him right over jump 12.
  • I picked Meeker up on my right arm (effectively a Front Cross)) to tighten up his line. Then I sent him over 13 and showed straight line motion directly to the weaves; turning 13-15 into a Single Sided Serpentine.
  • I drove to tunnel entrance 16, Front Crossed the exit and picked Meeker up on my left arm going to the take off side of jump 17.
  • Front Crossed the take off of 17 and gave a slight push over jump 18. Then it was another Single Sided Serpentine down the final two jumps.

If I had spent a little more time walking the course before trying to run it I might have been able to try/succeed with my black handling line.

The course is too big for me to put my video camera in a position where it could see the whole course. So I got the start/middle of the course, but you can’t see the right side of it at all. I taped our couple runs before the rain/darkness took over. I had “slow” Meeker that day, he just wasn’t moving all that fast. It made some of the handling easier than it would have been had we run this at a trial!

How would you have handled it?

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