Flyer's 1st Trial - Julia Lane Intro Courses

11 Jun 2013Steve Schwarz

This past Sunday Flyer and I were involved in a lot of firsts! Flyer’s first agility trial was Agility at the Farm’s first USDAA trial and the first Intro level trial I’ve ever attended.

Flyer's first ribbon

Flyer's First Ribbon

I also think this is the first time we’ve trialed under local trainer and judge Julia Lane. Julia is one of the nicest people you’d ever meet and was just the right judge to have for an Intro trial. She kept everything moving, was very patient explaining the rules, answering questions for all the handlers, and I think the courses were appropriately fun and challenging. The trial atmosphere was very friendly and supportive which I hope helped the new folks too.

Intro trials are great, not only dogs that are new to trialing, but also for handlers who are new to USDAA games. There are a number of great things about Intro trials:

  • You can choose your jump height.
  • You can run "For Exhibition Only" (FEO) to train/use a toy in the ring. I did that in the Standard run to skip the A Frame and Teeter.
  • The courses are shorter with simpler challenges.

Here is an overview of the Intro program rules.

I haven’t seen many Intro course maps posted and Julia was kind enough to let me share hers here:

Julia Lane Intro Gamblers/Standard

Intro Gamblers/Standard Courses
Obstacle Legend

Julia Lane Intro Snooker/Jumpers

Julia Lane Intro Snooker/Jumpers Courses

It was a small trial (we setup, walked, and ran each course in around an hour) and everyone pitched in to help. Since everyone was busy working I only ended up getting our two last runs videotaped - thanks Dana and Ken!

I normally wouldn’t “trial” a dog with Flyer’s skills yet. We are still working on his A Frame and I haven’t (re)started training his teeter. But we train every week at the Farm and I mostly wanted to see if Flyer’s focus/behavior would change in the trial atmosphere. I’m happy to say I wasn’t surprised by how he reacted. At times distracted and other times a little aroused/excited. He was able to focus on me pretty well once we started working. Plenty to work on but I’m very happy.

Results wise I’m calling it 3 Qs and a personal Q. Gamblers let me choose a course without the A Frame or Teeter. Got to work weave entries and a tunnel to the Dog Walk - got some good speed and he held his contact both times. We got the gamble too - had to set him up right and beat him out of the tunnel to be sure he saw the 1st jump - got his first Q and a blue ribbon. Standard was FEO and I just skipped the A Frame and teeter and he was moving very nicely through the flow of the course. For Snooker I wanted to go for three sevens just so I could work on Rear Cross Rear CrossLearning the Rear Cross Jump Wraps Handling 360 Jump Wraps aka "Over and Over" - VideoJump Wrap Handling TipsJump Wrap/WrapJump Wrap Handling - With Video. I was out of position on the last jump of the last 7 and ended up crossing on the flat instead of the Ketschker I had walked. But I recovered and we got through the closing for a Q and 1st place. That was his most distracted run of the day. In Jumpers he was a little tired looking out in the car, but was better when it came time to run the course. I especially liked how he was watching me and was all excited when we came out of the ring. We ended up in 3rd place in that run.

Here’s the video of our last two runs:

Here are examples of some of the great photos taken at the trial by Whitney Rupp of Chops Photography.

Chops: Snooker &emdash;
Chops: Snooker &emdash;
Chops: Standard &emdash;

It was a wonderful and fun day!

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