RACE Agility UKI Fun Match or UKI is A-OK

19 Feb 2010Steve Schwarz

This past weekend Meeker and I attended our first UK Agility International fun match and had a wonderful time. I recently blogged about my interest in this new venue and now that Meeker is back at full health I thought we’d give it a whirl.

It was held by the nice folks at RACE Agility at the new Forward Motion Agility facility in Kansasville, WI. It has been a while since we’ve run on dirt, especially in winter since we usually practice on mats, and my first time at Forward Motion. I really like the facility, it was bright, warm, spacious and had good footing.

The courses were designed by Bunny Kizorek and I really think she captured the flavor of the UKI courses shown on their website. Most importantly they were challenging and fun to run. The courses were USDAA-like but with more Threadles Mary Ellen Barry on Threadle HandlingTraditional Threadle HandlingSingle Sided Threadle HandlingThe Connection Between Threadles and Back SidesThreadle Sequence, and some Jump Wraps/Pull Throughs Jump Wrap Handling TipsJump Wrap Handling - With VideoJump Wrap/Wrap. Now that I think of it there weren’t any of the extreme pushes to the back sides of obstacles that I saw in some European Courses and the recent FCI championships; maybe next time :^)

Meeker and I ran in the Championship level in the three courses offered (Standard, Gamblers, and Power and Speed). I’ve tried to recall the courses from memory, I should have written them up while I was there… So here are my approximations of two of Bunny’s Championship level courses:

Power and Speed was new for us. It is a two part course. The opening or Power section was a contact and weaves section in which the team has to beat a set course time. If they are under that time they continue to the Speed portion of the course which is a Jumpers course. In the fun match there was no time set for the Power section so everyone could try the Speed portion. The Power section was straightforward but the Jumpers section was challenging and a blast to run!

I managed to cleanly execute two Backy-Uppy Threadles from 12-13 and 13-14 followed by an slightly late Front Cross Learning the Front Cross - VideoFront Cross on the way jump 15. I was able to send Meek to the tunnel and take off down the line and get the Front Cross after jump 20. For some reason I held back and Rear Crossed Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross jump 22; I could have been more aggressive and gotten the Front Cross. It was a lot of fun to run and everyone was cheering each other on as they ran it.

In response to some questions on the flow and difficulty of these courses I’ve added diagrams and comments below on how I handled them. They ran very nicely compared to how they might have looked on paper.

Steve and Meeker's Standard Plan

For the standard course:

  • I led out to the take off side of jump 1 and showed Meeker my left arm as though cueing for a jump wrap. Once he came over the jump collected I Shoulder Pulled/rotated to my right and took him around on my right arm over jump 3 and moved to jump 4. He went a little wide on the way to 3.
  • Due to the offset of jump 6 I stayed off of the weaves so I wouldn't step away from the weaves and possibly pull him out of the weaves. It gave me a straight line to the teeter. I left Meeker in the weaves so I could get past jump 6.
  • Then I left him on the teeter so I could drive to Front cross nice and early on 9. He took the jump already turning toward the tunnel.
  • Because of the tunnel/A Frame location and the Threadle following the A frame I wanted to take the A Frame on my left. So I picked Meeker up on my left arm coming ouf of tunnel 10 and stepped backward toward jump 11. That movement cued a jump wrap/pull through and I just ran toward the A Frame. It worked perfectly. I might have been the only one who did this.
  • Then it is just back-uppey threadle handling where I rotated toward the dog walk once Meeker was moving toward jump 14.
  • Then I just maintained a parallel line with Meeker on my left through jump 17.
  • Once he was committed I supported jump 17 and the rotation to jump 18. Then I turned toward him to cue the jump wrap over jump 19 and rotated him around my body to get to jump 10.
  • I was ahead enough after tunnel 21 that I Blind Crossed it and we were off to the finish.
This was a lot of fun and Meeker kept moving nicely thoughout the course.

Steve and Meeker's Power and Speed Plan

For the Power and Speed course:

  • It was dog on left all the way to jump 5 and then I chose to Front Cross to insure Meeker took the A Frame coming out of the weaves. Most folks Rear Crossed the A Frame approach.
  • Then I supported him over jump 8 and slid across jump 9 and Front Crossed over the jump.
  • I then switched to a right arm and backed up for the wrap of jump 10. As soon as he was committed I moved forward to jump 11 to send him over.
  • I Front crossed again over jump 11 and again as soon as he committed I drove forward toward jump 12.
  • I knew if I didn't cue collection for jump 12 Meeker would land and end up looking at the back side of jump 13. So I turned in toward him slightly and called his name.
  • Jumps 13 and 14 I handled as a Backy-Uppy Threadle.
  • I was only just executed the Front Cross from 14 to 15, Meeker did take a look at the weaves before turning.
  • Send to the tunnel from the take off side of 16.
  • Run like hell down the line of jummps 18-20 and got front cross to jump 21.
  • Rear Crossed take off of 22 (I waited long enough that I could have Front Crossed)

So if you are looking for fun courses to run definitely check out a UKI fun match (and soon competitions) near you.

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