One Snooker Q and Meeker AD

15 Jun 2009Steve Schwarz

Well we finally did it, Meeker’s first Starters Snooker qualifying score happened at the Cream City Canines USDAA trial in Wilmot Wisconsin this past weekend. It wasn’t without some excitement though. When I got the course map in the morning my spirits were buoyed when I saw it was a jump only Snooker course, so no running A Frame to factor into the closing sequence.

As I mentioned at our last trial I’d decided to create a plan and execute the plan as though it were a regular course. Without over thinking the “what could go wrong scenarios”. So I had planned on Red - 7 - Red - 7 - Red - 3 and then into the 2 through 7 closing sequence. The 7 point obstacle was a combination with the “b” portion a triple jump. To avoid an off course I decided to wrap Meeker around the triple and then take the 7a which sent him right to the next red. Well I guess I really turned back into Meeker before he took off for the triple so he was in full collection and rattled the top bar. Rattled it enough to drop it…

So there I was with my plan broken and not much thought about what to do next. I knew I had to take the other half of the 7 or I’d be eliminated. So I took it and the next red and figured I’d take the combination of 6s twice and then see where that left us for going into the close. It turns out we had to go past the red that started it all on the way to the number 2 jump. I actually called Meeker off and we were on our way and got the closing sequence.

I wasn’t sure we’d qualified since the bar was down on the triple; it turns out in USDAA you still get the points in the closing. So we ended up with 42 points (needed 37 to qualify). That Q gave us the last required element in Meeker’s Agility Dog title. That was a good feeling to not only get the Q but to do it while recovering from a handling error.

It turns out photographer Bruce McClelland was in the Snooker ring and took a really great photo of Meeker taking the first jump. I guess he has a kind of intense look on his face :^)

Jumping the First Red Jump
Image Copyright 2009 Bruce McClelland bamfoto

The rest of the weekend had its ups and downs, we qualified on both of our Masters Standard runs, although Meeker was very high in the contact area both times.

I choked on both Masters Jumpers runs. The first one, I was sliding across the front face of a three jump Pin Wheel for the final cross of the run and didn’t reconnect with Meeker and he continued over an off course jump. The second Jumpers run I kept him out of the off course tunnel but wasn’t patient enough on a Rear Cross Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross and pushed him off the jump.

The Masters Gamblers runs were both NQs. The good parts were I ran the courses I’d planned and was at the start of the gamble right when the buzzer went off. But we have no go out command so there was little chance of getting the gamble. Turns out we weren’t alone, only 2-3 dogs out of 30-40 dogs got each gamble.

So now that Meeker has his AD it will take one Advanced Snooker Q and one Advanced Pairs Q to get his Advanced Agility Dog title. Nancy thinks he should earn the ADHD, I say he is just excitable… So that’ll be our next goal to work towards.

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