2nd USDAA Agility Trial Recap

by Melissa R. on October 6, 2014

Agility RibbonsMy 21 month old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever pup and I headed out to our 2nd USDAA agility trial a couple weeks ago. After enjoying our first one earlier this summer, I scoped out a few more in the area to try. This one was indoors at a newer facility we had never been at so we were looking forward to it.

It was in a great location because it was only about an hour away from my brother’s home – so we made base camp there and were also able to enjoy some time with my brother’s family! It did make for an couple early mornings (no weekend sleeping in here!). We arrived nice & early on Saturday as Emme needed to be measured again (new dogs need 3 measurements before they can get their official Height Card and not have to be measured each time). I knew Emme was at a minimum 18″ so there really is no question that she has to jump 22″ in USDAA. So we got measured and settled in with our friends, enjoying the air conditioned comfort as it was very warm & humid outside.

Gamblers was up first, which I am loving – because it allows us to get used to the ring and play around a bit. Basically Emme can run whatever she wants and do whatever she wants as long as we are under time and get the “Gamble” at the end (usually a 2-3 sequence of equipment, set at a distance). And in fact, Emme DID do whatever she wanted! Run over here… run over there… Say hi to that person… say hi to the judge, all while I was frantically running behind her trying to at least get her to do a FEW things I said. It was comical, but her tail and head were UP having a grand time, and in the end she finally settled down and listened to me and we actually got the “Gamble” – a teeter, tunnel, jump sequence. So that made me happy.

Next up was the Standard course. Always challenging! We fared pretty well, given that Emme was still a bit distracted. We finished the course pretty well, but were under time so didn’t place or Qualify. Then that was it for the day! Being a new place that has not had USDAA trials in the area, there were not too many dogs so we were able to get back to my brother’s in the early afternoon and spend some time with the kids.

Sunday we packed up and headed back to the trial site, under gloomy skies. We started the day off with a bang with the Snookers course… We Q’d in this in our 1st trial, which I still can’t believe! I was SO NERVOUS about this course – it seemed a bit challenging for a Starter course, personally, but I committed to my plan and went with it. Emme did GREAT and we were only 3 points away from actually getting a Q again, except that I mis-cued her into the tunnel near the end (you can see it in the video below). In snookers, any mistake like that and you are basically done – but you can still get your points if you get to the finish line in time. So close! But proud of Emme doing the teeter twice, and making her contacts and listening to me very well. We even got a 2nd place! Here is the video:

Last up for the weekend was the Jumpers course. I have always loved Jumpers! My dogs seem to, as well. It’s just plain fun! Emme again did fantastic. And we would have Q’d but were slightly over time, but we did get 3rd place. I was concerned with her doing the 22″ jumps, but she seems to have no problem at all, and I think when we do AKC in the future, we will be blazing fast because she only has to jump 20″. Check out the video below:

Overall it was another fun weekend. We met several new people, even a few Toller owners (or soon-to-be!), and had fun with our friends. Came away with some great experience and are really looking forward to more competitions in the future. Stay tuned!

About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the DrsFosterSmith.com and LiveAquaria.com websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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