Raven Rocks!!

Well it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted, and there’s been a few trials since then. Raven has gained a couple of new titles in the meantime. Her official fancy name is now CH Rhonabwy (pronounced Ron Are Bee) Raven ov Bear CDX ADM JDM ET JDO SPD SD…phew I’m going to have to redo my entry forms to fit all that lot on! The JDO stands for Jumping Dog Open and the SPD stands for Strategic Pairs Dog and the SD stands for Snooker Dog. She again did a blitzing Snooker run for the maximum points and this time was the only dog successful at doing the “Suicide Seven”…it was more tricky to do this time so I thought her time would be way slower than the Midland run however she was only 2 seconds slower at 38.45 on a 63 seconds SCT. I stuffed Cypher up in this one…I thought he had missed a contact on the a frame (I was too far behind to see but the leap he did made me wonder) so I stopped dead and checked with judge Tom Weir – he got it apparently but by the time I turned back to him he’d gone off and done two weaves which it turned out non-qualified him. So Raven won that one easily.

In the Strategic Pairs Sue and I really got it together well – we ran a super fast course with no mistakes – one change over could have been slightly faster and it cost us about 0.25 of a second which meant we came 2nd instead. That was way cool though because our run was heaps better this time than last time. It won’t be long till we get a first place I believe. However another good thing about that run was that meant we both moved up into Excellent class and gained our SPD titles!
In Gamblers I walked the course memorising my route to take with Raven as I was running her first up in that class. I didn’t really bother thinking about how I’d run Cypher or the Sheltie Rumour that I run for friend Andrea. Raven decided my plan sucked and that dogwalks were for missing the contacts on – so in order to get our max points for the dogwalk performance and for me to instil in her the firm belief that contacts should be done we ended up doing the dogwalk about 6 times!! We got a few more points along the way but that dogwalk took up a lot of time!! Never the less she did qualify and we got our 2nd gamblers leg – one more to go for GD.

Cypher and Rumour were run near the end of the class – I kind of just stood around for a bit before hand and tried to memorise some sort of plan in my head about where we needed to go and what things I definitely wanted to do twice. So I ran the course with him we did our weavers twice, the dogwalk twice, the a frame twice, the spread jump a couple of times plus a couple of tunnels and tyres, the whistle blew and we headed off to the gamble which he also completed nicely for a pass and his 2nd leg. Then not long afterwards I ran Rumour who went really well for me just missing out on a couple of points on the 4 weave obstacle but we timed it nicely so that she virtually ran straight into the gamble when the whistle blew. She also got a pass. However when it came to presentation time there were about 22 passes. I was busy writing them all down because I keep the results for ACWA’s website and when they got to 8th they called Raven’s name out – I wasn’t surprised at all given the time we wasted doing 6 dogwalks! But then they got into the placings and neither Cypher’s nor Rumour’s had been called out. Turned out Rumour came 2nd and Cypher won Gamblers!!!! I was stunned and had to double check it was true when I went up…apparently he gained the most points in the opening sequence! Something like 38 points and Rumour got 36. I was amazed I have to say but still very proud that he could do that at not even 2 years of age!

Raven didn’t do any good in the morning’s regular classes but Cy was a good boy – he gained his 3rd leg of Excellent Agility with a 2nd place and he also (in only his 2nd turn in Masters Jumping) gained his 1st leg of JDM! He was 8th out of about 12 as we did have a slight wobble near the end but still for only his 2nd try I was very pleased.

Then we had this last Saturday double trial at Gosnells. I was hoping we’d have finished off at least one title on one of them as Raven needs 2 legs for her ADO as does Cypher, and he also needs two more for ADX. Well I don’t know what Cypher was thinking but he was most un-Cypher like today non qualifying in 6 out of 6 runs and knocking a bar in 3 of his runs! And a couple of runs he just seemed to think he knew where he was going and didn’t need me at all! Thankfully Raven saved the day – she quallied in the morning on the Masters Agility course, we didn’t exactly get a smooth line of jumps home and I had to micro handle that line a lot so we came 2nd by about 0.5 of a second. I was very happy for the clear! Then in the afternoon we went straight from the Masters Agility ring to the Open Agility ring and I think she sensed my frustration at her having knocked the very first bar in Masters Agility because she ran like a BC possessed in Open Agility, kept her bars up and we won that class easily giving her leg #4 for her ADO. 1 to go! She’s a funny girl this one – some dogs when you use your stern-I-mean-business voice would shut down – not her, she just runs faster and barks louder! SO now we wait….two more weeks and then it’s the Perth Royal. We never do any good there but we have fun trying! The crowds always enjoy her insanely manic runs, it’s be interesting to see what Cypher makes of the ringside spectators.

Raven wins Snooker Class

Today Western Australia held it’s first ever Snooker trial event since the introduction of the new games rules on July 1st. We had judge Clive Makepeace over from Victoria and he had the honour of setting the first Novice course. In Snooker Novice the maximum points you can earn is 51 if you do what is known as “Suicide 7”, in other words you try and do the set of 12 weavers three times before you do your closing sequence. You must attempt at least two red jumps (there were four out there today on the course you may only jump each red jump once) followed by a colour obstacle which garners a certain amount of points. Weavers are worth 7, dogwalk is 6, broad jump 2, tyre is 2 etc etc. A number of dogs attempted the “Suicide 7” and at least 4 did it successfully. So those 4 dogs who each had the maximum points then decide the placings via their time. I’m very proud to say that Raven got her 51 points and did the course in the quickest time of 36.39seconds (SCT was 55). I initially thought and still do really that Snooker would be the least enjoyable of the games simply because of the handling you have to do to get your dog to *avoid* doing obstacles that will immediately excuse you from the ring. It has the same stipulation as Gamblers – that the closing sequence must be completed without fault however that issue of only being able to do a red jump once and then running off to have to find another red jump after you’ve done a colour was always going to be a drawback for me! Especially if a red jump gets knocked down then you really have to make up a plan on the spot. With Cypher I didn’t labour under any delusions of being competitive with him, so I just picked a simple course which gave us our minimum points and then prayed that he’d stick the weavers in the closing sequence. He was a good boy and did pass his first Snooker trial. Raven also had a win in Open Jumping to finish the day off and Cypher came 6th out of 12 in the same class as well. Despite not qualifying in either Masters class or Open Agility with Raven I was happy to see that out of 5 runs today she had only knocked one bar (Masters Jumping) which had been helped by me not handling her to plan. Cy was away with the fairies in two of his runs – Masters Jumping and Open Agility and in Excellent Agility we were going great guns till about the third obstacle from the end, when he was convinced we needed to do a tyre despite me standing next to the broad jump, pointing at it and saying quite firmly “Come!”. He tried doing the tyre twice before he realised that we didn’t seem to be going anywhere. He finished with a flourish though as is his tendency these days. Oh well there’s always next weekend! See below for some great photos of the dogs in action today – for once Cypher looks like he’s moving with a purpose rather than just posing for the camera!