Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hamilton Dog Training Club Rally Trial

Early this morning, we drove to Fairfield, Ohio, north of Cincinnati for Hamilton's one day Rally Trial. Hamilton has always been one of my favorite clubs -- very nice people and they give wonderful awards. I was much more calm for this trail, since we were so successful 2 weeks ago. My only annoyance was that the judge didn't make individual copies of the course maps for us. It was hard to get a feel for the course by crowding around one posted copy and standing along the ring gate looking at the signs. There were more than 35 people in Excellent, so it was tough to get a good look at the map or course.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Lysiane from Lysiane's Westie Report in the parking lot as we were unloading. We were able to tape each other's runs, and I'm hoping the video gives her more reminders on things to blog! ;-) This was my first time watching Lysiane and Riley in rally, and they are very good! Lysiane was also very nice to help me load up my stuff after we were done.

I was also glad to see Dick Clark Photography already set up when I arrived. Dick does some of the best indoor obedience and rally photography I've seen. I have some nice shots of Devon and Reece doing rally from April 2007. I asked as he was coming in how the black dogs were photographing, since he'd been to the obedience trial yesterday. He responded he got some great shots of a Flat Coated Retriever and Portuguese Water Dog yesterday. Great! Dick did get some really nice photos of Ian doing rally today, so look forward to those in the future!

Rally Excellent B
Ian's score: 96 points out of 100

Ian did a wonderful job on this course. It started with a moving down, walk around your dog. This is a new sign and one we hadn't really perfected (but I have asked Ian to do it before today). With the new rules requiring a minimum number of Excellent signs in Excellent (one I wholeheartedly support), the courses are more challenging. We also had pivots both ways, three steps back, the offset figure 8 and the sit, call you dog to front sign. 

The offset figure 8 had two stuffed "babies" or dog toys as distractions. Ian noticed them very quickly upon entering the ring; in fact before the first sign. He always knows when something is "different." He held it together until the three steps back, and then broke away to investigate. I gave him some hard commands to return, but I should have just let him look. Once he got over his curiosity at this oddity in the ring, he did a lovely job. I had several people laugh that he hardly even glanced at the toys when they were SUPPOSED to be the distraction!

After this Ian finished the course with no more errors. In fact, he did the best job on his sit, call to front sign yet. I could tell Ian was less stressed than the last trial, and so was I. Other than the call off from the toy, I thought we both did very well. And did you notice our score? Ian held his honor! Yeah! This is the first in years! Maybe that correction at the last trial and less nerves on my part did the trick. Ian was just out of the ribbons on this run, and since there were more than 20 dogs, I was pleased.

Rally Advanced B
Ian's score: 96 points out of 100

This was another really wonderful run. The course changed enough to get rid of those hard signs. I was even more relaxed since I didn't have to worry with the honor. Unfortunately, Ian forgot that "come" means to a front position. Of course I acted like it was the most brilliant front ever, but it cost us 3 points. The bump near the end got us for another. With a couple of 99s and a couple of 98s and several 97s, our 96 probably landed us in the upper middle of the pack. Hey, it's RAE leg #17, with two great runs and two great scores; I'm pretty happy! And did you see that tail wagging? He's really acting like the Goldens, now (not really, but I like the tail wagging)!

1 comment:

Lysiane said...

Do you like how you can hear me apologize every now and then in your videos? Sorry bout that! ;) I tried. I also like how in the excellent video you can hear the conversation with the pregnant lady about her belly, etc. Congrats on #17! It was good seeing you this weekend. Thanks for taping us too. It doesn't look as bad now as it felt then. ;)