10 March 2018

Wild West Regional, Day 2.

View from my spot in the carpark.

Me and the dogs spend the day in and out of the car, in a dusty carpark at a fancy rodeo grounds in Queen Creek, Arizona. The Regional is an extra fancy dog show, my goal was to come and run great and do well. The desert gave us a hot day in the 80's and blazing sun, and a chilly day with rain drops and some big winds. The desert has a good personality.

So far, after day two, humbling learning experience is more what happened. There was some great, some pretty good, just like the rain that came in on Saturday afternoon, a bit of a surprise of a shit storm.

Banksy's magic superpower skill is not to hit bars. Hitting a bar in practice or a dog show is a few and far between event. Not impossible, but highly unlikely. In the last two days, over 7 runs, 5 bars.

Two of the were in in the first round of Steeplechase. Even with her fast time, two bars on top of that, 10 seconds added on to her time, five each bar put her a few dogs below the cut off line. Her first time not making it to a second round steeplechase. That's her thing, where she shines. That was a goal, to make the final and do very well, and very much not accomplished. Ouch.

There was a bar in Biathalon Jumpers, Biathalon Standard, Team Standard. The Biathalon standard bar cost her the win. All three of those runs were great, she ran beautifully, but I couldn't make a save on the two Es. Her Biathalon standard run was on a course that made me so happy, because it was the kind of course Banksy shines on. I wasn't wrong, so we had a great time on it and maybe that will be the highlight of the weekend. Nice lines on big wide open spaces, with tricky little turns in between.

When we E, I know where it comes from. We E in practice, I go back and redo. I don't know how to run her perfect. Sometimes it happens, but a lot of times it doesn't. So an E just verifies that, we're not there yet, there are flaws, and we have a whole lot further to go to get better.

I tried to not freak out about the bars. I talked to friends who had their opinions on the footing, so very different than what we've run on before, and that I should try to run her a bit differently than normal on it, which actually helped a lot. So that was good, instead of freaking out and scratching her from all her runs, I tried to run her a bit lighter than I normally do and it didn't eliminate the bars but certainly helped. I love my agility friends, they are smart and reasonable and give me good advice.

My other humbling moment was my low pressure team. Since they were not hell bent for a Q, I decided to not run trying to Q, like I tend to do in team. I picked out strategy courses that I thought Banksy would like, not to get the top points. I was successful in that and had really nice Team Snooker and Gamblers runs, super fast, no bars, and decent points but not winning. And a very happy Banksy for the lines I picked for her.

Not so great in Team Jumpers or Standard, the Standard run was a shit storm and we barely survived. That's happened before, on a weirdly similar course. I hate dogwalks into stupid walls with tunnels nearby. The Jumpers just had one fatal error, costing an E. I believe that our team came in last place, we didn't stay to run the relay.

Banksy coming in last place. That was the other ouch. I don't fault my team mates, I fault myself for not bringing the team up! That's what teams are for. Sorry casual agenda, karma is a bitch.

One more day, just Grand Prix finals for us. Banksy is amazing, I can only hope to run well enough to try and help her win! Win or lose, we always leave the ring the same way, first me literally dragging her out, then we run to get her toy and a piece of cheese and we take a nice walk together where I tell her what a star she is. So no matter what, she knows how amazing I think she is. Thanks Banks! 

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