Wow! This summer is turning out to be quite the scorcher!! We have had temperatures in the nineties for weeks now, with heat indexes in the triple digits! Very hard to get motivated to do any training. Even in the early morning the humidity is pretty unbearable. The boys and I have had a break from showing since the SouthEast Regional. Our first trial back was the Liberty Bell Class JRTCA Show in Dowingtown, PA. I just love going up to this trial. JRTCA shows are so much fun! The agility competition does not start until after racing is over, which means we get to sleep in, yay! The show itself is incredibly laid back and the people are so great. Just love our annual trek up to this show. This year, in addition to my three boys and Jeannette’s crew, our friend Nancy debuted her young dog, Dorsey.
I was a bit wary of the weather at the beginning of the week before the show. It had been incredibly hot all week and the show was being held outside on grass. Lucky for us there was a chance of rain on Saturday. Normally I don’t like running in the rain, but I will gladly take rain over the scorching sun any day! I tried to get some training in before the show. Zorro really needs to brush up on his weaves and I would like to get a faster teeter for him as well. I also needed to work Dasher over 12″ jumps, makes a big difference with regard to my timing when I run him at 12″. I was able to sneak in some short training sessions in the early morning in my yard and also at Jeannette’s. I kept the training sessions short and made sure everyone was hosed off to keep them cool.
We drove up Saturday morning and had rain all the way. Agility started around noon and we still had some showers although they began to taper off shortly after. Luckily we still had plenty of cloud cover which helped somewhat with the heat. I had all the dogs entered in Agility I, Agility II, Agility III and Jumpers. At the Liberty Bell show, top scores from Agility II and Agility III are taken to place a “Agility High Score Champion” for each day. On Saturday there is also a perpetual trophy given to the high scoring dog. Jeannette and Surge won it last year, we were hoping that either Jeannette or I would be able to take home the trophy this year as well. Zorro, Zip and Dasher all had great runs all day. Zorro had some trouble finding his weave pole entrances, but he sent out great in the gamble in Agility III and had pretty good contacts all day. I was pleased considering we have not been training much at home and he had not been to a show in over a month. Dasher and Zip were fantastic. Blazing fast as usual, but both Zip and Dash were really listening and had some great stuff. Zippy had some not so great contacts on the A-Frame, he kept coming to the side of the frame instead of staying in the middle of the board on the down side. Made a note to myself to work on this at home as I don’t want him hopping off the side of the frame. In Agility III I caused Zippy to miss a jump and then back jump it, other than that he had a great day. Dasher was a superstar all day. Great contacts, super weaves and he was loving the lower jump height. Even though we should be jumping 12″, in typical JRTCA fashion, all the jumps were pre-set to about 8″- 10″. This is all fine and dandy with the dogs, but for me it means tighten those laces girl, cause you need to RUN!! At the end of the day they announce the placements and Dasher came in 1st place in all his classes which made him High Score Agility Champion!! WoHoo!! Jeannette and Surge got Reserve Champion, what a great day!! Nancy and Dorsey had some good runs as well so we all were flying high at dinner, so proud of our pups!
Sunday morning we all slept in, had breakfast at the hotel and watched some of our videos from the day before. We arrived at the showgrounds by 10:00 a.m. and had plenty of time to relax and find a perfect parking spot under some shady trees. The day was much less humid and with all the shade trees around the dogs stayed cool in the van. What luck we are having with the weather!! We had a different judge today than the day before so the courses today had some different challenges. Having a slower dog was definitely the advantage today. Zorro had a much harder time today staying focused in the weaves. He wasn’t finding his entrance and was slow, slow, slow once he got in. I am finding that Zorro benefits the most by having lots of short training sessions, something I have not been doing lately. I made a note to myself to motivate and try and get some short, solid training sessions in with Zorro more frequently. Dash and Zip had a pretty good day. Zip had some great weaves and was handling great but was steadily coming off the side of the A Frame in each class. I was able to mark his “cheating” with my voice so hopefully with more outings before our next trial we can nip this in the bud. I think I will bring our target back out to show him I want him on the middle of the board, not the side. Dasher and I had some bobbles on course, mainly with me not being able to handle as well as I could have. I was really working our start line stay as Dash has been pushing the envelope lately, he held his start line great all weekend. Jumpers was the last class of the day and we ended on a high note with everyone having some nice smooth runs. Jeannette and Figit ended up Reserve Agility High Score Champion on Sunday and Nancy had a super run with Dorsey and got a 1st place. Another stellar weekend!