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Friday, September 25, 2009

Courses, Hollywood Dog Obed. Club - 9/25/2009

I'm down in Southern California and it is very dry and HOT at 105 degrees. Lucky for me, my judging path was a saunter and not a marathon.

Some of the local exhibitors were starting a pool as to which judge would cave first from heat exhaustion. Apparently it's not uncommon for judge's to go back to the hotel with heat stroke.

Well I'll tell you, I'm feeling ill. But not from heat stroke...I ate way too much at the Cheesecake Factory. It was so good, I just couldn't stop!

Back to agility....Today I judged Excellent Standard and you'll notice #2-5 is similar to last week's NC course, however the rest has an entirely different feel.

Often times when I come into an area to judge, the local handling flare comes out. That was the case today as handlers maneuvered obstacles #6-8. I'll admit, my thought on how handlers would negotiate this sequence was different than what actually occurred.

In the diagram, I've got the handler's path in red and the general dog's path in green. Let's talk about the handler first.

I'd guess that 90% of the handlers did a front cross on the landing side of #6 and then added a rear cross on the take-off side of #7. Unfortunately, as you can see from the dog's path, most dogs either went to the right on landing after #7 or they had to do a hard adjustment to turn toward the left toward #8.

When I had designed this course, I had imagined handlers would treat this sequence either as a pinwheel where they kept the dog on the right (and possibly adding a front cross on the landing side of #7/take-off side of #8) or by doing a post turn over #7 so that handlers could stay on the left side down to the a-frame.

The area that most impressed me was #13 - #18 and the speed and distance handlers had. They were able to make this look smooth.

OK, on to other non-agility news. Before we began the agility trial, there was a film crew out at the park where we were filming an episode of the Mentalist. Ah, I just love that show! As I said to a few friends, I'm not a star chaser, but the thought of seeing Simon's smile 'live' had me rubber necking in hopes of spying him. Unfortunately no luck, but it was fun to be in the same place.

Tomorrow is jumpers and I'm hoping my judge's path is in the shade. Could I be so lucky? After judging, the club is doing a BBQ and Croquet is on the agenda as well. Ah, anyone know how to play????

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