Agility,  Courses

UKA Osberton – Judging

I judged for Agility Antics at Osberton in October, which turned out to be a gorgeous warm day with no rain at all, perfect! I had a big ring on lovely flat ground, mostly even, and the grass was cut! There were some very very old remnants of cowpats, but not a single dog stopped to sniff so wasn’t an issue. We were finished just after lunch, my Ring Manager was very efficient and we were pretty strict on course-walking etc.

Course plans are all below. Nursery and Casual ran over the same course as Beginners (with missing seesaw/weaves as appropriate!). The only real change I made was getting rid of the long-jump after 3 classes (Novice, Senior, Champ). It was a complete pain to change after every height level and I got fed up. The second tunnel (on the left of the course plans) in my Steeplechase courses was rotated slightly to allow a better entry/exit, but no other changes.

Unfortunately I forgot to make a note of all the course times! I can remember the Champ Steeplechase II because I set it a second or so faster than the matrix suggested (controversial, oh my!). All the clears were under by a few seconds, so I think it was fair. It was a very fast, very open course but I didn’t want to encourage anyone to go for a lazy, easy Q. Steeplechase should be about speed! The Novice II also ran well, with just a few unfortunate run-bys catching out the fastest dogs.

Mixed results for Agility; I didn’t mark many missed contacts, so that’s a plus! I wanted to set courses which challenged the handlers rather than the dogs, giving them optional paths depending on their dog’s strengths and weaknesses. I don’t know if it’s acceptable for me to comment, but I’ll do it anyway? By far the best at this were the Novice handlers! They tended to discuss the course with each other/their trainers (?) and really worked to find the best routes to give their dogs the clearest information. The Beginners handlers were the worst (sorry Beginner handlers). I think they were all caught out by 13-15 and forgot the start of the course! I anticipated the majority of Beginners running up the left-hand side of the Aframe, and then rear-crossing at the tunnel. Almost nobody did, and so tons of dogs got refusals at the tunnel, or picked up the wrong tunnel entrance. Everyone did great at 13-15 though, so I think it was a case of not seeing the more subtle challenges in the course. I will bear that in mind for the future.

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