Friday, June 24, 2011

Trial Preview

Tomorrow we're heading up to the Deerfield fairgrounds for a trial.  Here's a really quick preview of what's to come:

Round 1:  Snooker Level 3
     There are seven dogs in our class!  That's a record, I'm pretty sure.  Part of me wants to go for a high point total, but I think I'm going to abandon that ship.  It's the first round of the day and I want to set a confident precedent.  With that in mind, the goal will be a flowing, motivating course with enough points to qualify but not necessarily enough to win the class or even get a ribbon.  If we qualify, we'll be done with level 3 snooker and we'll move on to level 4!

Round 2:  Wildcard Level 3
    This is our level 3 debut in wildcard.  So long as I remember that now I need to do two of the two-point obstacles, I'm thinking I should be alright.  I'll have to keep a heads up for potential off-courses as I walk the course, especially if there's a dog walk anywhere in sight.  Other than that, wildcard courses are usually pretty flowing, so we'll just try to run fast and have fun.  There will only be four dogs in this class.

Round 3:  Standard Level 2, Round 1
     If we qualify here, we'll finish our level 2 title!  I don't have too many plans in mind other than wanting to really handle well enough to pull out that Q.  Level 2 courses, even though this one is shared with level 3, usually aren't too hard.  I think it should be a pretty straight forward run for us, but anything can happen!  There are 14 dogs between levels 2 and 3, but I can't tell how many are in which level.

Round 4:  Standard Level 2, Round 2
     If we don't qualify in round 3, we get another chance here.  It should be easier, too, since usually I think they just run pretty much the same course backwards in round 2.  If we do qualify in round 2, then I think this becomes a dummy leg.  They've said there are no move-ups on the same day between rounds.  It's a little unfortunate because levels 2 and 3 are running the same course, so if I were to qualify I would have done the same exact thing as is necessary for a level 3 Q, but I understand that they have to keep organizational things in order.  That means I'll have a choice.  If he's doing well and still has energy, I'd like to try to really push this course and take risks.  Maybe I'll try a lead out, or rear crosses...who knows!  The other option is, if his energy is not low, I could scratch him.  I don't want him to have any bad experiences in the ring, so we'll see how things are going.

In sum, tomorrow's weather is supposed to be quite wet, with 30-40% chance of thunderstorms all night. I've never run Jonah in the rain before, but in general he doesn't like it.  I wouldn't be too surprised if people scratch, which might make the day go faster.  We'll see.  We also haven't had great success trialing outside before.  So, tomorrow really might be more about overcoming adversity than having super, speedy runs.  We'll see how things go and do our best.  I'm hoping that between our tent and car we'll be able to stay comfortable and dry and that we can have focus in the ring.  

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