Well the 9th Canadian National Agility Championships have been put to bed. No I did not “win” the overall championship, but I did have a great weekend.  The event was really well run, the organizers thought of just about everything, right down to having packages of  “Sham-Wow” rags at each ring!

The readers digest version of my weekend is that between Encore and Feature we won five of the six classes at the 26″ height. Yes, that includes my former achilles heel the “Gamblers” class.  Encore won both Gamblers and Feature placed 4th in one as well. Feature won Standard one day and Encore won it the next. Feature won Jumpers one day and the next day had the fastest time with a bar down. As I said before this is a cumulative event so even though both girls had great runs they weren’t all clean so we didn’t win but Encore came in 3rd and Feature 5th overall (which is terrific for a 26 month old puppy at her first ever National Championship!). 

One of my goals with Feature was to get enough points to be considered for next year’s IFCS World Championship team that heads off to England next May. World team points are awarded based on your placements in each of the six classes at Nationals. So first place earns 10 points while 10th place earns 1.  I will keep my fingers crossed that either one or ideally both girls did enough to qualify for the team. It would be nice to bring Feature back to her homeland for a visit! 

My favorite event of Nationals is always Steeplechase since that is a speed event. This year round one and round two qualifiers where both held on the Friday, which I thought was a great idea. The scores where added together from the two rounds (it was time plus faults) and top 10 dogs (in each my dog’s height classes) went to the finals.  My girls did great. I jump Encore down in 22″ and left Feature up in 26″ in this event. Both were seeded first overall going into the finals and both won!  

So we had a great weekend but still I learned A LOT! Will share more later this week about my most important lesson from the event.

For now here are the Steeplechase runs. Sadly my disc was full just as I stepped to the line with Feature for the finals so it didn’t get taped on my camera. If there is any of you out there that caught the run on your camera and could email me the MP3 or MP4 I would really appreciate it!  

Here we go with round one of the Steeplechase qualifiers. It was a fun, course, I think my favourite of all of the Steeplechase runs. It is okay for me to look back and have a favourite after the event, but you have to be careful with this at the event though.  If you want to be successful you can’t let yourself  “fall in love” with a certain style of course saying “this is Encore’s kind of course.” Doing so may psyche you out if the finals isn’t!  To see all of the course maps and results go to http://www.aacnationals.ca/courses__results.html

Round Two. My front crosses where a little late here, particularly with Encore. Partially because I was a little sloppy and partially because I wasn’t out to win, just to make it through to the finals.

and the finals!

Today I am so grateful to own such awesome dogs. Feature and Encore did everything I asked this weekend and Buzzy and DeCaff where very understanding while they waited in the RV.