I really don't know what I was thinking when I decided to enter Nari in a trial that was outdoors with no cover at the end of May in North Carolina. It was our 3rd USDAA trail (in Chapel Hill, NC) and I obviously wasn't thinking because the first day was the coolest at 80 degrees while the other two days were in the high 80's, low 90's. Aaron bought us a battery operated fan and I had some cooling bandanas for Nari and lots of ice. Luckily the trial was super efficient so we only ran until 2 pm each day. We only really had a problem with the heat on the first day when Nari simply refused to go in any tunnels or a chute. I really don't blame her because I put my hand inside of them and it felt like an oven in there!! Despite the weather we did really well - came home with 7 Q's, four 1st places, three 2nd places and two 3rd places. We didn't place on our Gambler's run because that was the run that Nari refused the tunnels and so I spent some time trying to get her to just go in one tunnel and she spent a lot of time yelling at me for it :) And here are some highlights:
First run of the weekend, Starters Jumpers - decided to go all out on this one and try a bunch of rear crosses which I have always been too scared to try at a trial. Wow - we got through that course in 20 seconds (SCT was 31 seconds) and it was clean, all the rear crosses were perfect!! I looked back over my online records and I've only seen 1 sheltie and two BCs run the SJ courses that fast before in the trials we've been to before!! After that run, we had several people come up to us to tell us how great the run was and how fast Nari is.
Grand Prix - I decided to try the tournaments out this trial. I only had a couple of minutes to walk the course, but it was 19 obstacles and the most I've ever done before was probably 15. It went pretty well, I started Nari too close to the first jump and she knocked that bar and then had a refusal so we had a total of 10 faults and took 3rd. We got our weaves perfect, though and I only got lost in the course once!! Oh, and we got through that course in 51 seconds (SCT 54 s)!
Steeplechase - for this tournament there is two rounds. The first round Nari popped out of the weaves early because I was anticipating the next obstacle (which my teacher always tells me not to do, sorry Ace!) and we got a little lost on that course but still completed it. Well, I thought because the run was so crummy that there was no way we were in the finals so I went up to the ring right before they started to see if they needed any volunteers. Well.... turns out we had made it to the final round and we were the first dog!! So I got 30 seconds to walk the course and then grabbed Nari. Wow - we had a clean run (even though we had to do the weaves twice, she was perfect on them both times) and completed it in 47 seconds and got 3rd place and won $7.66!!! As I sent Nari over the finish line I yelled because I was so excited we completed it and Nari let out an excited yell with me, everyone thought it was super cute. And everyone must have thought I was crazy because they told me I won $7.66 and I probably acted like I had just won a hundred. Really, I was just so excited that we even made it through the course without being eliminated and we were both so tired.
Monday Gamblers - Nari finally got a Gamblers Q!!!!!!!! She's always been good a sticking right at my side and the past couple of weeks I've been working at getting her more confident with distance work. I was just so happy to get her work the joker away from me and racing through it without even looking back for me.
With all of those Q's, I'm pretty sure we finished our Starters Standard, Starters Snooker and Agility Dog versatility titles!! Such a great weekend, I can't even believe she did this well with the heat. Everyone kept saying what a great hard worker she was and that she was walking around looking so proud of herself. I could tell she was just the happiest dog in the world this weekend :)
Here is a picture of our ribbons and our check for $7.66 (Aaron said they should have given out those fake big checks, that would have been hilarious!):