Keep Your Head Up

Wow, where can I even begin. Such an amazing 3 days in Tulsa, OK at the 2013 AKC National Agility Championship! So many incredible dog and handler teams conquering some really great courses. Congrats to all of the new Champions!

I don’t think I’ve smiled so much at a National Event as this one. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had with Smack. Here’s a run down of how our weekend went:
Warm-Up Standard: A pretty good run. He was very excited and raring to go; his see-saw was on the naughty side, and then he knocked some bars at the end. It puzzled me a bit, but I shook it off and forgot about it quickly.

T2B: I can’t exactly remember how I felt before this run. I was smiling, and made decisions on course that were risky but felt right for Smack at the time. We ran a clear round and ended up placing 5th. Needless to say, I was ecstatic.

Round 1 JWW: I’ll admit it, I was nervous. Stomach in knots, heart beating fast, nervous; I’ve always enjoyed that feeling. It just all fell together; another clear round, this time placing 8th. Only 1 second separated me from the first place time.

Round 2 STD: I was feeling good before this round. 26″ was in the main ring, towards the end of the day; the stands were full of competitors cheering on each team; I was excited for this round. Smack had an odd, unfortunate off course at the beginning. My heart sank, but then I went for it. Smack ran his heart out, and put in an outstanding time. It was the most fun course of the weekend. All I could recall at the end of the day was how exciting it was, not any of my handling choices. Glad I had video 🙂

Round 3 HYBRID: Sunday morning, I knew I still had a chance at Challengers round, but I needed a clear round in Hybrid. I was confident in my handling choices, and having already run the course with Beaux, I felt great stepping to the line, but perhaps a little too great. I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t worried, I was calm, and ok with whatever happened. Smack knocked a bar about mid course. A very disappointing moment for me.

The Challengers and Finals rounds were really great to watch, and there were some stunning runs to be seen! I was very pleased with the quality of the courses this year: Fast paced, but they didn’t leave the handler out of the picture — you had to really think about handling and bring your “A-game”. It was a fun experience, and I can’t wait for next year!

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