This weekend in the dirt at Dillsburg Cos and I made it into Excellent jumpers. We had a fabulous run in Excellent Standard on Saturday morning. We only droppped a bar. His contacts were spot on (he even held the dog walk contact until I could catch up, do a front cross, and release him into the weaves), his weaves were blazing fast, and he had a quick table. In the ending sequence of teeter, tire, jump, when I released him from the teeter, he headed on through the tire and over the jump without looking to see where I was.
Then in Open jumpers we had a really good course. I actually planned on three front crosses, something I've been working on. When I rear cross too much, he head checks to see where I am. We started out gang busters, then lost our connection at one point. I called him off a jump, incurring a refusal (you can have one R in Open and still Q). We re-connected and ended with a blazing time of 24 on a 38 second course. We finished first and beat the 2nd place dog by 12 seconds. Out of Open! Wahoo!!
I checked his course time for his standard run that morning. It was 47 (course time was 64) and the winning dog Q'd with 53. He would have won the class, as he was faster than any other time listed. I check this to keep my optimism that once we gel and are more consistent, we're going to be contenders.
On Sunday he had a PERFECT standard run going. Then I must have rushed him in a two-jump sequence because he dropped two bars in a row. Stupid Handler. However, f-a-s-t weaves, tight wraps on two jumps, hit a wicked weave entrance, and gave me 110%.
Our first Excellent jumpers course was good, twisty and turney at the end, but do-able. Well....my guess is that Cosi's tank was out of gas. He lost his mind at the start line and it was u-g-l-y. The only saving grace was the last six jumps. We had a brilliant ending with all the bars staying up with 180's and 270's. I guess we still have a way to go in the maturity department.
My overall assessment of the weekend was fun. We had such a good connection for a number of runs, and it is always so good to feel that. I'm starting to rely on our experience together and trust him more. He's three years old and has one-and-a-half years' trialing experience. I'm thrilled with our teamwork. When we're connected, it's quite a rush. =:O)