Last weekend saw our first mad dash to Geraldton for the year to complete two days of agility trialling. Entries were a little bit lower than normal as quite a few of the regulars were overseas watching and competing in the IFCS Agility Worlds in the UK which meant I had to get up there a little earlier to make the first event. Sonic, Lexi and I left Perth at 5am and with a pretty good run on the highway made it to Geraldton by 10am. The course was in the middle of being set up when we arrived so we didn't have much time to do anything other than stretch our legs and get the dogs toileted.
I didn't hold up much hope for our first class (Open Agility) and was expecting it to be a bit rough, however I couldn't have been more wrong. Sonic ate the course up, handled the distance challenge like a pro and ended up not only going clear, but taking out first place. The rest of the weekend followed a similar theme with a total of six clear rounds out of nine starts. Sonic is starting to get confident reading my body and it's making a huge difference. My favourite run of the weekend was a Masters Jumping run on the first day. He moved out beautifully and on some parts of the course was really powering on. There is still room for improvement but he is definately getting closer. Agility on the whole is good. His contacts and weavers are solid but he's not moving out between his obstacles as much as I'd like. Although I can see that his confidence is growing I can also see that he is still cautious in between obstacles and isn't really driving out between turns. There are moments when he does but it's not consistent.
But even being my normal overly critical self I have to say that Sonic was fantastic. It is so great to have reached a point where we are having some really solid performances and starting to find that groove where we are reading each other successfully on course. And he was really trying his little butt off for me and having a fab time in the process. It's hard to ask for more than that. On the training agenda for the next couple of weeks will be continuing with the revision of Crate Games. I'm working on Stage 3 which includes doing collar grabs and the dog coming out and going into the crate. Seems to be going well and Sonic is getting really amped up when I grab his collar. It was something he really didn't like before. I'll also keep working on him driving out of turns because that is still what costs us the most time. I was watching some of the IFCS Worlds and you see the dogs just hit the ground after an obstacle and they power straight off. Most definately something that I aspire to having Sonic do!
Riot has also had to contribute to the household over the last week filming a commercial for the Sids for Kids Red Nose Day annual campaign which is 25th June 2010. Better Pets & Gardens are sponsoring Sids and Kids as part of Red Nose Day so Riot teamed up with Shannon MacGuire who is the Sids and Kids ambassador for this year with her gorgeous son Marley. Shannon is totally stunning and both her and Riot made for some beautiful footage. Riot was a good boy and was as compliant as ever. There were no great training demands on him other than to look handsome but I had to chuckle when he was trying to offer behaviours to the sound boom as it hovered overhead. He obviously thought it was a target stick and managed a well timed paw wave so hopefully it will make it to the final cut of the ad. I even make a brief cameo as I stroll through the BP&G store....