The agility club I belong to is MAD! Millbrook Agility Dogs. Each winter, during the quiet season of agility competitions,  our club, which has 300 members, runs a Winter League consisting of four competitions held between November and February. There are three categories: Never Competed (never entered a Kennel Club or UK Agility Competition), Grades 1-2 and Grades 3-7. Each competition consists of  2 courses: Agility and Jumping. Points are awarded from 200 (first place) down to 0 (elimination), and the person with the most points at the end of the four league competitions gets a free 10 week agility course (one class per week). Rufus and I are in the Never Competed category and at 20" high Rufus jumps large height. At the point of entering the fourth Winter League we were joint 7th on the leader board having achieved a first and second place in previous events. There was everything to play for!

Rufus adores agility. However, recently his excitement level has been going through the roof, so much so that his 'wait' at the start of courses has become non-existent. This is something I seriously need to work on as you will see in the first video. His lack of  a wait meant we had to start together and as Rufus came out of the tunnel he took a right turn instead of going on ahead.....meanwhile I was several metres behind! Here I am calming him at the start whilst waiting for the nod from the judge.

The last photo cracks me up. We had finished the course on the jump shown in the bottom left corner but Rufus was off for another round! The result was elimination in the agility round but we really enjoyed running the course. Here are two videos of the rounds we did. First the agility round:
Next the jumping round. This was a very frustrating round as we were going clear right until the last jump which Rufus missed! A refusal! It is interesting to note that I chose to switch sides after I had sent Rufus into the tunnel. It's a valid move but not the best to use with an inexperienced dog (and handler!) as when Rufus exited the tunnel he immediately turned to his right to find me resulting in a time wasting circle!
We left this competition without any rosettes but with an enthusiasm and determination to carry on training hard!

STOP PRESS! The Winter League results are now through. On the leader board we came 2nd in the Never Competed category and 7th over all (145 competitors). I'm one happy Bunny!
14/2/2013 12:24:14 pm

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