Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Qualified... Check

So the qualifiers are done...  And after finally picking up semi-decent points on Sunday, I can say that Spaz is going to the SA Champs again.  Woohoo!!!  Now that it is all over, I have some thoughts...

If you read this blog regularly you will know that I DO NOT agree with our qualifying system... this year's qualifiers really just confirmed my previous objections.  I am not going to rehash all my previous objections, haha, go and search for the post that I did a few months ago on our qualifying system.  But my additional objection this year is the courses... damn they have been shocking in the past, but this year has been the worst.  One particular course had SEVEN obstacles that had to be negotiated from the opposite side of approach (Go-Round) in one course of 20 obstacles.  Now as a judge, I feel that an advanced skill/handling concept can be tested once or twice.... maybe three times in one course, but seven times?  What is the point? It just completely breaks the flow of the course and is over the top... why not test OTHER skills?  On this particular round, the winning round was in my province, by one of our top handlers and let me tell you... it was atrocious.  In order to get around he had to scream and yell and manage... I also managed to get around that course, with the same tactics. I left that course feeling horrible, because I had to raise my voice at my poor confused dog... never again...  Thinking back I should have just let him dq... all of us should have.  But of course we are all always obsessed with points, points, points.

One of the contact rounds we ran LITERALLY had an obstacle discrimination with every obstacle... no I am not joking, it is true... dogs had other obstacles in their face all the time.  The first round basically consisted out of a million pull throughs.  There were 3 courses of the 8 that I thought was acceptable course design...even if two of them had one no-no for me... there was a wrong entrance of a tunnel 3m away from the tyre and honestly some dogs did land IN the wrong tunnel.  My biggest complaint... on NONE of the courses was there one spot where the dogs could just open up.  Now while I am the biggest fan of what is normally called 'challenging courses', this was just too much...  To try and explain... of 78 large dogs entered, 40 will go to the final... at the moment (missing some minor results), the lowest qualifiers will have 17 points... 17 points (out of 8 rounds (4 contact; 4 jumping)  = 1 good clear round OR 1 x 0.01-5 faulter + 1 x 5.01 - 10 faulter OR a 1 x 5.01 - 10 faulter and 2 x 15.01 - 20 faulters... and the rest big fat E's... now we don't have the best agility in the world, but we are not THAT bad... and also now we are allowing dogs that never ever touch a contact or dogs that cannot get a weave entry the first time to go to the national championship?  Arg (rips hair from head) there are just so many aspects!

Just had a sad moment on Sunday... I was having a convo with two of our top handlers... both represented South Africa at the AWC last year... and can you guess what the attitude was... 'I just want points, I will rather handle badly and manage my way around the course and get SOME points, than go full out and take a change of having an E' ... and no, it is not my little obsessive paranoid streak kicking in... because right after that we all looked embarrassed and agreed that our attitude is a load of crap...  Sigh, but since our system does not encourage you to do your best at all and in fact promotes all the 'safe-playing' and 'getting by'... to select a team which needs to go to the AWC and suddenly give it all... What do you expect dudes!!!!

So anyhow on the fourth round I managed to get some points...  Spaz went well... Shame poor dude (as per the picture) fell of the dog walk and still tried to get his 2o2o... haha, just a shame it was halfway down the the down ramp... a loooong way from the actual contact.  I caused his knock in the jumping.  Since I actually forgot my video camera at home, video will only follow once I have found to time to go to Mr. R and copy them...

All in all, I am happy to be going to the SA Champs,  but I don't think the results of the trials are remotely a reflection of the true potential of our South African Agility dogs...  This year, 3 of the best South African, were missing from running the trials... because my best bud (A) and her partner immigrated to the UK...  However,  those dogs would have taken the top positions, the results still does not reflect true South African Agility :(

It wouldn't have made a difference to me... I will be honest and say I SUCKED in the trials.  I should have gotten every single one of those courses and I COULD have, but I didn't.  Honestly I don't deserve to go to the SA Champs, but then again there is only two really GOOD rounds that I saw in TOTAL of all the dogs competing (Both Carmen and Seis in jumping), so who knows who is actually deserving this year...

Enough bitching and moaning, I AM (going to try my utmost) going to France this year...  Every single round between now and June will be aimed at the SA Champs... I honestly don't care about QC's or winning.   It is now about getting it right and doing the right thing for Chaos...

We will have to wait and see...

All photos courtesy of Melissa Wilson


  1. Well, well done for qualifying poppie :) And yes the system needs to change or you need to come join me in the UK :)

  2. Lol, I am working on both poppie... :)