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ANALYSIS: Steeplechase/Performance Speed Jumping Semifinals UPDATE!

Julie Daniels reports on today's runs.


This class has so far has been an exercise in handling for the safe route.  There are many wide turns and ugly front crosses in order to keep the dogs from locking on to the various off-course possibilities. Some dogs turned the wrong way after the #9 jump, but most handlers prevented the back-jump there and were able to redirect to the A-frame.  We've had several weave pole problems and very wide turns out of the #12 tunnel, with handlers front crossing there instead of further down the line.

The 22" Championship dogs on this course are not faring extremely well.  We are seeing some times about 33 seconds but the tightest lines are turning in 31 second runs.  A couple of big dogs have missed the long jump completely by going wide out of the #7 tunnel.  If the handler is not positioned so as to command the dog's attention, the long jump is unexpected.  The most successful strategy so far seems to be for the handler to be well positioned to the inside on the dog's tunnel exit, keeping dog on the right for the broad jump, and back crossing the #9 jump.

At noon, the runs are coming fast and furious.  As predicted, the best place to front cross out of the #12 is proving to be on the landing side of the #13 jump.  Two back crosses in the closing is playing well, but nearly everyone is doing at least one back cross at the takeoff side of #19.

News flash New England: Amanda Shyne and Dilly just turned in the fastest time so far in this class, with 30.6 seconds. Amanda's closing was spectacular, two very fast efficient back crosses in the closing.  The rest of the fast clean runs are about 31 seconds.

UPDATE!

The last two groups of dogs produced some very fast times.  In the 22" class there was a tremendously exciting end to the day as George Baker and Perk snatched the top Steeplechase spot away from Marcus Topps with an amazing time of 29.02 seconds! 

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