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Carolina Piedmont Four Star IHC Standard Agility Class Analysis

A look at some of the performances in this special IFCS World Team qualification class.

The course on the surface did not have the appearance of a highly technical design like the IHC Jumpers course run on Saturday.  But it still highlighted some weaknesses in otherwise highly skilled runs. 

Jump #1 set the theme for this course - how tight could you wrap and maintain drive and accelerate coming out of the turn.  At #1, some handlers set up for a 90 degree turn to the tunnel, while others set up for an almost 180 degree turn by setting up straight on the jump.  Clearly the more efficient strategy would be taking #1 at an angle to minimize the degree of wrap required to get started on this course. It was a course of "exit strategy", in that handlers needed to be proactive to manage exists from #3, #4, #8, #11 and #17, and to a lesser degree #2 and #9, in order to turn the dog tight upon exit to set up the best approach to the obstacle following.

With so many manage points, it is no wonder that a number of dogs had to take angled ascents to some of the obstacles, which created some apprehension and lost speed as the dog made the adjustment.  It was difficult to tell in many cases whether the tight wrap and straight approach or the wideout turn and angled approach results in a faster performance time.

There were a number of poles down on #5 through the class, as dogs took the jump at acute angles on their approach from #4.  And many a threadle looked uncomfortable turning back between #11 and #12. 

There were the occasional wrong courses as dogs took to the tunnels, which lied beneath A-frame and Dog Walk, as well as the odd entry to the collapsed tunnel upon exiting of #9. 

The challenges of this course were clearly different from those of the jumpers course two days prior, but together, were quite revealing.


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