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ANALYSIS: Steeplechase, Thursday, October 30 UPDATED

How it ran - by Brenna Fender


There were two main trouble spots on this course: the entrance to the weaves and the long jump.  In many cases the error on the way to the weaves was an off-course at the tunnel.  Handlers were driving their dogs to get a good weave entrance but the dogs locked onto the tunnel and never even realized that the weave poles were the next obstacle.  By the time many handlers realized what was about to happen, they tended to stop in their tracks and call the dog, which wasn't very effective.

The other major problem area was the long jump.  It was a 180-degree-approach and dogs missed it entirely, others turned the wrong way after the preceding jump (most handlers crossed behind and some of the dogs didn't catch that cue), and some that did make the turn sliced the long jump and didn't properly perform it.  Successful dog-and-handler teams had tight, well-communicated turns before the long jump so that the dog was properly aimed to clear the obstacle.

Other than those two problem areas, there were assorted bars down, handling errors, and missed contacts.

Among the successful runs I observed were Gail D'Avolio and her All-Breed dog, Sting.  Gail handled her very fast dog with significant distance that resulted in an amazing weave pole entrance and a flawless run. Gail was heard proclaiming, "That was the run of our lives!"  It was certainly a thing of beauty!

Trouble, a Border Collie owned by Naci Berkoz, was inaccurately named today as he took the perfect turn before the long jump and finished the course clean and fast.  Border Collie Kiki, owned by Rose Savkov, ran also ran well, behaving as if she knew exactly where to go on course.  It looked like Kiki memorized her course map before the run!

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