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Grand Prix Quarterfinals Analysis

What happened on course? Julie Daniels reports.

This course opened with a slice over the first jump and a tight wrap around #2.  The handlers had to show #2 as a wrap to the right or else the dog assumed a forward "serping" line to the #7 jump.  There were many off-courses here!  Once around, handlers needed to take off running with the dog on the right or risk an off-course into the #5 tunnel exit.

Some strong running dogwalk performances ended up with dogs turning the wrong way or even driving toward the #11 tunnel.  There were a few off-courses there.  Once down the line, the #6-#7 180 degree turn to the seesaw had not been a problem.  But that seesaw took its toll!  Some handlers missed it entirely, and many flyoffs were incurred, including some real launches.  This is a quick seesaw.  Unlike on rubber contacts, the sliding performances fared well here as long as handlers were patient instead of rushing.
The best weave strategy proved to be having the dog on the handler's right.  Handlers could front cross before the weaves or rear cross the weaves to get to that side.  Handlers with the dog on the right after the weaves had no trouble setting a good line over the double to the tunnel.  Handlers getting caught behind were apt to incur an off-course at the tire.  While the dog was in the tunnel, many handlers chose to get to the landing side of the #12 tire.  This set up a nice spiral from the A-frame around and into the 180 degree turn at #16-#17.

It was an advantage to have the dog on the left after the A-frame.  The handlers who used a rear cross at the chute had to be careful not to cause an off-course by driving forward into the pocket for the closing.  Some dogs felt this drive and continued past the #15 jump, going off course to #18.  Handlers with the dog already on the left were in better position to show the rotation to #16.

As for jump bars, the #10 double came down a number of times, as did the #15 out of the chute and the #17 back to the closing.  The tight turn at right angles from #18 to #19 was not a problem, even for the handlers who crowded their dogs there.

The running surface seemed to be great for dogs and handlers; there was almost no slipping and falling.  With much less dust than in previous days, it seemed that the grounds crew had starting getting this agility thing figured out!  This course is a pleasure to watch and should be fun to set up in class at home.


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