Sunday, December 3, 2006

First Run - Clean!

Yesterday was a big, big day for Mo’i and Debbie — their first two runs in the American Kennel Club’s first-ever National Invitational Agility Show, being held at the convention center in Long Beach, California. At the end of their first two runs, Debbie and Mo’i are about in the middle of the pack of competing dogs. The panorama at right is of “Agility Ring No. 1", and in it you can see the jumpers-with-weaves course that Debbie and Mo’i ran on their first run — a clean run, and under course time! — around 9 am yesterday. You can click on this picture, or any of the other ones here, for a larger view.

Mo’i is currently ranked number two in the country among field spaniels competing in agility. That really sounds impressive when I write it out like that! There aren’t very many field spaniels competing in agility, and Mo’i is the only field spaniel running in agility here. At least one other was invited, but couldn’t attend. There are of course other field spaniels here for the conformation show which is being held simultaneously in the same arena.

At right and below are a collection of photos from her run, in chronological order, from left-to-right and top-to-bottom. In the first picture Debbie’s getting Mo’i ready to go; in the last picture she’s giving the happy Mo’i some treats and a hug. Debbie’s handling looked great to me on this run; I didn’t catch her in any obvious goof, the flow through the course was great, and Mo’i did the right thing without hesitation on every obstacle. I’d give Mo’i a “B” on the run — he was focused and steady, but not zippy. The lack of zippiness was especially evident on the weave poles, which he did without his usual enthusiasm, just sort of plodding through. But the slow, but steady and error-free pace got them through the course in under the standard time — so this was a completely clean run, with no faults at all.

I should point out that the agility runs in this show are being scored in an unusual fashion that I don’t completely understand. For example, in the class that Mo’i normally competes in (Excellent 'B'), a single dropped bar disqualifies him on the run — whereas in this show, a dropped bar just deducts 18 points from your score. The top score is 100 (which Mo’i and Debbie got on this run), and so far as I could tell the only way to be disqualified was to exceed the maximum run time (which I saw happen to one competitor, with a very rude buzzer announcing that their time was up).

My apologies for the low technical quality of the photos. The conditions were quite challenging for photography — very little light, and quite uneven; a darkish gray background (the flooring), and of course no flashes or other artificial light allowed. For the photogs out there, these were shot with a Canon EOS 10D, handheld, with a 200 mm (effective 320 mm) stabilized telephoto. The lens was wide open, the ASA set to 3200 (which is the source of the optical noise evident in the photos), and most of the pictures were taken at either 1/60th or 1/45th. For many of the shots, knowing that the shutter speed was slow, I tried to pan along with Mo’i; in this effort I had varying success.

I’ll post some photos of her second run later today…


  1. In the old blog, Anonymous said:
    Thanks for the pictures! Mo’i and Debbie look great on their agility run. Wished we could have been there to see them.Nancy RedmonArborfield’s Better Late than Never, ShalleighCH Blackbrier’s Brecon TD TDX CGC, Con

  2. In the old blog, Anonymous said:
    Yeah Debbie and Mo’i! We are so proud of you both!!!Julie and Ruby (Ch Wolftree’s Nevada Gem TD - Mo’i’s neice)

  3. In the old blog, Anonymous said:
    Way to go! Thanks for the update.Carole Williams, Rainbow Creek FS

  4. In the old blog, Anonymous said:
    WOO-HOO!Way to go, Debbie and M’oi!We are so proud to have you representin' us LBD’s. :)Have a blast!-Shannon and da Calvinator