Now fast forward to this past weekend (April 24th, 25th, & 26th). It's a three day obedience trial at St. Paul Dog Training Club in South St. Paul, Minnesota. Reason is entered in Open B and Utility B all three days. The obedience trial has been designated as an AKC National Obedience Invitational Regional Qualifier (for more information on these events, click here). Reason just loves obedience and considers it just as fun as agility, which is why I love going into the obedience ring with him. He gives his all on each exercise, burning rubber on the way out and just as fast on the way back to me. And he just floats at my side when he heels with me.
It wasn't a surprise to me that this event drew in some of the best competition from the surrounding states along with a couple of dogs from states that required a flight into town.
We started off on Friday qualifying in both classes with great runs, but a bobble in each class kept us out of the placement. On Saturday, he was 1/2 point out of the placement in Open B with a 198 1/2 (1st & 2nd place was a 199 1/2, 3rd & 4th place was a 199). In Utility B, he had a great run but nearly grabbed the wrong article in his race to find it but figured it out quickly and got the correct one. I was pleased going home on Saturday night knowing that we had gotten UDX legs 6 and 7. When I arrived at the trial this morning, I found out that Reason was actually in the lead as the 4 top qualifying dogs for the Invitational invite. I was thrilled to know this and just focused on our performances for the day. Our Utility B run was a great run, with a 198 and 4th place (tied for 3rd). He had a decent run in Open B, but not good enough to place. This gave us UDX leg 8 and the icing on the cake was that Reason ended up in the lead for the regional qualifier.
Because of the number of herding and agility trials we compete in, there is no way that we could ever qualify for the National Obedience Invitational with a breed like the Border Collie. What an honor to be able to qualify for this prestigious event in Long Beach, California from a weekend of trials like this. But then again, the honor really is that I have such an amazing and versatile partner, Reason.
Obedience photos by Great Dane Photos.