Last weekend, we had a special guest from Slovakia visiting us as Pavol Vakonič came to coach us and to judge in our Marraskisat competition. Pavol is an experienced judge, competitor, and coach internationally. Pavol himself has training and competition experience with many breeds and in different size classes. Nowadays, he competes with shelties and border collies. Pavol has won the world championship and several medals in national and international tournaments.
The agility seminar started right away on Friday morning, and it was held in our own new training hall in Hakkila. Pavol was able to find out individual challenges quickly and gave some tips to improve the dog's skills. He corrected handling so that the dog was precisely and in time cued for the correct line, and the handler was able to move more effortless on the course. Pavol also encouraged us to use more verbal cues and praise our dogs much more while running courses to get them going even faster.
On Saturday, we had class 3 competitions and our club championship held in Agria Eläinvakuutus Arena, Vantaa. We wanted to offer both judges' courses for everybody and keep the day at a reasonable length for all the competitors, so we had two rings running simultaneously. The arena was crowded, and things were occasionally quite hectic. It felt like a larger competition event, people seemed cheerful, and dogs were super happy and excited!! Pavol judged two agility courses for all size classes. They gave plenty of possibilities to test dogs' skills. There were several critical points at which being late on cues, having lack of trust in the dog's abilities, or the dog making a wide turn led the dog quickly on the wrong route and incorrect obstacles. Independence in obstacle discrimination was certainly an advantage.
Our Finnish judge Janne Karstunen had a really fast class 3 jumping course profile. With a dog that had an excellent obstacle focus and a good understanding of the "backside" and "in" cues for hurdles, competitors were able to achieve very high speed in results. Janne has a long history in agility as a competitor and a pile of medals from international and national championships. Besides being a judge and a competitor, he also coaches handlers that aim high.
On Sunday morning, Pavol judged class 2 courses for all sizes and Janne class 1 in the afternoon. You can find Pavol's course plans in our Facebook event as well as some pictures from the prize-giving ceremonies.
In our club championship, winners were solved based on the result of Pavol's 3B agility course and Janne's 3C jumping course. Congratulations for the best ones!!
Johanna & Sylvi
Aija & Luna
Claudia & Madde
Tuulikki & Timi
Mari & Tikru
Heini & Sissi
Vilja & Svea
Oona & Pihka
Annina & Kiito
Heini & Guess
Päivi & Kössi
Alli & Tesla