July 4, 2011
After Tessa jumped herself into the Junior division (10' - 14'11"), I decided to enter her in the last wave of the event to go for the Junior finals. How bold!
During warm-up, she jumped an unofficial 16 feet! Exciting, but as you now know, 16 feet is the Senior division (15' - 19'11") ... dangerous turf because she could now jump herself out of the Junior division. And I knew there was no way she would leap farther than 16 feet. Still, I was thrilled to see my pup go at it with such gusto, despite my horrible, just horrible throwing skills.
During the actual competition, her best score was 14 feet even, which awarded her 2nd place in the Junior division for Wave 9 (red ribbon seen here) and a spot in the Junior finals. Yay!
Finals consist of the best 6 dogs (determined by their best jump) for each division. As always, each dog gets two jumps, the longest being the official score. Tessa's first jump in the finals was 14'8". Her second jump was 14'10" - yet another personal best, the 4th one in two days! She was tied with another dog for 3rd place, so they looked at the first jumps, and by 1" we missed a tie and got 4th (white & teal ribbon). Still, what an accomplishment for us newbies, to increase the distance jumped by 7 feet! It seemed to me that Tessa sensed this was not only about just jumping in the pool and retrieving the bumper - it was about jumping long, because with each round, she tried harder and went further.
The plan now is to work on our technique - we haven't even started on that yet - and for me to work on my throwing skills, on land if needed. Our next event is August 6 & 7 in Cherokee, NC, as well as October 2 & 3 in Gainesville, GA.
There is no way of knowing if Tessa will be a Master jumper one day (over 20 feet and it DOES get lonely at the top) but it would be nice to work up to the Senior division (15' - 19'11") and I think the potential is there, at least on her part. Above is our friend's GSP Lady, and her winning jump of 20 feet, which awarded her First Place Senior Finals. Lady caught the bumper before both hit the water - this demonstrates the excellence of the handler's throw, with the bumper travelling just a tad in front of the dog who tries to reach it, thus increasing jumping distance.