Sunday, April 12, 2009

Green Ribbons

For those of you that are not into agility, you may wonder about the title of my April banner... "Will April Showers Bring Green Ribbons?" Like most sports, agility has place winners (1st, 2nd etc). The first 4 places are awarded ribbons-usually rosettes-in Blue, Red, Yellow and White respectively. However, unlike most sports, any dog that qualifies is awarded a green ribbon, regardless of what place they are in. The required performance to qualify varies accounding the level of competition that the dog is in. In Excellent agility (which is where we are) you must have no errors and complete the course within the given time. There are a lot of ways to make an error, including getting off course, knocking a bar or hesitating before completing the obstacle. To determine the time needed to complete the course, the judge measures it and has a formula for how many yards per second the dog will get. Fortunately for us, making time is never the issue... it is the "errors" that keep us from winning the green ribbon. Almost always it is me underestimating the time it takes for Maggie to get somewhere and she jumps the wrong jump because I'm running behind, sucking for oxygen and I don't tell her to make the change until it is too late.
While the placement ribbons are nice (especially the blue ones) it is the all-important green one that counts toward titles.

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