This weekend Quigley and I competed in ASCA Rally again, earning our 2nd and 3rd RN legs. This is the 4th time going through a novice level in rally, so nothing new other than a few ASCA-specific exercises, but we had one major excitement: this was the first time we actually completed all 3 legs for a new title consecutively, without any NQ's in between.
Scores this weekend were a 182 yesterday and a 191 today (ASCA has a 200 point format with certain designated exercises being "worth" 20 points, all others 10 points).
Until today I thought we'd just get our Novice title and then move on up to Advanced, Excellent and finally the Masters class, but after reading the rules more thoroughly I think we'll stay in Novice for a while longer.
The reason is that ASCA really put a lot more thought into their rally program before they implemented it, unlike AKC and UKC. ASCA created more incentives for people to not only qualify for a basic title, but also pursue better scores before moving up to the next higher class.
E.g. you get your Rally Novice (RN) title with 3 qualifying scores of 170 or better, but if you get 3 scores of 195 or better, it becomes Rally Novice Excellent (RNX). If you don't manage 195s with your first 3 legs (like Quigley and I, scoring 192, 182, 191), you can continue to compete in the Novice class until you do. As an additional option there's the "C" class, where your title is "upgraded" to RNC if you earn 5 scores of 190 or better, but unlike for the "X" title, you can only work on accumulating C scores after earning the RN, and in a separate division. I believe there you can earn X and C scores concurrently though.
The same thing applies to the Advanced, Excellent, and Masters classes and after that there are some special requirements for even higher titles. A rally championship requirement has not been determined yet (ASCA only started their rally program in 2010).
So to make a long story short, I think even though neither Quigley nor I like working on-leash, I'll give it a shot and try for those X and C scores before moving up to Advanced. It'll give us something different to work on than the other rally registries, but still won't be as out of reach as some APDT and UKC things, since ASCA actually does offer more trials within my driving range. Plus I think we'll benefit from more leash work when it comes to that elusive AKC Graduate Novice obedience title.
Despite the on-leash thing we had good runs, except for yesterday, where I made the bad mistake of showing up at 9.15 am for a trial that didn't start until after 1 pm. Since the Novice class ran last, it was well after 2 pm when we finally got to go in the ring, and Quigley just doesn't do well with hanging around for so long, especially if he is only doing one single run. I always try to get to a trial no earlier than 45 minutes max before ring time because I know he hates to wait. Oddly enough it's entirely different when we do two trials with multiple runs in a day. I haven't figured that one out yet...
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