Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Road Trial

Carina is shown at the Dalmatian Club of Greater Washington’s Road Trial last October. It was a beautiful site, located on an old Civil War battlefield. I rented my horse, a Tennessee Walker named Maverick. He was a very good boy and worked well with Carina. Carina did the Road Trial 12.5 miles test. The Road Trial Excellent test is for a distance of 25 miles .

I started working Carina with my own horse Roxie in the summer and made the trip to Virginia in October. Carina already knew basic obedience, she just had to learn to listen when I was on the horse and in a variety of distractions. On our local trails we got to practice past things like snowmobile bridges, barking neighbor dogs, deer, turkey, ATV’s and just the general sights and smell out on the road. She learned that treats came when she was at my side, and I WOULD get off and get her if she did not come when told. Carina’s weak point is sitting under any circumstance, so doing so when I was way up there on the horse was really difficult. She didn’t score as well on the test because of that, but still managed a beautiful performance and a new title.

From the Dalmatian Club of America website:
A Dalmatian Road Trial is a performance event designed to evaluate the Dalmatian's ability to "coach", or follow the horses. Exhibitors compete as handler on horseback or in a horse-drawn cart or carriage, with dog(s) off leash. The Dalmatian Standard of the American Kennel Club states that the Dalmatian "should be capable of great endurance, combined with a fair amount of speed", qualities essential to his successful use as a horse/rider and horse/coach escort. The purpose of a Road Trial is to demonstrate the use of purebred Dalmatians as a companion of man in the role that they have been bred to perform.

In the RD and RDX classes, a qualifying score shall be required to earn a title. A Qualifying Score shall be comprised of Pass Ratings (51 - 100) on each of the exercises (Recall, Hock, Hock With Distraction, Long Sit or Down, Speed); PLUS a Pass Rating by the veterinarians/Vet Tech at each of the course's start, mid-point, and final vet-check, PLUS the dog's having completed the endurance portion of the Trial within the designated time limit. In the Coaching Certificate Test, no scores shall be recorded, but a Pass Rating must be received from the judge in each of the exercises for the dog to be awarded the CC title.

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