Monday, 30 June 2008

A weekend off and then lansdown

Well no posting for a couple of weeks as we had no show to go to last weekend!So I caught up with some much needed gardening and cleaning- we even washed the caravan! Here's a slideshow of lots of kelpies that were at Newton heath the other week- lots of ruby pups there- nobody told me when the pics were being taken- or i may have been asleep when these first pics were being taken!- probably the latter knowing me!

Took the pups for a training session last Monday, and proceeded to hurt my ankle again- but this was when I was running ruby as I felt good and was actually running, Madeleine also started her first (5 minutes) agility training with the pup Molli, and did very well- I was so proud of her! Draco did very well if only because it is like having a dog on springs next to me! he took to the tunnel like a natural.
Off to Lansdown then and we had a foggy , wet and wild night! The wind was howling at the top of that hill and was blowing everything in it's path around. I dosed up on pain killers and anti-inflammatories and took Puck out for his first run ( there was only 2 runs a day at this show) Well he tried his hardest , but was extremely wide in lots of the course- actually landing past the entrance of one tunnel- but had enough sense to go back into the tunnel- the judged faulted him for this- but when we finished running he came over and scratched those faults ( a very good judge!) But puck missed the up on the a frame! so Hoops out tonight!
Ruby pushed my running skills to the limit as there was a huge diagonal run through the middle of the course, but as she is so much fun to run and she tries her hardest, we made it, safe contacts on the way round resulted in a win, and a good start to the weekend. The jumping run saw puck be a knob and decide that he actually knew a faster way round and missed a very fast weave entry and to try to sneakily miss out another jump out! Ruby decided as well that she thought she knew the way round and spun at two points in the course- eventually costing me the win and we had to settle for a second place one ( by 1 tenth of a second). So all in all a good days competing. The Sunday brought nicer weather, but the occasional shower. We had three runs today as there was an ABC class at the end of the day, again Puck was first up, and a run in the 6-7 Crufts singles qualifier, off his head he was and broke his stay and run straight into the nearest tunnel- eliminated ignominiously! But we had a reprieve- the judge decided to take out the collapsible tunnel as it was dangerous, and replaced it with a rigid tunnel. So the class ran again- so I tried a different start with puck which ended up in the same result- straight down the tunnel! Ruby ran at the end of the class and ( I did not see this- though- I was told) she fell before going up the A frame- not to worry though- still good enough to gain 2nd place! The jumping run was next with puck again first- I decided to abandon the attempt at a recall and just run him as I felt the course would be too much for us with a tricky weave entrance, but as usual he did the unexpected and came 2nd in the grade 6 element of the course! bouncing and shouting his way round the course. Ruby ran and I knew it was her sort of course, but by now my knee was hurting and i took it easy, treating it as a training round - on the finish I miscalled and she turned the wrong way- but hey-ho still posted a time that was good enough to win the class!
ABC now at the end of the day and a tricky course was put out, ruby this time went first- flowed round nice and steadily, but deceptively so as i relaxed too much and didn't run fast enough at the end, and she took the jump to the left instead of over the wall!
Puck next- so no expectations here! off he started and he went all the way round the right way and produced a stunning round- only to find the judge not clapping- what went wrong i though? Apparently he was judged to have missed his see saw! he has a very fast see saw and pushes off it with his back feet- so I was not impressed with this piece of judging to say the least! But we live to try again at tuffley this weekend- and hopefully keep up this form!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Newton heath and ABC semi final

After what has seemed to be a very long wait the Newton heath weekend came- and a decider to see which of my 3 qualifying dogs would hopefully be going to olympia. I wanted ruby out of preference- she is my best dog and it would be a great shame for her to never get the chance to show off at olympia- Ambers been there 3 times and puck has years to spare! it all depended on the running order as well- as ruby has always had a running order in the first 5 dogs!
2 runs for each dog on the Friday, Puck started off on ground that was up hill and down dale! and dreaded plastic poles and shallow cups! The number of poles that I watched come down this weekend just rubber stamps to me that they are not right for agility- they are unforgiving, unpredictable and dangerous! I run trying my best not to turn my dogs tightly as poles will come down! Pucks agility run was a pleasure- only one ( huge) wide turn saw him post his first clear since supadogs ( which did not bode well for the weekend ahead!) It was a stunning run which eventually would see him finish 4th, by 0.3 of a second from Doris stokoe who won it! But of course it had to be a combined 6-7 course- so we've got to wait for that grade 6 win! his Jumping run was even better, but his fool of a dad pulled him off a jump and I destroyed a fantastic run, his other great run of the weekend saw him knock a pole and post the fastest time of the day in a fun grade 6 jumping run.
Ruby posted the first of her 4 sixth places of the weekend in the jumping as i did a stupid turn which saw ruby fall completely on her side out of a tunnel.
Champs on the Saturday saw ruby post her first ever double E ! Monstrous courses from the judge eventually saw only 7 qualifiers from the 72 to contest the final- which had only one clear round- is this as it should be?- I'm not too sure, I just hope I don't get too many more champ courses like these!
Ruby subsequently posted another 2 sixth places in agility classes!
In the evening and the ABC semi final. Now I must just quantify at thames etc my foot/knee was fine- on Monday Draco started preliminary training and I fell over a sandbag- so i was back to square one for my ankle!
Amber was drawn 11th, Puck 19th and ruby 52nd ( I was very pleased about this- but would have preferred Ruby to go 2nd.
Ambers run was an amble which saw her E'd after the wall at obstacle 4! She saw her mum in the corner and off she went on a mission, so we dawdled around the finish- not bad for her 2nd run since crufts- but it will be her last ever competitive full height course at 8 years old she's had enough of agility so we wait till she's old enough for a veteran class or two in the future.

Puck was next to go and he was 'up for it' and took off like a steam train, and as usual I was left holding on to his shirt tails! A huge miss on the up to the a frame, was followed by his flying the see saw for the first time in a year!, 10f- but with a time that would have won it by 0.5 of a sec! Next year for him.

Then came ruby who showed her class- and experience! I ran her witha strategy of no turning signals and held contacts- oh and a see saw to the floor! And we got it right- we did not run to win, but to qualify! And she won it ! At last she gets to show off at olympia- I not worried about how she gets there, but next year we'll be concentrating on The Chum route!
The next day also saw us post some crufts points for the year with the last of our 6th's!

So all in all a good weekend that cost too much in fuel and ultimately ended in tragedy as Tom and Tracy's dog Peri ( experi-mental) came off lame and had to be PTS today as she succumbed to the same condition that took our Smooth Collie Io! for something so rare we've had 2 dogs at our club succumb to this horrific condition!- Run and scream free, Peri- you chill out in the big agility course in the sky ( with no contacts to get in the way! I'll always think fondly of her jumping way too high over the jumps and taking off from unprecedented distances from the jumps! as unpredictable as they come- and having way too much fun!
We also met up with lots of ruby's offspring and some pics were taken and I'll post as soon as I get them.


Well before you know it Thames show is upon us- my fav show of the year (for many reasons) I was feeling good, I'd seen the physio and had a diagnosis for my knee ( it only took 9 months!) I have a condition called Bursitis and it affects the little pad between my knee and the ligaments- also known as housemaids knee! ( all those years with hoists in nursing and all the driving I do have ended up in this injury). So this weekend it was exercise and cold applications.
I ran well i thought and i had positive vibes- great ground- wooden poles etc etc I could run my normal style with ruby!
Champ on the Saturday had fantastically innovative courses from Amanda Rogers, the dogs loved them - even if in my opinion they did not entirely suit ruby's style of running, and I felt that to do really well you had to have a dog that would do an independent dog walk - and ruby needs me there for her ( or- the way I trained her means I've got to be there!) A 5th in the jumping round was followed by a steady clear in the agility round- my see saw was not going to suffer as next week i had the ABC semi final. We qualified in 15th place for the final- so I was very pleased for that. Ruby ran her socks off in the final with ( for her) blistering contacts, I baulked her at a fence where she came to a near complete stop and a fluffy handling bit on the back jump saw me come 4th by 0.7 of a second- oh for my inept handling and it may have been a repeat of last year!
The next day was just as good- a 6th in the Chum saw me book a back up to the ABC semi, a 2nd in the jumping saw me win one of the laser etched trophys. I was booked to run pairs with Tom Hadaways youngster ,Panic- who has just won out of grade 4. We had a fantastic run which saw us win the Pedigree pairs! So we have a national final to go to at the end of August at Stoneleigh- I can't wait as we will be underdogs, but certainly one's to have a side bet on ! Puck was a dulard at this show being an absolute tunnel fiend! His best run being the chum which was stunning except for the missed weave entry as dad got in the way!- I'll forgive the dog walk up contact as it was at such a strange angle it was harder to get than to miss! And easier for the judge to see the up rather than the down !
So all in all a great show, with loads of potential for the next weekend

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Wye valley and the pain barrier

Off we headed to Monmouth on the Thursday before Wye opened and helped them set up the show from scratch. It was strange to be at home with no work to do at all, nice to relax though and have a few days at home- even if the weather was pant's.
My knee and left calf/achilles played up big time at this show, but I ploughed on and tried to run as best i could. i had extra's at this show to do as well- I ran Tom's collie Panic at the show, a lovely collie, who has lot's of potential, but need's more confidence as far as contacts go, but a cracking little jumping dog, and we gained a third place in grade 4 jumping, I ran blossom as well and she gained a 7th and a third in the classes I ran her in. I also ran David Whitehead's Corgi, but I nearly collapsed with this last run and couldn't complete the course with it as my feet etc couldn't do it!
Puck took the p**s all weekend and did not get round one course! some great bits and some exceptionally stupid bit's as he thinks he knows how to read numbers now and does his own thing ( so long as it includes a tunnel!)
Ruby was the star though, in 6 runs she had 2 e's and four ( yes-four) wins- 2 jumping and 2 agility! Means in 2 weeks she's gone grade 7 twice !! Her jumping is spot on and it is the adrenaline rush I get from running her that get's me round the courses- and I am so proud of her a fantastic dog! But i'm suffering for it now as I hobble about the place- off to see a physiotherapist tomorrow- so hope they will come up with a solution or two!