Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Agility Club

Off we set for the Agility Club show, one of my favourites for the year, only 2 runs a day ( 3 or 4 if in the champ/teams etc) but who cares when the weather was great - hot for dogs though- especially funny watching Tink kick her feet out on the tarmac as her feet were getting too hot- also according to Marie it was happening to her on the contacts as well (though probably was being held on them too long if that was happening!)
We went with 11 dogs and came back with 10- Molli is now called Brie, and has a fabulous home with Andrea Russ and her collies. We did not set out on friday with this in mind, it happened in a weekend and Andrea met molli, and fell for her, I've always stated what a fine dog she was, and andrea has a fine prospect for the future, she's apparently settled in and is ( as always with Molli/Brie ) taking it all in her stride, can't wait to see her again though!
I had high hopes for the weekend as Ruby has hit a nice vein of form and Puck is , well Puck! He had some very very nice run's but not quite there yet, he did get a clear in the crufts 6-7 but the madly wide turns put paid to a place , to get the places he must tighten up and begin to listen and react with more alacrity, he got round all of the courses , he's due a sparkling run soon though- I feel it.
Ruby ran in the first few in the Crufts/EO qualifier, it was an interesting course that to do well you would have to control the turns and have a dog that could turn at distance and have fast contacts, etc etc! I decided to do something I rarely do now and that is turn at the bottom of the A frame to turn ruby over the next jump to control the turn and her entrance into the the far end of a tunnel. Also critical was the turn on to the dog walk, a choice was given to go the 'long' way or the 'short ' way, turn around the jump and enter the dog walk- I decided to turn ruby the 'long ' way- as it was the way she was naturally running, and it was a turn to the left, she did it so neatly and her turn so good she had to scramble up the dog walk and drive to the bottom ( not her greatest forte). We finished with a clear and off I tootled up to do the champ jumping round.
The champs were the biggest I've done so far 112 dogs! The Judge was Andy Hudson so I entered with trepidation as in the previous champs I've done with Andy I've yet to attain a clear! The courses were in my opinion fabulous , testing and well thought out with a distinctive European flavour. The dogs enjoyed them, and at the end of the day a great partnership won. Ruby picked up 5 faults in the jumping, in a steady round for her ( I said i was tense), she took off early for a jump - so then the rest of the course was damage limitation. Then I popped down to check to see where I was lying in the Crufts- and it was top of the pile!- But with 320 dogs I'd be surprised to be there by the end of the day.
Champ agility round next and it was over in a blur, I still can't remember the course!
Ruby flowed round and didn't put a paw wrong- as attested by her place 1st !! So pleased with her. Then I went to run Blossom in one of her courses ( I'm sorry but I could murder people in small courses, the queues seem to never get shorter! ) Well when I was waiting in blossom's queue I heard the presentation for the Champ agility class- I missed it - I hate missing presentations ( with a passion) even more so when I win! Sorry Andy!

We'd made it to the Champ final, loved the course with options! I walked it and stuck to my plan in the final- ruby nearly ran into the tunnel, rather than the dog walk, but being such a fab girl she did the right thing, but after the tunnel, I had too much time and I thought "I'm in the place I should be as I'd walked it this way, but now I'm here I'm not so sure!" and she ran past the jump! Bollox !! I'd got a bit lost and we'd threw it away, roll on the next one!

A quick check at the Cruft's and we'd finished 2nd to David Munnings and dobby, so 9 more crufts points, making 23 so far, good enough for next year I should think.
One bad thing about the day- no trophy for the champ rounds, so although winning a grade 7 class of over 100 dogs (paying £10 or more for the class) and no trophy for winning it!

Next day was the olympia qualifier- no pressure here as I'm going the ABC way , but a lovely course was completed with a fab run from ruby who flowed round the course to finish in 2nd place Woo-hoo . Again to dave and dobby ( a dog with much better contacts and twice the size of ruby).

All in all a great weekend and I'm addicted to agility and winning again, how fickle am I? Off on a mad journey to Scunthorpe next week- 240 miles- daft!

Thursday, 24 July 2008


As promised here are a couple of pic's of the trophies we won at Tuffley, these pictures don't do them too much justice as they were bigger than they seem, hopefully they'll have them on offer again next year so I can win some more!

Well Caerphilly is our local show, no bridge to contend with, and only 25 miles away, great venue and some good company, nice to be at a show after missing Rugby, though from what I hear i didn't miss too much.
Puck as usual struggled to contain himself on most of the courses, got to get some form of a wait! He had a couple of nearly's but not quite's, his one clear ( of the month no doubt!) was in grade 6 jumping which he finished third- great considering he had a spin near the end.
Ruby was on this weekend superlative and peerless, of 6 runs she won 4 classes, she was on form in both agility and jumping and her average winning margin was about a second ( or 2 and a half in the agility) her agility win was one of those wonder runs where everything comes together and she flows around a course- she can if she want's save that form for this weekend at the Agility club show .
here's the dragon brood she and puck won at the weekend

We also won the quiz, so another few quid in the kitty to go towards us buying more kit for our club.
Started training Draco on Monday and he is ,at the moment ,a bit of an airhead, wanting to bounce up and down, but he is very different from my other kelpies as he is so sleek and flexible at this age, he will certainly test my skills to get him ready to compete. Best and most promising of the pups is Molli as , when she works she is very much like her mum, and will be a prospect in the future.
Oh and Draco started cocking his leg this week, woo-hoo teenage hormones here we come!

Sunday, 13 July 2008


Off we tootled to Tuffley show last weekend, so nice to go to a reasonably local show, but I guess we'll have to get used to this what with the rising cost of fuel etc, I just wish there were more shows over this side of the country- especially in the winter! What a lot of people don't know is that we are an hour from the severn bridge just to get to any show- and it cost's us £10.60 to get back into Wales! Not cheap!
We've also managed to find somewhere to securely keep the caravan, rather than on the cul de sac (road) anything to keep the neighbours happy, and it has 24/7 access, and only cost's a couple of quid more than the grotty farm we used to keep it on, having the caravan bumped along a rutted road, up a very steep incline, and a narrow road was enough to stop me taking it there- oh and the irate resident who complained if you turned up after 9pm at night!
Well on to the competition, high hopes for Puck who trained very well this week! And ruby had a challenge tournament to defend, and both had an ABC qualifier. Puck was particularly bad this weekend- he's struggling with grade 6 I'll admit! His starts are an ever increasing problem- he's too keen for his own good, and we need one for the future- and when he does get going it's a lottery if he's listening to me or not- but lots to get on with, his highlight was a pole down in the ABC ! the rest were all big fat E's.
Ruby won the ABC - these are strange runs these days- I know I do not need to go for it in these runs, and she should qualify- but I still remember the anxiety of these runs in the past ( which I now have in the crufts/olympia's nowadays). Puck just beat her time- he's due a very good run soon- let's hope it'll be in a qualifier for him! Ruby had 5 clears out of 6 ( the last being when I pulled up as the ground was quite poor and I slightly went over on my ankle- so we walked out). Her jumping was good ( a 2nd and a 4th) but on one run again I went over on my ( good) ankle so held her up- the agility's we're ok , no good places though as twice she went for the wrong jump and I had to call her off- still to gel with her this season! Ultimately we finished 2nd in the tournament to Ant and Magic ( but I remember that see-saw!!!!!) We'll get it again next year!

A cracking photo taken by Alan Score of Ruby- she does take a great action shot!

Unlike this lumbering ox!

I said that the ground was bad and Marie went over on it in her last run with jet- very painful for her, but she coped tremendously well in the pain she was in and Judged on the sunday, I put course out for her that would accommodate her lack of mobility and I hope those people and dogs who run it felt that they enjoyed them, Tuffley really must consider the ground in the future as loads of people fell over at the weekend, the show was great well run and the trophies were beautiful ( it is nice to get trophies that you haven't won ( or seen ) before - they were like big chrystal jewels with a star on the - I'll post a pic in to this blog when I get a chance.

We've started to try to find time to train the pups, which is difficult , but Madeleine has eventually chipped in and started to train Molli, this is very brave of her and I am so proud of her for giving it a go- especially as molli is and will be a livewire, but they seem to be trying hard for each other, even though Madeleine had the setback of falling over, she'll be back to give it a try!

No show this weekend ( boo-hoo) decided a couple of months back that it was too far to go to and with the rising cost of fuel etc we couldn't afford it! So as you see I tinkered with the blog design- hope you all like it with my stars theme!

Off to Manchester this week to lecture in Old Trafford to 150 nurses! This I am looking forward to as it'll be my first big journey in my new car which came on Monday!
It has cruise control- so maybe it'll give my knee a break- as the Physio has upgraded me from Bursitis to Tendinitis! I've got the tape to get my knee all Rafa Nadal'd up for the future!

Off to our most local show next week- Caerphilly- so no huge journeys or bridge to contend with- just other factors like plastic poles and poor equipment! and narrow spaced weaves!