Axstane is always one of our favourite shows. We go early on the Friday to help set up the rings. This year we got set up, helped with the rings, did some Zeki training and then chilled from about 4.00 pm! Actually that's not true, we went to a caravan dealer just down the road from the venue ...... more of that later!
The weather was great on both days, we had some rain late Saturday evening and overnight but other than that it was perfect dog show weather. Lots of sunny intervals but not too hot for the dogs.
We had some good results over the weekend and were delighted with the performance of our dogs.
Kizzy and Niamh competed in the mini/mixi pairs for the first time and came 2nd. They led the class right until the end when our friend Tracey and her partner beat us. I should say, former friend Tracey - only joking! We were thrilled with our placing.
Kizzy then had a mixed bag, she won her Combined 1-3 Agility by 4 seconds but didn't do very well in her Eukanuba qualifier where she ran round about three jumps. In her grade 3 jumping she was up on the clock but swooped round the final jump in a snake combination towards the end of the course.
Niamh was a little star. She ran beautifully all day. We had four classes and got placed in each of them: 2nd in G6 agility; 11th in G6-7 Jumping; 5th in G5-7 Jumping and 2nd in the Mini/Mixi Pairs. Her agility round was one of the best we've done and sadly I didn't get it on film as Andy was scribing for Sara at the time. It was Sara's course and quite a tricky one but we got it just about right. I really wish I'd got this round on video. Here's a copy of the course instead! Niamh led the class right to the end and was pipped by 2/100th's of a second. I was thrilled but at the same time a bit disappointed not to have held on to the lead. I was encouraged also by the fact that overall Niamh would have been placed 4th if you combined the G6 and G7 dogs. This is real progress for us.
On Sunday Kizzy had another win, this time her combined G1-3 jumping. In her G3 agility she was doing a fantastic round but ran past the A-Frame. It's very frustrating, trying to figure out why/when this is going to happen. We've watched the videos over and over and it's hard to say. We can only assume it's because she hasn't fully committed to an obstacle and follows Andy's movement as he takes off. Andy needs to work on this aspect of her training and also her finished position on contacts as this just isn't as it should be. Once the European Opens are over I think he'll be travelling to West Sussex for a lesson with Gran'Ma!
In her other two classes on Sunday (both fun classes) she came 10th in the G1-7 Helpers Jumping (all sizes mixed in together) and 8th in the G1-7 Tunnel and Jump. This was a great class and a really nice way to boost confidence for young dogs. I wish there was more of this sort of class. Much more fun than helter skelters (IMO!) In the helpers jumping Kizzy had a run off with a large dog. Kizzy won the run off she ran clear and Elaine and Skeet had a pole down. Skeet was quicker by 2/100th of a second. Poor Elaine didn't get a rosette as the run off was for 10th place and it was the last rosette. Had they both put in those times first time round Skeet would have won the class and Kizzy been second. I told both Andy and Elaine they should have tried harder first time - haha!
The other thing that Andy is having to adapt at the moment is Kizzle's startline routine. She isn't focusing when setting up so taking Gran'Ma's advice Andy is carrying her into the ring and getting her to focus on him by playing little games and winding her up, then he just pops her into a sit and leaves her rather than asking her to perform her set up. This seems to be working and she is leaving the startline with more drive. He made this change on Sunday and I think you can see the difference, that is when I post the videos!
Sunday for Naughty Niamh wasn't bad but we didn't get any clear rounds. I messed up her jumping round by trying to scoop her over a sequence rather than pivoting, Jan suggested to me not to do this but I was stubborn. The weave entry in this class was really tough and Niamh just picked it up all by herself. The funny thing about this class was that from the weaves you had to double back all the way past the weaves to a jump, similar to what Andy and Kizzy had at Thames last week. The main difference was that I made a complete mess of it! You'll see this later when I post the video!
In her agility class the "N" in naughty surfaced in the ring for the first time ever! Niamh left the dog walk (missing it) and was over a jump and in the tunnel before I said "OK"! Bad Naughty Niamh! But, it is lovely to see her driving away from me! After that it went wrong because I was somewhat in shock! Mind you, she picked up another good weave entry so I can't really complain!
I'll post a video of the rounds we filmed at the weekend at bit later (i.e. when I've got time!) Meanwhile, here are some photos of Kizzy and Niamh with their rosettes and trophies from the weekend. I must also add that little Pops got 7th in the Anysize Jumping - the most important class of the weekend!