I'm almost up to date with the blog but not quite!
I don't think we've ever had such a busy time with just a few days between Lune/Barrow and Denmark and then again just a few days between Denmark and the UKA Nationals in Tewkesbury. Although I am sad not to be going to Dogs in Need this year, I am also relieved as we really need some time at home to sort the garden and re-charge our batteries!
We had a really nice weekend at the Agility Club Show. I didn't do awfully well with Niamh but Andy and Kizzy won the small pairs with Louise and Smudge with a really good round and then Andy came 5th in the Olympia qualifier, missing out on a semi-final place by just one. Bit disappointing.
We tootled straight off to Tewkesbury on the Sunday evening as it would have been silly to go all the way home just to come back past Newbury the following day. The organisers kindly let us on early provided we help set up a ring on the Monday.
We had some nice weather but also some very wet spells. Andy spent quite a bit of time helping to tow caravans out of a very flooded area of the show ground. We were very lucky with our camping spot but it wasn't much fun for the dogs as the garden was sodden and so we had to shuffle them between the car and caravan. I wasn't overly impressed with the venue as there was so little space to exercise the non-competing dogs which is always a disappointment. I know it's hard for shows to find venues so I won't go on about it.
Our dogs performed brilliantly with Kizzy and Niamh winning lots of classes. Niamh moved up into championship level in the performance league. She still has a few points to gain to move up in steeplechase. Kizzy is 3 points away from championship performance and 13 in steeplechase. Niamh was a star and did two really good rounds in the UKA Nationals heats which gave her 7th place in the finals line up. Kizzy was going well in her second round having got a clear in the first but then did a "mother flicker" away from Andy off the dog walk for some reason. I am allowed to use the term "mother flicker" as it was a UKA show we were at!
It was also a big occasion for little Zeki Beeks as it was her first show. She was fantastic and didn't run out of the ring as I had feared. We actually had a dog join us in the ring when she was on the start line and she didn't budge, what a good little girl. Some of the courses although simple to the eye weren't simple at all. It's funny how some judges set up what they perceive to be straight lines but seem to have no idea of the angle of approach of the dog. Still it was all good practise. Zeki won two beginner steeplechases and came 2nd in another. She also ran in her nursery agility which was really good practise. I came away with a very positive feeling but also with a clear knowledge of the things I still need to do much work on: 1) straight lines when I have to cross behind to correct tricky angles 2) driving over the finish and 3) my damn dog walk which is so far behind it's untrue. But do you know what, I don't care because my lovely dog was a star and I am so looking forward to September when we start to compete in KC shows.
We stayed on because Niamh had reached the final and I'm glad that I did stay as she was a star. The course was very fast and I honestly thought we would be way off the pace. However she put in a great round and we came 5th overall, only 1 second behind the winner which is pretty good for us on such a fast course.
We really enjoyed the week but find the relentless pace of UKA shows too much for a full week. We had five runs per day and because classes are relatively small there is a lot of walking backwards and forwards and we were exhausted by the end of the week as were our doglets. The mud didn't help either!
Here are a couple of videos of my lovely girls (sorry none of Kizzle) and also some action shots by Dennis.