Zeki's fifth and last KC show of 2009. I'm disappointed it's all over but glad I got the opportunity to do some KC shows with her this year. Above all else it has given me confidence that she is focused and not going to run out of the ring to chase other dogs. On top of that she has done really well and I'm very proud of her. It's a shame I hadn't got the dog walk properly trained before we started competing but we have been working hard on this and have made lots of progress.
The funniest thing was when I arrived at the venue and wandered in to see if my course was soon to be set up, I didn't know anyone! The show is for G1-5 small/medium (a new world for me) and G1 large. Luckily soon after Amanda and Kodak and Anne and Roxie arrived so at least I had someone to have a coffee with. Then I saw Tamara and Erin and we got chatting so much so that Tamara forgot to remind Erin to walk her course - oops, my fault I think!
All my girls came with me and were wrapped up in their lovely Hurtta coats as it was quite cold sat out in the car. My plan was to walk them on Ashdown Forest on the way home but we didn't do that in the end because my first run was at 10.30 am and my last run at 4.30 pm. It was a long and at times slightly boring day but I'm still glad that I went.
Our first round was G1-5 jumping and we came 2nd by a tiny margin. Zeki worked really well in this and I was pleased with her turn after #2 where a lot of dogs and handlers went wrong and took the back of the next jump. I wasn't pleased to see my handling, I was stooping too much (damn it why do I do that); my arms were totally wrong in one of the front crosses (doing exactly what I suggest others don't do) and I did an arm flick after the weaves. Video is good for spotting the errors. It's funny, though, how sometimes you feel as if you've done a really awful round and when you watch it back it wasn't so bad and conversely you do a round which feels great at the time but when you watch back it wasn't so good. This one was definitely an example of the latter (handler, not dog I hasten to add!)
Thank you to Colin and Lian for videoing Zeki's round for me. After her little shake on the start line she looks so much like Zen it's unbelievable! She is still not driving quite as she does at training but I know that it will come, most of it is transmitting from me as I'm still not trusting her and over-handling in a lot of places.
Then it was time, fault and out. We started off well but there was a tunnel to collapsible tunnel combination and I had told myself when I walked the pattern to make sure of the collapsible as I haven't trained it enough and Zeki had run past it twice in previous competitions. What did I do, yep I ran past like a headless chicken and she ran along the far side of the tunnel barking at me! Homework on that needed!
Our last round was G1-5 agility. I was glad that they'd taken the dog walk out of the time, fault and out as it meant we had just one crack at the dog walk and I was determined it would be a good one. I am pleased to say it was perfect. I ran wide of the contact and there was no stutter, Zeki went straight to finished position. A short hold in position and release. Yay Ha! The only glitch was that she got caught up in the pipe tunnel. It was set at quite a sharp right angle, not even a curve and I think she hit that part and bounced back. She took an age to come out and I actually thought she was going to reappear from the entrance but she didn't. Other than that the round was great and we ended up 2nd. Beaten by the same dog as in the jumping by almost exactly the same margin (a couple of 100ths of a second.) After I came out of the ring several people mentioned about her being stuck in the pipe tunnel including the judge. Someone said she somersaulted - poor little thing!
This was our best result at a show and I was delighted with our performance. A nice way to end the KC season for Zeki. I kind of wish I had won her into G4 though, not because I especially want to progress at speed but it would have meant she had a couple of runs at North Downs show in November and I just want to keep going as we're enjoying ourselves. Never mind, I think Niamh is very happy that this will be a day out just for the two of us!