Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Dordale & Vyne

I've fallen behind with the blog. We are so busy at the moment that I don't really know whether I'm coming or going! The studio is really coming along, Andy's exams are approaching, work is busy and of course the agility season is now in full swing. We also have Boot Camp upon us this weekend and that involves a huge amount of work before let alone during the event.

So here is a rather quick (for me) update from Dordale and Vyne. We were very lucky with the weather at Dordale as it rained hard both Friday and Saturday night but the days were dry. Saturday was pleasant and we were able to sit outside the caravan albeit in our coats! Sunday was much colder but still dry.

Resting in my favourite bed

Back with my special person, I don't want to run with HER anymore!

I can't resist taking pictures of Zeki in her little bed. She looks so cute. I am so glad I bought it for her as she really does love it.

Andy was unable to run Kizzy as he had a small operation on his leg and still had stitches in. It wasn't a very good exercise as Kizzy really didn't want to run with me and would only go at half speed. Not something I think I will repeat! Zeki was great and got 2nd place in a 4-7 agility sandwiched between two border collies. I was very proud of her as this is probably her best result to date. It was a good course and not just straight lines. Most of our other courses for the weekend were pretty simple and so we didn't really have much chance against the grade 7 dogs. Most of our classes were combined 4-7 at Dordale. That said Zeki was fantastic and on a couple of very fast courses (jumping and agility) she came in between 3-4 seconds behind the border collies. I know the margin is huge in terms of agility times these days but in the medium world where other breeds struggle against the small border collies I find this very encouraging. The nice thing for me was that she maintained this margin in the jumping class which Tasha and Dizzy won. It's not always realistic in the agility classes if people work their contacts but the same can't be said for jumping rounds!

Naughty Niamh was great and did some lovely rounds, a few mistakes here and there but some good places also. On Sunday we ran a tricky G7 jumping course with tunnel/weave discrimination and a very tricky weave entry. She ran the course really well and I was thrilled to find out that we won the class. This is her first G7 win and I was so pleased with the NN! Typical that we didn't get that round on video.

Andy had a relaxing weekend helping on the rings and just chilling. Dordale is good in that everyone who camps has to do 1 hour's help per day. Andy did my stints as I was running three dogs. He got lucky on the Sunday; when he went to report to the ring in the afternoon for my slot, the ring had finished and in fact was no longer there!

Then it was off to Newbury to overnight ready for Vyne on Monday. What a difference in the weather. It was so cold when we got there. We just put the legs of the caravan down without putting up any windbreaks so we didn't have too much clearing up to do the following day. We took the dogs for a nice walk and then settled in for the evening to get out of the freezing wind. Bernadette and Itzy came for supper and we had a good catch up. The dogs were all very cosy tucked up with us in the caravan. They are so good that it's hard to believe we had three people and seven dogs all inside one small space!

Vyne itself was a bit of a mixture for me. Niamh did two lovely runs in the champ class but unfortunately knocked a pole in the jumping round so that meant we didn't get to the final. I loved Amanda's courses and would love to have been in the final. Never mind, onwards and upwards. I completely blew out on her KC run because I just hadn't walked the course properly. It was walking at the same time as the champ jumping and having gone clear in the agility I wanted to focus on that. When I got on the line I just couldn't remember how to handle the course. Oh well, never mind we wouldn't have been quick enough anyway as it was a pretty fast course. At the end of the class there was a horrible incident with a stupid person driving too fast. I will write about that in another posting.

Niamh in the champ jumping at Vyne.

I love this photo that Graeme MacGregor took. Her little face is so serious as she concentrates on her job. I do love her!

At this point I would like to say well done to Karen and Todd for gaining the RCC in the medium championship class. Was a helluva run!

On to Zeki. Well we didn't have a very good day at all. Again I think this was mainly down to my concentrating on the champ class. I am finding it quite hard being back in champ classes. Hopefully I will settle down and be able to concentrate on other things the more that I do. I am not looking forward to Nottingham as this will be Zeki's first chance to move up to G6 so I will be nervous about her runs plus Niamh has a champ class. I keep reminding myself this is supposed to be FUN!

Zeki's A-Frame started to deteriorate at Dordale (as you will see in one of her little videos.) This pattern continued at Vyne and sadly to say also at Tunbridge Wells. I think she has only actually missed one A-Frame which is the one in the film from Dordale but she is taking a leap rather than coming down that extra stride. Homework definitely required.

Our three rounds at Vyne were pretty awful compared with what he had been achieving. I was going to scrap the videos but then when I watched them it actually made me feel better because there were lots of positives, the main one being how much speed she is picking up. I think bad rounds often feel worse at the time than when you look back. So, I have been brave and put them on the blog so that I can take out the good bits! We had our first competitive weave failures as well as our not so good A-Frames. Looking at the videos I do think some of these little issues are connected with her getting faster so hopefully nothing insurmountable!

Oh boy were we tired when we got home and it's only the start of the season!

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