Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Thames Agility Show

The weather forecast for Thames was not good. Luckily Saturday was better than expected and we had a nice day. We had good camping not too far from the rings which is always a bonus.

We set up our little camp and puppy pen and then took it in turns to take our big dogs off for a nice walk whilst the other one watched over Tidey. Naughty Poppy, yes Poppy and for once not Niamh, ate about a third of a festering dead rabbit and then rolled in the remains of it. She definitely could hear me calling her as she kept looking up but then just ignored me and kept on munching. As I ran back to her I could hear her munching the bones and as I got to her she flung herself down and rolled in what was left of her prize. Honestly, she has become so naughty in her old age. At home she goes to all the waste paper bins and picks out tissues which she shreds everywhere. But I don't really care because I love her to bits and she can do what she likes, in fact it makes me laugh more than anything. In future though, I think we will be going to the exercise areas on an extender lead!

We really love our new caravan and everyone is really cosy as you can see:

Agility-wise I was not very good on Saturday at all. The previous evening we had an EO training session and I lost my confidence big time as the ground was so slippery and some people were falling over as well as dogs falling out of the pipe tunnel. More on that in another posting!!

Nic Jones had set us a couple of testing courses and I really didn't handle them very well at all. Nic was very accommodating and helped me break the courses down into manageable sections which made me feel a bit more confident. The one good thing we managed was the tricky weave entries and exits, those were fine so I guess we did take something positive from the session.

My lack of confidence continued into Saturday and I really didn't run either of my girls very well at all, apart from one run with Zeki. We had only two obstacles to go and Zeki ran past the collapsible. I couldn't get her into it as she kept flicking to the weaves and so we thought that was probably what she had caught sight of when she ran past the first time. Looking at the video though, I'm not sure that was the case. She was just being a very bad little sheltie! Judge for yourselves! I have labelled this course Crufts singles but it wasn't, this was just a 6/7 agility. I don't have the Crufts on video but thinking back that was a reasonable run where I didn't read an angle to the weaves and took her past the entry. Totally my fault. I was really disappointed with that as we needed some Crufts points. Oh well. Try harder.

Niamh ran well on Saturday and put in a couple of good runs in the champ but I made an error in the jumping, well actually it was worse than that, I had a moment where I forgot the course and took her to the wrong obstacle. She put in an excellent run in the agility but unfortunately had a brick out of the wall which was the first obstacle. Oh well.

Here is the course I mentioned where Zeki ran past the tunnel - bad, wicked little pointed person.

So all in all Saturday was pretty poor agility-wise although pretty good weather-wise. We had a hail storm at tea time but luckily all the agility had finished by then. We knew the weather forecast for Sunday was bad so we took down all the wind breaks and packed up the puppy pen.

We didn't go to the entertainment on Saturday night as I didn't want to leave Tidey alone for that length of time. Instead we all snuggled in the caravan and watched the final of the BBC dance competition. We have a new t.v. to go with our new caravan and it's fantastic. It's digital and the picture is amazing. It doesn't drain the battery too much either.

Sunday morning we awoke to rain and it steadily got worse and the wind got stronger. It was very cold for June and I wished I had packed more warm clothes and some gloves. We got thoroughly soaked. I ran Niamh in her KCQ but wished I hadn't because she got caught up in the weaves, partly due to her fur sticking to the poles and partly due to the exit required and I knew something had happened but like a fool I kept going for a couple more obstacles. I wasn't running her properly as I knew I should stop and we got eliminated so I pulled her out. I spoke with judge to ask if he had seen what happened and he said she had got stuck but seemed ok. It was on the way back to the car that we realised her foot was bleeding. I felt so bad. I went back to the ring to check the weaves but we couldn't find anything obvious. I think she caught her foot on one of the pegs as she got stuck. Interesting the judge had checked her in the ring and when I went back we saw blood on his hand. He agreed this must have come from Niamh. For a different reason the class was re-started but I didn't re-run it with Niamh. I don't normally run her in such awful conditions and in future I will stick to my principles and not be tempted by qualifiers etc. Her foot is now fine but I am still upset by the incident.

I had the champ with Zeki and decided to have a go despite the weather. I don't feel so worried about running Zeki in the rain as she is much lighter than Niamh. Maybe I'm wrong to have that view but it does feel different. Anyway, we broke our duck and managed to run clear in the jumping. We also ran clear in the agility which meant we achieved our first run in a champ final. I was very proud of little Zeki. I didn't run her in her other two classes as we have already qualified for the KC Olympia semis and I couldn't see the point in running classes I really didn't need to.

By the time the final started it was really pouring down and very unpleasant. Our wet gear started to fail and we were getting soaked to the skin. We must be mad. Zeki put in a really good run and we ended up in 4th place which I was more than happy with. I made one stupid error which you can't see on our video but Amanda Brophy also filmed the round from a different angle and it is clear to see that I rear-crossed one obstacle too soon on a sequence which caused Zeki to almost pull off the long jump. It was really good to see this as I couldn't work out what I had done wrong. That said it wouldn't have made any difference to my placing in the final although it would have brought me nearer the time of the 3rd placed dog.

Kizzy ran some good classes and then was a bit naughty in others, going back to her running round jumps and barking at Andy. Naughty little thing.

Here are the videos of a nearly run for Kizzy and Zeki's first ever champ final.

.... and here is a link to Amanda Brophy's video where you can see my big mistake! Thank you Amanda for filming in such awful conditions!

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