Thursday, 1 September 2011

European Open Agility

I am glad I qualified and attended this event as we had a really good time despite the organisation of the event being very poor. Austria is so beautiful and we were in a particularly lovely part of the country. It was a shame the weather was overcast and hazy as some of the views were not as clear as they might have been.

Here are two of my good luck presents (blanket from Johanna, and mug from Bernadette.)

Leah bought Zeki a lovely all in one collar and lead combo with 'Zeki Team GB' on the collar plus the little heart which Zeki is sporting below.

We started our journey at 3.30 am on the Wednesday morning and eventually arrived at our hotel around 8pm that night. We had a few stops along the way but not many. It is nice travelling in your own vehicle as you can stop as and when you fancy and not if you don't want to!

The hotel was really nice and made the trip very pleasant. The event itself wasn't great but the courses were, in the main, really good and challenging. It was a shame for the large dogs that they ran their final so late at night in the pouring rain and under failing flood lights. Not good. The small and medium dogs were luckier as they got to run in the main arena in the day light. The large dogs weren't permitted to run in the main arena as the groundsman feared that the pitch would be ruined or so I heard.

Zeki on her cushion in the hotel and below the view from my room

Agility-wise I had a mixed bag. We did two good runs and two not so good. That said the two E's I got were just very tiny mistakes, it wasn't a case of the runs being disastrous. Sadly one of my E's was in our team and I found that quite hard to deal with as I hate letting other people down. I wasn't the only one and the whole team was very supportive.

Our whole Team GB was brilliant as everyone gathered to watch just about everyone else and it was lovely to have the support of your team mates regardless of what height dog they ran. It's something I am getting used to running a medium dog as the medium handlers in the UK are a tremendously supportive bunch on the whole.

I don't think I would travel again for this competition unless it was much closer to home. It is very expensive and the travelling is exhausting which is worthwhile if the event is excellent but sadly this event wasn't.

In this team jumping round I was so worried about Zeki going to the wrong end of the tunnel that I pulled her so much that I lost my spatial awareness and she took the jump instead of the right hand end of the tunnel. I was so angry with myself as she ran beautifully otherwise.

This is our team agility round and I was delighted to run clear in this. I don't have video of her individual runs although I think Bernadette might so maybe I will be able to put them up some time, not sure.

It is interesting that Zeki's A-Frames are so much deeper on the rubber contacts but her dog walks are slower. I haven't really trained on them that much and am looking forward to doing so in the future. I love them. I also love the bigger-spaced weaves. By the second day Zeki had the measure of them and she was definitely faster and lower in her weaves than she is on the tighter spaces versions we usually see over here. Bring on the new weaves also!

Below are some pictures of our day trip to Linz. We went up a very steep hill on the Linz Tramway and visited a beautiful Austrian church. I lit a candle for my mum in the church. There was a huge thunder storm whilst we were at the church, you could see it gathering in the valley and over the hills. We had coffee and pancakes in a little restaurant with amazing views over Linz.

On the tram

A street in Linz

View from the hill top restaurant

The painted church

Below views from the hill top

Zeki and me at the Opening Ceremony

Zeki no longer able to pose quietly - what's new?

Zeki and Herbie

Rodney and Zeki

Girls from Team GB

Team GB

Team Eagle (GB)

Zeki in her pod at the stadium (photo by Amy )

Action shots of Zeki by Candice and Amy

Thanks to all my lovely team mates for making the trip 'such fun' and to Leah and Bernadette for their company but most of all to my beautiful Zeki who gives me so much joy both as a companion and when we run agility together.

1 comment:

  1. we where all cheering you guys on from here, but where let down by not knowing what was going on as we where told that FB would be updated regularly but alas it wasn't...!