Monday, 5 September 2011

Zeki wins her second CC!

Well, my next post was going to be an update on my puppy, Tidey .... but Zeki Beeks decided differently!

I drove up to Stoneleigh on Saturday morning for the medium Olympia semi-finals.  We had a good journey and the weather was perfect for agility.

Our invitation run was a simple flowing course which Zeki ran clear in.  I stopped both her seesaw and dog walk in preparation for the semi-final.  She ran well and I was very happy.

I was hoping that the semi-final course would be more technical than the invitation event and it was but only slightly.  I knew I could get round the course but in my heart I also knew that it was highly likely that we wouldn't be fast enough.  We had an early running order and did our best.  Zeki ran clear with a lovely round and I couldn't have been more pleased with her.   I think we stayed in the top ten until about three dogs from the end and then slipped to the dreaded 11th spot.   If I had run a little later in the competition there are a couple of things I would have done differently (a blind turn in one spot and a push off the seesaw rather than front cross after) and those things might have got us in as we were very close to the 10th placed dog.  However, running early I opted for the safer way of doing both.  It's impossible to tell how these competitions will develop as sometimes people get through on 5 faults and so I knew I would be cross with myself if I had taken unnecessary risks.  Oh, hindsight you are a wonderful thing which sadly we don't possess!

I have to be honest and say that I was very disappointed.  Not with my little dog, she ran her heart out for me as she always does.  I was disappointed to be one spot off qualifying.  I was in that mind set where I would rather have been eliminated or be placed much further down.  However, the upside is that there is a tiny chance of being called as reserve should someone have to pull out for some reason.    On the day I was beaten by ten fantastic dogs and handlers and I wish them all the best at Olympia.  Maybe next year ....

I had booked B&B in Cirencester ready for Sunday at Prestbury Park champ show.  I didn't much feel like going but knew I would have to pay for the B&B and so didn't really have any choice.  The B&B was pretty good, it was clean and the people were really friendly.  There was a huge field beside the house where I could walk the dogs round a huge circular path which took about 40 minutes so they were happy little bunnies.

Here they are watching X-Factor.  Niamh is bored by it and Zeki is swearing at the judges because they are so very stupid and talk such rubbish.

I drove into Cirencester and picked up some pasta salad for my supper (and a small bottle of cider!) and watched X-Factor.  It was, of course, utter rubbish but I still have to watch it.  How sad am I?  I didn't sleep too well as the bed was very hard and I kept waking up with dead limbs and aching hips.  Luckily the dogs slept well!

It was only four miles to the venue on Sunday morning so I was able to go into the house and have a lovely continental breakfast.  I arrived at the venue and it was pouring.  I felt like turning round and going home.  I was parked in a spare camping spot next to Becca and there was a huge chestnut tree which Bernadette and I parked under so we were able to keep a bit dry.

I walked a couple of courses for Zeki and also the champ jumping.  It was a really good, tricky course by Arthur Rodgers.  Just as I had hoped and expected.   I had walked the course about three times when Bernadette called out to me, what are you doing?  Yep, once again I had picked my own line and missed out a jump.  How am I going to stop doing this!  Thank you Bernadette.   I re-walked the course.   There was one part where I couldn't make up my mind how to handle (that's what I like about Arthur's courses, choice not just one obvious way of doing things) and I eventually opted to run it one way but it didn't work for me and I wished I had chosen the other way.  It put me off my stride and I couldn't recover so we did the messiest round you've ever seen.  On top of that Zeki ran past the collapsible tunnel on the run home and I just about managed to keep my wits about me and not get eliminated so finished the round with 1 time fault and 5 for a refusal.   I knew I would have to do better in the agility round.  Even our judge commented on my rather awful run!

I liked the agility course and walked it correctly from the outset.  Things are looking good!   Zeki ran the course well and we finished with an unplaced clear.  I hoped that this would be good enough to get us into the final and luckily it was.  We were called out as running #6 in the final!   

We ran both legs of the champ class in the rain but luckily not heavy rain, just persistent heavy drizzle.  Yuk, I hate running in the rain but the ground was excellent and yippee we had rubber contacts.

The course was set up during the lunch hour by the ring party but not checked by Arthur so we couldn't walk it.  When he came back from lunch he checked it and we were able to walk it but not for that long.  It all came as a bit of rush as we had quite a walk back to the car to get our dogs.  I hadn't brought Zeki to the ring because we just didn't know when the final would be running and I didn't want her getting too hot on what turned out to be a glorious day after the rain cleared.

I really liked the course because you had to work all the way round but it had a good fast finish which would be exciting if the dogs were clear to that point.  I walked it about four times (normally I would walk a champ final a lot more than that but there just wasn't time.)  I rushed off to get Zeki and by the time I got back the first dog was running.

I did some tricks outside the ring to get ourselves in the groove and then we were on!   I was nervous but not as nervous as I was at Axstane.  I ran late in that champ final and knew I had a really good chance of winning.  I didn't have that same feeling today although I knew I had a chance I also knew there were some very good dogs to follow us.  

We put in our best round but I have to admit I didn't run it quite as I had planned.  I walked the course to have the dogwalk on my right but at the last minute I had a moment of madness and just got very slightly disorientated.  I knew that I wouldn't have time to put the cross in so I had  to go with the flow and work the dog walk on the other side.  There was a tricky go round after the dog walk and now I had to handle it as a flick away go round, yikes could I do it?  All this was going through my head and I even said out loud "I've done this wrong" as I was running along the dogwalk.  Sometimes I think I am mad.    Anyway we could do it and in fact it was the best way to do it so for once my mistake actually got the right result!   I had another moment of doubt when I was unsure if Zeki had actually taken the tyre, it was cleverly set in the corner before you turned for the run home.  However, my common sense told me to keep running because if she had missed it, it was all over anyway!  Luckily my honest little dog had taken the tyre and so we ran clear!

Here is the video of our run.  Thank you to the nice person who filmed it on Bernadette's video camera. I kept forgetting to take mine to the ring.  It's so nice to have it on video.

We didn't get beaten and so to my absolute shock we had won our second CC!  Oh my God!

On the same day Zeki's younger full sister, Zaz 'Obay Itz Got Pizazz' won her third CC making her Agility Champion.  Well done to Bernadette and Zaz for this fantastic achievement.  Below is a picture of both Zaz and Zeki with their prizes and CC's.  


1 comment:

  1. That is so so brilliant. Congratulations to you and Zeki on your 2nd CC