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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Agility Club in tropical heat!!

What a beautiful weekend we just had for the Agility Club show. Its one of my favourite shows although it is one of the most annoying journeys. This year we thought we had planned it right, but yet again we found ourselves winding our way through tiny villages on B roads and it took us 5 hours. Admittedly there are some beautiful typically English villages around the Sussex countryside, but in 28 degree sunshine, 3 adults and 8 dogs stuffed in a van, towing a rather large caravan, they are not best appreciated! When we arrived finally, we had a spot saved for us really close to the rings, thanks to some new friends we have made over the last month, and we were soon set up and ready for the weekend.
It was Coves first Grade 3 show, all the dogs had Olympia qualifiers and it was promised to be a scorching weekend. 
To cut a long story short, not one of the 4 dogs managed to get a clear in an Olympia Qualifier, so it will just be Olli to represent team Feroda at the semis in September. On the subject of Olli, he spent most of this weekend forgetting what contacts were, and twice popped out of the weaves!!!! He is obviously relaxing now he has a couple of weeks of limbo in grade 5, but he better buck up, as the Olympia semi is the same weekend as his first Grade 6 comp!! 
He did manage 2 nice clears though.

Cove had good and bad, but it was a bit different for Fern & him at a show this size and new harder courses. However he managed a 20th and believe it or not a 2nd in Grade 3 jumping!! Beautiful glass trophy, and a well deserved result, it was a lovely run. Watching him & Fern work together is very special, and I have so much pride in them both. Such an exciting future, and Cove is one of the sweetest dogs in our family.

Twiggy was fun but I think the size of the show and the amount of rings and people got to her a bit so no clears, and a bit of an issue back in the weaves. However, she didnt leave the ring and is certainly a lot better when we queue now, playing and not worrying too much where Fern or Rog are. I am continuing to make every run fun, although being a bit firmer on her now as she can be quite cheeky, and I just know that next year she will shine. Her and Cove are not 2 years old yet, so plenty of time to grow.

Lily, well she was on form!! I was still off time, and blonde in places but she totally listened and we had some great runs. Only 2 clears out of 5, but they were all tricky courses and I was pleased at some of the really handly stuff we pulled off well. 12th in Jumping and 13th in Agility. For us handlers who didnt start as juniors, and came into the sport pretty late on, it is a quite tough in grade 6, but I am loving the challenge, and Lily only needs 2 more wins to become grade 7. Who knows :-)
Georgie is growing up! His focus is becoming more & more on me and although he still watches the rings with wild eyes, he is starting to turn to grab his toy and take his frustration out on that rather than scream and lunge at the ring. He has started to get a beautiful silky coat, long legs and finally his floppy ear has decided to stand up a bit again. I have to admit whilst watching the champ class on Sunday I did drift into a day dream of this handsome blue merle, sailing round the same course in a year or twos time, gliding through the air, swimming through the weaves and racing across contacts................all I need to do is get him a decent bloody handler!!!

Great friends, great laughs, meeting facebook friends for the first time and a lovely relaxing weekend in between the miles of walking to different rings! Have to say the caterers are my favourite too, with gorgeous food, huge portions and such friendly cockney banter. Big up for Smiffys :-) 404 miles added.
A weekend off now, and a trip to sunny Cornwall for the day to meet up with the Mitchells. So looking forward to seeing them and having a chill with the dogs before we set off on Thursday for our Agility marathon 10 days. Just so sad that after that its the beginning of the end of the agility season for us, and its gone so quick! Soon be working out a winter training program.

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