Saturday morning, I was lucky to have 2 runs with both Lily & Olli, in jumping and agility. I say lucky, because we had to leave the site at 11am and travel to Stoneleigh Park to the City of Birmingham Show for Olli to take part in the Olympia ABC semi finals. I was so thrilled that I had a chance to run him around a couple of grade 6 courses before the big event. It was also his first Grade 6 show so a big weekend for Olli.
He managed a lovely agility round, just catching a pole as I got in his way, but I was more than happy with how he coped with the course. Lily and I went completely wrong and were eliminated. Becoming a bit of a habit for us! We also managed to run Cove & Twiggy in their first pairs class, and although both of them missed a weave pole, they ran really well and had a blast!
So at 1pm we arrived at Stoneleigh and my nerves started to filter through. My lovely spanner at such an important event and I was so proud. The warm up run was a bit of a mess but Olli had fun and at least that was not the main event. As I stood on the line for the semi my heart was pounding, and I could hardly speak, so telling Olli to "wait" was a struggle! We set off and he was so fast and focused, but we had to go clear in under 39 seconds to get in the top 10, and as he pushed his A frame I saw the judges hand go up for a 5 and knew that was it. However we carried on with olli barking and going like a true pro, and he did all the hard turns beautifully. Unfortunately we picked up another 5 as after 2 tunnels in a row, he started up the seesaw and had to shake his gorgeous long furry ears so he fell off the side! I put him back and we completed the course. I loved it and so did Olli, and although it was not to be this year, we will be back!
Sunday was mad as all 4 of our dogs were in 3 different teams! Lily & Olli with Thai & Magic in our original Rainbow Rebels team, Cove with Wren, Flynn and Cruze and Twiggy with Storm, Sprite & Theo! Unbelievably Twiggys team went clear, the first team to go clear after around 15 had been!!! It was a blast for 4 young dogs, and a real buzz. Bless Twiggy for being so confident to do the team event :-)
Cove went clear in his team but unfortunately the team didn't, and poor Flynn was so exuberant he did a complete somersault over one jump, nearly crashing into the tyre! Lily & Olli were mental and went clear, but Magic took a pole, and Thai did too but the judge didn't notice!!! Rainbow Rebels were the fastest team by 7 seconds!!!! What a team, and obviously if we can keep the poles up one of the best around. Great fun! Twiggys team finished 6th!!!! nearly 50 teams and we were 6th at our first outing. Really thrilled with them all.
Olli had a great G6 jumping round, just picking up one jump from the wrong side, but he was flying. Lily and I had a lovely run, almost foot perfect in G6/7 combined agility, and ended 10th, so we are not stuck in the E trap anymore.
Fern & Cove had a Dog Vegas qualifier, graded 3-5 combined agility to run. I walked it with Fern and it was a very challenging course! Lots of traps, and it needed handling. I said to Fern that it would probably be a good course for Cove as he is so clever at the trickier stuff, and Fern really went for it. It was a beautiful run, and my heart missed a beat as 2 obstacles from the end Fern turned the wrong way and I thought she'd blown it, but she let Cove sort himself out, find his own stride onto the seesaw and he flew the last jump clear!
They work together in perfect harmony, and the relationship they have is amazing. I knew they had probably won, but didn't say anything to Fern, waiting for the presentation. They had done it! In only his 4th show at Grade 3 he was moving up to grade 4. He was only 2 years old last week, and started competing at the end of March at Grade 1. In 5 months he has moved up 4 grades and Rog & I are so proud of Fern.
We had some great laughs with our friends, and also watched my lovely friend Jill run her 2 babies for the first time. They were both very fast and brilliantly focused, and will definitely be 2 to watch next year! Jill also qualified for the finals at Olympia with Whoosh her Grade 6 boy, along with a few other good friends, so we will definitely be watching Olympia in December!! So many good dogs through to the finals, it will be hard to pick a favourite!
So another great weekend over, 362 miles down, and 1 step nearer the end of the season. Also 1 year until Georgie makes his début, and that will be a very exciting time. He is becoming a stunning young man with oodles of potential which I hope I can develop.
I feel very lucky having such a wonderful family, some very special friends and the best dogs in the world.