Sunday, 28 November 2010

Ice Ice Baby!

Well this week has been an odd and challenging week. I got to teach in the snow for the first time on Friday, on Saturday I had to cancel all my lessons with dogs jumping large and was unable to use the contact equipment until 11.30am and then today when I arrived at the field at 1pm to take Groups the ground and A-Frame were still frozen! That late in the afternoon - Crazy! So last minute course alterations had to be made.

But even with the disappointment of cancelled lessons, the challenges of adapting lessons to fit around what we could do and the freezing cold (literally!), I think everyone enjoyed themselves, particularly the Group members today who also got to join in with the piglet herding.

Achievements this week came from:

Anthony & Amy – who finished their lesson with a clear over a technical sequence which required perfect timing and who also (touch wood) seem to have mastered perfect speedy weaves! And I’m not just saying this cause Anthony was kind enough to bring me a hot chocolate in the icey cold – Well done Anthony & Thank you.

Maggie & Saffy and Rosie & Freddie – who got their first Clear Rounds over an entire course in Groups today. Great progress guys – Well done!

I know we’ve had a great week, but I would like it to warm up a bit now so that the large dogs can join in the fun!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Last KC Show of the season : (

Off we headed to Dartmoor at stupid o’clock in the morning unaware of the eventful day which was to ensue.

Sprite had a run today, I wasn’t sure how his one eye would cope with running indoors in dim lighting, but as it was the lighting wasn’t too bad. He was doing a grand job until he landed funny on a jump near the end and twisted the wrong way.... unfortunetly he then couldn’t find me again so just jumped what he could see in the meantime – whoops!

Hex had a good show, but I really must stick to my guns – I’ve spent the last 3 works working on queuing her before corners and speeding up her contacts and in the jumping I wimped out on queuing her so she didn’t see jump 3 until it was too late and demolished it. And in the agility she was doing a lovely round – her A-Frame was the quickest it has ever been, but I sent her wide after it and then as she did the dogwalk, the round felt like a winning one so I panicked and over-worked the contact. If I’d just relaxed and run it was we’d been practicing I’d like to think we would have gone home with a trophy.

Stitch was at his second show and his first indoor show. Having won up at his last show he was also put into the 4-7 COMBINED classes! Mum knows she let him down in the agility – pulling out some ‘disco moves’ instead of handling moves that Stitch might recognise ; ) But he was confident and he flying and his contacts were fantastic. Clever boy!

In the jumping though Mum was fab, I walked the course with her and she talked me through what she had planned and told me that she would be putting her new independent weaves to use so I know that (unlike me) she did stick to her plans and did a cracking clear.

Results:

Hex – 4th Grade 4 Agility

Gail & Stitch – 2nd Combined 4-7 Jumping

Sarah & Elliot – Concussion! There’s a link to Sarah’s blog in the top right hand corner of this page if you want to see the video of the amazing flying Sarah. Hope you’re feeling better now hun and sorry my Hex headbutted you too! : s

Despite the wet and mud the show had a great vibe to it and so many of our SWAT friends were doing well – especially Mike & Rio who won the Grade 5 agility by 3 seconds taking him up to Grade 6! What a way to end the season!

As there is only one show left for us this year (and it’s a UKA – booooo!) I hope to be updating the blog with achievements of the up and coming A-SIT members not yet in competition. I have two special mentions this week. Firstly I want to say congrats to Olly & Marley – in the last group they pulled off their first clear round over a FULL course and they only went and did the same thing this week in training. Olly is completely new to Agility and has only been training for 7 months, if he can do a clear over one of MY courses this early on, next year competing in grade 1 should be fun! My second mention is Molly & Ben, Molly is our only A-SIT junior and in just 6 lessons and with the homework she has been putting in, she has taken a shy spaniel which wanted to glue itself to the seating area into a waggy spaniel who is happily completing sequences and progressing quickly with their 2o2o contacts. Keep up the good work guys!

Monday, 18 October 2010

All Stitch-ed up at BHC Show!

Finally after much hard work and training Stitch was ready for his first show so we packed him into the van on Sunday feeling excited and with Mum feeling a wee bit nervous – Stitch was oblivious that the day would be any different.

His first run was the Graded 1-4 Agility and he was CLEAR, he ran cautiously, kind of ‘am I really allowed to play this time’ around the course, and Mum worked his contacts but he still won the class by 15 seconds! In his next two runs he was much more confident, in fact a little too confident because he wasn’t thinking about his weaves so rushed them and made mistakes. But we are still very proud of Stitch Grade 4 after only 32 seconds on grade 3!

Hex – 2nd in Grade 4 Jumping

I let Hex down in her other classes with my crappy timing, but she was flying!

Kif - 3rd in Grade 5 Jumping

I feel he would of had a really good place in the Combined 5-7 class, it’s was a fantastic course by Barrie James, but Kif ignore my ‘here’ and the arm telling him to jump and decided to do the weaves so we were E’d at Jump 3, but the rest of the course was a dream and worth a mention.

Sarah & Jemma came 11th in the Combined 1-4 Jumping. Speedy Jem, Well done!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Honiton/Devon Dogs

I think I’ve come to the point in the season where things start getting worse instead of better, it’s certainly time to slow down and embrace the upcoming break.

I consistently let Kif down and Hex was just mental and kept having poles (really enjoying her first G4 show!) – I’ve said this over and over but I need to spend more time with both Hex and Kif getting my timing sorted again, they're both so different and I'm so busy teaching, I don't have time for my own guys - it's not fair to leave them in the van all day and just get them out for 30mins at the end of the day when I'm knackered. I need to sort out a new routine! But along with the motivation to sort my life out we did go home with some pretty ribbons:

Me & Kif with Mike & Rio - 3rd 1 -7 Pairs

Hex – 5th G4 Agility

Sprite – Clear Anysize Jumping

Jane & Boot – 7th G3 Agility

Well done to Jo as well cleaning up in the medium classes with Fluke

It is well and truly October – the weather today was really yucky, but the dogs were fab, lets hope we don’t get this wet every weekend.

Everyone should now have an email about the Xmas Meal – let me know if you’re going to be there. And I think we are literally days away from having access to embroidered merchandise!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Where was I? - Oh yeah - Blackdown

This will learn me for leaving blogging to until the end of the week – I’m struggling to remember what went on!

I was really looking forward to Blackdown, with lots of A-SITters there and a number of SWATties there too, I thought it would be a good fun day out – only one problem – my back gave out.
I was stiff and sore after the Fun Day at the field and by Sunday I was just in pain! It was Hex’s last show as G3 so I really wanted to run it and gave it my best shot.

Sprite’s run was first thing, he did a lovely clear, only a slight deviation when I thought he was looking forward... but with only one eye, he was actually looking left – whoops! Blackdown only do clear rounds for veterans, they say that offering places encourages people to push their old dogs too hard – whatever! So he got a clear round rosette.

Poor Kif – he is so in tune with my body – so when I can’t move properly, he can’t run properly. I also missed walking one of his courses. Every time one of my dogs made a mistake, even if it was just a pole, I was making a quick dash to the finish line – I didn’t need to be running around any longer than I had to. But we did manage a 3rd in the Rescue Tunnel Fun class.

Hex cam 7th in G3 Jumping with me, but that was right at the start of the day, one of the courses was one big blast, I knew I’d never make the finish, so I asked Mum to step in – needless to say she jumped at the chance and did a very speedy clear so came 2nd in the G3 Agility. Although got a lot of stick for not ‘working’ Hex’s contacts – bad Mummy!

So A-SITters went home with the following rosettes under their arms:

Sprite
Clear – Veteran ‘Clear Round Only’ Jumping

Kif
3rd – Rescue Tunnel Fun

Hex
7th – G3 Jumping
2nd – G3 Agility (with Mum)

Emily & Alfie at their first proper KC Show
2nd – G1 Jumping

Sarah & Jemma
2nd – G2 Agility
3rd – G2 Agility

Well done everybody!

I taught my last evening lesson of the year tonight and am now going through the process of trying to find everyone regular day slots for the winter – which is proving challenging!
Also on the verge of sorting our Christmas meal (either the 12th or 13th of Dec – pencil it in!) and embroidered club wear.
Now off to bed, more lessons tomorrow then Honiton/Devon Dogs this weekend for the last camping show of the year.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

A-SIT Fun Competition Day

The sun was shining! Hip hip hip hooray!


I don’t know about everybody else, but I had a great day today! It was so nice to see so many people and their dogs relaxing at the field, and very exciting to see some of the new up and coming dogs strutting their stuff and doing their Mum’s & Dad’s proud. And so many personal goals achieved too; dogs that didn’t go home with any rosettes but achieved targets like running a whole course, running in front of other dogs, NEARLY getting clear rounds – so many near misses. But this is definitely something I would like to do again next year – so we can say ‘maybe next time’!



So here are the results:



Pre-Comp Agility:


1st – Gail & Stitch


2nd – Anthony & Amy


Competition Agility:


1st – Sarah.L & Ru


2nd – Jeannette & Tess


Trophy Dogs Agility:


1st – Sarah.C & Jemma


Clear Round – Jane & Boot



Pre Comp Jumping:


1st – Mum & Stitch


2nd – Sadie & Carmen


Competition Jumping:


1st – Alex & Sonny


2nd... Everybody else got E’d!


Trophy Dogs Jumping:


1st – Mike & Rio


2nd – Jane & Boot



Well done everybody! And some special thanks to Sam for judging, Mum for her help with the paper work, Sarah, Mike & Abi for their ring partying and my fella Matt for timing.


Thanks Eveyone!



Monday, 13 September 2010

Gillingham

I only spent the one day at Gillingham, but that was fine cause I still got to take some pretty ribbons home! And it was great to have my Mum back again... even if it did mean we had Stitch noise pollution ; ) ...which we’ll forgive him for when he’s competing – less than 5 weeks now!

Hex came 4th in G3 Agility (Club friends Mel & Lucas came 3rd – Well done to them!)
Hex was mental in her other runs and had 1 pole down in the jumping and an ‘up yours mummy’ E in the other agility – b*tch!

Kif cam 5th in the G5 Jumping – which I never would of expected at a champ show – very proud of him - it felt like I was running a 'normal' dog : )


Sprite had his first run since his op and he loved it – I mucked it up which is annoying because I was on his good side the whole may round until I said ‘go’ when I meant ‘here’, but I was very nervous about running him and I’m just pleased he was having a good time!

Jill had her first KC show with Jonah and he did her very proud, no ribbon yet, but not far off. He had killer contacts and some really smooth runs – next season he will be one to watch out for!

I FINALLY got time to have a sports massage from Tamzin Grimes at Body Mechanics – If you’re ever at a show and she’s working – book a slot! Seriously amazing job she did on my back. So I left the show happy, relaxed and ache free.

Not long now until the fun show (you A-SITters play nice with the Little Orchard group!) and then Blackdown where we have a number of A-SITters competing – exciting stuff!

(Ooo and I've started looking at Christmas Menus for our Dinner *dribble dribble*)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Just a quick catch up.

I was at Prestbury Park this weekend, it’s a great show with a great venue and some really beautiful trophies... which I just missed out on 3 times!!!

Kif had a 4th with the SWAT Dashin’ Dogs Team. He ran the fastest he ever has teamed up with Raq, Boo & Buell – Good Times!

Hex had a 4th in the G3 Jumping & G3 Agility, unfortunately I can’t blame her for our lack of trophy, my handling was a little panicky and she did everything I said – I was just wrong. And my timing is still off with Kif, he got a couple of Clears in the G5 classes but he wasn’t fast enough because I wasn’t smooth enough – my poor dogs!

HUGE Congratulations to Jo with her SWAT Spaniel Fluke, for winning G4 Agility and going G5, I saw the winning round and WOW – you go girl!

Karen & Molly have been busy bunnies elsewhere over the past couple of weeks, well done for:

3rd in 1-2 Jumping @ Bovey tracey

1st in 1-2 jumping @ Cornwall

4th 1-2 Steeplechase @ Tarka

And a 4th in the 1-2 Helter Skelter and 3rd in the 1-2 Jumping @ Dartmoor plus the cup for highest placed members large dog on the day.

Gillingham this Saturday and then the Fun Show – Rossettes have been ordered and courses planned so we’re good to go!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Dashin' Dogs!

So I struggled to sum up the 3 day KC Festival – How am I supposed to sum up Dashin’ Dogs?!



Dashin’s Dogs is one of my favourite shows of the year and once again my other half, Matt joined me, much happier this time as we were in a caravan, not a tent this time J



We set up in the pouring rain on Thursday and it was pretty darn windy too! “If the caravan’s a rockin’, don’t come a knockin”?.... Well everyone’s caravans were rockin’ and no-one dare go out of theirs to go a knockin’!



Friday


Competition started, we were eased in with a half day of competition and reduced runs.


Hex opened her week with... you’ve guessed it – 5 faults! Not cool! And then another 5 faults – surely not!! I said to myself before we left for DD that I couldn’t take a WHOLE week of just 5 faults and as pleased as I was with how she was handling, and she really was handling well, I couldn’t believe our luck – why couldn’t those poles just stay up?!


Kif on the other hand had a fantastic start to the week – 14th in the Combined 3-5 Jumping! The biggest class of the day and he was up there in the places.



Saturday


I shouldn’t of b*tched about 5 faults – today was the day of 10 faults from Hex – grizzle grizzle.


A 6th in Veteran jumping from Sprite.


Sprite has slowed down a tad which was to be expected, running half blind. But he was still super speedy, his main time was lost when he lost me, this was either when he came out of a tunnel, if I did a reverse turn or on tight corners when I was on his blindside. Later on in the week he mistook the judge for me following a tunnel, but generally he would either get E’d by just doing what he could see or would lose time going wide or hesitating while he found me. But we’re adapting our partnership to cope and hoping for courses when Sprite’s on my right! We did get a couple more clears throughout the week, but only in the anysize classes where younger, faster dogs just kept pushing us out of the places.



Sunday


Things started looking up!


Hex gained a 5th in the G3 Agility. Unfortunately I was handling like a numpty. I had stupidly started a count down of how many days I had left competing this year to go grade 4 and was also walking my agility courses thinking ‘this is the most important course of the day, I NEED this’. So my mind was in conflict – did I walk my courses ‘safe’ and concentrate on just keeping every pole up, or did I walk it to win it and take risks? When running courses – should I work my contacts assuming the fatal pole would fall or do quick releases to gain time, but lose consistency? I was totally over-thinking and when in the ring I was unable to breathe and my limbs were visibly shaking – what was wrong with me putting all this pressure on myself and a young dog?


Kif managed a Clear in the G5 Jumping but my timing was off with him all week, I cost him so many places, either miss timing manoeuvres or sending him wide and costing him time



Monday


The day off. A day of stinking weather to sit around wishing we were running. I got serious Cabin fever!



Tuesday


Another Clear with Kif and an entertaining run with him in which a small ‘hurricane’ hit whilst he was in the ring, everything we approached blew down and we were dodging wings left right and centre, if I hadn’t bodged his weave entry I think we might of got a nice place... mainly from the time we saved not having to actually jump 4 obstacles! Nothing with Hex though – Back to our 5 faulting ways – so frustrating! Also a rather surprising refusal. She nipped under a jump to get to some weaves, she just didn’t see the jump, whipped her round to try again, she did it again! She just wasn’t seeing the jump, so I set her in a wait and she did it... but all the poles stayed up – so this got me doing more dangerous thinking – when we made mistakes – were the poles staying up cause I was handling differently, or were they staying up cause she knew she’d gone wrong so therefore was running with less throttle? Or was it all just a happy coincidence? I never managed to answer this question because on


Wednesday


She got a 10th in G3 Jumping (really rubbish course walking from me!) and a 2nd in G3 Agility! – Yes another 2nd, her fifth one – so close but yet so far and she was leading the class for so long *sigh* and we were only off by something like 0.221 of a second.


Matt dedicated today to agility (he had spent most of the week being sensible and hiding in the caravan with a book... and cooking me yummy meals), but Wednesday he made a vow to watch every run of mine and he was true to his word he became my lucky mascot and kept control of the ninjas (don’t ask!), as a thank you I gave him the last run of the day with Hex – The Flick-Flack challenge; Now as most of you know a flick-flack, or ‘snake’ is not the easiest of exercises for a ‘newbie’ to master and the course consisted of 4 snakes made up of 4 jumps each. Matt has probably only mucked around at the field with Hex twice, but he took his instructions and did SUCH a good job. All the SWATties gathered round to watch and he did himself and Hex very proud, he just sent her wide round number 2 so she missed it out, but he picked her straight up for number 3 and continued to do the rest of the course fast, tight, and clear – if he hadn’t made that initial mistake I’m sure he would of made top 5 but it was not to be which is a shame. I wish I’d recorded it, it was a thing of beauty... unlike Kif’s G5-7 Flick Flack challenge – Yvonne Goode set a wicked course, I arsed up infront of the tunnel, managed to save it after Kif span and barked at me a number of times and then bodged my way round the rest of the course, I wasn’t even sure when I’d finished if I’d completed the course correctly – but I had and he came 12th... no thanks to me!



Thursday


FINALLY it all came together!


After my success with Matt watching the previous day I insisted that he come watch at least Hex’s runs on the Thursday (superstitious, me?!), armed with a clover (just a 3 leaf one – don’t ask, the weather made us all a little crazy).


Hex’s first run of the day was G3 Agility in ring 1, it really wasn’t a Hexy course, minimum distances, on a steep slope, and her first run of the day, which is usually the most mental. I was queuing up with Matt and voicing my thoughts, I told him I’d walked the start to play it safe and that I apologised if it looked a bit messy, he said ‘I thought you were in it to win it?’, to which I replied ‘I am! But I need to go clear’, but the seed of doubt was planted and now a decision had to be made with 4 dogs to go... and I’m VERY indecisive, out of the blue I say to Matt ‘pull her, or push her?’ referring to the safe (pull) or the risky (push) option – I expected him to just pick one, not really knowing what I wasn’t talking about, but he asked me what I meant so I explained so he answered ‘ it’s your last day, go for it, PUSH!’, I looked at what I was going to be asking Hex to do, the pole before the A-frame was a huge risk, I was worried she either wouldn’t see it (like so many others), or would smoosh it (like most of the others)..... ‘mmmm, okay’ I answered, but decided not to watch anymore dogs running incase my mind was changed back.


So I pushed, and was in total shock as she cleared all the jumps leading out AND the risky jump before the A-Frame, sh*t, now I’m on the wrong side, a quick rear cross fixed that and into the weaves, wow that was a speedy see-saw, now when I walked this course I didn’t think I could get there but.... hey yeah, I’ve got time, across the face of the tunnel I whip and on to the dog walk, wow she’s moving – O man, down hill minimum box work with an A-Frame trap, the familiar sound of a toenail on a pole – it’s still standing! Don’t rush her, a wide turn – 2 jumps to go – Clear! ‘O wow, wow, really nice’ said the scrimer to the scorer behind her. Poo, I thought, that means I’m in the lead which means poo, I’m going to come 2nd again. I didn’t tell Matt what was going through my head, just that I was pleased with all but the wide turn and thanks for his help.


Later on in the day we ran Marie Douglas’s Agility and went into 3rd (we ended up 4th), I waited till I was alone and went down to check Ring 1, my ticket wasn’t on top, O well, I thought, 2nd again, let’s see what that wide turn cost me, I flicked on to my ticket in 2nd place – HEY! Wait a second! My time was faster than the dog on the top of the pile by half a second! – I pointed this out to the scorer, she corrected her error – I was back in the lead and there I stayed!!! Winning the class by just under half a second. Matt and the SWATties came to my presentation as did Hex (I always take my dogs up to collect their prize if the win), although she wasn’t that impressed to be ringside in her ‘posh’ clothes, with no work to be done teehee.


Dashin’ Dogs have their announcements on tanoy and over the radio, lots of people heard and congratulated me, but it still didn’t sink in until I was home – We’d finally after so many near misses, achieved our first goal – to win up to G4. : )


Phew, now I might actually start running like a normal person again! I have some new bits and bobs I’d like to work on with Hex, so must find the time before our first run at G4 – Devon Dogs/Honiton – Bring it on!



Away from the rings I had a great show, with great company, Abi and I enjoyed some entertaining walks, Matt & I enjoyed some fun nights in and out with the SWATties, celebrating their many successes. Alot of you know Mike & Rio – he gained enough points to go Grade 5 and won a fair few trophies along the way – we drank to that!


The weather wasn’t great, but I don’t think I spoke to anyone who didn’t enjoy their time there.


I’m just sorry that there are no videos to view, but here's my Baby looking beautiful with her win out trophy.




Sunday, 22 August 2010

While the Lel's away the A-sitters still play!!

Hello A-sit folk. Somehow I have managed to "glean" the password of Sprite's Blog in Lesleys absence. This is handy as..... I thought I would like to report on how i am finding it.. being her right hand woman....wing man,general dogsbody or whatever it is that i am whilst she is away hopefully adding to her points/rosette tally for this agility season.

Where to start?? Well first and foremost I would like to thank everybody for...still turning up...JUST kidding there guys. I have to say that although I was the one who started agility in the Skinner household so many years ago, spending long hours training and coaching Lesley and her brother Paul, I haven't ever really seen myself as a regular trainer. It's been Lesley who has inspired me (that's another way of saying nagging...but in a GOOD way!!) to get the Kennel Club Approved Instructor qualification so that I can step forward and have confidence to share my experience with people and coach partnerships in the sport I have had such passion for over the years.

This break of Lesleys' is a golden opportunity for me to pick up the reins on some pretty impressive up and coming woofs and their human counterparts.It's looking good folks. Contacts are being touched,weaves are being negoitated and I have seen some of the most impressive directional controlwork over the last week. Lesley appears to be shaping you into some great handlers and you are working hard both in the lessons and with the homework being set. Remember it pays dividends guys so keep up the good work. Hopefully when I hand you all back to her she will see that nothing has slipped...that's a hint by the way not to drop me in it by saying "left" to your dog when you actually mean "right" ...I will never hear the end of it ok :-)

Well I better get off to bed - another set of lessons tomorrow night. Thank you once again everybody for making me feel so welcome and not glaring at me too hard when I say "can you just do that one again".She will be back very soon but you have made me feel very valued also.

Gail

Monday, 16 August 2010

International KC Festival.... British Weather

So on Thursday I headed off to my first International KC Festival, where do I start?!

The show was huge, really, really HUGE. There were people camped only rows away from me that I didn’t see until I went to leave. There were 17 rings, 18 if you include the practice ring!

When I took Hex down through the caravans for her first run she was her usual mental self, bouncing back and forth tugging her lead, then as the caravans cleared to reveal the rings she dropped her lead and just stood there open mouthed and looked at me as if to say ‘woah!’. I laughed out loud at her, scruffed her head and headed off to our first run.

Hex worked so well at this show, she was really driving on when on the straight and responding beautifully to my shoulders and arms, even when it got to slippery for me to run to where I usually would, she listened to her ‘go go’s’ and followed the line that my arm sent her in. Unfortunately though, she was still clipping the odd pole and when she picked her feet up, I let her down; the competition at the show was soooo hot, I was aiming for the tightest turns and twice, I called her off route too soon. She did however manage to go clear and come 20th in the qualifier and the course was the stinkiest I have ever run with her, I was so nervous I just aimed her at each jump and didn’t work any corners and she was still fab. All I had to do was go clear in the jumping round to qualify for the final – I have never been so nervous with her and it got the better of me, I swung around from jump 2 to 3 so quick she didn’t see it and picked up on the long jump – it happened so quickly I wasn’t even sure she had missed it so carried on and got E’d, but the rest of the run was clear and accurate – I just spent the rest of the show kicking myself. Kif was a speed demon and had 2 out of 4 clears, he was running his fastest, but unfortunately for him, at the KC fest he still wasn’t quite quick enough.

There were no veteran classes for Sprite so I brought him a ‘Dog Tornado’ to play with, it’s a treat based toy he has to learn how to operate in order to obtain the treats – he is supposed to use logic to locate and obtain the treats – he is just enjoying bashing it at the moment : )

Thunder, lightning and rain kept crossing the show ground the whole weekend, but it didn’t seem to dampen the atmosphere until a collie got spooked in one of the storms and did a runner, everyone rallied together to search for him, fortunately he turned up 8 miles away and was returned to his daddy the next morning.

I would really recommend the KC Festival, I wouldn’t want to run anymore than 2 dogs at it and I advise that if you are camping then you should volunteer to help for a day, it drastically improves where you are situated for the rest of the weekend and you get a T-Shirt, lunch and raffle entry.

I’ll leave you with some of Hex’s highlights:


Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Pick your ruddy feet up!

Sorry for the lack of blog, I’ve had some time off from shows and haven’t had any texts or emails with anyone else’s results so nothing to write!

I was at Lansdown on Sunday and had a great day. My chum Clare came to watch her first dog show and my guys put on a good show for her. Kif did 2 lovely clears, so tight and so fast, I was certain he was in for a place in the Gr5 Jumping, but not quite fast enough and I knew he didn’t stand a chance in the 3-7 Circular Jumping bless him. Hex decided that after her break she was going to come back... and do exactly what she was doing before – a pole in each, but she was running like a dream and it did give me a chance to work her contacts and they were speedy and solid – loved it!

Elsewhere Jane got a 3rd in ‘Snakes & Ladders’ jumping with Welly & a 2nd in the Snooker with Boot.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving for my first KC Festival – not sure what to expect, seems to be a love it or hate it event but I’m excited anyway especially after how Hex ran tonight at SWAT.

While I’m away I’ll be planning the courses for the fun competition which is just over a month away and lessons for Mum to take whilst in my absence. Exciting stuff and lots of newbies to play with – Welcome All : )

Monday, 2 August 2010

Boot does it again!

Well done to Jane and Boot for winning the Grade3 Agility at the Limit show this weekend.
The previous week Jane had lots of clears but was just out the placings, this week he was back on top. Congrats! : )

Monday, 26 July 2010

Meddle not in the affairs of the dragon; for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

For those of you who wonder what on earth dragons have to do with Agility; we were at Caerphilly show this weekend and Caerphilly Show = Dragon trophies! Much sort after Dragon trophies.

I have won trophies at Caerphilly before, but only in sponsored classes, so never a dragon and I was determined to win one this year and name him Borris! .... But it was not to be. Hex decided to remain consistent and clip just one pole in a majority of her classes , Sprite was out of action and when Kif wasn’t being special needs – I was! We did have some good results though:

Hex

15th – C3-5 Dog Vegas Qualifier

Kif

4th – G5 Jumping (Just 0.3secs off a Dragon!) Video to follow

Sarah & Jemma

4th C1-2 First Contact Agility- Qualifying her for her first Agility Final!!!

Sarah & Jemma had about as many ‘if only’ rounds as I did with Hex this weekend

Sarah & Elliot

2nd – Grade 2 Jumping = DRAGON! Sarah has named her Dragon Fred

Jane & Boot

9th – G3 Agility. Not an easy course – Well done!

Borris, I will be coming for you next year!!!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

South Devon

Two years running this has been one of my favourite shows of the year, but this year was different.

I don’t want to dwell on it too much as the day has been and gone and thanks to pep talks from Karen, Ang, Mike, Toni & Daz (and a call to France) I made it through the day and didn’t leave at 10.30 when I had planned to after my first couple of runs.

I felt completely overwhelmed emotionally from Sprite’s deteriorating health and spent the morning on the verge of tears and making stupid mistakes with Hex. Ironically Sprite’s runs were the best of the day, he had a 3rd & a 5th even with tunnel vision and stiffening limbs.

And that’s all the news really. We’re looking into getting Sprite different meds but it looks like this really will be his last year in competition and after over 11 years competing in the ring with him I am finding it very difficult to come to terms with, we’ll just have to see how the next couple of months pan out.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Burtle Demo

Can't believe we pulled this one off! Hardly any dogs, even less people and we still managed to entertain Burtle... even if it was only for 16mins of the 30 we were allocated : s

I know that Spud & Tess were put off by having the A-Frame first - unfortunately the overhanging tree meant I couldn't have a jump before it as had been planned but Kelly & Jeannette both stuck with it and finished their runs really well all things considered. Chas was a good boy and so was Welly, poor Sprite is still struggling to see properly, he only lost the tunnel 2 jumps before the end and he still had fun, but seeing him this way is really upsetting me - I don't think I will be entering anymore shows with him.

Hex, Boot & Rio put in some lovely clears.

A-SIT cleaned up in the show's competitions:
Charley (Kelly's Daughter) & Spud won Best Fancy Dress as Little Red Riding Hood with Spud dressed as the wolf in Granny's clothing - so cute!
Anne's Chas won most Handsome Dog
Hex won Best Trick with her elephant stand trick... only we did it on an overturned metal dog bowl and passed it off as tap dancing - teehee!)

Thank you so much to everyone that took part, special thanks to Matt (The Muscles) & Mandy (MC) who didn't even have a dog to play with and also to Kelly & Jane for the extra work they put in at the field. EVERYONES help made the equipment moving really smooth. Thanks to Burtle Church for having us and to Richard for the use of his trailer.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Cornwall & Diamond Dogs

Cornwall

Up at 4.30am in the morning Matt & I travelled south to possibly the only place in the country where it was raining and for what? – More ruddy poles!!!

Hex had a pole in both jumpings and fell off the dog walk in the agility – whoops!

Sprite still wasn’t 100% - He did a lovely clear round up until the end – He thought he had finished, but he actually had 2 more jumps to do. When I asked him to do the last ones he was confused and thought he’d gone wrong, I think he’s seeing in a sort of tunnel vision, he’s aware of what’s in front of him but doesn’t seem to know what’s around him. He went in the wrong end of the tunnel in the agility but had fund.

Kif had 2 clear rounds – just out the placings in each.

So not a great day.

Bit of a better day at Diamond dogs, although I made some silly mistakes.

Kif got a clear

Hex got a 6th

I did get to try out some of my ‘new moves’ in the jumping and considering she’s only got to practice them twice she did one VERY nice turn – thanks Baby!

Well done to Jane for 4x Clears with Boot & achieving her Agility Warrant Bronze!

Sprite had a really nice walk Abi & Kim and their dogs so he’d didn’t miss out even though he didn’t have any runs.

Now I have a Demo to organise for Saturday and lessons to finishing planning for Little Orchard.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

It’s Thursday! – When did that happen?!

Tuffley shows seems a bit of a blur now so I am straining my grey cells to remember what happened.

Results:

Hex
9th CSJ 3-5 Qualifier
Kif
3 x Clears

Sarah & Elliot
28th C1-4 Jumping
Sarah & Jemma
2x Clears

Hex was being a clumsy b*tch again – a pole in everything Saturday and not even my ‘keep ‘em up’ yellow trousers could keep all the poles up Sunday but she did put in an okay run in the CSJ – Probably was the most wide and ‘novice’ run I’ve put in, in a while, I could feel my arms flaying and preyed the poles stayed up which they did.

I left Tuffley feeling rather blue. I had a great time camping, tucking into a BBQ, sharing cake and catching up with people ringside but my heart just wasn’t in it and I missed Sprite (who is still not 100%). Little things were upsetting me and it was hard to cover it up. But I felt much better after a private lesson with Anthony on Monday morning, I won’t bore you with the details but I feel much better about myself and inspired to do some new exercises with Hex. It’s so difficult to find time for your own dogs when you’re teaching all the time – especially in the weather we’ve had; it’s too hot to leave a dog in the car & I’m completely drained. But I MUST find time or my dogs will go to waste.

Stitch is back to his terrierish self... although he is still supposed to be ‘taking it easy’. He’s on holiday in France at the moment with Mum, Dad & Phee – I hope they have a fantabulous time!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Beware – Seconditis is contagious!

Sarah diagnosed herself with ‘seconditis’ after receiving her third 2nd in Agility early this month. This weekend I got two 2nds in agility taking my total to four, that’s four times I have almost been able to taste Grade 4 with Hex. The win has got to be near – surely? I have more than enough points to go up, but Hex deserves the win so I’m going to hold on.

All in all I enjoyed Lansdown, although I had to be talked into staying on Sunday because I was feeling so drained after Saturday. Saturday was just hard work and I felt so guilty I couldn’t do more to help on Ring 1, or more to assist fellow A-SITters but I was camped SO far away and there was just too much to do! The heat also got to me and to Kif and the ring party on the team ring were appalling (with the exception of Jayne, who was the only person who made sense!). You are told teams are priority and that you must run in order and yet we managed to have 3 teams infront of us for 50 minutes (no wonder Sarah and I couldn’t get back to Ring 1 to assist!)– someone explain how that works? We were advised to stand in the shade, which we did and the longer we did the more teams pushed infront, so when we went to claim our place in the queue, the caller lays into members off our team – if I had seen her do this she would of got a mouth full back from me – I was NOT in the mood! And I’m sorry that Kelly & Emily had to see one of the more ugly sides of agility. If the teams were run in order as they should have been in the first place none of this would have been a problem. The SWAT team I was in last week also had a run in with a useless ring party, I know these people are volunteers but they are volunteering to do a job – so do it right and refrain from being rude and abusive! Rant over.

So how did we get on?

Hex
2nd – G3 Agility
2nd – G3 Agility
Kif
10th G4 Jumping

Sarah & Jemma
8th – G1 Jumping

Jane & Boot
3rd - Crufts Team with Diamond Dogs
4th G2 Agility
And I’m sure she had something else too – will update when I know!

And club friends Mel & Lucas got 2 x 2nds! What a star!

Looking forward to starting groups today, lets hope there’s a bit of a breeze blowing!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Busy busy busy

Sorry, this is going to be a short one, but I if I don’t write this in the short time I have now, then before I know it we’ll have more to report from Lansdown and I’ll get behind myself!

Golden Valley was a lovely show as usual, held at Top Barn, which is a lovely show ground but for some reason doesn’t seem all that lucky for me, Hex had another demolition week, I missed one of Kif’s runs and he hates the fact they keep half a rattley noisy lorry by 4 of the rings so runs down that end of the show ground I might as well miss anyway! And Sprite was a good boy, but unfortunately is being joined in the Veteran/Anysize classes by new younger veterans who are just that bit quicker and more mobile than he is.
I have some great videos but no time to edit them or convert them for sharing, so will add them eventually! I also have most of Sarah’s vids which I must convert for her! No rest for the wicked!

I got to try out my new caravan which was great- can’t wait to redecorate and make it my own.

Results:

@Golden Valley
Kif
2x Clear Rounds (too hot and noisy for speedy Kif to show his face)
Hex
6th C3-4 Jumping (My last run of the weekend and I played it safe to keep the poles up, which meant that in the end I was actually happier with some of the rounds where she clipped poles)
Sprite
7th Anysize Jumping

Sarah & Jemma
5th C1-2 Jumping

@ Barnstaple
Jo & Charlie
Their 1st Clear round in the C1-7 Steeplechase!!

Karen & Molly
5th C1-2 Jumping
Clear – C1-7 Steeplechase

@UKA Aldon
Jane & Boot
1st Gamblers
2nd Agility
7th Jumping

Elsewhere
Barbara & Dex
Best in Show!
You may think this isn’t agility related, but Pedigree Boxer Dex started agility this month to boost his confidence and trust in Barbara so that he would hold his head and tail high in the show ring (which he previously hadn’t been) – So this is still an A-SIT result – Well done handsome fella!

So that’s all to report that I’m aware of, let me know if you have any other news. This week we have a fun course set at the field, next week we have our first A-SIT group lessons and I’m also in the process of planning us another fun competition for September and our July Demo. Ooo and I have a newsy newsletter to produce. There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Monday, 14 June 2010

A-SIT do it AGAIN!

@Thames
Hex
4th G3 Agility
6th C1-4 Jumping
11th C3-5 Agility (Olympia Qualifier)

Sprite
14th Veteran Jumping

Sarah & Jemma
2nd C1-2 Agility
4th G1-2 Agility
11th C1-2 Jumping
Sarah & Elliot
17th G1-2 Agility

Jo & her SWAT dog, Fluke
A 2nd, 3rd, 7th & 14th

@Wyre Lancs Agility Club Show
Jane & Boot
1st Jumping
3rd Agility
4th Agility
1st Agility!!! Boot has won in to Grade 3 – Woohoo!!!

@Carn Brea
Karen & Molly
2nd C1-2 Jumping
6th Gr1 Agility
Karen’s next show will be at Grade 2 following progression by points – well done!

Once again I am a very VERY proud trainer : )
On a separate note; judges that set courses where they cannot see when a dog puts 4 feet on a contact should not be judging a CSJ qualifier! And certainly should not fault what they cannot see! That is all I will say on the matter – Sarah, Mum, Nat, Matt and most people at Thames have heard MORE than enough.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Go Team!

Yesterday’s demonstration was a success, the audience enjoyed themselves, the dogs enjoyed themselves and I hope you all did too.

Chas won the overall competition and Tess, Alfie, Kif & Sprite won the races at the end.

Thank you to everybody that helped set up, especially Jeannette, Sarah, Tasha, Mum & Matt who did all the loading and unloading with me at the field.

Here's the Vid:

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Wye Valley-Why me?!

Despite the heat Hex still kept up the speed she’s gained along with the clumsy. She has become a 5 fault wonder and when she managed to keep poles up she fluffed things she knows perfectly well how to do; weaves and the seesaw would you believe?! She is MENTAL atm which is fine, I’m loving the speed, but we are going to have to do grid work at the new speed and I’ll be cracking out the wooden poles in training. The most disappointing run for me was the team – Raq, Boo & Kif all did amazing clears and Hex, our last dog took out 3 jumps – it’s one thing fluffing our runs but when she mucks up a team and there was nothing I could do about it, it leaves a bitter feeling no matter how much you love the dog.
Next week at least I won’t have Mum going into the tent and looking at times and letting me know ‘you would of won that’ or ‘wow, that was an expensive mistake’. As exciting and encouraging as it is to know where you would have been, it’s also sickening and sometimes not worth dwelling on.

There were no runs for Sprite this weekend, but Kif had some goodun’s I could kick myself over some stupid handling errors though, forgetting to throw an arm out, not working a weave entry, sending him wide – he’s a different dog at the mo and I’m still adjusting, but that’s no excuse – I’m just not focused and I’m letting mistakes happen and letting him down when he’s giving me his all. Kif did manage to get a 3rd in Grade 4 Jumping though and with a wide turn in the wrong direction (I will add the vid soon), without the wrong turn we would of had 2nd, but we couldn’t of touched 1st. I’d love to get a 1st with Kif by the end of the year, he’s getting a fair amount of 3rds now and he did once have a 2nd so it’s there.

Outside of the competing we had a really nice show. We went swimming in the river... well kind of, all the dogs did except Hex who can’t really swim, she can sink, bounce and float but just doesn’t seem to understand swimming. We had a good laugh with the SWAT lot in the evening and a wicked takeaway, which went late into the night and was only cut short when some locals set off fireworks right next to the showground!!! Madness then ensued and everyone checked their dogs were where they should be and the whole campsite echoed with howling, crying, barking dogs. If I’d been in the excercise area with mine I know I would of lost both Sprite and Kif, lucky for me my 4 were tucked up in bed, but others weren’t so lucky; 4 dogs went missing and a search party of around 80 people scoured the showground for them, thankfully they were all found, but it could of been much MUCH worse, we were next to a river and not far from a main road.

Elsewhere at Carn Brea Karen and Molly had:
3rd in Comb Agility
6th in Comb Jumping

Well done guys, really pleased Molly’s contacts are sticking

And A-SIT member Sarah and her team won their flyball division today – multi talented dogs she has!

We have the demo on Wednesday and I’m excited and nervous... but more excited ; )

Monday, 31 May 2010

SWAT Show

As a rule, I never do well at a show when I’m helping, so joint ring managering with my Mum you would have thought would doom me for failure... how very wrong I was!

A-SIT got the following results:

Kif
3rd G4 Jumping
7th G3-5 Jumping
12th G1-7 Jumping

Hex
2nd!!!! G3 Agility (soooo close!)
3rd G3 Jumping
19th G3 Jumping (due to a trip Hex took to the tunnel before listening to her Mummy!)

Sprite
1st Veteran Jumping

Sarah & Elliot
2nd G1 Jumping (Yay Mr.E!)
8th G1 Agility (Elliot’s first EVER clear in Agility after much hard work from Sarah on his contacts and weaves – great to see some results)

Sarah & Jemma
3rd G1 Jumping (a fraction of a second behind Elliot!)
Sarah has also decided to take Jemma up to Grade 2 on points so when she does get her Agility win, she’ll be a Grade 3.

Jane & Boot
3x Clears in various Jumping classes
UKA Phoenix show last week they also got a 4th

Karen & Molly
3rd G1 Jumping
5th G1 Agility
4th G1 Agility
4th Gr1 Jumping

So a really REALLY great show as a club for us and very proud to have you kitted out in club colours, especially when Sarah & Karen collected 4th, 3rd and 2nd in the same class!

Kif is jumping like a ‘normal’ dog. Hex was examined on site by the SMART Clinic and her recent pole hitting is due to a tight quad and back – all muscular which can be fixed with special stretches over the next week. Sprite was strutting his stuff in the Veteran ring. I am one very happy handler and trainer.

Thank you to SWAT for such a great show and to everyone that spared time to help on our ring.

And on a completely different note – Happy Birthday to Kelly (Spud's Mummy) for this weekend!

I've decided not to go to Packington today as I have way too much to do before I go away tomorrow, so I'm going to set about organising the A-SIT demonstration day, sorting out some lesson plans for Mum and I'll see you all in a week’s time! x

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The sun was shining on Kif today : )

Not so much on Hex – I need to spend some more time on my own dogs as well as other peoples! It’s so hard finding the time, but she is a young dog and she confirmed today that she needs it. I went all the way up to Luton for the Olympia Qualifier, I was up at 4.20am and had a 3 hour drive and all to watch Little Miss Hex continue to flaunt about the agility ring like she owns the place. A pole in each run again (2 in the agility), wide turns, and just a genuine ‘bitchy’ feel to her. Even chilling out ring side she wouldn’t look at me when I asked her to. Princess Hex was in her own little world – she needs to come back down to earth and FAST!

As for Kif, well I could just hug and squeeze him! (If he’d let me.... which I don’t think he would).

I couldn’t believe when I got my running orders that we’d entered him in the NBC 4-7 Comb Jumping against 288 other Collie/Collie Crosses..... ‘Why?!’ I asked myself – but the course was a shitter and he was fab, continuing his good stride work he followed every line of my body (even when I sent him wide twice—whoops!). At the prize giving I was listening to all the dogs called before me and I was certain Kif couldn’t of completed a course faster than them – but some handling risks we made paid off – 17th overall – against some of the top dogs around – 288 of them!!! Ahh AMAZING! And then to top it off he came 7th in the Grade 4 Jumping. Kif doesn’t like the heat and he was by no means moving his fastest but he wasn’t measuring or hanging about in the air so we can definitely work with this – come on Kifley-Koo!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Unlucky...

They say that things tend to come in 3s; well, Hex had a pole in the jumping, a pole in the agility and I lost my van keys!!! They came out of my pocket in the exercise area and I didn't realise until I was back at the van! Luckily as it had been a sunny day I had left the back of the van open so the dogs could still be let out, so the only panic was - how do I get home?!
It's in situations like this that Agility people really do shine. I went to the secretary's tent and had an announcement put out and a set of keys was handed in!.... not mine though. Abi helped me double check my van and make a quick trip round the exercise area, Sarah and Natalie spent in total (2 trips) approx an hour and 20mins with me walking up and down the length of the HUGE exercise area and eventually the lost was found, but I had 4 offers, including one from a complete stranger to help me get my dogs home and an offer from Nat to take me back up to retrieve my van. I am so SO grateful, if it wasn't for all the fantastically supportive friends (& strangers) I had around me, I would of been in melt-down.

Unfortunately my last runs of the day did suffer though - my mind wasn't with it. I ended up on the wrong side of the line home with Sprite and sent him the wrong way and I wasn't in the right place to work Kif's contacts. Kif did however put in one fab run - his first of the day, he came 28th in the Comb 3-5 Jumping. 28th, you say - pah! But I was soooo pleased with this run, he was up against 280 other dogs and this wasn't a 'Kiffy' course, there was a big straight line across two side of the ring on the way home - and for the first time EVER in the ring, Kif ran the line 'properly', no silly steps, no extra high jumps and no measuring he was FAB. Very VERY pleased.

Hex's poles were due to me rushing and nagging her round corners, but what elsedid she expect after last week? I need to be on this dogs case if she's going to keep choosing her own course! I did some work today at the field to work on her trusting me when I get in front of a jump at speed that I'm not going to get in her landing space and I was pleased with the results. Lets see if we can pick our feet up on Saturday!!!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

More Good Results

Well not for Hex who decided 3 times to turn a deaf ear and pick her own course. If I had been more on the ball I probably could have saved her mistakes - I think it may have officially been our first ‘off’ day, which is odd because the bits before the eliminations felt amazing - 2 of the E’s were two obstacles from the end!!

But dogs that did listen to their Mummies at Blackdown were:

Sprite
Clear in the Anysize Jumping (This class was a clear rounds only class, no places given. So he did the best he could)

Kif
7th 4-5Comb Jumping
12th 3-4Comb Jumping

Sarah & Elliot
4th 1-3Comb Helter Skelter
Sarah & Jemma
3rd 1-3 Graded Agility

Karen & Mollie
6th 1-2Comb Jumping
9th 1-3Comb Jumping

Jeannette & Tess
3rd in the Small Gr1-3 Graded Agility even with 5 faults (pole down), but places were only given to 2nd so for the third time they have just missed out on a numbered rosette. Next time Girls!

Elsewhere Jane & Boot achieved three 4ths! And would have won the Agility if Jane hadn’t knocked over the last Jump!

Jo & Charlie also had their first show at Blackdown and they were fab, the only real mistakes made were around the weaves which Jo is working on with Charlie at home. Watch this space!

Monday, 3 May 2010

North Somerset Show

I thoroughly enjoyed judging today, I had a great ring party and some good classes and I was really really pleased with how my courses ran and with the positive feedback I received. So often you miss watching your friends run but for an entire day I got a front row seat!

Inbetween the wind, rain and hail, I somehow managed to get sun burnt! With the weather changing every 30mins, so did my outfit and layers, but I was very proud to be wearing my A-SIT zip-up today because everyone did so well and it was so great to see everyone in their gear as well, representing! Even the dogs were wearing our club colours today, Jeannette and her American friends have made Tess and Pixie the coolest little coats complete with club logo – they looked fantastic, I hope to get my hands on a picture of them soon to share for anyone who missed them.

Anyways on with the important stuff, the results!:

Sarah & Jemma:
2nd – Gr1 Agility (it won’t be long until the red ribbon is in her grasp!)
7th – Combined 1-2 Jumping

Jane & Boot:
6th - Combined 1-2 Jumping

Jeannette & Tess (at their first KC Show):
Clear in Gr1-3 Jumping (They actually finished 7th overall, but unfortunately placed rosettes were only to 6th).

Sarah & Elliot and Jane & Welly also deserve a special mention because these are two very excitable dogs who coped extremely well with the atmosphere that this show provides and the increased nerves that handlers let off from being in front of a public crowd and running in my classes!
Elliot did his waits and Welly got his weave entries and did some beautiful sequences within my courses.

Shrewsbury

With my arm improving all the time, I felt my handling was nearly back on form, but I still gave Mum Kif’s Agility runs cause she agreed to come to the show with me last minute to help me set up my tent and keep me company! Saturday was an extremely frustrating day for me with Hex – she had a pole down in the Jumping, but more frustrating she barrel rolled off the side of the see-saw in the Dog Vegas Qualifier, a silly baby mistake which possibly cost her first place – gutted! Sprite seemed back to his spritely self and he was in a really good mood all show, frolicking in the exercise area and sneaking into the tent. Another triumph this weekend was Kif’s contacts – After re-training Kif’s contacts over and over again over the years to try and make him comfortable on them, we have finally decided to go back to the method we feel happiest with (Stop/Go 2o2o) and for the first time in a long time he actually got them in the ring!

So these are the results:

Sprite:
5th – Anysize Jumping
7th – Anysize Jumping

Kif:
14th – Gr3-5 Dog Vegas Agility Qualifier
And other clears with were SO close to being in the places!

Hex:
7th – Gr3 Jumping
14th Gr3 Agility

And now here are the vids (sorry some of Kif's are missed but Mum's still getting the hang of the new camera!):

Cornwall/Dartmoor Weekend 24th & 25th April

Ok, so with one thing and another, I have been a very bad blogger so I’m going to blog so individual shows to bring us up to date.

So lets start with the Cornwall/Dartmoor weekend. My first show back since fracturing my arm and at the same venue I did the damage!! I was very wary about running and had to walk and plan my courses very carefully to use my left arm as little as possible. I was also unable to run Kif because Kif requires my arms a lot more than Hex & Sprite do, so Mum kept Kif for another weekend. It was also the first show where I‘ve run Sprite and started to feel he’s getting older (I know he’s over 12 years old now, but he’s never felt like it before), he struggled with corners and was stiffer after his runs then he’s been before. O and Hex and shredded her stopper pads digging in the back garden so she was running with her front feet strapped up for the first time, her contacts were visibly slower and her pads were obviously causing her some discomfort so as soon as I saw a paw on the contact, I released her, it just means I’m going to have to reinforce her stop contacts when her footsies are better. All the same we had the following results:


Hex:
6th – Gr 3 Agility
10th – Gr 3 Jumping
4th – Gr3 Agility

Sprite:
8th – Anysize Jumping

Mum & Kif:
8th – Gr4 Jumping

Karen & Mollie:
3rd - Gr1 Jumping
7th - Gr1-2 Jumping
1st - Members only 1-7 Steeplechase

Jo & Fluke
also got a 1st and a 3rd and club friends from SWAT, Toni, Daz, Tash & Abi all went home with trophies so there was lots to celebrate.

Here are a couple of Hex’s vids and Kif's 8th

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Wallingford

What a beautiful sunny weekend. Shame I had to spend it standing around watching other people enjoy (or curse at) my dogs. But I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

The most fun I had watching was the laser knockout pairs. Mum ran Kif and Hex was run by her breeder, Lisa. I was so nervous for Hex, it was the first time she’s done pairs and the first time Lisa has ever run her but you wouldn’t of known she wasn’t Lisa’s dog! Unfortunately as they got further and further through the rounds I suggested they speed up their baton change and in doing so Lisa missed Hex’s collar. Watch and enjoy....


The team was also great fun, Sam took Hex in this one, but in me putting her last in the team, she worked up a full head of steam by the time it was her go and I have NEVER seen her move so fast – poor Sam had practiced with Hex at the field on Friday and her behaviour in the ring caught us quite by surprise neither of us expected her to react to team this way. You’ll see from the video I took- I was physically shaking!

Outside the fun events we got the following places:

Hex & Mum
Gr3 Jumping: 11th on Saturday, 18th on Sunday

Kif & Mum
Gr4 Jumping: 11th

I did manage to collect one rosette for myself though, the Annual Valgray awards are presented at Wallingford and Sprite was the Valgray Veteran Dog of the Year again.

On a less doggy note, I forgot to include in the newsletter:
Congratulations to Emily & Colin (& their furry Alfie) on the birth of their second child, little Freddie Macpherson, who has already completed a number of Clear Rounds at our field from inside Emily.

Cornwall/Dartmoor this weekend for me and WBSDS for other A-SITters, fingers crossed for some nice weather and good results!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

What a ‘Crackin’ Weekend!

Well we’ve had A-Sitters all over the place this weekend!

Well done to:
Sarah & Jemma at Dog Vegas for:
20th in Gr1-2 Agility (even with faults – speedy Jem!)
4th in Gr1-4 Jumping
and 2nd in Gr1-4 Agility!
So close to going Gr2 she can almost taste it!
Elliot also made great progress with his waits and weaves so a congrats is also deserved there!

Jane and Welly at the Easter UKA show got:
4th in the Steeplechase!
So pleased for them especially considering the drama last week!

And I was at the Kernow K9 Show in Cornwall.
Hex got an 8th in the Gr3 Jumping
and 2nd in the Gr3 Agility
Kif has now qualified for Grade 5!

Unfortunately the other news from Kernow is that I ended up in A&E and I have fractured my elbow. Long story short – I tripped over a tunnel whilst doing a front cross with Sprite. I have an appointment with the fracture clinic tomorrow morning to re-assess the damage and recovery period but it’s looking to be at least a month. Whilst I am unable to compete or drive, I do still hope to attend shows with Mum and other guest handlers stepping in for my furries. I also would like to continue to teach albeit with some assistance from Mum. I am understandably upset – first show of the season and I write myself off – I feel like a bit of a prat but I’m trying to smile through it and appreciate the support I’ve received so far.

If you want to see the damage as it happened go to the Jayphotos website and check out the Veteran Jumping from Sat - they just happened to be photographing dogs coming out of the tunnel on that course *rolls eyes*.

See you all at the field soon! x

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Good News


Jane has asked me to let you all know that Welly is back at home with his Mummy! She grateful for the support she has received and I'm sure Welly is too... but apparently he's not talking to Jane and the moment.


See you all soon xxx

Monday, 29 March 2010

Get Well Soon Welly Pippin!

With love from all your friends at A-Sit.

Jane we're all thinking of you. If anyone would like to leave Jane (or Welly) a message you can do so here by adding a comment to this post.

Jane will be speaking to the vets tomorrow morning, so we'll know more then.

Please, PLEASE, make sure you are aware of what foods/substances are harmful to your dogs and keep them well out of reach. Jane actually was aware, but Welly is a crafty one and the Fruit Cake proved too tempting.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Pre-Comp day at the A-Sit field

What an amazing day! The rain held off and all our furry ones were on form, even when their handlers weren’t ....having said that the two people with hangovers got the best overall results!

The day commenced with a chat about life at shows and what to expect, I hope everyone liked their handouts, I’ll try and get the information on the website at some point so that it is easily accessible to all.

I then got to take the first group lesson I’ve taken for 3 years! It was great to see everyone trying out new moves in front of each other and this got everyone talking.

Then we had our first competition and the expected nerves got the better of some. The results were as follows:

1st – Jo & Charlie (5faults)
2nd – Kelly & Spud (5faults)
3rd – Anne & Chas (5faults)

Then we had a coffee break (thank you so much to Mum for sorting out refreshments) and our first presentation.

The jumping class was for some people the first time they have walked a course by themselves and everyone did a great job, and an even better job the second time. The places for this class were based on the best of 2 runs. And the results?...:

1st – Jo & Charlie (Clear)
2nd – Gail & Stitch (5faults)
3rd – Kelly & Spud (5faults)


Then for a last minute bit off fun and to try the dogs in rings next to each other we ran a team relay, complete with a baton change. And I think even with the couple of dogs who decided that telling off the other team was a tactic, we still had a blast doing this and hopefully my guys won’t hesitate to find themselves pairs partners or put together a team when the opportunity arises.

The winning relay team was:

Jeannette & Tess/Anne & Chas/Jill & Jonah


Well done to everybody, everybody achieved something to today, whether it was wait starts, avoiding tempting contact equipment, competing in front of other people and dogs or achieving their first clear round. I had a great day and am very, very proud. The day has brought a real sense of team morale to our club and I can’t wait to see my guys at shows together.

A special thank you for Sam for coming to Judge and to Mum for her help with putting the day together and missing a trip to the Mother-in-Law’s to be there!

I have a week off this week but then evening lessons will commence and the show season BEGINS!!! Bring it on!

I also owe a delayed congrats to Sarah and Jemma for their 6th in the Graded Agility class they did last week – Congratulations Sarah.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Happy Birthday Baby!!!

Little Miss Hex is 2 Today and I cannot believe where the time has gone!!

Sunday, 28 February 2010

A Show, A Show!!

Okay, not really; it was an interclub match between LEADS and SWAT (at the new LEADS venue which I REALLY like) but there were still some results to be had.

Hex came 1st in the 3- 5 Agility and 3rd in the 3-5 Jumping and Jo with her SWAT dog, Fluke, won both the 3-5 Jumping and Steeplechase!

SWAT lost the overall match which was a shame, I felt that we had most of the best runs on the day and we dominated the majority of the rounds, it was only one bad jumping round really which left us behind and unable to catch up.

I was really looking forward to seeing 3 of the SWAT pre-comp dogs; Doug, Archie and Lucas and they did not disappoint! It’s going to be a really exciting season for all 3. Lucas even managed to scale the 5ft 7” gallery wall and topped it with a perfect ‘stop’ contact position at the top – Looney Tune!

Home match in on the 14th March – I reckon THIS time we WILL do it!

Other recent results from A-SITters:

14/02/10 UKA Valentines Show
Jane & Boot: 6th in Beginners Jumping

14/02/10 Agility Nuts Show
Sarah & Jemma: 4th in the Helter Skelter
Sarah & Elliot: 1st in the Helter Skelter!!!! Well done Mr.E!

21/02/10 UKA Show
Jane & Boot: 5th in Beginners Agility

Keep the results coming in guys : )

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A-Sit - A year on

I have had some ‘subtle’ encouragement (thank you Sarah and Mum!) to make a blog entry on how training has been going on at the A-Sit field, because apparently birthday entries are not enough and my ‘but there are no shows on’ argument is not enough.

Mum has reminded me that I started A-Sit on 1 February last year so as well as giving me justification to purchase a novelty item for the field for you all to enjoy next week (teehee!), it also seemed like the right time for a progress report so that’s what I thought I do, although for simplicity I’ll only report on events following the new year to save my grey cells.

So where to start? Let’s go alphabetically!

Emily & Alfie
Emily is now (correct me if I’m wrong) 7 months pregnant and despite saying that she feels that she’s running in quick sand she still looks like she covers ground quicker than me! Alfie is being a true Gent and is very understanding that his Mummy can’t always get where she wants to on a course but they still strive for perfection and have produced some really good work over the past couple of weeks, and her baby-to-be has already participated in it’s first clear round at our field – awwww, our youngest member.

Gail & Stitch
O how the tables have turned! Teaching Mum is a surreal experience for me but a great opportunity for me to pay her back for all the help she’s given me and all jip too! It was an unspoken conclusion that both of us came to that I teach Mum as any other client, she books in her 30min slot and works on the same exercises as the other dogs at Stitch’s level and she gets the same amount of stick and sarcasm for her short comings. It is no secret that my Mum’s mind is willing but her body is not, complications following an operation have left her unable to handle dogs the way she would like to. She is also handling a medium dog for the first time – not easy having only run large dogs since 1995! Stitch’s directional control is his strong point at the moment, Mum is fast gaining her ‘remote control’ and what we’re working on now is his ‘go-ons’ – the pieces are all coming together, but please, if anyone hears her say ‘go’ when Stitch is taking a corner –slap her wrist!


Gill & Charlie
Charlie is young handsome, physically solid BOXER. He had some “issues” when he 1st came to us mainly because Charlie tends to remind you of the most playful teenager in the World he just doesn’t know when to stop. This bull in a china shop has no worries when it comes to agility he just throws himself at it at 100 miles an hour ...but getting him to “take a breath” and actually establish a thought process without spontaneously combusting has had us all alternatively in stitches and reaching for the valium!!! He is without a doubt an amazing example of his breed, fearless and full of fun. Watching him mature and begin to take agility in his stride(and following the numbers!!) is a continuing thrill. This is the dog that has given my mum the biggest shock of all as she has never really seen the fascination with them yet would happy snap him up in a heartbeat for agility as he could set the ABC (Anything but collies)world on fire.


Jane, Boot & Welly

Boot is a gentleman and Jane will be the first to admit that he is a very honest and forgiving dog when Jane mis-walks a course but we have been working hard on Jane’s handling and ensuring that she walks a course right first time because there’s no second chance in competition! Boot went up into Grade 2 last year, we’re aiming for Grade 3 this year along with a good result at the Final in June she’s qualified for.





Welly on the other hand can stitch Jane up a treat he is an explosion of energy. Welly has started competing this year and if we can keep Jane calm and in turn keep Welly focused, we’ll be well away! There’s nothing more to say because it really is all there!


Jeannette & Tess
There is one dog that my Dad asks after every week and that is Tess, it’s a terrier thing I think, but what’s great is that every week I can tell him good things about the work Jeannette and Tess have been doing. Tess has really got the hang of this agility thing and was my first newbie to come out and the end of last year, I can’t wait to hear about and see more of her competing this year.


Jennifer & Dora
What an exciting new edition we have! Jennifer has only just started with us and Dora is her first agility dog, Dora is keen and driven and already after only a couple of lessons she is working on nicely and Jennifer is doing her homework because we also have some nice directions developing. Watch this space!

Jill & Jonah
Jonah has just this week started looking at medium jumps (he will eventually be jumping large) and we’ve gone ‘over the top’ (of the dog walk and a-frame) this week too. Jonah responds really well to Jill’s body language, he is a quick learner, quick on his feet too, he is also eager to please and he looks so handsome doing his agility : )


Jo & Charlie
Charlie is Jo’s first Collie, Charlie actually belongs to Jo’s friend Wendy but watching these two work together you wouldn’t know it! Charlie seems to get faster and more confident every week. We are currently concentrating on contacts and weaves because Jo and Charlie seem to have sequences down packed. Then it will be off to their first show! Jo also runs a spaniel, Fluke, who handles completely differently to Charlie, I can’t believe how well Jo copes switching between dogs, and handling styles – I find it difficult to remember my dogs name sometimes when I’ve just run a different one.


Karen & Molly
Karen and I go way back and Molly is the latest addition to her pack. Karen lives in Devon and came down for a special extended lesson to fine tune her handling in order to bring out the best in this cracking Collie. Karen is very good at doing her homework and came prepared with an idea of what she wanted to get out of the lesson and was open to suggestions and was quick to adapt to the changes made. I will continue to watch Molly develop and travel up the grades, it won’t be long until she’ll be up against me and Hex in grade 3! Although with the speed Molly is picking up she will need a wait start! Karen left the field that day in tune with her dog and making the most out of her course – take a look for yourself (and bear in mind that this was at the end of a long day for both of them):


(Other)Karen & Chester
Really glad to see Chester back after his Christmas break and to hear that he was a good boy over Christmas with one exception which Karen informs me was hubby’s fault. As my current client base is 100% female I can say – Men! *rolls eyes*.
Chester was really pleased to see his agility equipment again and to be tearing around and using his noggin’ and Karen has finally ditched the wellies. Over the coming months we’re going to continue to work on channelling Chester’ behaviour and helping his agility become more fluid and controlled.


Kelly & Spud
I have a real soft spot for Spud, he reminds me so much of my Kif. And he is very lucky to have a Mummy like Kelly because she is far more patient with him then I have been in the past with Kif. Spud is a fantastic, fast, responsive Collie... he just wants to keep it a secret! Spud is currently doing full courses with jumps on medium and with a lowered dog walk and he is almost competition ready but there is one thing holding him back and that is his confidence, as soon as anyone comes near the field, he falls apart so we are slowly going to work on adding an audience to his agility including other dogs and fingers crossed he will get off on the atmosphere we can create but it will take time and Kelly knows this. Kelly also has the most amazing running shoes ever!


Maggie & Saffy
All three of us have a lot of fun when Saffy comes to play! Saffy is a typical Spaniel in the springy mental kind of way and she loves her agility. Maggy has taken really well to handling and is just starting to walk sequences for herself. We’re working on our weaves at the moment and on getting Saffy to recover after she has received her reward, because whether it’s a toy or a treat Saffy gets a bit of a one track mind and loses focus on what she’s actually doing to get the reward – but that’s Spaniels for you ; )


Sarah, Jemma & Elliot
Last but not least guys! Sarah came to me with Jemma who I used to teach in groups at Clifton and Elliot her youngster.
Jemma is a beautiful Collie and we have worked on perfecting contacts, keeping poles up and ensuring Sarah walks courses to get the most efficient lines for her dog. I will also be watching Sarah closely this season to see what goes wrong at shows because at the field she is perfecting grade 5 courses but in competitions grade 1 classes are going amiss.
With Mr.E we are working on jumping style, contacts and weaves. Elliot has the makings of a winner, infact he won a class just the other day but he can let his enthusiasm get the better of him. Sarah is using a slightly different method on contacts to the one that I use as it is the method she has used thus far with him, we will continue to follow this route and add pressure and excitement at the field before we try contacts in the ring. This week we have built Elliot’s weaves up to 6 poles and I’m hoping we can start looking at entries from another piece of equipment when he becomes a little more consistent and of course work up to 12 weaves. Exciting times to follow!