Thursday, 28 April 2011

Easter Weekend

Mum got back from France at 2am Friday morning, we left for Kernow K9 Show in Cornwall at 5am, so it was agreed that I would run Stitch on Friday while Mum caught up with her sleep, having said that she was too excited to sleep but still too tired to run Stitch to the best of her ability so I still got to keep my runs with him and we had great fun winning the 1-4 Agility.
Hex had a pole in her Olympia Qualifiers but overall she was running nicely.

On Saturday Mum had her Olympia Qualifier with Stitch, having not run or trained him for over 2 weeks, we were all a tad nervous, but knew that if he could just go clear he should have the speed to take him through and sure enough with a lovely clear (and some quick release contacts) he came 2nd and as the top 2 dogs go through he will be off to the semi finals in September where 32 dogs which have qualified throughout the year will go up against each other to become the 10 dogs which will compete at Olympia 2011.
Here is his qualifying round, if you've trained this week you will recognize the course:

Sunday was Hex's day, she didn't have a pole down all day she did once nice clear, just 0.3 seconds off the win (vid below) and one messy clear, she was very close to pulling off a very difficult course but we had some communication issues with just two obstacles to go much like Mum did in the jumping (vid also below)!

I'm extremely grateful that Karen filmed Hex's agility run, it's the only run of her we got on film because I've told Mum for the time being I'd rather not be filmed. I believe there are 2 reasons you have your runs filmed; 1 - To look back and say 'yay me' and share that with other people, 2 - To learn from your mistakes. At the moment I know I'm not handling to the best of my ability so I'm not proud of my runs and I know the mistakes which are being made and why, I just haven't had time to work on them. Having said that I wish I'd had my jumping run on film, it was the most in tune I've felt with Hex EVER, Karen offered to film and I declined dammit!

Not much mention of Kif because he went lame on the last day and no mention of Sprite because I left him at home with Phee for company. I have decided that I will not be running Sprite over medium height any longer. Although he can still jump that high, I know that he is struggling to find them with his one diminishing eye and I don't want him to see a jump last minute and then fail to clear it. He will now only be running over small height in 'Anysize' classes. This saddens me but I know it is for the best.

Kernow K9 is a fantastic show, one of my favorites of the year (despite having broken my elbow there the previous year). I finished the weekend feeling so very lucky to have such supportive friends & family around me and such a wonderful pack of dogs, I love my furry family. On Easter Monday Hex went for an Easter walk and picnic with my friend Vicky and four Children between the age of 3-9, I was so proud of her; she did waits for them while they threw her toy, jumped park benches for their entertainment, she let lots of sticky fingers cuddle her and didn't eat any of the jam sandwiches! Matt also mowed the field for me that day, giving himself an almighty blister on the palm of his hand - seriously huge and disgusting but he pushed through and finished the job, I am one lucky lady.

Results @ Kernow:

- Lesley & Stitch - 1st, G1-4 Agility (winning up to Grade 5)
- Lesley & Hex - 6th, G4-5 Jumping
- Lesley & Hex - 7th, G4-5 Jumping
- Lesley & Hex - 5th, Combined 4-5 Agility
- Lesley & Kif - 2x Clears in G5 Jumping
- Gail & Stitch - 2nd, Combined 1-7 Agility (qualifying for the Olympia Semi-finals)
- Gail & Stitch - 1st, Combined 1-4 Agility
- Karen & Mollie - 5th, G2 Jumping
- Karen & Mollie - 1st, G2 Jumping
- Karen & Mollie - 2nd, G1-2 Jumping

I'm looking forward to my next blog with lots of A-SIT members making their debuts on Bank Holiday Monday.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


I am trying to think of a time when I have ever felt less prepared for a show...there have been times (they usually involve a late night and a hangover), but never have I been to a show and not trained any of the dogs for weeks before. Hex hadn't trained for over 3 weeks due to her season, Kif doesn't train too much these days and the last time I worked Stitch properly was when Mum was last in France.

Matt came along to support me because I had 5 courses to walk 1st thing Saturday with 3 different dogs, so lots to remember and think about. Hex was MENTAL Saturday morning and spent the day having poles down, Stitch was fantastic but my timing was off , I felt I'd just about got the hang of him by the end of the day, Kif had fun.

Sunday was a different story for Stitch, he seemed less driven for his solo runs although managed a place in the jumping. Hex had the misfortune of having an 8.30am run in the pairs and then nothing until 2.30pm, when she was just as mental as the day before, but got it together for her last run and came 3rd in Grade 4 agility and Kif managed a Clear in Grade 5 Jumping. Sprite had a clear in the anysize on Saturday but got a little lost on Sunday, we also collected our Valgray Veteran Dog of the year award - very proud of my little pirate.

I also took part in 2 teams. Kif was in the large SWAT team and the team just had the one pole, Buell and Kif showed their true colours and really made Trudy and myself run (I'm still hurting now!) and Daz & Toni also had to run, but they're used to that pace with Raq & Boo. I imagine the team had a pretty impressive time but I didn't go and check (as tempted as I was).
Stitch was on the SWAT Squatties Team and again, SWAT have another strong team - watch this space!

Wallingford had a great atmosphere and fab weather, and we had the most superb camping spot thanks to Claire. Last year I was a spectator with a broken elbow so it was nice to take part in this show again and certainly will again next year - they have some really nice trophies and really generous rosettes to go for.

Lesley & Stitch - 2nd, G4-5 Jumping
Lesley & Hex - 3rd, G4 Agility
Lesley & Kif - Clear, G5 Jumping
Lesley & Sprite - Clear , Anysize DogGames
Sprite - Valgrays Veteran Dog of the Year (3rd year running)
Club friends Jo & Meddler - 1st, G3 Agility (winning into G4 at Meddler's first KC Show)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

"What a difference a day makes" - by Gail

The weekend just gone has very much been a prime example that you can have high hopes one day....have them effectively dashed....lose confidence and convince yourself that nothing good will come of another day in the ring only to find that things turn full circle again and you have, quite unexpectedly, the day you sought initially and all is well once more.

Indeed one of the great things about agility as a sport is that, except for the select elite-semi-pros out there, for the regular folk it is a great equalizer. The highs and lows come and go as regularly as clockwork (even for those who have "been at it for a while")... but that's what keeps you coming back for more.

So the next time you find yourself asking yourself whether you should have even bothered to have got up, let alone have ventured to training/a show etc. The answer is a resounding YES for it could be that this is your day to shine and even if it doesn't involve a clear round,a rosette or an award it is a day to enjoy that wonderful partnership that is you and your dog...for when it "clicks" it's the best feeling in the world.

@Wye Valley Small/Medium Show

  • Jeannette & Tess - Clear Round, 1-3 Circular Jumping

  • Gail & Stitch - 10th, 4-7 Circular Jumping

@Carn Brae

  • Karen & Mollie - 3rd,1-2 Jumping

  • Karen &Mollie - 7th, 1-2 Large Steeplechase

  • Karen & Mollie - 1st, 1-2 Agility (winning into Grade 3)

  • Gail & Stitch - 1st, 1-4 Medium Jumping

  • Gail & Stitch - 1st, 1-7 Medium Steeplechase

  • Gail & Kif -Clear round 4-5 Jumping

  • Gail & Kif- Clear round 4-5 Steeplechase