Monday, 20 June 2011

Golden Valley - The ups and downs

I really should write up my blogs when I get home from a show - I can't believe Golden Valley is already a distant memory... well Sunday is, Saturday has pretty much gone from my head altogether!

I love the idea of Golden Valley - Nice venue (although Kif hates it), near a Strawberry Farm (yum yum), camping not too far from the rings and always lots of friends there but I always leave feeling slightly disappointed - I never seem to meet my goals, I miss out on seeing people because I'm running from ring to ring and I usually eat to many Strawberries! This year the only exception was I ate just enough Strawberries :)

Saturday saw Mum collecting places with Stitch, Anthony having some near misses with Amy and me mucking things up for both of my dogs - well that's how I remember it anyway. Barrie James set an Agility sequence I have worked on a couple of times in training with Hex and I couldn't pull it off in the ring - I look forward to setting it up in training sometime and sending the vid to Barrie just to prove we CAN do it!

Sunday was a much better day with Hex and I getting our act together, Kif having fun in the teams and The SWAT Squatties team qualifying for the Team Dash Final! But I still left frustrated, Hex put in some really good runs, particularly her last run but at this show they just weren't up to the speed set. I would do a run, be pleased with how I ran, be so proud of how Hex handled and then look in the score tent to see where we were in the places and be disappointed instantly, which is so silly when I was beaming with pride and excitement before the score tent. I need to remember my personal goals and just be happy to achieve them and stop comparing my young dog to other more experienced dogs while we are still getting our act together.


Gail & Stitch - 5th, C1-7 Agility
Gail & Stitch - 3rd, C4-7 Jumping
Hex - 8th, C3-5 Agility (+ 2xClears)
Kif - 2xClears
Alex & Sonny - 2xClears
'SWAT Squatties' - 1st, Team Dash. The medium team consisted of Stitch and his 4-legged SWAT friends Doug, Fluke & Chip. They beat even the large dogs by 3 seconds!

@ Barnstaple
Karen & Mollie - 5th, G3 Agility

Sunday, 19 June 2011


I'm a week behind blogging - so naughty because I remember at the time I felt like I had lots to say about Thames which is why I put off writing about it because I didn't have the time... but now it seems like a distant blurry memory. Things I remember:

- Hex having just a pole down in the Olympia Qualifier : (
- Getting very wet... but not as wet as Packington
- Hex taking a nasty tumble - won't easily forget that! But she seems fine and I await an appointment with the SMART clinic on Wednesday to give her the all clear.
- Stitch having his first runs since his operation. Both Mum and I watched him very closely; he was fine.
- A wicked night out at the entertainment with a fantastic live band. (Maybe it was all the wine and dancing which has made the weekend a blurry memory?!)


Hex - 13th, Combined 5-7 Jumping
Kif - Clears...can't remember how many.... sorry Kif!
Stitch - 1st, Combined 3-5 Jumping
Stitch - 2nd, 3-5 Jumping
Stitch - 6th, Combined 3-5 Agility.

Sorry for the vague update, Golden Valley update to follow... hopefully in more detail once I've run the videos off!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Just the 3 of us, we can make it if we try!

Mum had/has the lurgy so it was off to Wye Valley by myself; not usually a problem but I was SO tired and had such a rubbish day at Packington on Monday, I felt I could do with the extra support. There were no Veterans for Sprite so I set off with just Hex & Kif in tow and things started with how I left off on Monday - I got given the perfect 'Kif' course and was doing a fast fantastic clear on an extremely confusing course... so confusing I missed out part of the course and E'd myself! I walked a course wrong for Hex and by lunch time I'd had enough of myself - I had a moan down the phone to Mum, and a power-nap and woke up with a I'm here to have fun, so sod it, let's just have fun attitude and with that came our first clear of the weekend - Hex in the Combined 1-7 Jumping woohoo! We ended up 2nd.

The show had such a lovely holiday feel about it with gorgeous weather and walk, you couldn't help but relax when you let yourself. Saturday evening a couple of us wondered down the local pub for some eats and drinks and then came back for more drinks and snacks.

So feeling much more relaxed I started Sunday with a new frame of mind, although the weather had turned sour, I was not going to let it dampen my spirits! Hex started the day with a lovely clear in the combined 3-5 Agility, went to check my time and woah there - I was in the lead! Not for long though, Lynne swooped round only a queues length of dogs behind me and trumped my time, but she remained 1st and I remained 2nd and we bothy qualified for the ProPlan Final in September. Kif was running his best, especially in the Brace, I just sent Hex wide of a jump, but they were both flying and Abi provided the most awesome change over - Hex associates Abi with super fun crazy times... so a bit of a shock for her when Abi stopped her fun and let Kif go : )
Kif had another course which seemed to be designed just for him and everyone that saw it remarked on his confidence and corners - I love this dog's corners when he's happy - he beat Hex's time again too! So I finished the weekend still tired, but once again feeling full of pride and confidence, which can only mean one thing....... This coming weekend we'll do CR@P!


@Wye Valley

- 2nd, C1-7 Jumping
Hex - 2nd, C3-5 Agility
Hex - 5th, G4&5 Jumping
Kif - 4th, G4&5 Jumping

@Carn Brea

Karen & Mollie
, 2nd G3 Jumping
Karen & Mollie, 3rd C1-3 Steeplechase

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Every dog has it's day

Where do I begin? Friday & Saturday I was on top of the world, I felt I could achieve anything, Sunday was a reality check...Monday I came back to earth with a wet bump.

I always like to end my blogs on a positive note, but that just wasn't how the weekend panned out, so feel free to stop reading after Saturday if you don't want to join my self loathing pity party ; )

So my competitive weekend actually started on Friday for a change, I went to help set up some tents at the SWAT show and Jo talked me into bringing my dogs along for the Dairin's Challenge qualifier. This was an event where you could have as many goes at the course as you liked at the fastest 20 Clears would take place in the Final Saturday night - The Catch - The course was a 'Dairin special', hard to remember and difficult to run, expect the unexpected! Jo had talked me into bringing my guys because the course had been running for 2 hours and only 3 dogs had gone Clear! So I took in Kif first, he was my best chance of getting round a course like this, but he back jumped number 2 in his first go, the rest he did clear and to be honest, made the course flow and feel nice. I thought I'd give him a rest and let Hex have a blast before getting him out to try again. Hex's run was nowhere near as clean as Kif's BUT to my surprise sheonly had 5 faults - just one pole! I was in shock, I now had 2 dogs that could potentially do a clear, but I was advised that I could only take one dog through - so which one to choose? Well rumour had it that the final would be a bit more of a blast (turns out that rumour was started by Dairin himself - sneeky!), so I went for Hex, who ended up being the 5th dog to go clear, she qualified 5th overall - her first final! And to be surrounded by Grade 6-7 dogs, I felt so proud!

I gave Mum Kif for the weekend because she was without Stitch so I only had Hex to run and we had a day of 5 faults, having said that her corners and her response and contacts were so quick and accurate, I couldn't have been happier with her and was excited about her first final in the evening... until I walked the course and realised it was not the rumoured blast. I walked the course over and over and all I could think was 'why, o why didn't I have a second go at the qualifier and put Kif through?!' I don't think I walked the course once without saying 'I want Kif' and I walked that course ALOT! But I shouldn't have doubted the Red Baby, I panicked and pushed her out of the weaves early and over Jump 3 before correcting the weave, but then I took a deep breath, took her back to the end of the weaves and ran the course from there until the end as if nothing had gone wrong and she did that CLEAR, not just clear, but clean, tight, accurate, I left the ring buzzing with what we had acheived and thinking 'if we can do that then we can do anything we put our minds too'.

O Sunday, why did you have to go and ruin that Saturday buzz? He had some results Sunday, but Hex was nowhere near as responsive as she had been the day before. She wasn't listening, she was wide and even turned the wrong way after one jump - so frustrating. I really thought that one of my Clears would be out of the places but I had actually gone into the lead!... only to be beaten by Mum & Kif! Yes you read that right, I'd talked Mum into running Kif that day and she went and beat me and with Kif of all dogs, I really underestimated that dog, what a star! - He provided some rather good banter material that day turning Mum into 'Skinner Winner' and me into 'Skinner first loser' - Thanks Dairin!

With the SWAT show behind us and rather knackered Jo and I headed off to Birmingham for Packington Show to be abused by the weather and test our love for the sport.
I don't know what was up with me, I released Hex from her dogwalk WAY to early in the Olympia qualifiers - the pressure just got to me, I pulled Kif off a jump too early in his jumping and I took my eyes off Hex in her jumping - timing just seemed to be a issue for me which was a pain because my dogs were giving it their all. I really let them down and would have been in tears if it hadn't been for Jo helping me focus on the positives of each run (which was basically everything apart from the one mistake I made in each).
We survived the whole day, unlike a huge number of the day runners who had left by lunch and Jo went home with a 5th in the C1-7 H/Skelter with Meddler against some of the best mediums in the country!.... I went home with a new Keyring (well I couldn't go home empty handed!)

Trying to go back to the positive, I leave you our best acheivements from the weekend; The Dairin's Challenge courses (as best as my memory serves me) and of course RESULTS:


Gail & Kif - 1st, G5 Jumping
Hex - 2nd G5 Jumping
Hex - 10th, C1-7 Jumping
Hex - Qualifying 5th Overall for Dairin's Challenge
Sprite - 2 x Clears, Anysize Jumping
Sarah & Ru - Clear, C1-7 Jumping
Alex & Sonny - Clear, C1-7 Jumping
Anne & Chas - 3rd, C1-4 Agility

I must also say a special thank you to Helen & Anthony who weren't even running dogs on Sunday but were there all day to help run our ring and learnt lots of jobs, we had a couple of no-show helpers and without Helen & Anthony's help, running Ring 2 would have been nearly impossible. Thank you!


This was a long time ago now. I know I've been really rubbish at blogging recently, but any spare time I've had I've been sleeping, catching up on TV and training.

I don't remember much of the day other than I was really tired so needed a good power nap at lunch, O and I was really poorly and Jo came with me because Mum was playing 'House Wife' at home.


Hex - 4th, G4 Jumping
Hex - 5th, C3-5 Agility (Purina ProPlan Qualifier, top 2 qualified - doh!)
Stitch - 5th, C1-7 Jumping

I really let Stitch down in the Agility, I reckon we'd have ended the show as a Grade 6 if I hadn't under-worked the A-Frame up. As it was, it's a good thing I didn't win; Stitch needed surgery the next week and is out of action now for a couple of weeks, it wouldn't be the best thing if after a long break that he be up against the Grade 6s! Get well soon Stitchy Bug!