Saturday, 6 August 2011

The calm before the storm

When we looked at our show calendar in August we had our 2 favorites booked; KC Festival & Dashin Dogs, but nothing else - in fact we had 2 weeks off at the start of the month! Now one week off is fine, we need time to pack, train and see our loved ones, but 2 weeks off?! That's crazy talk mid season so we looked further afield than we usually do and decided to make the trip up to the Agility Club Show in Ardingly and whilst we were there spend some quality time with my Uncle Mark who kindly provided us (Mum, myself, Hex & Stitch) with accomadation in Brighton (Well, Hove actually) : )

The weekend didn't start off as planned, we set off late, got stuck in traffic, tried to avoid traffic, got lost and inevitably got stuck in more traffic! But when we got there we were greated with a scrummy meal and the dogs settled right in (Stitch a little too much so).

Being only 30mins from the showground we got to have a relaxed to start the morning with toast and jam and head on out to day parking at a 'sensible' time, Uncle Mark in tow....well actually leading the way in a car you could probably only fit a Pug in.

My first day was an unlucky one, faulted (IMO wrongly) in my Olympia Qualifier, but with a qualifying time and poles in the jumping. Mum had a great first day with Stitch, winning the G6 Jumping (2 down 2 to go!). Mark had brought his camera to the show (posh camera) and despite being new to the sport managed to take some amazing pictures of our dogs and really capture their spirit and enthusiasm, taking really good pictures of Agility isn't easy and you usually have to pay the experts through the nose for your perfect shot but we got loads and are so very, very grateful. Here are just a few.

The second day I continued my unlucky run and Mum joined me, Stitch fell over and missed a jump recovering but to Mum's delight he seemed to fit right in with the G6's and was making some of the tricky bits of course look easy. Hex fell off a dogwalk in the morning, I got lost in the afternoon but managed to pull of a wide clear and my favorite run of the weekend was the last one but Hex couldn't find the last tunnel entrance, but I loved the course when I walked it and when I ran it so shared it anyway:

Even without any ribbons I had a fantastic time, it was so relaxing just having the 2 dogs and nice to have a supporter with us, especially one that fitted in so well to the scene and took an interest in the science of the sport. The weather was also glorious.

Unfortunately we did have to miss the SWAT Summer show though, with so much holiday booked in August it was impossible for both Mum and I to get any more time off work but Alex and Sarah went out to represent and boy did they! Here are the week's results:

Gail & Stitch - 1st, G6 Jumping
Alex & Sonny - 2nd, G1-2 Jumping
Alex & Sonny - 2nd, G1-2 Agility
Alex & Sonny - 5th, G1-2 Agility
Alex & Sonny - 3 x Clear Rounds on top of all those places!
Sarah & Ru - 4th, G1-2 Jumping
Sarah & Narla - Clear, G1-2 Jumping - Narla's first CR! Yay!

So now the crazy month of August begins, trying to plan, set-up and fit a week's worth of lessons into 3 days, trying to get Hex prepared for her first Grade 6 show (her first class will be the British Open!) and get packed for the time away. Thank you everyone for your flexibility with lessons.

In other exciting news, Hex's coat is falling out in handfuls, which means we should be about 8 weeks from her breeding season - I am very excited, but also scared, I just want everything to be right. I will starting up another blog or FB Page for everybody to keep updated as things develop and by things I hopefully mean PUPPIES!