Sunday, 25 September 2011

Olympia or bust.

People not updating their blogs for weeks at a time seems to be a running theme at the moment, I follow a couple of blogs and nearly all of them have been abandoned until recently, I put this down to the intense end we all have at the end of the season which leaves us with very little time.
So I do apologise for slacking, but I also point out that I'm not the only one!!!

So the Olympia Semis... a distant memory from September. I had so many near misses on the qualifiers, at least 3 5-fault runs with a qualifying time, but it was not meant to be and it allowed me to focus my attention on Mum who had managed to qualify right at the start of the season with Stitch. I was so proud to be there as her Groom, she looked an image in purple in her new A-SIT 'Experiment 626' polo shirt (thank you Sew What!) and smart black trousers, Stitch looked pretty smart to following a tidy up from Jo.

We arrived in plenty of time and watched the end of the Junior event before the warm-up was set up for the Mediums. To be honest it wasn't a very challenging course, but we figured 'well it is a warm-up' and Stitch did a nice clear finishing 7th or 8th.
Disappointingly the actual Semi Final wasn't much more challenging, although there were traps there, if you got the dog on the right line there were a number of straight lines which really favoured the collies, the only real trap came at the end trying to get your dog in the correct end of the tunnel, but because the jump before the tunnel was a panel jump, the dogs didn't see the wrong-end trap and not ONE dog fell into it. Mum did another nice clear with only one slight hiccup and finished 15th out of 36 - the top 10 qualified. NEVER have I heard of a clear at an Olympia semi not going through to the Final, but in the mediums this year there were 21 out of 36 dogs clear.

Obviously I was gutted for Mum and she was upset, but she really kept her nerve and to get 2 clears under that kind of pressure is really impressive and I was very proud, we weren't even sure how Stitch would cope with the environment; despite being a Grade 6 we must remember that he is only very young and that this is only his first season competing.

Here are the vids from the Semi's; the warm up followed by the Semi:



video



The following day we were at Prestbury and Stitch came 7th in the C1-7 Jumping and Hex came 11th in the G6 Jumping even with 1 naughty wide turn before the tunnel and a face plant on the jump after that! lol. We also got to try out one of the more difficult weave entrances we've been practicing check it out:


video

Gillingham

Anne & Chas - 1st, C1-3 Agility - Taking them into Grade 3!
Anne & Chas - 5th, C1-4 Jumping
Gail & Stitch - 4th, 5-7 Jumping
Kif - 2nd, G5 Jumping (he likes to keep surprising us)
Hex - 8th, G6 Agility
Anthony & Amy - 2 x Clears

A special mention must go to Helen who put in two fantastic runs with Ben, they only got a refusal in each, in one they were just a nose length away from their first clear and the run was otherwise smooth and impressive.

A wet but fun weekend.

Dashin Dogs

O man - another month late blog!

Gonna start with the results this time:

Rosie & Freddie had wicked week at groups the Monday before, so great things were expected and great things were delivered! In the 3 days they were there they collected a 1st, 2 x 3rds and 3 x Clear Rounds!

Stitch and Mum went home with 2 x 1sts, a 6th & a 7th and were part of the SWAT Squatties team running in the Team Dash Final and they came 2nd even against a number of all collie teams.

Hex was still trying to find her feet in G6 and went home with a 5th & a 7th.....and a lot of near misses!

We were really lucky with the weather this year with the only spot of rain being when we got there on the Thursday, Friday was the quiet half day, Saturday was the day of the Team Dash Final and the SWAT Squatties kicked butt!

I think it was Saturday which was 'A night with Nigel'; drinks and entertainment in the marquee, which meant that Sunday was a bit of a messy blur for me : s Monday was our day off so we enjoyed a day at Chester Zoo and a trip to the cinema to see the Inbetweeners. Then we were back into competition Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We left the last ever Dashin Dogs on Thursday evening and we were all knackered... except Hex! She just got more and more mental as the week went on as I got more and more tired - crazy ginger.

We had a couple of days off before going on to Dordale where Mum & Stitch picked up a 2nd and a 3rd

Monday, 12 September 2011

KC International Festival

A show of many highs and lows which to save time and to catch you up I will bullet point. Starting with the lows so we can finish on the highs (although you can miss the lows if you'd rather).

Lows
*The biggest low of the show was the loss of Don Nunn, a big character in the agility world who sadly lost his life following a clear round in the 6-7 Jumping. Did I know Don? Not really, we'd nattered at Valgray prize givings and he'd judged me from time to time. But I find when people die it's the people which they leave behind that I end up really feeling for and Don left behind his wife, his friends, his dogs and his Club members who went to collect his placed rosette with his dog. Really mind boggling that a person can leave this world in the time between a run and a prize giving.
*A dog dislocated it's hip on a tyre. So to all those 'tyres are safe/what happened to Hex was a fluke/ she wasn't seriously injured' people - I say I TOLD YOU SO! But I also hope that the dogs makes a full and speedy recovery
*Stitch missed out on the British Open by 2 teeny weeny points.

Highs
* Hex coped really well with her first Grade 6 runs, to start with she seemed a bit lost on the more open courses, everything is so tight in Grades 4-5, so she lost confidence in the big gaps on the G6 courses, but by the end of the weekend we got it together and she never looked out of place we had a couple of close but no cigar runs.
*Club friend Jo with her spaniel Fluke qualified for the Novice Final at Crufts next year. I am so pleased for her and can't wait to go cheer her on.
* Stitch went home with a 2nd, 11th & 12th at arguably the biggest, most competitive show of the year
* Jo and I enjoyed an evenings entertainment at the Feroda Camp, complete with our beanbags and an Amy Winehouse tribute from Neil Ellis.



And that's all I remember right now! I can't believe it's been a month! I have been so busy and feel awful about my short and sh*tty update but I guess it's better than nothing...maybe?

I'll leave you with mine and Mum's favorite runs of the week: