Monday, 27 August 2012

SWAT 'Summer' Show

Last year I couldn't go to the SWAT Summer show but I had heard great things about it and was looking forward to it this year. Especially after so many of our shows this year have been cancelled, I feel like we're nearing the end of the season and I have hardly just begun!

I was down to judge on the Tuesday and help the rest of the week and I've got to say that I was really proud to be a part of the show. There was a nice enclosed exercise area, nice size rings, lots of smiley faces,  rosettes and trophies which stand out and everything was well organised.

The decision was made to cancel Sunday afternoon to protect the ground for the rest of the week I thought this was a brave decision but definitely the right one. It was bucketing it down and with more rain forecast and the judges and helpers already soaked through, I think it was only the spaniels and other mud-larks enjoying themselves.

Monday came and went with a little rain and with some good results for the Club which are listed below and then came Tuesday; Judgment day... I mean my day to judge.

I had the following classes:
Large 1-2 Agility
Medium 1-4 Agility
Small 1-4 Agility
Large 1-3 Jumping

I had set my usual sort of courses; courses where the best partnership will win, not just the fastest dog. I like a course which can be successfully run 2-3 different ways so the handler has choices and therefore has to make the best one for them and their dog and then pull it off when it counts!

Above is my Agility course(s), the black No17 indicates changing it from an optional tunnel entrance for the 1-2's to a selected entrance for the 1-4s.

Unfortunately there was one dampener on the day; following many recent discussions on the forum and facebook about toys in the ring I had a feeling that something would come up and so had re-read the rule book, not once like I usually do before judging, but THREE times. Sure enough I was approached before one of my classes to see if a boy could run with his dog with a toy in the ring, I was told I could eliminate him but that he would like to run as part of the class. I explained that I knew there was not a rule in the rule book to say that he couldn't do this, however it did put me in a difficult situation as I didn't believe it was right and I could NOT eliminate him because then I would be the one breaking the rules and  making my class a 'special' class. I went to the Secretaries tent for clarification on where I stood and was told that what ever my decision I would be backed up and that they agreed that it is Custom and Practice not to take a training aid in the ring, I was also informed that the 'toy' was actually a velcro treat bag and had therefore at some point had food in it and that the person in question had been putting judges in this difficult situation the whole show and being quite rude and confrontational when she didn't get her own way! - Great!
So I made my decision - as I couldn't eliminate him for running with it, but neither did I agree that he should be allowed to, I decided he could run at the end of the class when it had closed. I would stay in the ring to 'judge' him, but it would not be for competition. I thought this was more than fair - as promised I got a lip full from his mother, but I stayed calm, stood my ground and had my Ring Manager at hand to put me back in the ring where I belonged to start my class.
This lady whoever she is should be ashamed of herself, she claims the toy is to help the dog and boys confidence, but really she is just making a spectacle of them and by ranting and raving by the rings she is knocking their confidence and not doing her 'cause' any favours by alienating judges and fellow competitors.

Anyways that was a blip on an otherwise enjoyable day. I was pleased with how my courses ran and had lots of nice feedback. The Farrmhouse Cider I'd brought my ring party went down well... in fact a little too well! The Somerset Cider talk came out 'when yer ready, in yer own time (my lover)' and at one point I was waiting for the next dog on the line and my entire ring party were under the Gazebo with the Giggles. All in good fun - just glad I didn't touch the stuff until after I'd finished!

The following day I was back in the ring competing, had my dog's pictures taken for their photo-frame trophies and then headed home for a sleep before the KC Festival!

Wendy & Ryley - 1st, 1-3 Jumping
Wendy & Ryley - 3rd, 3-5 Jumping
Sarah & Elliot - 1st, G1-2 Jumping
Ant & Amy  - 3rd, G1-2 Agility
Ant & Amy - 7th, C1-2 Jumpng
Alex & Sonny - 3rd, 1-2 Agility
Alex & Sonny - 3rd, 1-2 Jumping
Gill & Mollyanna - 3rd, 1-4 Agility
Gill & Kassey - Clear, 1-4 Agility
Sarah & Jemma - Clear, Anysize Jumping
Gail & Stitch - 1st, 1-7 Jumping
Gail & Stitch - Clear, 4-7 Jumping
Stitch - 2nd, 4-7 Agility
Stitch - 2nd, 1-7 Jumping
Hex - 2nd, 6-7 Agility
Hex - 3rd, 6-7 Agility
Hex - 3rd, 6-7 Agility
Hex - 6th, 1-7 Jumping
Hex - 10th, 1-7 Jumping

WOW! Well done everyone!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Just a quick one

I 'd love to write loads about the Agility Club Show but it has dawned on me that I have left it too late as I leave the house early tomorrow not to return until after SWAT and will then be straight out the house again for the KC Festival.

So in short - we stayed at my Uncle Marks and enjoyed many a good meal there and I got to sleep in my favourite bed...although I had to share it with Hex & Voodoo.

I am still having tuning issues with Stitch at shows which I don't get in training, usually after a contact; I can only put this down to me over working them or him being worried about being put back on them if he gets them wrong so gives me a wide birth on the following jump which this weekend cost me a place at the Olympia Semis just 5 jumps from the end! Hex is working at full speed and I'm loving it, she's a little bit wide in places and also taking a pop at me when she can catch my hand up (thank goodness Dani had some Arnica Cream on board! - I now have my own.), but she is also doing very nice work on some very tricky courses and picking her tootsies up! The only thing which seemed to be off this weekend were her contacts which she has slowed down on and with no time to fix them, I'm hoping it was just a blip.

Agility Club Results:

Hex - 10th, G6 Agility
Hex - 15th, G6 Jumping with 5R!
Hex - Clear, C6-7 Crufts Singles Agility
Stitch - 2nd, C6-7 Jumping (Reserve for the 'If Only' Final)

South Devon Results:

Gill & Mollyanna - 4th, 1-3 Jumping
Gill & Mollyanna - Clear, Agility
Gill & Mollyanna - Clear, 1-7 Steeplechase
Anne & Stanley - Clear, Agility
Anne & Stanley - Clear, Jumping

UKA Results:

Jennine & Ruby - Clear on Saturday, Nursery Agility
Jennine & Ruby - 1st on Tuesday!!!, Beginners Steeplechase. Her first 1st just days after her first Clear