Monday, 5 September 2011

A long time coming - a huge update!

Long Overdue Blog Update!

There is something I cannot work out.. when I return home on a Sunday night and have a quick breeze through my emails and Facebook.. I see everyone manages to get their runs from the weekend loaded on to the net and Youtube in no time.. how is this possible?? If it wasn’t for my friends videoing Fife and Wyre, I would not have either of Scott’s Championship ticket wins on film.

I have so many runs to edit and put online.. I just don’t get time to do it! But I will get it done... I promise!

As for my latest news blog.. well that is more like a memorial to the Summer time than news from the last week or so.

The month of August has been so action packed its been crazy.. in fact it all started back in July when our team set off for the European Open in Bad Hall Austria.

The European Open (29th / 30th / 31st July):

After a 12 hour mammoth drive of over 1000 miles we arrived at the team hotel which was very nice with good facilities. Well done to the KC for organising such a good hotel.

The EO was a bizarre event. It should be so good yet the way it is organised leaves a lot to be desired. The ground was wet, but not as bad as I have seen before. What happened was that there was too many classes/dogs to run before the finals in the evening. It ended up with the final being under flood lights that, well for the main part didn’t work and in the lashing rain. A real none event.

As for our team on day one, we were unlucky. The faults were mainly lots of silly poles and small errors in the individuals. Jack was C and C in his two runs, I just could not do the times with Jack as he is 9 now. I was close to making the final anyhow, and was happy with my runs.

Jack was 85th in individual Agility round & 43rd in jumping (36,39 seconds) out of 350 of the best dogs from around the world, I am very happy with that result.

Jack was the highest placed of all the team GB dogs in the jumping large class. The Sunday I also ran two Clear rounds with Jack. He was 100% and had a brilliant record at the EO, so I was very pleased with how I performed for team GB.

Kingdom of Fife Championship Show:

On the weekend of the 6th & 7th of August, we went up to Dundee along with Ceri and David who also had entered the championship class up there. It was a nice show but a very long drive up there.

I was running first in the championship agility round and knocked the spread down. In the jumping I was third which ment I was running the final at number 16. I like the course and knew Scott could do a good round. I was able to run Scott really flowing and we held it together, winning our first CC and qualifying for Crufts 2012.

Well done to Ceri for winning G6 Agility on the Sunday. This was to be the first of 2 wins for Ceri in August

Kennel Club International Festival (12th/13th/14th August)

This show is always a favourite of mine throughout the year, mainly because of the range of courses and foreign judges that come over.

In the British Open class, I had a jumping and agility round to try and make the final. In the jumping, I had a nightmare round, knocking 2 poles down and leaving us without a score after round one. This is something I think I am particularly good at these days.. Learning after a set back how to respond and come back from it. IO knew I needed a top 5 agility place, and set about getting it as I wanted to make the British Open final and try and qualify for Crufts.

The agility round was a good course, judged by the Italian judge. I had a game plan on how Scott was going to get his place, and we nailed it. Scott actually came 4th, and lucky for me I did as that gave me 47 points, 46 points didn’t make the cut for the final!

I had a few other classes but mainly trained ready for the final. This was a testing but fun course. Scott and I were of course early to run in it having scraped in, but Scott ran it brilliantly and was leading for the most part of the 35 dog final. David Alderson & Shaun Young just piped me (well done guys, really great runs), but I was thrilled with my 3rd place finish, taking us to Crufts on the Thursday as well as the Championship class on the Sunday!
(Photo thanks very much to Ian Watts)

Scott also had a 2nd place in the EO qualifier class on Sunday, this was a super run and I was very pleased about how well he ran it.

On a sadder note, our thoughts should go to Don Nun, who sadly passed away at the KC festival. You will be missed by all of us in agility.

DINAS (16th – 21st August)

Dogs in need is always a fun show, with as much emphasis on social and having fun as on agility. I wanted to qualify for the DINAS finals and Scott managed this by finishing second in the grade 7 league at the end of the week.

On the Tuesday was large dog Championship class, I made the final but one really silly bit of handling cost me about .7 of a second, and another slightly wide turn about.4, meaning I finished 4th in the final. I was still happy, apart from my mistakes, the run was sweet.

Scott won both DINAS agility 7 qualifiers, and had a 4th in Jumping. He also won another agility class on none qualifier day.

In the final, I had to beat a fantastic time set by Dawn Weaver. I was pushing hard and had a somewhat dubious call of 5 on the seesaw. It was one of those 50/50 shouts, and as I always say if you give the judge a decision to make, then you can only look at yourself for giving them that decision to make. If we had planted the seesaw, no fault. With the time I had I would have been 2nd so I was very pleased.

Wyre Championship Show (28th August)

From the 25th of August I was staying up at Dog Vegas show, where I judged Friday and competed Saturday. On the Sunday after much deliberation due to the weather at Wyre, we (Dave Russell and Jess) decided to drive across to Lancashire and take part in the Championship class.

Scott had a good jumping round, finishing 2nd and in the agility round, finished 3rd. I was happy with my runs and was confident going into the final, which had some great dogs and handlers in it.

I was last to run in the final, and it was being won by Karen Marriot with Puzzle. This dog is seriously fast and has stunning running contacts. So I knew we had to be on top of our game and also had to push in the right places. I nearly over did it on one turn (you will see on the video) but got away with it (just!). Scott crossed the line in 36.0.. something.. and Scotty had won his second Championship ticket. He needs just one more now to be agility Champion.

Olympia Semi final (2nd September)

Last Friday I had the semi-final for Olympia at Christmas. I have been lucky that Rory, Che & Jack have all competed there before, but it has been a few years since I have been so I was desperate to get back there.

In the warm up event Scott flew up and off the end of the seesaw. The run was fine but I did some contact training as I was sure that just a clear would be enough to qualify.

In the actual semi-final, I was number 20 to run. There had been a handful of clears but I was confident Scott would work the course well. He did a really controlled yet quick run, with a time of 33.02 and put me into 2nd place which was great, as I knew I would not be knocked out the qualifying places. Anthony Clarke & Andy Sandercock were second and first respectively. Well done to you and also everyone else who has qualified. Scott finished 3rd. A good days work!

Prestbury Park (3rd / 4th September)

I was a little disappointed not to make the Championship final, but in all honesty I have had such a good few weeks that I’m really happy and confident in my handling and Scott’s ability right now. We had a pole and a brick out the wall in jumping round, and along jump and a pole in Agility round, despite the quickest time, we didn’t make the final!

Instead I was Anthony’s groom whilst he ran both dogs in the final. On Sunday, Scott won a 6&7 agility class, and Jack had a 4th in g7 agility. Jack has been resting for most of this month after the EO and all the travel etc.

So that brings us all up to date! I have never written over 1500 words for a blog post before, but I guess if I hadn’t left it so long I wouldn’t need to write so much!

One more piece of good news for me. Scott will now be running Individuals and team at the FCI World Championships in France in October. Sadly Dave Leach has had to withdraw, and of course I didn’t want it to come about in those circumstances, I have now got the Individual chance that I felt Scott deserved all along and I don’t think too many people would disagree with that.

I am very much focused on the WC2011 now.. just over a month to go!

Thanks for reading


Thank you to Candice Robinson and Amy Lawson for the photo's. Thanks to Jess Coffee for the vidoe from the Championship final at Wyre.

1 comment:

Dani said...

Christ that was a big blog!! Great year for you and Scotty, well done with all your successes :-) x