Monday, 29 June 2009

Kiah Goes Grade 4!!!

I can't quite believe it still, but my little star Kiah has won into Grade 4 at the DDTC show this weekend by winning the Grade 3 agility by over a second! I walked the course and thought it was a nice course for the grade, and suited Kiah well, as long as I handled it properly and she picked her feet up over the poles! We had a relatively early running order and as the weather was so lovely (though a bit hot for the dogs) I warmed Kiah up just after lunch time, and we ran about four dogs in from the class starting up.

With me trailing behind her as usual ;) as Kiah powered down the line to hit the tunnel cleanly I thought the course was flowing well, so making sure she definitely hit her 2on2off, I released her fairly promptly from her contacts, something which she always enjoys, she doesn't like to be slowed down! The rest of the course went really well, awesome weaves and a really tight pull round to finish clear!! I do admit that I didn't run the course to win it, Kiah and I are just having fun and enjoying every moment, but I do know that Kiah's natural speed is very fast anyway, and that is the speed she works well - and loves to work at!!

The picture here was taken in the grounds of the park at Newton Heath (taken by Candice) and I just think it is a stunning picture of my beautiful Kiah. As always, I am so proud of all of who and what Kiah is, how hard she works for me, and what she has achieved. I am looking forward to hopefully the many new challenges that Grade 4 will bring us!!!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Newton Heath & The ABC Semi

Last weekend seemed to come and go really quickly, I had been looking forward to the Newton Heath show, mainly because Kiah and I had the ABC Semi Final.

On the Saturday Kiah was running really well, calm, clean jumping even over plastic poles, and two very good agility runs first off, though I decided to drop the jumping run as the course was a bit tricky, and end Saturday on a positive note. Very pleased to end up 6th in the first agility with held contacts as practice for later on. Just a quick note about Sunday though it wasn't as good, a couple of knocked poles and Kiah had a bit of a 'tunnel obsession' moment in a lovely jumping course though funny to watch, and SILLY call by me in a great agility round, causing Kiah to do a lovely 'go round' and back jump, shame I was meant to send her the other side!!

So on to the ABC Semi which took place on Saturday evening, its quite an exciting build up to it as it takes place after all the other rings shut, so there are lots of people sitting around the whole ring watching everyone run. I was quite lucky as my run was to be one from the end so it gave Kiah and I time to chill out, the time it took to go through 63 other dogs helped us both stay calm. Here's a pic of Kiah and I taken during our ABC run. The course was really nice, a good challenge and we had got over what I thought were the more difficult bits, shame a very simple bit of handling cost us. The part I messed up was where Kiah had to go through a curved pipe tunnel, over a wall and onto the see-saw... I should have stood still for a split second longer and let her clear the wall. Silly me went to run off though there was no need, and Kiah just flattened that little too much and took one little top tile (not even a brick!!!) out of the wall.

So this year it was obviously just not meant to be. I have to say that Kiah was working amazingly, the best I have ever seen her. It was also great to see that Kiah's speed is up there with the best as we would have ended up in 3rd place. I am not disappointed one bit with any part of the run, and as always the very best dog came home with me, and always will. There is always going to be another agility run, but there is only one little Kiah!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

More Congratulations at Thames

No sooner had I written the post about the Superstars Dave & Rusty winning their first ticket, there they go again and proving how much of an amazing team they are, by winning their second ticket with an awesome show stopping crowd silencing run at Thames this weekend!! It was great to be able to watch, and lots more congratulations to them this time too, and sooner or later they will get that third ticket to get that exclusive title, so lots of luck for that too!

There were also lots more successes at Thames for a lot of my friends which was lovely to hear about, though shame that Kiah and I (well me really) weren't really in tune that much this weekend. In a couple of the courses I wasn't very happy with some of the angles onto equipment either, not sure why some think this is such a 'challenge' when I think it is border line dangerous for some dogs. I was however (as always) pleased with most of Kiah's runs, her contacts and wait especially, and some of my handling reflected what I had learned at boot camp the week before, though some certainly could have been better. This picture is of Kiah at the last show we were at; taken by Alan Score who is undoubtedly one of the best photographers around, and the most generous too as he emails out all the photos he takes!

It was a little frustrating to have lost a bit of the consistency that we had over the past few weeks, especially with the ABC semi final rocketing up so quickly this weekend. I am definitely ready for it and even more so looking forward to it, and most importantly certainly hoping that my handling doesn't let Kiah down, while she shows how good she really is. All I know is that Kiah has already made me so proud to get this far, I know that we can do it but if we don't then as long as we had fun that's all that matters. At the end of the day, Kiah is amazing, always my number one and I take the best dog home whatever happens!!!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Boot Camp!!!!!!!

It is the day after Kiah and I got back from our Agility Boot Camp that took place this weekend plus Monday, and I can honestly say I have never done so much training, but I have certainly learned a lot, and have never enjoyed myself so much!! To add to that, it was great to meet such a lot of nice (some new) people, great to spend so much time with Kiah and the weather stayed good all weekend too, despite torrential rain over one of the nights, each day was lovely, not too warm, not too cold, and most importantly was dry!

The Boot Camp was run by Leah Gardner and Nancy Hudson at a lovely outdoor venue in Kent, and they really did both work amazingly hard to help us all learn so much in such a short space of time, so I must say a HUGE thank you to them again. We had 5 hours of training per day, split into two sessions and then two again so we got so much done, in agility and jumping courses with both trainers. There wasn't just one thing I would say that I learned specifically, but so many pieces of useful information and techniques and ways of doing things that will help me no end, and I will never ever forget. I love this picture of Kiah, she really is smiling, it was taken while we were practising her see-saw contact and it is just a typical picture of how she looked at the weekend, as she was just enjoying herself so much!!