Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Brilliant BATS

Nearly everything about the BATS show was just brilliant, a stunningly hot and cloud free day (not quite so good for the doggies but they were nice and cool in the car) and our first run of the day after boot camp - ending in a brilliant result. It was a grade 5 jumping course, quite a challenge but nice as it was very different to what I've seen before - but certainly not the typical style that I would expect us to get a good result in. Anyway we were running order 28 so didn't have to wait long especially as there weren't many people queueing, and using some of the knowledge that I'd hopefully picked up from boot camp - it was what I thought was a reasonable run - we went clear and straight into the lead and stayed there, resulting in her second grade 5 jumping win!!! Even managed to get the round on video thanks to Alex!

Our other runs weren't quite as good (not easy to beat!) but some excellent work in the novice qualifier by Kiah and brilliant contacts, unfortunately just a tipped wing of a jump resulting in 5f, and an E in the ABC class as our pull in didn't work quite as well as expected! So overall a very good day, really pleased with our second win (though at risk of sounding ungrateful, honestly I'm not) it does put us one step closer to grade 6! That is/would be a great achievement but I really like the challenge that grade 5 brings at the moment and I'd love to get a couple more good agility places too before we go anywhere.

The only negative point to the show - that seems to be appearing a lot more recently - is cars speeding through the show ground! I know it was a publicly accessible venue so there may have been a minor few of the 'joe public' people there, but the amount of people that we saw quite clearly doing a LOT more than 5mph on the way in and out was just crazy. Admittedly there weren't any speed signs but people should be more than well aware of it, if not by going to shows previously then by simple common sense! I don't understand why people need to go so fast, does it make them feel better? And to be honest it barely saves a minute or two, and I'm sure that if heaven forbid anything happened to end up under the wheels :( then they'd feel a whole lot worse. Slow down people, what's it going to take! So onto more positive news... that we are off to the Packington show this long bank holiday weekend coming, can't wait!!!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Boot Camp 2010

As mentioned in the last line of the post before, the next amazing agility journey was to be Boot Camp, and it really was just fantastic - and easy to say that it was even better than last year. It was in the same format as before with three days of five hours agility and jumping training, with each part split equally between Leah and Nancy who are just the best, most patient, fun trainers to be taught by! Its mentally and physically tiring but great fun and so relaxing at the same time due to the brilliant location, fab weather again, and great company of like minded people to enjoy it with.

There were lots of high points to remember about boot camp this year - seeing Kiah have such a good time, seeing all the rest of the dogs enjoying themselves, learning SO much and seeing the results, as well as catching up with old friends, making new friends, relaxing in a beautiful setting, and hundreds of photo memories. There's even a couple of crazy ones - like Kiah touching the A-Frame once and landing on the floor the other side, as well as charades one evening in the club house! As a sentence to sum it up - While having the best time with your best friend, boot camp is an amazing learning and social experience to never be forgotten.

Oops - Overdue Update!

First a quick note on the show in the second week of May which was Tunbridge Wells - it was a pleasant enough show and fortunately wasn't too miserable while we were doing some ring party on the Sunday, and being local was a bonus too as it was rather cold at times! Kiah and I had a nice day on the first day as Alex was working with a friend and took the two boys with him, so it was just me and her which doesn't happen often but we both enjoyed the time together. My timing was still not quite right (no change there!) but we had some really positive work - a very scrappy clear round, but also hardly any poles knocked, brilliant contacts, awesome weave entries, so very pleased and a very fun weekend.

We've also decided that we've well and truly caught the agility bug... from a hatchback car to an estate, and now to a van, all for the dogs we must be crazy! We are keeping my estate car though, as we need two vehicles for commuting. So in the week after this show we picked up our new blue VW Transporter van, which will be caged out soon and the dogs will have even more luxury than usual and travel in style - I can't wait to start kitting it out with new vet bed and accessories!

And then onto our next adventure - BOOT CAMP!!!!! It gets a separate post as it deserves it :))))))

Friday, 7 May 2010

Bank Holiday at Vyne

You could be forgiven for thinking it was the middle of winter at this show, with bitter driving wind, dark storm clouds, driving rain, a little bit of sunshine, and huge hailstones - we know that Newbury is a bit of a tunnel for weather but it was a bit extreme for the beginning of May - I think it assisted with contributing to what is now my second cold in two weeks :( Anyway Kiah and I were a little more composed and 'together' at this show, no clears but generally minor errors on my part.

I had nothing on first in the ring, so our first run was nearer to lunchtime and by that time it had warmed up a little for our grade 5 agility. Unfortunately Kiah was marked on the second obstacle which was the 'up' on the dog walk - which I refuse to train - for safety reasons - she's enjoying herself and that's her natural stride. I also don't think it should be marked as it penalises the larger stride dogs, but that's a different discussion! Anyway it gave us a chance to practice our contacts and our pull ins in the ring which Kiah did very well. Next was the ABC qualifier (Kiah watching me walk the course!) which I ran with conviction as I am frequently told to in training :) but thanks to a silly mistake by me, Kiah had a pole down, but so so pleased with that run. Lastly we had grade 5 jumping where again we had a pole but generally we were good if slightly messy.

I think we are slowly getting it back together (mainly me) and getting back into the swing of what is still the relatively new agility season - even though there are shows closing left right and centre for the middle of summer, one year I will keep up with them I'm sure!? This weekend we are off to the Tunbridge Wells show where we have three runs a day but its very local so two not too early starts - just how Kiah and I like them, we're not morning creatures!!!

Sunday, 2 May 2010


It would have been a lovely show... apart from the fact that three days before I had come down with a stinking cold :( sneezing-fit anyone?! And in hindsight we probably shouldn't have gone to the show as I didn't do Kiah justice at all!! She was a bit crazy in three of her runs over the weekend, resulting in us still keeping it fun but making a quick exit to the finish line as she was so nuts - sending the long jump scattering, tunnel crazy and not listening - she would have done herself some serious damage. Other than those misdemeanors (sp?), we did have a good time and had some very good but nearly runs thanks to me and my useless timing, especially in two runs, an almost identical error - three jumps from home instead of saying left I called 'Kiah' resulting in a back jump and a big E. I'm finally feeling a lot better this weekend so hopefully my timing will be a bit better, and we're off to Vyne tomorrow for another fun day!!