Brodie, Dolly and I went to Somerset over the weekend to compete at the UKA National Finals. Brodie had qualified in the CSJ Grand Prix and Dolly was in Beg Steeplechase. I was so pleased even to qualify them as only there are only 20 places in each nationally.
Brodie did his run on Saturday, he was flying! He was really raring to go and I just love running my boy, he is a little dude!! I knew we would struggle with the weave entry and I hurried him too much and made him run past. In hindsight I should have handled it with him on my right and sent him which would have been easier for him but I was worried that he would take the back of the long jump. Thats what I love about agility, its a huge game with your dog and the tactics of how to run things make it so much fun. You can always learn and improve - I think dog walks and weave entries will be on the winter training list!! :) Brodies little brother Sizzle was a star and it was lovely that both of them went through to the evenings grand final.
Here is a video of our run in the Semi's (thanks Lian for the video). Promise not to laugh at my enormous T-shirt, I had four layers underneath it as it was freezing!!
Here is a cool action pic from the Semi
I loved the courses for both rounds - I really went for it in the Final and raced him too much on his dog walk to get to the 'wrong' end of the tunnel. I knew he would struggle with the weave entry so we collected more faults there but still managed to finish 6th! In the video you can see him pause on the seesaw - it was facing the glass of the cafeteria and he caught sight of the sheltie in the reflection!! Dippy boy - love him!!
Here is Brodie's run in the final
I have always wanted a photo of him jumping a wall so I had to buy this!
Sizzle and Lian finished 6th as well - these brothers are like peas in a pod!!
Dolly had her turn in the limelight on Sunday in the Beginners Steeplechase Semi. Bearing in mind that this was our 5th show together I had decided I'd be happy if she stayed with me in the ring!! The start was set up right in front of the speaker which had a loud electronic voice saying 'Ready'. Luckily it didn't phase her and I even got a lovely wait which allowed me to get a head start! I was an idiot as I helped her too much into a couple of the tunnels which left me too far behind and she got a couple of refusals. I was over the moon though as she was fast, focused and really keen, I couldn't have asked for more! More sprint training I think for me and 'go on' training for her! She finished 11th out of 20 and the top 10 go through to the final - shame as the course for the final was more of a Dolly course. Never mind, she is still in Beg so we'll have another go at qualifying next year :)
Well done to everyone for their runs there were so many amazing dogs and handlers there! The organisation was very good and the atmosphere was electric. I'm never going to compete internationally but it gives you a good idea about what it must be like and what a great experience for the dogs as well :)