This weekend we were at the UKA Grand Finals where Brooke Bean had qualified in the Split Pairs with her son Squidge and Sparkle had qualified in the CSJ Grand Prix. To say I was nervous was an understatement after Sparks recent issues with cameras and I knew that the photographer would be in the ring quite close to the equipment. Luckily the pairs competition was on the Saturday so she got used to the venue and noises. Bean and Squidge did so well in the pairs, unfortunately Squidge was E'd due to a horrible turn off the dw with a trappy jump at the end. It was so difficult for a dog with good running contacts! Brooke did her jumping run clear but had a wobble at the start with the excitement of seeing her boy run!
Sparks first run was on the Sunday afternoon and luckily I was first midi so I asked the photographer to hide his camera which he did. I apologise now to anyone who was queuing near me as I was so in the zone warming her up that I didn't take in anything around me! It was nice to have a practice jump and totally focus on being in the moment. Her run went really well, if she is worried she tends to back off and listen which actually helped me in a couple of places. Her dog walk was high but the rest was super! Please excuse my bobble hat but I was so cold!!
In the final I almost had a heart attack when I saw that the photographer was sitting in the ring in a really obviously place. Luckily he still hid his camera and him sitting there didn't put her off. She wasn't quite as on it as in her first run and was more worried warming up but she put her brave pants on and did it ❤ We ran last and immediately had to get on the podium as we had WON! Wow this girly continues to surprise me! Thanks to everyone who messaged and supported us 😘
It has suddenly got very chilly since the weekend, this is the gingers Monday morning don't make us move faces!
We have had some frosty mornings now so the winter coats have come out!
Happiness is Brooke Bean and her cage ball!
Mr Toad made it into the Nutshell magazine in an article about Hoopers, he is so handsome!!
We entered the British Agility Championships to try some challenging courses but also as it is only twenty mins from us. We were not disappointed with the challenging courses! They were so much fun to run and tested so many skills. The first run was on the Friday afternoon and was a fast blasty speedstakes for all levels. Sparkle ran really well for Matt and was 7th despite stacking it in a tunnel and having a photographer in the ring! Brooke and me had a very messy clear but it was a good confidence booster for both of us.
The first agility round was a cool course! Really testing, especially the weave entry but fun and fast!
Spark and Matt had a fantastic run on this course and won it!!! Brooke and I didn't do so well as we got eliminated on jump 3 but I know that winter training is going to be more pull thru skills!
The first jumping course was really tricky with a hard weave exit with the long jump very close! Matt and Spark had 5r in the weaves as she overshot the entry but the rest was lovely. Brooke and me had a few refusals but we actually didn't get eliminated until the pull thru on 16!
The agility on the sunday was my favourite course! Almost 200m long and a lot of running proved to be my downfall with a sore back but Matt and Spark did really well again and came 4th! Although we think she maybe should have been 3rd as one of the dogs ahead of her got 5f marked on the seesaw but was logged onto the computer as clear. Spark saw the photographer in this run and was a bit slower on the second half of this course but was brave enough to get the weave entry with her sitting there.
After this it all went a bit downhill! The second jumping was tricky and unfortunately Spark saw the photographers in the ring sitting by number 8 and bolted out. Matt got her back in and she managed to do a little bit at the end but was pretty stressed out. Brooke and I got eliminated on the pull thru at 5!! There is a theme here!!
So two good placings meant that Spark was through to the Sunday evening final and the course was epic!! Over 200m and really tricky but looked amazing to run. We had a word with the photographers before the final and asked for them not to take photos but sadly the woman sitting by number two clicked her camera anyway in her lap and Spark froze and bolted 😢 I am wondering if it was a case of trigger stacking as she had coped so well for two days and the third day seemed too much. Plus she was tired anyway and the atmosphere was electric. To say we are gutted is an understatement. I have the UKA Finals coming up so I'm debating whether to even bother going. To see her paralysed by fear is dreadful. I will continue to try and gently work her through it and appreciate all the kind words of support from people
I took Bru and Spark to a local show where we could reward in the ring and they had so much fun! For miss Spark it was about reward contacts and tricky weave entries and for Bru it was just about getting used to sequencing more jumps. I realised we need to work on rear crossing tunnels!!
I love these photos taken by the very talented Hannah Gates!
We ended up not going to a show last weekend as the weather was disgusting but it got better during the week and I was back wearing my shorts to work again so can't complain! We had a very important little visitor staying with us while his Mum was grooming for someone on the GB agility team. Our doglets were thrilled that Squidge came to stay! He was ever so good and fitted in straight away, here are a few pics of his holiday.
With his Mum and Dad!
Our two boys did a demo for a local hospice last week and they loved all the attention! Bru was excellent and enjoyed showing off all of his tricks, Brodie is such a pro at it and I realised that he has been doing demos for 9 years now!!