Tuesday, 19 May 2015

BATS Agility Show - May 2015

It's been a while since I have written about our dog shows. Mainly because we haven't been to many since we had a new (human) addition to our family. This is the first Kennel Club show we have been to since summer 2014. We have been to a couple of unaffiliated shows, but I haven't had time to write about those.

Anyway, it showed that I haven't had much practice for a while as I was making rookie mistakes with both Zazu at grade 3 and Shadow at grade 7. This was also Shadow's first KC show at G7, we didn't exactly show off our skills!

Me and Rupert having a relaxing lunch

Zazu was up first with grade 3 jumping. This was a nice flowing course and Zazu really got into his stride. I got in his way which slowed him right down but he picked up again going through the weaves. Our first run of the day our our first victory, 1st place! That really was the high point of the day and it went downhill from there, this was my only clear round of the day! We both got a bit messy in the 3-7 agility, even if we did walk it without numbers. The course numbers went walk about over night so we had to wait a long time before the class could get underway. I did find it strange that everyone was walking the course with no numbers. I wasn't sure whether to follow someone or just wait! Zazu's last run of the day was grade 3 agility. Zazu ran really well getting all of his contacts and running out nicely. I lent over too much and we took the wrong jump, but you can't tell that from the video!

Shadow was really grumpy by the time it was her turn so I knew she was going to be a handful. She flew out of the starting blocks. I kept getting in the wrong place but she was making up for it. We missed a jump out of the tunnel and Shadow didn't want to slow down to turn. Our grade 6-7 jumping was a bad round on my part. It was a tricky start but again I got in the wrong place a couple of times and ended up nearly knocking over some jumps, whoops! Our final run was grade 6-7 agility. This was a really good run apart from the extra tunnel Shadow added onto the course. I didn't pay her enough attention so she deviated slightly.

Both dogs ran really considering the lack of training they have had. Zazu now needs only one more win to get into grade 4. Our next show isn't for a couple of weeks. You never know, I might put some training in between now and then!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Orchard Agility Summer Show - August 2014

This was our last show of the summer season, mainly as my wife +Susi Cooper is due to give birth very shortly. The weather was good, a little cold at times but it held out. We were running Zazu at grade 3, Doople and Shadow at grade 6, and Winnie in anysize.

Getting ready on the start line
Doople and Zazu were running in the Embroidery Shop Final, which is a grade 1-5 competition with qualifiers through out the year. It consists of two agility rounds, one preliminary round which sets the running order for the final run. Both dogs had a lot to live up to as Shadow won the trophy two years ago. No pressure then!

Doople ran both rounds really well. A little slow in the weaves but we've been having trouble with those in training lately. We finished the first round in 4th which meant that we ran towards the end in the final. We went clear but there were faster dogs, so we finished 6th overall.

Zazu seemed to enjoy his rounds. We had trouble with the weaves as usual and got eliminated in the first round. In the final his inexperience showed and we were eliminated when he kept running. He got all of his contacts and was running down them better.

Doople sussing out the competition
On to the rest of the show.

Zazu's other run on Saturday was very good. I pulled him off a jump but he managed 12 weaves fairly quickly and his contacts. He finished 3rd with 5 faults. On Sunday he acted very funny in the jumping, deciding to wander off over a jump rather than following me. We did manage to layer a jump, the weaves and the judge at the same time, intentionally! I basically sent him on and an a different way with a jump, the weaves and the judge between me and him. His final agility run was fairly steady but good. We finished in 3rd place.

Shadow had a good day on Saturday with some tricky courses. We came 5th in the combined 5-7 jumping only a few seconds off the leaders. In the graded 6-7 agility however we came 1st! It was a good run with really tight turns. I don't think we could have run either class better. This does mean that she is now finally grade 7, the top grade. It has taken a while. There's less to talk about on Sunday, I was awful. I just couldn't put everything together. We did go clear in the jumping run which was as simple as could be for a grade 4-6.

Winnie had an anysize run on Saturday and she actually ran very well. She was charging around and really enjoying herself. We went wrong but never mind. It's the first time in quite a while that we've seen her enjoy herself that much at a show.

It was a good way to end our summer season with Shadow finally making it to grade 7. I'm not sure how many shows we'll be doing this winter but we'll hopefully keep doing some.

Posing after a long hard day

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Barking Mad Show - Aug 2014

We went to our old club's show this weekend, the RDDTC Barking Mad show near Peterborough. We were helping out for quite a lot of it so it was a busy weekend. We had Doople running her first grade 6 show, Shadow running at grade 6 and Zazu at grade 3.

Greg and Zazu getting ready
The weekend started on Thursday as we went down early to help set up. It was nice and friendly so we always like helping out there. The weather over the weekend was typically British, hot sun followed by rain followed by hot sun and rain, and that was just Saturday!

On to the dogs.

Shadow ran most of her runs really well with a lot of drive. Unfortunately I wasn't quite up to her standard this weekend with no clear rounds on Friday or Saturday. I made silly mistakes like not waiting for her so she would take the wrong jump; getting in her way for weave entries so she couldn't see them early enough; too close to cross behind the A-frame. All annoying little things that show I'm a little out of practice. I got it together for Sunday but Shadow was a little tired by this point. We did get three clear rounds though.

We also entered the weave challenge, which was 8 sets of six weaves and 3 tunnels, no jumps or anything else, all to raise money for a dog cancer research charity. It was fun and Shadow was quite good, we missed one entry but got the rest. She was a little confused why we kept doing so many. It was a very amusing class to watch and everyone enjoyed it.

Zazu only had two runs each day as he still isn't quite there to concentrate for many more. He was running very nicely though. The main things we need to work on are weaves and contacts. He needs more confidence in the weaves and also with the equipment. He didn't miss his contacts but he can be a bit slow. His jumping was very good though, he has come a long way. We got some placings, we came 1st in 3-5 jumping, even with slow weaves. He flew round the rest of the course. We also got a 2nd another jumping run. We got 5 faults on the weaves as he missed the last two but ran the rest lovely, a little wide but I can work with that.

Doople only had one run a day as she doesn't like the heat. She ran all three lovely though. She knocked a pole on her first jumping run but ran well. We got a 2nd in the rain on Saturday, even with me falling over and nearly taking out the last jump! She also went clear on the Sunday in agility.

We had a fun weekend. We have lots to take away and work on. Weaves and contacts with Zazu, my timing and weaves entries with Shadow. Really pleased that Zazu got his first, hopefully of many, win at a Kennel Club show.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Milton Keynes DTC - June

We had a nice quiet weekend this time. Shadow was lame and Winnie wasn't entered, so we just drove round the corner with Doople at grade 5 and Zazu at grade 3. It was great being only 20 minutes away as we could decide when we'd had enough and go home easily.

Susi and Zazu in serious preparation
Doople ran first in graded 5-7 jumping. She had a great run and really enjoying it. She was driving forward and listening well. We were a little wide out of the tunnel though. We did however end up winning the class! It's been a while since Doople won a class. She now needs only one more agility win to advance to grade 6. Her other run on Saturday was graded 5-7 agility. She again ran really well even tough it was a long course with two sets of 12 weaves and a course time of 65 seconds! Doople kept her 100% record for the day and won the class! This moves her into grade 6 now. While we were pleased to win, we're not sure how well Doople will compare against other grade 6 dogs, but we can do all of the course well.

Sunday wasn't quite as successful. In the 5-7 jumping Doople didn't have much drive, perhaps she was tired. She got going a bit towards the end. We had a refusal on one of the jumps. In the 5-7 agility was better but again lacking a little bit compared to Saturday. We messed the weave entry but were pleased overall.

Zazu only had 3-4 jumping on Saturday. He ran the course really nicely with a bit more drive than he has had in the past. He still isn't there on the weaves either. Sunday was a lovely flowing course that he going in well. I could control him from a distance while moving into position. In the agility he got all of his contacts. The dog walk end was a bit slow, but the A-frame was brilliant. I pulled him off a tunnel under the A-frame but we were OK second time.

We were really pleased with both of them over the weekend. I think it helps to have less to do and spend more time doing it. Congratulations to Doople for getting into grade 6, party time now!

Greg and Zazu after a hard day's work

Friday, 30 May 2014

Orchard Agility Unaffiliated Show

Only a few weeks late but never mind! We decided to have a quite weekend so we went to the Orchard Agility unaffiliated show as it is only 30 mins away. We really went to this show to give Zazu some more experience in a relaxed environment. We ran Zazu at grade 3, Shadow at grade 6, Doople at grade 5 and Winnie in anysize.

Spoiler: Zazu looking proud with his Saturday rosettes
Zazu wasn't too keen on parts of the agility ring as there were a lot of thistles on the ground. He was hoping around at times, which was funny to watch if ineffective. He had two agility rounds and a jumping round His contact on all of his rounds were really good. We still need a little more drive but he was running all the way down. The weaves were all a little slow but again we need more practice. He got distracted in the jumping round and ran off in the other direction but he was still enjoying him self. He was eliminated in the jumping, got a 2nd in the 1-3 agility and a 1st in the 1-5 agility. We were really pleased as this was his first win. It also means he qualified fr the Embroidery Shop medium 1-5 final in August. Shadow won this event in 2012, so he has a lot to live up to.

On the Sunday, his contacts were still good in the agility round and I decided to hold him a little longer on them. He decided to sit at the top of the A-frame once though, I guess the view was good! He was starting to tire a little, more mentally than physically. We still managed a clear round in the steeplechase and a 3rd place in the agility.

Shadow started the weekend in the steeplechase, and it took her a while to wake up. She just sort of wandered around the first ten jump, then realised what we were doing and sped up! She ran much better in the jumping class and finished 2nd, a few seconds off the winner. The agility was going well until the contact equipment when she just flew off everything.

Sunday started much better as she won the steeplechase this time. The class ended with a full poodle podium! She also did really well in the jumping class where she finished 2nd. The agility run is probably best forgotten, she missed all her contacts again and also wandered off half way through to find Susi. Still it was a fun weekend with her.

Doople has started losing a lot of her drive at shows, particularly when it's warm. It's still there sometimes, particularly when Susi runs her, but I had the privilege for most of the weekend. She started really well in the jumping class and finished 3rd with Shadow only a few seconds faster. We got faults on the dog walk in the first agility class and eliminated in the second. She wasn't running as well for these as they were later in the day.

She was lagging a bit in the jumping on Sunday, we missed a jump and got eliminated. +Susi Cooper ran her in the first agility run and she went much better. She's more used to running with Susi. They went round really well and finished in 3rd place.

Winnie was entered in the anysize jumping at small height (350mm), one on each day. On Saturday she ran quite well and looked like she enjoyed it. She always enjoys herself when she comes out round the rings at least. Sunday was a bit different as it took a bit of effort to get her out of the caravan! She started slowly but picked when she got to the tunnels.

The weekend was mainly about training Zazu and we accomplished quite a lot. Zazu got his first win and qualified for a final in August. It was a good, relaxing weekend, even with all the thistles!

Relaxing after a hard day

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

RVA Indoor KC Show - March

This weekend we went to our first Kennel Club show of 2014, the RVA Indoor Small/Medium Show. It was busy with people and dogs but lovely and (relatively) quite due to the lack of large dogs. It's amazing how much of the noise id from excited collies! We took Shadow at grade 6, Doople at grade 5 and Zazu at grade 3.

Shadow waiting patiently
First up was Shadow in the graded 6-7 jumping. We were a little wide going into a slalom as the tunnel was quite a draw, but the rest of the round was lovely. She flew through the weaves and we had really tight turns. The fruits of our labour was a 3rd place. Next up was the combined 5-7 agility. We had good weaves and contacts, she was working away well which makes life so much easier. We finished clear, quite a way off but still a good round. After lunch we ran in the pairs with Miranda and Wizz. It was a fast course we were looking forward to. Miranda went first but unfortunately Wizz missed to the last two weaves. Shadow ran well, we nearly missed the first whilst waiting, and we got a bit confused at the end, but still good.

Shadow with her rosette, she doesn't look much different than before her run
Finally we had graded 6-7 agility. This was quite a fast and tricky course with lots traps everywhere. Shadow ran really nicely in this, again working away so that I could get where I needed to be. We had a greate dog walk contact and really tight turn over the next jump which took her well away from the traps. A long stretch of running and a bit of improvisation meant we finished in 2nd place, only 0.5s off 1st. It was a really good day with her.

Doople only had two runs and they were both at the same time. First she had graded 4-5 agility. We had a wide start as Doople wanted to go up the dog walk rather than listen, but we picked and she ran well after that, good weaves and turns. We ended up in 3rd place. Her net round was graded 4-5 jumping. She was driving forward well so I could layer a few jumps. She picked up the weaves after I crossed behind the jump which I'm really pleased with. We ended up that round in 4th place.

Zazu started the day with grade 3 agility. He was very distracted during the round for some reason. He enjoyed himself, but just forgot to listen sometimes! Next up was grade 1-3 agility. This was a simpler course, he stopped on his contact well and ran a bit. He decided to miss the A-frame and run off in a different direction, but you can't have everything now! Last up was grade 3 jumping. He drove forward quite well so I could leave him to do bits and he managed his weaves this time. We ended up clear but we were a bit slow.

All in all it was a successful day but also a lot of fun. Our next show will be outside over Easter, hopefully without the snow this year!

Dogs having a cool down

Monday, 10 February 2014

Pachesham Grade 1-5 - February

We were at Pachesham for the final time this winter for the grade 1-5 show. We took Doople at grade 5 and Zazu at grade 3. We were very fortunate with the weather considering the flooding in other parts of the country. No rain, clear sky and a lot of wind!
Wax on, wax off
Zazu was up first in the jumping. I had to cross behind the tunnel and he came out looking the wrong way, which is something we need to train. He ran well still, even though I was slow on the turns. He was happy in the run and we ended up in 5th place. Next up was the agility. He drove into the tunnels nicely and I could layer a jump with him still going. He stopped to look at the judge on the A-frame but came down well. The only downside was the weave entry which was at an angle. He went round the first pole well but went in the second weave. This again is something to practice. Next was the steeplechase. I started a long way to the side of the first jump, sent him into the tunnel and picked him up for a blind cross between the next two jumps. He was running quite nicely all the way round, still enjoying it. We ended up in 8th place. Finally we had the second agility. round. He started by running at +Susi Cooper but carried on. He had a really good A-frame, driving down to the end. A good drive again, especially for his fourth run. We ended up in 4th place.

Doople only had two runs. Her first run was the jumping. She was really running well until Susi got in her way on a turn. This stopped her and she had the next pole down.  A good run though and finished in 6th place. Her final run was the first agility round. She slowed up a little during the run, perhaps because of the lighting. She managed the tricky weave entry, stopped to look at Susi, then carried on, and finished in 3rd place.

It was another fun day. We have a few things to train with Zazu but we were really pleased with how he's coming along. Not many more winter shows left now and then we're back outside camping again.