Monday, 31 December 2012

RVA December

The RVA show is an unaffiliated indoor show help at Houghton Hall EC, Huntingdon.  It is quite a small show but is often fairly busy.  The down side to a small show when running four dogs of different heights and grades it gets very busy!  Constantly having to walk a course or run a dog.  I was running Shadow (small G6), Storm (large G3) and Winnie (anysize), while +Susi Cooper was running Doople (small G3).

The first run of the day was pairs with Doople and Shadow.  Now bare in mind that we haven't trained for a few weeks as our club has shut down over Christmas.  Doople ran her best run of the day in the pairs but unfortunately Shadow didn't.  Shadow was a little bit excited and barked at me most of the way round the course flying contacts on the way.  Ah well, scratch that one.

Doople decided after the pairs that she'd had enough of weaves so didn't get any clear rounds after that.  She was running forwards nicely and giving it her all.  Although she did also manage to miss a dog walk contact.  A rarity for Doople as she is normally steady on the dog walk.  Note to +Susi Cooper: work the dog walk contacts in the ring!  Here is a video of Doople in the grade 1-3 jumping.  She didn't get a placing as she missed the weaves.

After the pairs Shadow decided to listen a bit more.  We got three clear rounds after that all in the placings (granted the number of dogs in the placings is quite generous).  We came 4th in the 4-7 jumping, 5th in the 4-7 agility and 8th in the steeplechase.  Shadow isn't the fastest dog in a straight line but as she is nice and tight she  makes up for it on the turns.  So I am pleased with these results overall.  Her is Shadow finishing fourth in the grade 4-7 jumping.

Winnie was running over medium jumps in the anysize classes.  She ran well and actually listened for a full course!  This is only the second show she has been to in 6 months due to her injury so I'm really pleased with how she was.  Here is a video of her finishing 6th in the anysize jumping.

And last but not least, Storm.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting a many nice rounds with Storm.  I have not been running her for long and have not trained with her since November due to her being in season then the club shutting down for Christmas.  We ran anyway and in Strom's first class, 1-3 jumping we came first!  How about that!  I was really pleased with her round when we finished as I managed to tell her what to do the whole way round and she listened!  The agility round that followed could have been better, as in Storm could have hit at least one contact, would have been nice.  The steeplechase that followed was also a good round and we finished 12th not too far from the winners.  Here is Storm with her grade 1-3 jumping win.

All in all a good show.  The venue is lovely as it has the equestrian centre has recently been refurbished.  We enjoyed the show and will be back there at the end of January.

Now we start preparing for the Barking Mad show next week.  This is our club's show so we always find ourselves being extra busy.  No pressure!

Sunday, 30 December 2012


This is a blog about a sport that myself and wife, +Susi Cooper, partake in with our dogs (more on them later).  For those of you who don't know about dog agility, it is a competition for dogs of all shapes and sizes to compete over a course of obstacles.  Each dog is timed where the fastest dog without faults wins.  Faults are picked up by knocking a jump down or failing a piece of equipment.

We currently own four poodles.  Two toy bitches (Doople and Shadow), one miniature dog (Zazu), and one standard bitch (Winnie).  You can find out more on them in the 'Dog' tab.  I also run a friends collie called Storm.

We Started agility training with them a little over two years in autumn 2010.  At the time we only had Doople and Shadow, Winnie was only 10 months old.  We had previously competed in flyball with them.  This is essentially a relay race for involving a dog running over hurdles to fetch a tennis ball.  We wanted to do more with our dogs so we decided to take up agility.  Once we started we were hooked and have never looked back!

We train at Barking Mad near Kettering, Northamptonshire with Den and Niki Keeler.  They have both taught us so much and we really appreciate everything they give.  They are great trainers and helped us to work well with our dogs and also to enjoy them more.  The only downside is that now me and Shadow have started to beat them, only occasionally but it's a start!  The Barking Mad website can be found here:

I am going to write about the shows we go and how we get, mainly so I can track how we have been doing but others may (or may not!) find it interesting.