Monday, 20 May 2013

BATS Agility Show

We had an interesting start to the show weekend, it was the Bedford All Breeds Training Society in Luton.  We were notified on Saturday that the 'Travellers' had moved onto the show ground.  Note that that is not the term I would use for them, but If I start ranting about that then I won't end up talking about agility!  Anyway, +Susi Cooper had a sore foot so couldn't run which meant I was running Doople at grade 4, Shadow at grade 6 and Winnie at grade 3.

The venue we moved to was very nice in the end.  It was only a single day show but was very enjoyable.  We spent a lot of the day helping out on a ring run by our training club, Watford ATC.  It was good to spend a day with friends, it definitely helps when the weather's nice.

Doople after finishing 2nd in 4-5 agility

First up was me and Shadow running in the combined grade 6-7 jumping.  We had a good start to the round but I only managed 5 jumps before I fell over!  The grass was long(ish) and I was wearing walking boots (perhaps not clever).  But I think I was the only person to fall over in the day so perhaps it was just me.  We did still manage a clear round though with right-hand weaves, much better than last week.  Next up was combined grade 1-7 agility which was an Olympia qualifier.  I was running both Shadow and Doople in this class.  Shadow ran well and was very close on some of the contacts but clear none-the-less.  She ended up with 17th place, which is better than it sounds as there were ~180 dogs in the class!  We were only a few seconds off the pace which I am actually quite pleased with, considering how fast the top dogs are.  We finish with combined grade 6-7 agility.  This again was a really good round by Shadow.  Unfortunately I got a little confused on a turn and subsequently moved when I shouldn't have, Shadow was none-the-wiser so we carried on anyway.  At the end of the round, I did fall over again though!  Falling over in 2 out of 3 rounds is a little silly!

I was running Doople today which meant more work for me, but I do enjoy it.  Doople is running well at the moment so it isn't very different from running Shadow.  Doople's first round was the combined grade 1-7 agility, the Olympia qualifier.  Doople was really up for it, she did a nice back of jump from a little distance which I'm pleased with.  She's picking that up nicely which is good considering we haven't trained it very much.  Next up was the combined grade 4-5 agility.  I over looked the entry into the weaves so Doople ran towards the number.  The entry was on a gentle arch past a jump and a tunnel, looking back I'm not sure she could actually see the weaves before she got to them.  Later in the course was a trick part, out of the tunnel and then between two jumps into another tunnel.  Doople listen brilliantly, went through the gap and into the next tunnel.  Not many people managed it.  Last up was combined grade 4-5 agility.  This had a bit of a tricky start that perhaps could have been quicker if I'd layered the jump between 3 and 4.  We had some tight turns and a pull through slalom to finish 2nd.  I almost pulled Doople  off a couple of jumps whilst trying to get tight turns, but she understood and kept going over the jumps.

Lastly we have Winnie.  She still doesn't have much confidence in the ring so all we try to do with her is run around and have fun, the confidence will come with time.  Both agility and jumping rounds were steady but I made the same mistake in both: I left her a bit too far behind when she got to a jump so she missed it.  My mistake as she doesn't have the confidence to take the jumps from a distance in the ring.  Training is a different matter, but such is life.

It was an enjoyable day that culminated in more clear rounds than eliminations, which is always a bonus.  Shadow getting placed out of 180 dogs and Doople getting a 2nd place in agility are clear highlights.  On to Nottingham for next week, just hope there are no pesky travellers!