Thursday, 18 July 2013

Rugby DTC Show

Another scorching weekend at a dog, there are definitely worse ways to spend it!  This weekend we were at the Rugby DTC championship show.  We were looking forward to spending another sunny weekend outside with the dogs and so it was.  We had Shadow running at grade 6, Doople at grade 4, Winnie at grade 3 and Zazu at anysize.

We were prepared for the nice weather this weekend as it was very similar to last weekend at Wellingborough.  We did end up using a lot of water in the heat, about 100 litres in total!  It was a busy show with 10 rings, but that is to be expected at a championship show with Crufts and Olympia qualifiers as well.
Zazu leaping in anysize jumping
The high grade classes that Shadow was running in are always more interesting at championship shows as there are so many dogs entered, and this show was no different.  All of Shadows runs on both days were at the end so she had a relaxing time for the most part.  Her first run was combined grade 5-7 jumping.  It was an interesting course with a tricky weave entry.  I moved too much on the weave entry so Shadow went round too far and in the second pole.  A few jumps later Shadow decided to stop mid stride and smell something more interesting on the floor, something I've never seen her do in the ring before!  It was a little strange.  Next up combined grade 6-7 agility, a Crufts qualifier.  We got a few jumps in and I didn't send round a jump so she came in and over the wrong direction.  We were a little wide after that but I had relaxed a bit.  Finally we had graded 5-7 jumping.  Shadow was starting to tire but was still running nicely.  We started with a twisty bit which was a little slow but she picked up speed on the open parts.  We picked up the weaves nicely from the opposite direction and ended up 5th, only 3s off the winner of grade 6.

On Sunday, all of Shadows runs were at the same time.  We had a 10 minute break between but would have liked longer.  First up we had graded 5-7 jumping.  This was tricky but also quite a fast course.  We had a couple of wide turns but not too bad.  I took Shadow a longer way around some turns but I think it straightened her up better than a lot of others for the next section.  We were clear but unplaced.  Next was the combined 1-7 agility Olympia qualifier.  This was a bit of a disaster which was mainly my fault.  I managed to knock the fourth jump other with my arm, oops!  This put both of us off for the rest of the round with Shadow running around not really listening, and rightly so I think!  Finally we had combined grade 5-7 jumping.  We were both getting quite tired by this point.  Shadow was a little slower on her turns but was accelerating on the straights a listening well.  We ended up clear but again unplaced.  It was a good weekend with a few clear rounds over some tricky courses.  I just need to keep my flailing arms out of the way!

We weren't sure how well Doople was going to run with the heat but we had some idea from last weekend.  She had one run early on, first with +Susi Cooper in graded 1-4 jumping.  She started off well but Susi was a bit messy going into the weaves and Doople turned the wrong way after a jump.  They had a nice finish with pull-throughs round a box.  Not too bad and still a clear round.  Next up I ran her in the combined grade 4-5 agility.  She was a little slow again with the heat getting to her.  She listened all the way around and we did get another clear.  We decided not to run Doople her last class as she was out for count the rest of the afternoon!

Sunday had an early start with me running Doople in graded 1-4 jumping.  I was a fairly straightforward course and Doople was running fairly well.  I only got slightly lost and nearly went the wrong way, but managed to pull it back for a clear round.  Next up was graded 1-4 jumping.  This course was a little trickier but Susi managed it well.  They managed a back of jump and a good cross behind and ended up 7th.  Finally at the end of a long day Doople had combined grade 1-7 agility, the Olympia qualifier.  Susi and Doople had a much better round than me and Shadow, although that wasn't hard!  Doople was a bit slower by this point but still running and enjoying it.  she managed the tricky weave entry, albeit at a walk.  They ended up clear.  Doople ran quite well again this weekend considering the heat.  We knew Doople runs much better in the cooler weather but she is much better than this time last year.

Winnie is another one affected by the heat, but she also has less desire to run at shows than Doople, so it becomes quite tricky.  We gave her two runs on Saturday but decided she'd be best with just one on the Sunday.  She started with grade 1-3 jumping.  She was running forward fairly well, not getting distracted and not missing any jumps.  Dare I say she looked like she was enjoying it?  We also ended up with a clear round.  Next up she had grade 3 agility.  By this point in the day she was mentally very tired.  We did half of the course and then decided it was best to stop and she wasn't really running.  She did a few jumps and the dog walk but at this stage we are just trying to build her confidence.  Any time we go into the ring and she at things correctly we are taking a step forwards.  On Sunday we had grade 1-3 agility.  This was very slow, although she did run of the A-frame and kept momentum for a few jumps.

Zazu was running at anysize over small jumps, his last anysize before he is entered in a proper class!  Susi ran him of Saturday in a fairly straightforward course.  He ran ahead well and Susi turned him round jumps out of the tunnel from behind.  They ended with a clear round.  We need to keep working on his turns and learn to turn him a bit earlier.  He is really responsive when you tell him where we're going.  I ran him on Sunday and the course was much trickier but still fun.  He had a lot of drive that kept pulling him towards the flat tunnel.  We managed to go round the back of a jump out of the flat tunnel, which is something that a lot of grade 5-7 dogs were struggling with in later classes.  We'll just ignore the fact that we weren't supposed to do that!  He was really excited to be there and enjoyed his time running around.

It was an enjoyable show and makes us want to go to more championship shows next year, even if we're not running in the championship classes.  It's good to see where we need to improve and what we're up against.