Thursday, 1 August 2013

Dog Vegas - Chase the Ace Team Final

On to the second part of our mad weekend, 250 miles from our Saturday show we were in Scunthorpe for the Dog Vegas show.  The reason for the long distance is that both +Susi Cooper with Doople and myself with Shadow qualified for the Chase the Ace team finals, albeit with different teams.  Doople was running at grade 4 and Shadow at grade 6.

Meerkat outside the B&B we were staying in
The weather was even more unpredictable than on Saturday, perhaps due to being (much) further north.  It was fairly warm but with the odd thunderstorm!  We travelled up on the Sunday evening as I didn't fancy the prospect of leaving at 4:00 AM.  It was a nice little B&B just outside Scunthorpe complete with pigs, ferrets and meerkats!

The show was much quieter than the previous show with only 4 rings, one of which was dedicated to the finals.  There were a lot of finals being held for various competitions from teams, to grade 3-5 agility, to Anything-but-Collie (ABC) jumping.  The finals were held in very good spirits with people sitting around the rings watching.  This is a good experience for the more novice handlers as it can be quite daunting for both dog and handler with all the people watching.  They were good finals to watch with very good courses set by Alan Bray.

On Monday, Shadow was first up with graded 5-7 jumping.  Shadow started very well indeed but didn't run out enough on a long run and so came in missing the jump.  I tried again a she went out when I told her to.  She was very excited afterwards though.  Next up was the graded 5-7 agility.  This had a very interesting start that caught a lot of people out.  It was tyre then dog walk with a tunnel wrapped around the entrance.  I tried to walk to the other side of the tunnel and call Shadow up the dog walk so that she wouldn't look at the tunnel.  It failed.  I tried again but stayed closer her and she went up fine.  Apart from the weaves the rest of the round was lovely.  I was steering her from behind down a long run with tight turns so still very pleased.  Her last individual run was the graded 5-7 jumping.  She seemed a little steadier but still ran well.  She wasn't driving off the turns as well as she does so we lost some time.  We finished clear but unplaced.

Doople started with graded 1-4 agility.  It was quite a nice course, but perhaps a bit much for the grade 1-2 handlers.  Doople was a little steady but listened and ran clear, eventually winning the class!  That means Doople is now up to grade 5 which is brilliant, we weren't really expecting it.  Next up was graded 1-4 jumping.  This was a fairly straightforward course but still had some traps.  Doople was her steady self but still listening and running.  They had a nice clear round finishing in 2nd place.  Finally was another graded 1-4 jumping.  This had some straight lines, circles and slaloms.  A nice fast flowing course, but not really Doople's course, to much running!  She still ran well and got round clear.

Finally, at the end a long day was the teams final.  This is a relay race over a simple steeplechase course but run in two parts.  Dogs 1 and 3 run the first course, dogs 2 and 4 run the second course, which is the first course in reverse.  The results for all heights are combined together.  It's simpler than I make it sound!  First up for the small teams was me and Shadow running with some of the Poodle Training Club, Julliet, Mo and Heather.  We all had lovely rounds and they were all really going for it.  Unfortunately there was a dropped baton at the change so we incurred some fault which was a real shame.  We were still the fastest of the small teams in the end, 110s, but the faults meant that we finished 7th overall.  Susi was running with friends from Northamptonshire where we used to train, Wendy Donna and Sharon.  They all ran very well too and put in a good solid clear round, 113s.  This meant that they finished up 3rd overall, which is great.  The winners were a team of collies in 94s, 2nd place was a team of medium height dogs in 96s.

Greg with the Poodle Team

Susi with the Northants Team

It was a good fun day out, catching up with people that we haven't seen in quite a while.  IT was a good result for Susi in the teams and especially for winning up to grade 5.