UKA Osberton – Judging

I judged for Agility Antics at Osberton in October, which turned out to be a gorgeous warm day with no rain at all, perfect! I had a big ring on lovely flat ground, mostly even, and the grass was cut! There were some very very old remnants of cowpats, but not a single dog stopped to sniff so wasn’t an issue. We were finished just after lunch, my Ring Manager was very efficient and we were pretty strict on course-walking etc.

Course plans are all below. Nursery and Casual ran over the same course as Beginners (with missing seesaw/weaves as appropriate!). The only real change I made was getting rid of the long-jump after 3 classes (Novice, Senior, Champ). It was a complete pain to change after every height level and I got fed up. The second tunnel (on the left of the course plans) in my Steeplechase courses was rotated slightly to allow a better entry/exit, but no other changes.

Unfortunately I forgot to make a note of all the course times! I can remember the Champ Steeplechase II because I set it a second or so faster than the matrix suggested (controversial, oh my!). All the clears were under by a few seconds, so I think it was fair. It was a very fast, very open course but I didn’t want to encourage anyone to go for a lazy, easy Q. Steeplechase should be about speed! The Novice II also ran well, with just a few unfortunate run-bys catching out the fastest dogs.

Mixed results for Agility; I didn’t mark many missed contacts, so that’s a plus! I wanted to set courses which challenged the handlers rather than the dogs, giving them optional paths depending on their dog’s strengths and weaknesses. I don’t know if it’s acceptable for me to comment, but I’ll do it anyway? By far the best at this were the Novice handlers! They tended to discuss the course with each other/their trainers (?) and really worked to find the best routes to give their dogs the clearest information. The Beginners handlers were the worst (sorry Beginner handlers). I think they were all caught out by 13-15 and forgot the start of the course! I anticipated the majority of Beginners running up the left-hand side of the Aframe, and then rear-crossing at the tunnel. Almost nobody did, and so tons of dogs got refusals at the tunnel, or picked up the wrong tunnel entrance. Everyone did great at 13-15 though, so I think it was a case of not seeing the more subtle challenges in the course. I will bear that in mind for the future.

Judging

digitjulyjumpingI judged at Dig It’s club competition this Friday, my first “judging appointment”! It was actually a lot of fun, but also exhausting, and it was only a 2hr stint. Judges, I have a new found appreciation for your skills.

This was my course, just in case anyone is interested. It was supposed to be a fast and flowing 1-3 Jumping, and it seemed to run reasonably well! Lots of 5F rather than Es, and feedback was good. It was really great to see a lot of baby dogs doing so well!

Because it was a fun club competition, once we were done, I was able to get Rio out for a bit of a play on the course. I went back to a toy rather than treats due to the location, and I had absolutely no goals other than to get Rio engaged and focused. Mission accomplished? Rio was super focused, jumping brilliantly, crazy for her toy, and raring to go. I’ll admit I cannot figure out what I did differently, and cannot take any credit for her awesome attitude. I didn’t ask her to weave, but she ran the rest of the course perfectly.

Which is making me think … I’ve been very focused on doing a lot of drive forward work with her, and actually her drive forward is great. I always say she’s independent and impatient, and I think this is the “problem”. She wants to GO, she wants me to stop slowing her down for turns etc, so we need to go back and do some more rewards for responding to handling. She also doesn’t like waiting, ie. queueing (waits as a task are fine).

NDDAC Osmaston 2013

I’ve been meaning to do this show for years, Osmaston is one of my favourite showgrounds for flyball! I’ll definitely try and go back again next year, it’s a really gorgeous show. Due to some weekend date swaps this year, it clashed with Otley and Wigan in the same area (plus the big Thames show), which meant the class sizes were really small. Not that that mattered, since we didn’t get any clear rounds!

G6-7 Jumping was a super course, really enjoyed running it. A long run to the wall and Dyl got a bit lost (my fault) so we ended up getting E’d shortly after that, but I was pleased with how he worked. Super independent weaves and he didn’t panic at the wall. As it turned out, the judge accidentally set a totally impossible course time of 31s, which NOBODY achieved. Jo Rhodes got closest with 31.15 in the G7 but that was as good as it got. Felt a bit sorry for the judge as a result, it really was an accidental course time (something to do with the feet – meter conversion on the wheel).

Large G6-7 JumpingThe second G6-7 jumping was another fab course, same ring as the first one, much more achievable time! As it happened we got E’d; I didn’t push Dylan out enough on the corner and he came in, so we re-did the corner. Again, super weaves and he did a fab push-out to #9 where I layered #11 to meet him at #10. Lovely!

Dog Vegas G6 Qualifier was another nice course. I was anxious before we set off as the course started with run up the aluminium dogwalk that had a tunnel underneath … but the dogwalk had wooden trestles, so it was the ultimate test-the-theory moment! Dyl had no issues with the dogwalk so I guess the theory is correct, but being over focused on that cost me two obstacles later at the weaves, where I messed up handling and he popped the last two. As it turned out, Dyl got called for his dogwalk down contact.

However, as it happened, Dylan got called for his dogwalk contact in his final class as well. And his Aframe! Since I video all Dylan’s runs and it’s very obvious he hits the Aframe contact, I’m not worried. Dogwalk isn’t visible on the video due to the angle, just like in the G6 Qualifier. However, considering Dylan has only ever been called 3 times for missing a down contact on the Aframe or Dogwalk, I’m not too concerned. I can only assume the judges at North Derbyshire were blinded by the sun.

Dylan was happy and comfortable and running smooth at this show, but he was sloooooow. Not sure why, maybe he’s just unfit. Lune Valley in two weeks so we’ll see if we can get any improvement in speed there.

Rio got to mooch around the rings, I love her attitude at shows. She’s so relaxed! We sat and watched the Large G1-3 Jumping for a while and she sprawled across the grass and watched people wandering past. Absolutely no reaction to the running dogs, noise, people, dogs tugging, etc, other than occasional mild curiosity. She was very willing to tug and play when it was offered however. Love my Ri!

Lincoln 2013

Haven’t done this show in a while. Kim won out of G1 here back in 2007, and last time we competed there Dylan was G3. It’s still nice, such a lovely showground, and it was the EO qualifying weekend which was actually one of the reasons I entered. It’s always fun to see the top dogs and handlers running!

Dylan’s first run was in the C6-7 Agility (super course). I thought when walking that the dogwalk might be a problem, there was a tunnel underneath again and the sun was shining directly on to the up-plank. Dylan had a huge meltdown, absolutely refused to move, and I had to lead him over the dogwalk in the end. That was … mildly embarassing, if I’m honest, but more importantly, really worrying.

I was able to talk to various people over the course of the day and get some input, and I’m honestly not sure how to fix this one. Aside from the tunnel-underneath-dogwalk part, Dylan’s issues with the dogwalk are limited to the First Contact aluminium-frame rubber-surface dogwalks. This is either due to the aluminium being sightly different underfoot OR due to the very very shallow slats, which can’t be seen at all in bright sunlight (and therefore making it look like a seesaw) OR a combination thereof. The tunnel underneath the up-plank exacerbates the issue, presumably because a tunnel beneath what looks like a seesaw is terrifying (understandably). Unfortunately, First Contact supply the majority of the shows we attend*, and because the aluminium contacts are so expensive, nobody actually trains on them.

I’m honestly not sure whether First Contact provide non-aluminium contacts anymore, but the wooden/aluminium differential isn’t specified on schedules anyway (just wood/rubber surface). If I have to cut out all First Contact supplied shows in the future, then thats what I’ll do (although I’ll have a seriously reduced diary!), but if anyone actually has some aluminium contacts I can come and train on please let me know?

*First Contact is a GREAT equipment supplier, by the way. My agility club buys most of our equipment from them. This problem is specific to their aluminium frame contact equipment.

Large G6-7 Agility, Lincoln 2013Dylan had the slowest clear in the G6-7 Agility. I knew when I walked the course that I had to sacrifice handling the last part of the course to make sure he took the dogwalk, and that’s what I did. I also held his Aframe contact and took him the long way round off #4. No worries, he nailed the weave entries and ran really well. He hesitated but didn’t bail on the dogwalk (although it was very slow) so that was an improvement.

Dylan ran well in both his jumping classes, we got caught out by a fractious queue in the G6-7 Jumping (and the tough weave entry) and then I made a silly handling error in Brenda Tenton’s nice C6-7 Jumping. Oops!

Tailwaggers March 2012

I only entered Dylan at this show, and I only entered it as a whole bunch of people said they were going and then they didn’t. I’m not bitter.

It was a good chance to see if Dylan really was ok though, since Novice+ courses tend to have a few more straight lines of obstacles and generally are faster courses. It’s usually filled with really good G6/7 dogs training but there were quite a few of the usual dogs missing, mainly because they’d all been at Ribble.

We got some lovely courses all day; the jumping classes were generally challenging but fair, and the Agility classes were big open easy runs. Dylan’s first class was Novice+ Up and Under, and my handling was appalling but he ran it so well, easy clean jumping and he was happy. We finished 2nd, first placing for months!

N+ Agility was a really really easy course, just one pull-through and the rest was up and down lines. I held all his contacts and we finished way down the line, but his jumping was so clean and he was driving through all the lines, I was thrilled to bits. I can’t believe what a difference his adjustment has made; compare the video below to the video from the beginning of February.

N+ Jumping was a tricky course but fun to run, Dylan backjumped as I wasn’t clear enough about where we were going. Oops. Need to set that particular sequence up in training I think as it is a weak point!

My video camera died otherwise I would be showing the video from N+ TFO Agility rather than the Agility classes as it was our best run for a year. I nearly cried when we were done, partly because I was dying of exhaustion but mainly because Dylan was amazing, drivey and fast and beautiful jumping the whole way around. TFO has never been our game, but this course was in a huge ring, really spread out and with big open spaces between the jumps, and a double Aframe as part of the course. Just Dyl’s kind of course! We set off so well and reached the dogwalk before we got called up as the timer hadn’t started. I figured we’d just start again straight away, so we went back to the start and set up again. I pushed his first two contacts a bit more the second time, since we’d already done them! He was absolutely flying and we got a course and a half done before we got whistled for time (on jump 5), and then we ended up taking the dogwalk and jump 7 to get to the end which was the long way around.

I watched the rest of the class done and saw three dogs hit the Aframe and then make their way to the end over the flat, so I wasn’t sure how we’d done as I thought we’d been whistled on the Aframe too. As it turned out we came 1st and our time was faster than almost all the other dogs who were whistled for time despite taking the long route. I am so pleased! It might have been just a little unaffiliated show but Dylan was so happy and so fast and confident, it was a better run than when he won out of Grade 5 and I’m so proud of him.

He got more and more comfortable and confident as the weekend went on, it was clear he was finding his feet again. We aren’t competing again until Easter but we do have Drax flyball in three weeks, so we’ll see how he gets on there. I hope I can keep him at this level of fitness and confidence, and with a little more work to brush up on his contacts and my handling, maybe we can get some G6 placings over the summer.

I am so unfit though, I am never going to make it around the 1-3 courses again with Rio.

Ribble March 2012

Resultswise, not such a good show. We didn’t bring home a single rosette. It also rained consistently.

Apart from that, it was awesome. I entered Kim and Dylan, and didn’t know if Kim would want to play or if Dylan would be able to. Saying I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement; we were all joyously happy to be there and rocking out and running fast and easy and loving every single second. I couldn’t have asked for a better day, even if we did just bring home a lot of Es and faults.

Ribble C4-7 Jumping (Medium) & C5-7 Jumping (Large)Kim was first up in her C1-7 Agility, in which we had no chance against the half a dozen Ag.Chs. (Really nice course from Hannah Grantham though, who was a super judge all day). In fact, neither Kim or Dylan would have been placed in anything even if we had gone clear, as all the good dogs and handlers had descended for the Small and Large KC Agility Stakes classes, and they all brought their Medium dogs too. Kim was bouncing on the line and I knew she was keen but my, she was keen and she flew around. We picked up 5f because I stood in front of the weaves and she thought I was an idiot, but she was so happy to be there and was just having the best time.

Likewise in her C4-7 Jumping (the same course as Dyl’s C5-7 Jp), she flew around and only held up to give me the sideeye at the weaves, because she thought I was wrong. She finished second out of the G6 dogs, some 8s off Jackie Tarn’s superfast collie bitch, but Kim is 11 and so we can cut her some slack.

Her G4-7 Agility was last and just had one too many awkward pull throughs for Kim, although she did a beautiful dogwalk and was still enjoying herself. Pausing to bark at the other ring probably wasn’t the most time-saving move either, and it was a tight course time, so we got 1 TF. She’s also not keen on the rubber-contact seesaws, so that was slow as well. I don’t care, she is amazing.

Dylan hasn’t trained since his chiro adjustment and that’s not normally good for him, but I was more worried with him just being ok. Our first class was the C6-7 Agility Stakes, challenging but I didn’t think it was impossible. We ran clear if cautious and I think finished somewhere around 25th place? His jumping was much better, wary but not stuttering and not uncomfortable, and on the video he looks like a dog who is surprised to find it’s not painful but daren’t quite stretch in case it is. Dogwalk was slow, not sure why, and he stuttered into the final jump because I am a useless handler who stopped giving him any kind of direction so I’m not surprised. I was pleased with his run though, and his finishing time was 38s to the winner’s 31s (Dawn Weaver’s Breezer), which is promising.

It got better from there really, his G6-7 Agility was a nice course and we got E’d because he was feeling good and bounced off every which way and did some extra jumps. Same in the C5-7 Jumping, it was all about the extra bits! His jumping was really great though, no stuttering or paddling, just smooth and stretchy and clean, and he was powering through his weaves in a way he hasn’t for a while (although I only noticed now he’s doing it again).

I couldn’t have asked for more from either dog, I’m so happy that they were happy! I did wonder about calling this Kim’s retirement show but she had such a good time I’ll try and find her some more nice classes to run somewhere in the summer.

Hare'n'Hounds January 2012

My main goal for this show was to try and keep Dylan relaxed. Partially successful, he wasn’t stressed but his jumping was shocking (stutter striding, tucked jumping) and his contacts were lacking in confidence (although he did the seesaw without an issue, so apparently that has passed?!)

G5-7 Agility, Hare'n'Hounds 29/01/2012, K.WestlandNice course first thing in the G5-7 Agility, some complex sections and lots of handling options which I liked. Interesting to see that the Aframe had a double back to a tunnel and the Dogwalk was followed by a sharp right turn with a dummy jump ahead, which effectively caught out all the running contact dogs. I’m assuming that was by design of the judge, although it might have just been a coincidence! Dylan went clear, I held his contacts but we were still painfully slow, about 10s off the winners.

The Redmills was fairly straightforward, but Julie Buchanan was judging and she always includes a brush fence and a wall. I said before I ran that I thought Dylan might bail on the wall, particularly if he looked to be hesitant on the brush, and he did bail out the side. I can only assume that his reluctance to jump walls and brushes is linked to his degenerating jumping style in general, because he never flinched at them when he was younger. G5-7 Jumping was in the same ring at the end of the day, similar kind of course. We went clear but a little scrappy, Dyl took the wall with only a hesitation rather than a refusal though. No idea how far off our time was, I imagine miles, but didn’t wait for results. I did borrow part of the course plan for training though, there’s lots to be done with it!

G6-7 was one of the easiest 6-7 courses I’ve ever run, really simple. We technically went clear but Dylan broke his stop on his second contact and then did his backtrack look where he realises he probably shouldn’t have done that. We wouldn’t have been fast enough for the placings anyway, although I was pleased with my handling of the seesaw to Aframe section, I tried to be a bit braver with my choices and work Dylan from a distance to get into position and it worked.

BC Jumping went all to pot when Dylan skipped out on the 3rd jump. I’m pretty sure he was aiming for the long jump and realised he was locked on to the wrong thing at the last minute. Oops.

Rio had a good day, she tired herself out playing with Pogo and meeting people and dogs. She was quite motion-sensitive in the exercise area, any dogs racing around or chasing thrown toys was just too tempting to chase. Having said that, she was really great about recalling off those dogs, but I didn’t want to spend the entire time calling her back. No fun for anyone! She wasn’t at all bothered about watching the agility however, which was interesting. We sat right next to the ring and she was far more interested in politely mugging people for food. I was really happy with her behaviour all day though, she was great with all the other dogs, and although reserved with strangers, she was happy to meet and greet. She does get pushy with those people she recognises though, she’s spent the day with Cat twice and now feels that’s enough of an introduction to sit on her knee and steal things out of her pockets. I’m not too concerned about her being reserved with strangers, it is in the breed standard and so trying to turn her into Miss Socialite is going against her natural instinct and inclination. I’m quite happy to have her just be nice to anyone trying to say hello without attempting to lick their face off.

barkbarkSince I finally have Flexitrack back I’m trying to make more of an effort to post course plans again. They are from memory so don’t expect total accuracy, especially with spacings. It’s just a rough guide to jog my memory in the future!

BAA Finals Weekend

Saturday was a little weird. Dylan wasn’t running at his best, stuttering a little through certain jump sequences and just generally floating around and distracted. We were E’d in the Jumping Qualifier, and then came 3rd in everything else. I’m still not quite sure what was going on! Kim finished out of the placings in her two jumping runs, but she was the top Medium in the Steeplechase and was less than a second of Dylan’s time, so her times are reflecting how much she’s cranked it up recently.

Had the most fun with both dogs in the Triple-A, this is Kim’s perfect game! She did a kickass run and finished 2nd in the Novice, and actually would have come 2nd in the Graduate too, beating Focus’ time. Anyone who knows Focus will appreciate how good that is! Dylan came 3rd, and I think that’s the only time Kim’s beaten him when they’ve both been clear. (Incidentally, the dog that beat them both to 1st is a Large KC Grade 6 dog, so I think they did pretty well!)

Sunday morning was a bit of a disappointment, still not jumping with extension or confidence. The Novice Plus Agility was a nasty little course, very challenging and filled with traps. Dyl got half-way around before shooting off into the wrong tunnel, but worked his contacts beautifully. The Jumping was better, but stuttering again, and he finished just out of the placings in 7th. Didn’t bode well for the Sunday afternoon Agility Final! I’d put Kim NFC in Introductory again and she loved it, despite getting E’d in everything anyway, so she was pretty much a write-off for Sunday.

The Novice Agility Final was actually quite a nice course, tricky sections but much easier than the Primary! Wasn’t really my kind of course, I didn’t feel very confident going in with how to handle the softer traps, and that’s where we lost it. I wasn’t clear enough with Dylan and he skipped the weave entry, and after we’d got 5f I kind of lost it and we got E’d. I wish I’d held it together and pushed on with 5f as we still would have been placed 7th barring any other mistakes.

Monday morning was even worse, if possible! Both really nice Novice Plus courses, really suited both me and the dogs. The Jumping was a super-lovely flowing course, but Kim had a pole (what the hell Kim?! Since when do you knock poles?!) and then (again) I sent Dylan into the wrong tunnel. He finished up measuring his jumps anyway, which left me in a total panic — not what you want with the Jumping Final in the afternoon! Novice Plus Agility was a big, open course, really nice, and Kim decided to do the dogwalk three times before actually thinking about listening to me, at which point she flew around and made it look so easy. Dylan also got E’d, but was jumping beautifully, very confident and very smooth, lovely fast contacts, another “what the hell” moment.

BAA Grand Prix Novice Jumping Final 2010The Novice Jumping Final was a truly wicked course, all pull-thrus and call-offs and a really tough weave-exit. We wasted what felt like forever but was probably only a second or so whilst I tried to send Dylan through 5-6 (he wanted to jump, I wasn’t clear enough that I wanted the tunnel!), were a bit scrappy around to the weaves, but then nailed everything after the weaves, with lovely jumping and lots of drive and we did good. I’d watched a couple of the Mediums go clear, and our friend Moss did a cracking run just before we went in. I was guessing Moss for the win, with Dylan maybe in 5th, or 4th if we were lucky. If we were really lucky, I thought we might scrape 3rd. Somehow though, we came 2nd!

Mollie was the real superstar though. She got a 6th in Veteran Jumping, which is no mean feat at BAA – the Veteran classes are incredibly popular, there are usually around 50-60 ex-Graduate/Masters dogs in there, compared to our stumpy flyball dog who doesn’t actually ever train anymore and has never done any proper competitions. Anyway, with the points from that, she qualified for the Veterans Final! Which was hilarious, we got E’d. Mollie was wound up through the roof, ran like a complete lunatic and spent half the time barking at me. So much fun, love running my crazy old lady.

Northern Festival of Agility: Part Three

Waldridge Fell.

The KC Novice Olympia Qualifier was a tricky little course, but being a Combined 3-5 I wasn’t expecting easy. I walked it and quite liked it – Julie Buchanan was judging and she always includes a wall and a brush fence, which I love. The only thing I wasn’t so keen on was the dogwalk approach, it was very offset and I was a bit concerned as to whether Dylan would keep his balance. As it happened, he skittered on the edge for a moment but kept powering on and did it nicely. We did perfectly on the rest of the course, until we reached 16 – it was a push out around the wing to the Aframe. Push outs are the one thing I feel I can handle well, and that both my dogs fully understand and can do, so I have no idea why Dylan came off 15 very lazily, and then came to a complete stop next to me. We both looked at each other, I shrieked a bit and he finally understood, and we finished up clear.

I’m still not awfully sure what happened there. Obviously we had some miscommunication, but Dylan always offers something if he doesn’t understand what I’m asking, he never just shuts down completely. It was very weird, almost as though he’d gone to sleep for a second than then suddenly woke up and began to work again. He seemed alert and interested when he stopped, so I don’t think anything upset him, or that he had hurt himself. Mystery!

Worst of all – or best of all, I suppose? – we placed 8th overall. I was slightly shellshocked at this news! If we had run smoothly Dylan would have been comfortably in the top-4, which would have qualified us for the Novice Semi’s. This just … wow. I can’t get my head around it at all.

Nic Jones set a thoughful kind of Grade 3 Agility; easy for the dogs, tough on the handlers, which is perfect for Grade 3! I wasn’t awfully sure on how to handle the box and I’m still not sure I did it the best way. Dylan’s contacts were excellent though, and we came 4th.

Can’t remember the Jumping courses at all, think we might have got an 8th in one but it’s all a bit of a blur. It was too hot!

Sunday was baking hot. I felt like I was living in an oven. The Grade 3 Jumping was a nice course, a straightforward call off at the start and then a blast around really. Dylan got stupidly wound up in the queue and I had a feeling he was going to get a bit daft, but he blew past me completely at the start. First time he’s ever acknowledged a command and then done something else anyway, cheeky boy! So, big E in that one.

Grade 3 Agility was a challenging course, and really needed a wait start – I think we’ve established I don’t have one of those anymore! I had to handle it from behind and it wasn’t the fastest way to do it, and that kind of set us up for the whole run. Dylan had lovely contacts but didn’t feel as fast in the straights as he had been, but it was still a nice run. I’d watched two very fast clears earlier in the class so I knew the best we could hope for was 3rd … which is what we got!

The final Grade 3 Jumping was not my cup of tea, nice course but all minimum distance boxes, and I knew Dylan wouldn’t be able to pick up any speed. We ran clear but I felt Dylan was really on the slow side and I thought we had no chance of getting placed. Somehow came 7th, I can only assume everyone else got E’d!

The final Grade 3 Agility was a super simple blast, no weaves, and there were about 300 clears. I went in with the aim of getting a really fast final dogwalk, and I got it, but unfortunately the judge marked the down contact. I disagree, and am confident that Dylan got it (right hind paw) but he came off to the side due to my positioning and so we were in the same situation as Newton Heath but this time I know he got it. Win some lose some!

Northern Festival of Agility: Part One

Most perfect agility holiday ever. Redcar is a fantastic venue; I’ve raved about it before, but it’s a huge rugby club/football club training ground, so perfectly flat mowed lawns, nice big exercise areas, and 400m away is the Stray, a beautiful and huge dog friendly beach. What could possibly be better?!

Hare’n’Hounds ran the first half of the week, Saturday to Tuesday. Due to some flyballing issues, I didn’t enter Saturday so we travelled up on Sunday morning with Dylan.

We had a so-so run in the first Grade 3 Agility, it wasn’t a very hard course but I held his Aframe contact and we were very wide and messy around the turns. And the dogwalk was slooooooow! Came a surprising 5th, and Julie’s Winnie won it.

I can’t even remember what happened in the two Grade 3 Jumping runs, so it can’t have been particularly good or bad. I have a vague recollection of one being fiendishly difficult, can’t remember where we went wrong but I know we did!

The other Grade 3 Agility was a nice smooth course, nothing really difficult about it and all I wanted from Dylan was a fast dogwalk. It was reasonably quick, but not quite what I wanted, but he flew around the rest and did a beautiful seesaw for me. I messed up at the end because I ran ahead of Dyl and then heard him crack a pole, but I wasn’t sure if it had fallen or not. I was so busy thinking about that I forgot about the pull to the last jump, and poor Dylan went very wide and then kind of scrambled over it. Eek, bad handler! We got another 5th anyway, good start!

Monday; Grade 3 Jumping was a smooth course, ideally needed a wait start which I don’t have anymore. Made completely the wrong handling choice for the start as a result, we were very messy around the first turn, but still finished 4th. Very pleasantly surprised by that one, I didn’t think we had much chance as it was a nice fast course.

Lovely Grade 3 Agility course, again needed a wait start to get the fast dogwalk from Dylan, and so again he was a little slow to start. A little wide to the weaves as well, but apart from that it was a really nice run, fast and smooth and we came 2nd, behind a cracking little Pointer. We’re getting closer though, so near to that 1st now!

Combined 3-4 Agility … I think we’ll pretend this didn’t happen. I missed the course walking and then tried to run it anyway, and just made a complete hash of it. Trained Dylan’s contacts and bless him, he tried really hard anyway!

The Combined 3-4 Jumping was another superfast course, there were loads of clears so I decided to gamble a bit and leave Dylan in the weaves. I do this at training all the time, but I’ve never dared just run off and leave him in competition. It paid off anyway, he stuck in them and I could get the front cross in and keep him tight to the finish. We finished 12th, not a bad result for my slow Grade 3 dog!

Tuesday … smallest classes of the week and I so wanted the win, I thought we could do it! Had a blitzing run in the Graded 1-4 Jumping, although I called it perfect on twitter and it wasn’t (we were really wide to the second tunnel, I didn’t give Dylan enough information and he wasn’t sure if he should be going on or not). We came 2nd, best ever placing in Jumping. Not really disappointed, Dylan ran like a true pro and was fast, sharp and extended in his jumping. Couldn’t have asked for better from him. (Fab course from Nigel Staines too, loved it!)

The Combined 1-3 Jumping was a basic box type course, all a little tight without much room to stretch. We ran a clear that bagged a 7th but Dylan never really had room to speed up and I didn’t find it all that inspiring. Can’t remember the Graded 1-4 Agility at all, apart from that it was quite hard and I sent Dylan the wrong way (nice contacts though!)

Bit of judge switching went on the afternoon, for various reasons, and so Dylan’s Combined 1-3 Agility was judged by Nigel Staines. He set a fab course with a really tricky pull-thru at the end; Dylan smoked the course, fast contacts and beautiful turns, and then we got scuppered on the pull. Arg! Heard everyone sigh in sympathy, so know the run was as good as I thought it was, and we finished up with a smile.