Can’t believe this is our fourth year at this show! The first year we did it, at Newark, it was absolutely baking hot, and every year seems to have got slightly more damp. This year was a complete washout, I’m still amazed that they were able to go ahead with the show. Flyball ran on Saturday but was cancelled on Sunday, agility ran both days but they were lucky in getting the best ground from the off.
The girls were due to run in Starters on Saturday, but when we arrived we were told they weren’t running Starters to preserve the ground. The decision was a good one, but it should have been made earlier. It would have been much better for us, and for Kim and Mollie, to leave them at home in the warm and dry. Sheffield also made the (right) decision to go to a Best of Three Run all Three format.
The ground was very wet and very muddy by the time our division went in. We’d already decided as a team that we weren’t interested in risking the dogs, so absolutely no re-running if we had a light and ideally leaving it easy on the changes in case any of the dogs were slipping. I actually think all the dogs handled the ground well, although obviously they weren’t running their usual times, and I think our fastest time was 20.47 (we finished 2nd). I was very pleased with how Dylan ran, his striding was great and he looked confident throughout. He was full of it when we got home though, the reduced racing was way too easy for him apparently!
The Agility competition has gone to KC regulated, which meant it was limited to Large dogs only this year. A little disappointing for Kim, but I wouldn’t have run her in the conditions anyway. The judges thankfully took the weather into account and set good, flowing courses with challenges that were appropriate to the ground conditions, and left the course times generous so that nobody had to push their dogs for speed.
Dylan nailed the only difficult bit in the G5-7 Jumping, the weave entry/exit, and then I daren’t run to the next bit and promptly got into the wrong place and got him E’d. Oops. He was happy though, bounced around and got E’d a few more times. The G4-7 Jumping was a lot easier and we went clear, as did everyone else, but Dyl slipped and faceplanted on one of the turns. He was fine, albeit a bit muddy, but it cost us the time for the placings.
G5-7 Agility was another nice course but again, my not daring to run in the mud cost us. It was a long run to the weave entry and Dylan was quite far ahead of me, and pulled out to see where I was. He ran the rest of the course well, our Aframe training on Tuesday worked out as his Aframe was lovely (even with rubber contacts!). His seesaw was very very slow though, I think the aluminium ones at Wigton have undone his confidence more than I had hoped.
We did a little bit of wandering around the show, but not much, and I refused to take the camera in case I slipped and dropped it into one of the immense foot-deep puddles. Kim played on the bale scurry but refused to pick up the disgustingly slimy dummy, and I wouldn’t let her do the lure coursing in case she slipped. Dylan played at being a Gundog and did some blind search-retrieves of a dummy from behind hay bales and piles of branches. He loved this game, and apparently he was the only collie all weekend who actually did it right.