I love this tournament; my dogs and my team always seem to run well at Sutton Fields, and it’s always been my milestone tournament as well. Kim got her first sub-20 time in 2006, retired 2011, Dylan did his first Open 2008, Mollie retired 2012. Dylan got back to sub-20, 2012.
Kim ran in Starters on Saturday, our super-starter team of Snoop, Mylo, Kim, and Diva. We ran these four together at Larden Green and they are such a good little team, we came 1st again. Kim is obviously the experienced one on the team, but the others are true baby dogs; capable of running up and down, but still learning changeovers and occasionally making some silly inexperienced mistakes. It’s a proper Starter team, and these dogs will be ready for Open next season.
Mollie’s team ran on Sunday and came 3rd, with a BreakOut time of 22.10 – this team won’t run together again so it’s sort of irrelevant. Mollie and Bailey are both officially retired now; they have both been superstars, rolling on with their own unique takes on flyball, but consistent team members to the end. Retiring Mollie does make me sad, she is still raring to go and loves flyball, but at her age and with her fading eyesight, it’s just too much to let her run these days.
Dylan was back running over 9″, the same team as we had at Larden Green. All the dogs were on top form, it was so nice to be running in a seriously competitive team. We were seeded on 20.12 so knew the sub-20s was within easy reach. Dylan clocked some easy 4.6s times, Roxy was consistently producing 4.6-4.7, height dog Ronnie was getting down to 4.9, and even Chip got his act together at the end of the summer and went down to 4.6 at times. We eventually got our 19.85 at the end of the day, with Chip, Dyl, Ronnie, Roxy. I also feel a little bit smug for not getting a single light all day, even when we got dropped into lead dog; 4x rolling starts, I win!
I can’t wait to get the new box and start training for next season; I suddenly feel like 4.5s is within Dylan’s capabilities, and that has never really been a prospect before. I’m pretty excited for next season, but I’m also a little anxious as I’m still not sure if I want to continue flyball after this year. We require some changes within the team to really reach next year’s potential, and considering those are changes of attitude and control, I’m not sure it will happen.