Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas, New Year, and an agility in the middle

I did the very last minute entry to enter South Eastern Christmas Show. I weren't too sure if we are going to make it as normally we will be exhausted by then. This Christmas has been an easy one, and I feel like I want to do some agility to keep me fit, after all the big meals I had over the Christmas week.

Our runs were schedule in the afternoon, the morning runs were Combined Grades 1-3. It is very strange that I haven't got a Grade 3 dog anymore. I wish I have. I really enjoy competing in Grade 3. I can't wait to get Sipzie in the ring! Mmmm ... not for 18 months!

We had a lie-in, how strange! No rush, had a good morning coffee before setting off to South Eastern. We got there just before mid-day and we were still way too early. It was good for me to catch up with some agility friends and watch the Combined 1-3 classes. I watched quite a few Large dogs running and there was one Belgian Shepherd caught my eyes. She was amazing, the speed is so scarry, very fast. Her weave is in a flash and her contacts were superb.

Our first run was at 2pm, the Combined 1-7 Helter Skelter, medium dogs first. Saturn was the the third dog on the line. He was in a good form. The first one to go was Indira's Ebony, poor Ebony, the timing didn't start so she got to run again after the second dog goes. Saturn was a good boy, he didn't break his start on this run. I wasn't sure what speed he is going to put on, so I only lead out to just before jump #2. Then, released him, he comes in a flash and I have to adjust myself so I am not too far ahead to turn him right (jump #4 & #5). He turns very nicely in that corner but I think he is unsure where to go after jump #7, so he looked at me, that must cost a bit of time. Otherwise, we had a really good run. I was very surprised that he is in the 17 seconds zone. The end result was, Ebony won the class with 17.41 and Saturn came 2nd with 17.43. I am very happy as Ebony is a very fast dog and Saturn is able to keep up such a close time to her.

Next up is Sizzle in the Small. I do not like to queue with my dog if there is a very long queue but when I got Sizzle, the queue was right out to the building, so I have to send Colin to queue for me and I play with Sizzle. It wasn't long to wait as it is an easy flowy course, I can't see any dog could make a mistake in that course but it does.

Sizzle is not so enthusiastic towards jumping. He is more of an agility dog. He loves the contacts. I guess I reward him more each time he does it right and I don't think I reward him in the jumping. He wasn't power on from the beginning and he did turn wide on the corners. He went clear in 17.99 seconds and that put him in 5th place. I think we have a lot of works to improve in that area.

Next, we have Combined 1-7 Agility. I was very surprised to see we have to do the A Frame twice and a DW and a SS. I thought you only have a repeat of a contact if there is only two contacts out there but I probably wrong. I am not complain, I love to practise on the contacts.

This is a combined of grades 1-7, so there is some easy bits and some hard bits. I found the A Frame to the wrong end of the tunnel (not really the wrong end, but the entrance close to the A Frame) is a challenge to me, especially with a running contact. I wasn't sure if I am able to beat Sizzle to it so I can do a front cross and send him into the tunnel. I guess if I can trust him to take the A Frame on his own, I will have time to shoot up there to do my front cross, if not, I have to do a pull into the tunnel. Well, I am glad I trust him to do the A Frame and I have time to run up to do my front cross. I feel really good doing the front cross, send into tunnel, pick him up to turn left on the jump and send him back into the tunnel and back up the A Frame again. I feel the handling was smooth and all the timing were good. I rarely feel this way. Then, from the A Frame to the jump, it was a wide angle, again I trust him to do his job ... until the DW. Mmmm ... we haven't done any training/practise for at least 3 weeks, with a running contact, if you don't train it everyday for just 2/3 minutes, I always think there is a risk of jumping off the contact but Sizzle was good, he didn't leap off and he runs till the end of plank, WooHoo! Now, my other worry is the See-Saw. I know we haven't master the SS yet, he either leave too early or slow up. He chose to be careful and he got his weave entry. Jackpot! I was a bit behind when he weaves, so my front cross was a bit late but we finished in clear round of 31.61seconds. That was brilliant. Later I found out he won the class by a good margin! I feel good and proud!

Saturn's agility run wasn't perfect. Eventhough he went clear and got all his contact AREAS and came 4th. I wasn't happy with the performance. I should have not run him in the agility until I fix the problem, I have been very naughty again! Arrrggghhh ... please kill me!

and here is our runs:


Ricky the Sheltie said...

I thought your runs looked great and you're right - that front cross after the aframe into the tunnel was beautiful! Congratulations on a great day of agility!

Happy New Year to you all!

Vonnie said...

Love the header Lian!

Your totally addicted to agility, you'll be glad you went!

Lovely runs Sizzle whizzing round the course, clever boy! Saturn always eager to please he was fast on the Helter and got all his contacts in agility, good boy!

Katja said...


helenm said...

Nice runs!Happy New Year!

Sara said...

Happy New Year Lian, Colin & shelties!

Sizzle looks amazing. You've done such a great job with him. Of course, I always love watching Sweet Saturn.

Those courses look like such fun. I love how the obstacles are close together.