Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I am agility-out!

I am agility-out! It has been a very long weekend for me! I am really tired and exhasuted. I could hardly run at training today!

I took the caravan and the shelties to Newbury on Thursday, Colin didn't join me until Friday evening. I was ok as we were surrounded by people I know well. The weather hasn't been great, it was awful at some point. We had high wind, stormy, rainy weather, hailstone the whole weekend ... we also have a few hours of sun and dry weather.

It wasn't my plan to have 4 days of Agility. My original plan was to go to Colchester on Saturday, Sheltie Show on Sunday and Severnside on Monday but I was the Show Secretary (scarry!) for the Sheltie Show and I wanted to cheer for Matt & Brax for their first champ at Vyne, so I have to change my plan. Bringing the caravan to Newybury and do the UKA show on Friday and Saturday seems to be the sensible idea eventhough it sounds ambitious. 

Friday was a blur. I managed to walk all Sizzle's classes and ran all of them, he got 1st places in Novice Jumping and Novice Steeplechase. Our Novice Agility ran well apart from him flying off the see-saw! Colin was at work, so no video from Friday. I am so used to Colin being my groom and take care of the boys while I watch other people run. As he wasn't there on Friday, so I spent most of the time in the caravan with the dogs. I have heard from the announcement that the gate was open and the venue is open to the public. There might be travelers came into the showground so we have to watch out for our dogs and belongings. I am a worrier so I rather stay with the dogs to make sure they are safe. Samber is not a good camper, I cannot keep her safe in the garden, she always try to escape, either go underneath the fencing or jump over the fencing. Very naughty little girl! 

In the morning, I also heard that there might be no PA system as the villagers are complaining. Anyway, I missed walking two of Saturn's runs. I got to watch a few other dogs running and trying to remember which way to go. The Senior Jumping was a blur. We ran it, I thought we went clear but the judge didn't clap. I asked one of my friends if we went clear, she told me we got eliminated! Later I went to the score tent to check and we actually went clear and got a 3rd place. I have no clue about the Senior Agility course, so I walked in to do the NFC (Nor For Competition) round, I did all the contacts and came out. I managed to walk the Senior Steeplechase and he came 3rd in that too.

I was so glad to have Colin joining us on Friday evening. I was hoping to do better on Saturday. I managed to walk all Sizzle and Saturn's classes but Saturn wasn't well on Saturday. I noticed he went stiff after his first run of the Novice Steeplechase. Luckily there is Tace Allen on site, she is a Therapist. I've got her to check over Saturn for me and she found a few tight spots on him, the worst was the muscle on his right groin is very sore, that probably explain why he is stiff and not running his full speed. So, Saturn is on the rest for the next couple of weeks.

I only have Sizzle to concentrate which is good but also feel funny. I am so used to running two or three dogs, so running one dog made me feel lazy. I did a late entry on Novice Gambler for Sizzle as well. The new rule of the UKA is you need some game point to move from Novice to Senior. I try to avoid Game as long as I can as I have no idea how to snooker/gambler/snake and ladder ... etc. Our first run was Novice Agility. The ground was very wet and the contacts were very wet too. I was very worried that Sizzle might slip on the see-saw if he ran up fast. I decided to do a front cross so I can pretend to catch him (to stop him from jumping off the see-saw and also just in case he slip), of course it went horribly wrong. He probably dislike me trying to catch him, so he went around my back and back jump, so we got eliminated! BooHoo! Big mistake!

Our 2nd run was the Novice Gambler. I remembered doing a Gambler with Sing a long time ago but can't quite remember how to do it. I like to run a course with all numbers set up, I hate to run "my own course" especially you have a time limit to do the course. We were allow 35 seconds to do anything we want and each obstacle has their own points. I think the highest being 5 points (DW and 12 weaves), A Frame is 4 points and SS and 6 weaves are 3 points ... etc. Once the whistle blow for time, you need to run to the jumps that set up by the judge to do the gambler. It was very stressful for me. I have no idea what I can do in 35 seconds and I do not know how to position myself to do the gambler. The funny thing was, Sizzle decided to take the tunnel (I wasn't plan for that) after the 12 weaves and at the same time the whistle blow. I was shocked but luckily I gather my mind quick enough to run the gambler. We made it in time. He finished the Gambler within time. He actually collected 59 points and Gamble! WooHoo! I was told he collected the highest points in the Novice! Yeah! Yes, he won the Gambler!

Our third run was Novice Jumping. He got 2nd in that.

After that, we had a long wait before our Novice Steeplechase. I remembered Sizzle and I both fell asleep until we heard the announcement and I suddenly jumped up. Poor Sizzle was still half asleep by the time I took him to the ring. I found it very tiring running the Steeplechase course. It was up and down the hill. At the last turn, Sizzle actually turned the wrong way! Luckily he managed to collect himself. I think we need a lot of homework for directional commands, I've noticed this is our weakest this weekend.
On Sunday, we left the caravan and off to the Sheltie Show. It was pouring down with heavy rain, I felt so lucky that we were indoor. I was nervous and panic as this is the first time for me to being a show secretary. I remembered all the stuff for the show but forgot my own stuff, such as treat/toy and camera! What a disaster! I have entered three dogs but ran Sing in the 6/7 Agility and Jumping. He won the 6/7 Jumping which surprised me! See, he keeps telling me that he is not giving up agility! I didn't run Saturn in the Agility and Jumping but ran him in the Tunnel Vision, he was crazy and did a fab round. We got 3rd in that Tunnel Vision and 1st in the Pairs with Matthew and the little pocket rocket Bracken. I wish I remember the camera as that was a very good round from both of them. I've got Sizzle eliminated in the 6/7 Agility. He got 4th in the 6/7 jumping and 5th in the Tunnel Vision. Again, he turned the wrong way after the Tunnel. I really have to do more homework on our directional commands. The Show went well apart from the Timer didn't turn up. Luckily we have some husbands to help time keeping with the stop watches. Thanks to everyone who help running the show!
 this video is shot by Luds and Dale Fitzwater of Fleurdemai Shetland Sheepdog, the first run in the video was me and Sing and you can also find me running Sizzle somewhere in the middle:
Bank holiday Monday at Newbury was very cold and windy, we even have hailstone and rain in between the high wind.
I was very tired after the Sheltie Show, both mentally and physically. I didn't do well at all, I just can't concentrate in running my dog. My first run with Sizzle was the Grade 6 Agility, this is his first G6 show, I love the course and I was hoping to do well. We started off well until the judge faulted our DW. Sizzle didn't change his stride but he kinda came off side. I think a gust of high wind must have blow him off a little bit, I am not sure but I am not too worry about it. I should have continue to work hard but I didn't. I let him take the long jump the wrong way and got eliminated, then we went off course but the good work in this class was his see-saw. He did stayed on the see-saw until I released him. I am very please with that.
Then, we have our Combined 6/7 Jumping. I thought we ran well and we are just one place out of placing. Again, he didn't get my directional command right, he turned the wrong way and took a longer route.
Disaster strike at our last run. It was Combined 5-6 Agility. Due to the high wind, the judge pulled out the DW as there were many dogs fell off the DW. Sizzle started off steadily, I wonder the see-saw might have put him off a little bit? I have been training him on the see-saw too much lately and I think he is a bit worried about it. Just as we started flowing, we heard his favourite toy going off outside the ring. I do not know who squeak the talk toy but he wanted to go and chase it. I managed to get his attention back but not for long, after he came down the A Frame and back into the tunnel, he pulled out at 4th pole and looking for the toy! Arrrggghhh ... I do not know what to do, so I picked him up and walked out. I never expect this to happen. Sizzle has been a very good boy since we started competing, he never bother by any distraction and this is new to me. I keep the "bird toy" when he is flat out at training so he really is into the toy. I am actually shocked when he lost his attention. Now, I have something to work on!
this is our disaster run, you can hear the little bird toy going off:

The highlight of this weekend is to see my little Zap again. This is the first time I've got to see him since he left me at 8 weeks. He is a handsome little man.

The 2nd highlight of this weekend is to watch Brax at her first champ, she is a tiny super star. Read more about her run here.
For now, I just wanted to rest. I hope I will recover in time for the weekend. The Sheltie Team has their first Crufts Team heat this weekend and I am so much looking forward to it! Can't wait!


Priscilla said...

Wow! So much has happened. Congrats to you and Sizzle, you both did so well. I hope Saturn's injury gets better soon!! Hope you can have a relaxing weekend soon!!

Sara said...

You had so many great runs! Congratulations on gamblers. I think that is one of the hardest games, figuring out how many obstacles your dog will do in the opening is so tough.

Hope Saturn feels better after a rest.

Vonnie said...

Meant too say Zap is a handsome, looks like his mum, coat like his dad :)

Vonnie said...

You'll need your batteries recharging :) Some super runs with Sizzle:) Hope Saturn is feeling better :)