Saturn and I had a wonderful birthday weekend surrounded by shelties (we have more than 14 shelties at one time in my little camping garden!) and agility! What can be better than that? Saturn got a 4th place in the Comb 6-7 Jumping on his birthday (4th June), just behind 3 Border Collies! Ain't bad, hei? The icing on the cake was Sizzle gained his Final win towards Grade 7 on Saturday, my official birthday date! My BEST birthday present ever!
Sizzle with his Final win towards Grade 7
A lot of people are confusing by my birthday(s)! Well, I was born on the 4th of June but then back in those old golden age time (that how old I am!), my grand-father went to register me a day later, so 5th of June has become my Official birthday. I am so lucky that I can choose whichever day to suit me, or I can have both days as my birthdays! I vote 4th, so I can celebrate with Saturn!
Sorry for the poor quality of this picture. Here is me with Saturn and our birthday cake
I took the caravan and the shelties to JDA show at Littleport on Thursday. I haven't have a good start of the day, I nearly got hit by a BMW on M25 that morning. The BMW was whizzing like crazy and I was driving carefully on my lane and thank God, we were safe. I pulled over to South Mimms service station to stretch my legs and let the dogs out for toilet. Then, I remembered I haven't got my caravan key with me! Ooops! I got panic! Luckily my 2nd nephew who is staying with me has been very kind to jump on the train to bring me the key. A big Thank You to Boon.
We got to Littleport around 11am. Without the caravan key, there is nothing much I can do but Boon arrived with my key an hour later so I was all set up before other campers turned up. I was very lucky to be able to camp with so many shelties and their handlers. Eventhough Colin won't be able to join me until Friday evening but I was feeling safe and happy to camp with friends.
I was so happy to see Tig-let again. She has become very friendly with me this weekend. Sally was camping two doors/caravans from us, so Tig-let always found her way to visit us. It was very funny to watch her trying hard to tease Sing to play with her. Also, I found I have mistaken her to Sing from a distance. When Tig was wandered around outside my garden, I thought that was Sing on the loose (that doesn't sound like Sing as he is always behaving himself), so I've got panic. I kept calling "Sing, Sing ..." but she totally ignored me and I didn't even realised Sing was actually stood beside me wandering why I keep calling his name! But from close, they look quite different.
Tig enjoying the sun in our garden
I love JDA, it is such a nice relaxing show. Thanks to James and Lisa for putting on a nice show at a nice Leisure Centre. I've really enjoyed this weekend. All the courses I have ran were brilliant. They weren't any easy fast course but needed handling and flow nicely if you get it right. I've entered Sizzle in 3 classes each day, a Jumping class for Saturn and an Agility class for Sing. I managed Friday just fine without Colin being my groom, I missed his filming though. I would like to watch back my runs to see my mistakes for improvement and also to see some of my good handling to boost my confidence.
Friday - no video
From my memory, Sizzle went clear (they placed up to 3rd and he was just one place out of placing) in the Combined 6-7 Agility. It was a tricky course and I was very pleased with myself to go clear in that course. Then, I've got him eliminated in the Graded 6,7 Agility. It was a handling course but we didn't quite managed the "handling" bit and once we went off course, I fell into pieces and went horribly wrong! We then went clear in the Combined 6-7 Jumping, also just one placed out of the placing.
I ran Sing in the Graded 6,7 Agility. We got eliminated too! It was the same course I ran with Sizzle later and we went wrong in the same place!
Saturn seems to put up a gear this weekend. He was very happy. He got 4th in the Combined 6-7 Jumping, just behind 3 Border Collies. I am so happy with him.
I was glad to have Colin back to being my groom and our cameraman.
Sizzle was first up at the Combined 6-7 Agility. Graham Burgess put in a very tricky course, obstacle discrimination. Tunnel next to DW. I like the challenge! Sizzle was running as Grade 6 and I do need some challenging courses to proof our training. Sizzle handled really well with the obstacle discrimination part, the dog has to take the Tunnel the first time then DW the second time. Sizzle wasn't even hesitate at all. When I was walking the course, I only have one mind, with a running contact, there is only one way to walk it, that is to trust your dog to go up the DW and ran with him. I saw so many handlers tried to be on the other side of the DW, tried to block the tunnel entrance and scoop the dog up the DW. I cannot do that as I will be stuck behind and there is no way I can smoother the run if I tried to block the tunnel as the next obstacle after the DW is the jump on the right. I stick with my instinct and I glad I did. Sizzle handled the beginning beautifully, I cannot ask for more for a baby like him but of course I pulled him off the DW too early. My timing was wrong and he missed the DW contact. Then I got stuck behind and didn't managed to do a front cross before the 2nd tunnel and he went into the wrong end of the tunnel. And guess what? We still can't do the pull through! Arrrrggghhh ... Just a little note, I saw so many people tried to block the tunnel next to the DW, that didn't work for all, some got it ok but most of them missed the DW anyway.
My 2nd run was Sing's Graded 6,7 Agility. This was a nice course but there is a trap near the end, it was a See-Saw into the straight Tunnel, then a pull through/push through a jump, into the other tunnel and spread to finish. I tried to draw the diagram:
Sing ran well until the SS-Tunnel, I tried to do a front cross then push through but it didn't work, he went straight into the next tunnel! This course has caught so many dogs, most of them just did Tunnel-Tunnel to get eliminated. I ran Sizzle over the same course, this time instead of doing a front cross push through, I stayed back and did a deep pull through. The gap between the straight tunnel and the jump was very tight. I saw many people did pull through and the dog went back into the straight tunnel again. Sizzle and I went clear and we won that class. This is the Final win that take him up to Grade 7. You can see Colin must have been shaking watching us as his camera wasn't steady.
Then we have our Combined 6-7 Jumping. The beginning was quite challenging for the dogs that has no wait. The judge's briefing was that the dog is not allow past the start beam. I tried to draw the diagram of the course, scale not according, just my own draft:
I thought Saturn ran very well in that class apart from him nearly taking the spread instead of the tunnel. He did went into the Tunnel though but lost time. That cost us a place! Then, Sizzle ran in the same course but he missed the last pole. I redo once, again his missed the last pole so I carried on.
I am still not used to 3 days of agility. I get very tired and exhausted. My first run of Combined 6-7 Agility with Sizzle didn't go as planned. Firstly, he went into the tunnel instead of turning right after the DW, so we got eliminated straightaway. Then, I went off course and he missed the weave entry and at the end I lost everything, so it was a disaster run.
Then, it was Sing's Graded 6,7 Agility. Due to lack of practice, poor Sing missed the DW contact, otherwise good. Sizzle ran over the same course later and won that class.
Good Saturn has been a very good boy this weekend, he got a 4th in the Combined 6-7 Jumping. Sizzle also ran over the same course but again I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, that led him to miss the weave entry.
this is Saturn's Jumping rounds from Saturday & Sunday:
I have compiled this little video of Sizzle from Grade 3 to Grade 7:
these lots taking him to his G7 journey