So, we've been away to Clevedon, The Hand Equestrian on the past weekend for the UKA Grand Finals. Colin being a good daddy took a day off work so we can travel down to North Somerset on Friday. We booked in at The Bridge Inn in Yatton, which is about 6 minutes from The Hand Equestrian.
The Bridge Inn is ok for us, I guess any hotel that allows all our dogs in the hotel room, I should be grateful of. With SEVEN dogs, it is A LOT and I don't like to leave the dogs in the car, not in the cold winter night anyway. The Inn has a joined bar/restaurant so our dinner got sorted easily. We met so many other competitors and their dogs in the Inn too, so this is definitely a very dog friendly Inn. The only downside is I wish they have a bigger piece of green that we can take the dogs for quick toilet at night. I think having two young dogs, they can't really hold their toilet very long, especially not in the cold night but having say that, Sonic and Scara have been an angel. They hold their toilet which make our life a lot easier and I am so very proud of these two little ones. The good thing (for me) is I like the idea of having a small round table and two dinning chair in the room. Lodging with the dogs, I don't like to leave them in the room when we are not there because there will be other people walking in and out and with a strange place, I am sure they will bark, so with dinning table and chairs available, this means we can bring food in and eat in the room with the dogs, just like home.
Well, we have an early start, both days. Luckily, I only run one dog a day in one event. I have learned from the past, too many dogs and too many events in one day didn't do me any good, I only get stressed on which dog to run and which course to walk ... Sizzle was competing on Saturday in the CSJ Grand Prix. Sadly, he was one naughty boy. We didn't start off well at all in the Semi-Final. It was a straightline start sequence, jump-jump-tyre-see-saw, I knew he either flew the see-saw or get creepy but I thought he will flew than crept, so I led out to be able to stop/catch him but I was wrong. He creep half way ... definitely a bad start! Then, just before the jump into the tunnel underneath the DW, he pause for a quick second, I thought he will not take the tunnel and that will give me a bad position for the next jump, after the tunnel but he did go in the tunnel. Then, he turn slowly which I wasn't prepare for that pace but he went into the weave ok. For some reason, he pop out at 9th pole! Doh! He finished all 12th at 2nd attempt but after that, all went pear shape. He turned the wrong way at the jump after the weave but I save that, then from tunnel to the jump, he took the DW ... oh dear dear dear!
When we came out, I have some people who knew us well asked me what's wrong with him? I cannot answer that! I don't know what's wrong but the only thing that I could possibly imagine is the JEALOUSY! He used to be the best playmate for all my puppies, he loves them all, indoor or outdoor, always there to play with them, but with this litter, he hates them, he tried to avoid them by sitting on the settee, so the pups can't get to him (that is not true because later when the pups were a little older, they tried to jump onto the settee), when the pups got close, he will bite them! Mmmm ... also, I have been thinking he is jealous about Sonic as well. Everytime I train Sonic in the garden, he will do some crazy little antic to distract me from Sonic. Anyway, I think I need to give him some full attention to make him trust me and love me again :)
and this is our "horrible" run:
With a bad performance like that, we didn't make it through to Final. That gave me time to relax and unwind watching others run and enjoyed taking some photographs. It is a long day on Saturday, there were FIVE semi-finals and FIVE finals to be done. We tried to stay for as long as we could. I've heard that the last run was very late and they didn't finish until nearly 10pm. We left at 8pm because I was freezing cold and I want food and medicine. Yes, I caught a cold on Friday and have been headache all Saturday.
Sunday was even earlier for us, Sipzie was in the Beginners Steeplechase and that was the first thing on. We checked in at 7am and walking the warm up course at 7:20am and run just before 8am. Sipzie missed a couple of jumps in the warm up but I didn't want to put her back on, it was just a simple steeplechase course and that got me worried. I take note that I have to work extra hard on every obstacles if I want to be in the Final with her.
Not sure if I should blame that she just came off her season and still get a bit hormonal? But, we are trying our best. The Semi-Final was on at 9am, the Standard height dogs ran first. I was aware that after the 2nd tunnel, I have to catch her with my eye contact because that is a very short straight tunnel and the dog has to turn left. I saw so many fast dogs missing the jump, they ran too fast and past the jump, when the handler called the dog, either the dog already past the jump and back jump it or go round and round the jump ... or I saw some handler did front cross after the tunnel (handler actually between the tunnel and the jump), the dog did the jump but took the wrong jump afterwards as the handler wasn't facing straight, I guess they want to catch the dog. Anyway, I stick to the way I walk the course :)
Sipzie @ Semi-Finals:
We were lying 2nd in the Semi-Final, so we will be 2nd from last to run in her height. She was a second behind a fast cocker spaniel but I am glad we made it through to Final in the afternoon. The Final course was a lot more easier than the Semi, only a couple of jumps extra. It was a fast blast course. I was hoping to stretch her to maximum but things don't always go as plan! The startline was close to all ring parties. There were chairs and people moving behind her, she was feeling uneasy. She is not the bravest dog. She broke her startline wait twice, I couldn't put her back the 3rd time as I know that will totally freak her out, its either she will freeze and run on snail pace or run out of the ring, so I just have to run with her.
Sipzie @ Finals:
Oh well, the dog that ran before us beat us. All the top 5 dogs were in the 20 seconds zone and the time were very close between each of them! I am very proud of Little Miss Sipzie! I know she is trying her best and getting 2 clear rounds is good enough for her!
this is Little Miss Sipzie looking very proud and tall with her posh trophy and rosette :)
she is a funny girl, really. Ever since I thought her "beg", everytime I took a treat out, she will immediately goes into this position!!!
us at the presentation
Big thank you to Bernadette that took pictures of us :) Looking at these pictures, my New Year resolution is DIET, LOSE WEIGHT!!!!
Big thank you to UKA for this Grand Finals, it was very enjoyable eventhough it was very cold (especially on Sunday) and very long day. Thank you for their hard work and all the ring parties working so hard. I was really amaze with their electronic system. No scrimer to tell you: "Lian, in your own time" or "Lian, when you're ready" ... instead, there is this little electronic voice say: READY and on the timer, it printed GO. WOW! Superb! Really impress! The whole thing makes you feel like you are in a very important event! Good experienced!