Phew! Not easy to keep my blog up to date! Can't believe how busy I am, always in and out doing something or just playing with the shelties :) Life is too short to spend time on computer lol.
Boys @ Le Shuttle, Folkstone
The IFCS trip went well. We drove out to Eerbeek, The Netherlands on early Monday morning to catch the earliest EuroTunnel across. From Calais, it was about 4 hours journey but we got caught in the busy traffic in Belgium, so we didn't get to the hotel past 3:30pm local time. The Hotel set in the beautiful and peaceful countryside surrounded by lots of dog walks. You could walk miles and miles or just a short walk. That's so convenient for us all as everyday after the event, you can just go back to the hotel and take the dogs for a relaxing walk and a night time walk before bed. In front of the hotel, there is plenty of green and you can sit out there with the dogs ...
We got to meet all Sing's babies who reside in The Netherlands. Mariska came with App (Sing x Skye) on Monday. Thank you very much to Mariska who showed me around the area and took me to the pancake house. People who knows me knew how crazy I am over pancake :)
App & Sonic
Jazz (Mariska's other sheltie, App's big brother), App, Sonic & Sizzle
App, Sizzle & Sonic
Sonic, Sizzle, App & Jazz
I LOVE PANCAKE! And I ate two BIG pancakes :D
Later on that evening, one of our team-mate Kim arrived with her BC Bubtee and hubby Justin. The rest of the team arrived on Tuesday. Jolanda who has Skye (Sing x Samber, Sonic's full sister from previous litter) and Rona (Sing x Sipzie) came to visit us on Tuesday. We went for a little walk around the hotel and then went for a stroll in the town.
Bubtee, Sizzle, Sonic, Skye & Rona
On Wednesday, it's Team check-in, practice and open ceremony. I absolutely LOVE my Team, every single one of them are so friendly, supportive and cheerful. We have a great team spirit which I missed terribly since I came home. We laugh and cheer for every single one, there is no selfishness in them at all.
You can see how happy we are!! Team photo after the open ceremony.
Due to the large number of competitors entered at this championship show, they have to extend the show from 3 days to 4 days event. Originally, Thursday was the Individual competition day but they have cancel and replaced it for the championship classes. Both Sizzle and Sonic work their little legs off in these four days event. It's very tiring, although the hotel it's only 5-10 minutes drive from the venue but it's the waiting and hanging around. We have allocated with a kennel area but it was too sandy and dusty, after day 1, I've only take the dogs out and leave them in the kennel when they are about the run. I think they are more settle and happier in the car, especially Sizzle. He doesn't like to be crated. Sonic in fact loves the crate, this shows you what a "crate game" dog is all about :) I couldn't highly recommend enough the "crate game"!
The whole event went really well, the only stressful part that I found is I only get my running order of the day in the morning when they posted it out by the kennel area. I like to know my running order early so I can be prepared to warm my dogs. I have two dogs running in this event and I want to be able to space out my time to warm up properly and cool down properly. Sadly, there are a couple of times that Sonic was followed soon after Sizzle. I got really wound up by that.
Individual Jumping and Individual Snooker
Individual Jumping course map, judge by our English judge Jackie Gardner
this is one nice flowy course
Sizzle @ Individual Jumping:
Sonic @ Individual Jumping:
Both boys ran clear in their first run. I was rather nervous and go cautious when I handle them. I was too scared to push them! Such silly me! As the day progress, I got better and got over my nerve as well. The next round was Snooker.
P/S: I don't like the collapsible tunnel material. It is so heavy (same type of material of the pipe tunnel) that little dogs has to push so hard and some even got stuck!
Individual Snooker course map, judge by Dutch judge Peter Borsje
With both boys, I attempted 3 x 7 points in the opening and they both did well. Judge Peter Borsje has set out the way to plot the #7, you can only go one direction. If you chose to do the opposite site of the number, then, you must do all 3 obstacles the same way. Sonic ran well until the closing and at #7, he came out of the tunnel. I don't know why! Did I turn my body too quick? He later (next day) did that again, came out from the tunnel again!
Sonic @ Individual Snooker:
Sizzle @ Individual Snooker:
Note: I didn't like the judge not using a whistle as it's hard to understand the accent when he shout "no more". And also when you run, you don't normally care about what people say, well, that's me anyway. I can only concentrate on what I am doing ... RUN :)
Biathlon Jumping, Team Triathlon Jumping and Individual Gambler
Goodness me, Friday is a very LONG day. Sizzle was the last Team GB member to run and I am not kidding, he ran at 10:20pm! Also, the weather got worst by Friday. It started raining NON-STOP since Wednesday night. Thursday was wet but by Friday, it was flooded in the venue. It was so muddy that they have to open up the bar/cafe so we can all walk through from the carpark/kennel area straight onto the arena.
Biathlon Jumping, judge by Japanese judge Tetsu Watanabe
Biathlon Jumping didn't went well with the boys. Sonic was too gobby and got refusals. With Sizzle, I didn't trust my pull through, so I thought I will go a longer and safter route and of course that went horribly wrong!
Sonic @ Biathlon Jumping:
Sizzle @ Biathlon Jumping:
Note: There were too many dogs refused or didn't take the Tyre correctly. It had became quite an issue in this event. Thank God, both of my boys have no problem taking the tyre at all.
Team Triathlon Jumping course map, judge by Peter Borsje
There is a new rule this year, handler that has more than one dog in this event, is only allow to run ONE dog. In our Team GB, there were 3 handlers including me that ran 2 dogs; due to this, two of our other team members didn't get to run in the Team event as we weren't able to put another Team in. I chose to run Sizzle over Sonic as Sonic will be too gobby in the Team Relay.
Sizzle @ Team Triathlon Jumping:
As you can see, I was rather worried about the weave entry as it's too close to the tunnel entrance. There were way too many dogs that took the tunnel instead of the weave that got eliminated/disqualified. With Team event, we have to try so hard not to get elimination that will cost extra 100 time faults add on to the total time. I am glad I have faults in the weave and that put our Team in a good position for the next round.
Individual Gambler course map, judge by Jackie Gardner.
OMG! This course caused some scene! When Jackie set the course out and ready for walking, the Americans weren't happy with the Gambling line at all. They were argued over the distance of the line. Their Team manager was getting her iPad out to show the rules and regulations. Then, our team member Matt also shown the rules and regulations that he had printed out. It turned out that they had 2 sets of rules and regulations!! Well, it took 2 hours for discussion and changing the gambling line ... at the end, Jackie has to move the line to the bottom of the DW.
Sonic @ Individual Gambler:
Just before Sonic went into the collecting ring, the weather was really bad, thunder and lightning and gales force wind. I was trying to delay getting into the collecting ring because the gazebo by the entrance wasn't looking too good. The side panel was flapping about and it looks like it's not going to stand up for very long but in the international event, you just can't fool around. There were only 3 dogs in front of me and I MUST get into the collecting ring. I thought I am going to run to the building and that will be alright. I was wrong. Sonic got frightened by the crazy flapping side panel and just as we entered the building, one of the gazebo pole landed on top of him. I don't think he was hurt. It's more of shock than anything else. By then, the dog in front of him was in the ring and running. There's no time for me to do anything to comfort him. I really wasn't sure how he will react but thank God, when he was on the startline, he's totally a different dog. This is why I always say, this dog lives for agility :) You can hear the thunder and rain in the video!
Yes, we ran so well until he decided to take the wrong jump to finish lol. I was mad with myself that I didn't stop the clock as he has collected enough points to be on the podium eventhough he didn't get the Gambling bonus. Arghh ...
Sizzle @ Individual Gambler:
As you can see from the beginning of the video, poor Sizzle didn't want to start. It took me a while to wake him up and he was so hungry (left food in the hotel!) and angry with me :) He's such a good little boy to do what I asked him to do and he finished at 5th place.
Individual Agility and Team Triathlon Agility
I didn't do well in this course with both boys. Sizzle was drifted on the start line but he soon pick up speed. We ran well until I tried to do the turn before the Dog Walk. Sonic went wrong in the very beginning. I have been practicing quite a bit of that kind of startline with him and I think my shoulder moved too quickly that he took the #2 wrong way.
Sonic @ Individual Agility:
Sizzle @ Individual Agility:
Team Triathlon Agility course map, judge by Peter Borsje
Sizzle @ Team Triathlon Agility:
Sizzle almost run clear in this course, he missed his DW contact, that's the only fault we had, otherwise I am happy. Our Team has not got any elimination. After the combined of Jumping and Agility result, we were lying 4th on the chart and we were 4th from last to run in the Team Relay on Sunday.
Saturday evening was rather stressful and eventful for me. Colin has an important work seminar that he HAS TO attend on Monday morning at 9am. This means, no matter what, we MUST get back to England on Sunday night. From the venue to Calais will take 4 hours (no stopping!) and we fear that we might miss the last train to UK. So, we have to pack all our stuff into the car to make sure that we are leaving on time. I was busy packing and sent Colin to walk the dogs; and then to find out he lost the car key in the wood. Our Team agreed me to meet at the hotel lobby to go out for something to eat. Eerbeek is a very small town, everything closed at 6pm and restaurants closed at 8pm! The whole Team helped searching for the car key in the wood (in the rain and darkness!). Anyway, he did found the key. Phew! But, I was too wound up by it.
Biathlon Agility and Team Relay
Biathlon Agility course map, judge by Jackie Gardner
Sonic @ Biathlon Agility:
Sizzle @ Biathlon Agility:
Boys did good in the Biathlon Agility. Sizzle ran clear and Sonic got a refusal after the DW.
Team Relay course map, judge by Tetsu Watanabe
This is the most emotional run of all. Colin still wanted to get away early and tried so hard to persuade me to leave the competition. Grr ... I think that is the last thing I want! Our Team is lying 4th and we are in the very good position to get on the podium. Team GB has two teams in the top 4 and we are fighting chance to win a medal. I know Sizzle loves the Relay (he gets excited to see his team mates run and he loves to chase) but I have never run with a baton on my hand before. All new to me!
Sizzle and I are the last team member to run in our Team Relay. First toy dog Tink ran clear and 2nd Maxi dog Oggy just clipped the last pole. Sizzle was off like a rocket and I thought I am going to lost him in the tunnel and he was so good to save it by coming to my scream! We ran clear and our time was really good. With the added 5 faults onto our time, it's nail biting moment. The 3rd from last to run is South Africa and they all ran clear. Then, our other Team GB1, they had a good time with a drop pole, so 5 faults added onto the time. The last Team to run is the Russian. Their 2nd dog missed the tunnel and then went into wrong end of tunnel! Whaaaaaaaa! I was screaming so loud that I lost my voice! Team GB1 won the GOLD medal. We were waiting to hear if our Team (Team GB3) won a Bronze or Silver. Either one I am happy! I was crying so emotionally, for our Team GB1 (Matt & Brax, Angela & Tiff and Pat & Diva); and for our Team GB3 (Tracy & Tink, Abigail & Oggy and me & Sizzle).
Team GB1 and Team GB3 on the podium
my little Sizz-man and his Bronze medal.
Team Shelties and their Italian friend :)
Bracken, Sonic, Sizzle and his 3/4 bother Brodie
All in all I am very happy both boys' performance over the four days. It's a very long tough days for them. Sonic is still very young and we haven't done much with him. Hopefully he will learn a lot from the experienced and I am hoping he get to do more international event.
And, I did drove like bat out of hell to Calais after the prize giving; and just managed to catch the last train. Colin was very happy that he made to his seminar in time. Everyone is happy although we were exhausted. Glad to be home to see the others as well.
Here are some pictures from IFCS: