An hours drive up the A50 and I arrived on time to walk my first course. What a lovely venue! At Broomfield College Equestrian Centre, the Derby Show is very minimal with a small car park, generous exercise field, indoor equestrian centre big enough for two large rings, a secretary room and heated toilets. No viewing gallery and no cafe.
I was amazed at how quiet the show was. There must have been very low entries and the show was quickly flowing through, finishing at a reasonable time of 5pm. There was at most 20 dogs in a height which gave everyone a good chance.
First up was Agility. I was pleased to see Jump -> Dog Walk, which allowed for a good running start as we are still working on our waits. There were only 2 others queuing in front of me and we set off nicely. Jump into weaves was minimum spacing and Guinness knocked the pole but got the weave entry, and then popped out at about pole 4. It certainly wasn’t a comfortable entry. Never mind, our contacts were good and he didn’t falter on the aluminium.
A few hours break and it was time for beginners Jumping. A nice fast course similar to a Steeplechase (well what else can you give to Beginners). It started off in a big spacious corner away from queuing dogs and I was able to play around with Guinness’ waits a little on the lead while the previous dog cleared the ring. I unclipped his lead, stood up and released. A wait! Hurrah. I have already decided I am going to start to push the waits at Dig It shows now. Off we went on a lovely run and then Guinness went into the less-obvious end of the tunnel and I didn’t front cross very well and he ran past a few jumps. The rest went well and the best(?) option for us at the end was to rear cross the weaves after the tunnel. First attempt he turned back to me away from weaves. Second go and all 12 weaves perfectly while I rear crossed. YES YES YES!
Time for lunch and a long wait for the final class of the day. I didn’t enter the games class, Gamblers, as I didn’t know how it worked. I didn’t know how it worked as I hadn’t tried to learn. Silly reason I know, but I decided to save the money and just do 3 runs.
Watching Gamblers was great and I happily understood it after listening to the judges briefing, talking to people and watching. I must start entering the games classes and having a go! Plus once into Novice you have to gain games points to progress.
Time for Steeplechase. The start fence was backing onto the queue ringside and with 1 crazy Collie and 1 staring male dog either side of us in the queue, Guinness was not happy. We ran start across a box and Guinness veered off and took a side jump. Gutted. Even more so as the rest of the run was amazing! Guinness ran ahead lovely and I front crossed in some fantastic places to take the best line.
That was it! As the sun set it was time to pack up and go home. Everything was muddy from the exercise field and it was just like going home from a Scout camp. A great venue and a great show. It was nice and quiet with lovely big spacious rings. My only slight gripe was that the rings were so big that the start jumps could have been a little further into the ring rather than right on the edge. It’s certainly something that I am going to think about more when Judging. However there was generous space and its all part of agility.