While the majority of the agility world are at the Kennel Club International Festival (I’m obviously not jealous at all!) I went to Adams today! Back to Catton Park, but only 4 rings this time, and I flew past the entrance for day parking (despite the signs) as it was on a completely different field to the last time I was there!
After being woken up at 4am and again near to 5am by Ash, who left for a week in Belgium this morning, I set off a little late and my satnav ETA was worrying, Judging starts at 8.30am! I was determined to get there in time to walk the course and I was parked and out of my car at 8.27am and pleased to see plenty of people still on the course, phew.
First run of the day, in the kerfuffle of trying to get my ticket (why do they put the ticket person next to the start line) I stood on Guinness’ paw in my metal stud football boots! Oh god! He certainly let me know about it, by trying to bite my foot and anyone or dog in the immediate vicinity to him. After much walking around, rubbing and stretching, I decided he was okay. Guinness will always tell me if he’s hurt, normally by my hand suddenly being in his mouth!
We went for our run, it was a tricky start of 3 zigzaggy jumps to a slightly offset seesaw. I ran start and straight away Guinness couldn’t find the second jump, then he didn’t even think about stopping on the seesaw. Onto the aframe he stopped then self released and then he didn’t try to stop on the dogwalk. I missed the rest of the course and just got out over two jumps and rewarded.
We sat around the rings for a little, had a bacon barm (or a butty/bap to my local friends), went for a good walk and then had a break. There was quite a long time before our next run and I finished off Agility Voice and decided to take some photographs. I’d thrown my camera in as an afterthought, expecting rain all day, but was genuinely surprised at the sunshine we had for most of the day!
Combined 1-3 Adams Jumping Cup was ready. It was a stunning steeplechase course style. Really suited us and so nice to see, especially in a combined class. As I watched a lot of people were coming out with clear runs, this was going to be a real race of speed! I love it!!
The start line was nice and far out and I got Guinness into a down while out of the ring, and then shuffled him forward in between my legs (not as weird as it sounds) and asked for a wait. I got to jump 2 and released without looking. I wish someone had been with me to film as he’s been standing up without me noticing, but I will just have to hope he stayed down. We went off with great speed and directions, onto the second pinwheel and I was turning left but he went off to find another jump to the right! So unexpected!! Ahhh Guinness. The rest was perfect, even fast 6 weaves. Could have been a winner.
Time for lunch and the whole show went quiet. I’d seen no one I knew and was starting to feel a little lonely and bored of my own company. Plus knackered and therefore slightly grumpy from my 4am wakeup.
After a yummy jacket potato I sat down at Ring 4 to get some long jump photographs when suddenly it was announced that “the helicopter is just coming in to land in the exercise arena!”. The lady about to run asked if she could wait and the judge let her. A guy on the ring said “I parked my helicopter over there, where did you park yours?!”. Haha. It was an interesting turn of events, I suppose I’m still very new to competing, does this happen at shows a lot?!
As I wandered to fetch Guinness there was the chopper sat in the exercise ring and I enjoyed watching it take off again. Something different and very enjoyable to see. Plus, except for an increase in barking, none of the dogs seemed to mind too much.
Onto G1-4 Jumping and I asked Guinness for a wait and unclipped his lead. He jumped up and I caught him (much to his annoyance) and asked again. He waited as I stepped to the side and paused and off we went. A nice turn and wing wrap, although I hung back and gave him too much room for my liking, and then we turned left and had an unlucky pole down. Weaves, turns, the rest was beautiful! So gutting yet again.
Last class of the day, G1-2 Agility was ready. Only 17 dogs in the class and there were quite a few faults and eliminations, expected from newbie dogs I suppose. The course started jump to weaves with a tunnel nearby but with its back to us. I’ve done a lot of collar-holding to weaves in training with Guinness, and the weaves were quite soon from the jump, so I went for a run start to allow him to drive into them. He cut across and went past towards the tunnel. We retried and he got in at the 2nd poles, third attempt, still in at the 2nd pole. Just another metre from the jump and a bit more distance from the tunnel would have been so much nicer, but he should have got in them really. The rest of the course was straightforward and I took the opportunity to make sure he got his contacts. I didn’t test them but paused at the bottom with him and praised. He cleared the tyre and the spread just fine.
What a frustrating day. But weaves and waits and general handling were better, I think. But I’m not sure. Why is it so hard?! If I actually think about it, I recon we are improving with every show. TAG next Saturday and then back at Adams for the Saturday & Sunday of Bank Holiday, I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks.