Saturday, 16 June 2012


And on to Thames... always enjoy this show. I’d decided as the champ for large was on Saturday and the champ for small was on Sunday I would enter both. So Saturday they both had the Crufts Singles and Scandal had champ.

The Champ jumping I didn’t think was particularly hard, just a bit awkward. However, there was elimination after elimination... I imagine about 75% of the class got E’d. Scandal just picked up 5 faults for a pole, and had a spin half way round while I dallied about trying to get in the right place.

Champ agility, and Scandal did a beautiful round and came 2nd :-D she was such a good girl.

Then champ final, I knew Laura had done a lovely round with Rodney and knew this would take some beating. Well, we tried, and came very close... 0.3 behind them to take the reserve CC. So proud of little Scandal, she tried so hard for me... I just need to be a bit sharper/quicker/more confident with my commands... oh and of course move a bit quicker in general... always work in progress :-) watching the video of the run, I had no idea what Scandal was doing between jump number 2 and the dogwalk... coz I just ran off and left her, whoops. Scandal does very well to compensate for having me!

Crufts Singles and I messed up the weave entry so Scandal had no hope. But at least we got to train the dog walk and seesaw which was a good thing :-)

Crufts Singles with Honey... slightly painful, Honey wasn’t ‘slow’ but certainly wasn’t enthusing (or was enthusing less than she normally does). We managed to scrape an 8th, which gives us a few more points!

Then on to the Sunday, and champ with Honey. Champ agility first, and Honey did a nice round and came 4th! The champ jumping had a very hard weave entry which sooo many dogs missed, and Honey went straight in :-O then she decided she was going to run as fast as she possibly could down a straight, completely catching me out, which made the next bit very messy and we got 5R.

Still good enough to put us 3rd from the end in the final. Well Honey decided she was going to try a bit harder than usual, and shot off the startline, over 1 and flew past me on 2 when I was cueing a turn... Caught me out again! So a rather wide turn and I pushed her as hard as I could for the next bit... nothing to lose, and she worked really nicely, I’d say probably about 80% of what she can give in training (I’d say at the moment in the ring it’s usually about 50-60%). This took a second off Alan Bray’s time to put us into the lead... and then Bernadette ran! Super smooth and super fast to take quite a margin off Honey’s time and win the CC. So Honey got the reserve CC too. Really pleased with her :-)

Then Scandal just had her 6-7 Olympia qualifier. Hannah Banks was judging, which I was pleased about when I saw her name on the ring plan... I always like her courses as they are nicely spread out, rather than the stupid minimum distance that a lot of judges seem to prefer. I made a decision that I was going to at least do a ‘stop-go’ with Scandal on the seesaw rather than an all out going for it quick release, aware that I quick released both my champ runs on the Saturday and don’t really want to end up with no contacts. She went straight into position on both the dw and ss, whilst I ran off in front to get into position. The run just seemed really smooth and I was chuffed to bits with the aframe-weaves which Scandal nailed. I think Scandal enjoyed this run, she likes just being able to gooooo J this put us 2nd, which qualifies us for the Olympia semis in September! Yippeee :-)              
Just can’t believe the run that the dogs are having, between them in the last 5 weeks they have both qualified for the Olympia semis, won 2 CC’s and 2 reserve CC’s, Honey has 11 points for Crufts Singles and Scandal has 16. WOW :-D


So then we speed on to Hinckley. I love the Hinckley show, big entries but only 5 rings, plus it was Scandal’s first show here 2 years ago. My baby is now 3 ½ !

Champ first – Scandal did a lovely round in the champ agility (including a super aframe-weaves :-D) but had a spin on number 4 when I was toooo slow so she just had to take a guess at which way I wanted her to turn. She came 3rd in this, which amazed me! Then champ jumping, and she had a clear, but lost quite a few seconds when she decided to try and take the scenic route to the weaves... and I wasn’t very helpful to her, poor Scan.

Champ final and she was flying, up until seesaw-weaves... and she just couldn’t see the weaves. More homework definitely needed! Crufts Singles and she was fabuloso and came 3rd... 0.2 behind Ant and Ruby, and 0.1 behind Linda and Kizzy – I was MEGA pleased to be so close to their times :-D this also means that Scandal should hopefully have enough points for the Singles at Crufts 2013.

And now little miss Honeybear... who has been allergic to clear rounds since her ticket win at Woodside. Thankfully, a month later, she managed to do everything in one go and go clear in the Crufts Singles and come 3rd! Yay, our first points. She decided, 4 from the end, she was going to go insanely fast, which involved screaming her head off and launching over the aframe so quickly she just landed on the contact. Bless her.

And Honey’s clear roundness continued the next day, in a very straightforward Olympia qualifier, I’d already seen loads and loads of clears and knew it would take some miracle to get Honey to go as fast as them. Well she thankfully decided that she was going to go pretty fast from about number 10, including doing the best running dogwalk she’s ever done (she seemed to grow wings and glide down), and finished 3rd again! So we’ve qualified for the Olympia semis too. Woop woop. I have such clever doglets:-)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

May Madness

The last month seems to have been a bit of a blur. I finished my job at Mulberry at the beginning of May, had a couple of days off and then decided that I’d go to Woodside. I had entered Woodside as we did their Christmas show a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, plus I’ve loved every Scottish show that I have done. I’d entered it only 50/50 as to whether I’d go (mainly weather dependant). That weekend, lots of shows had cancelled due to bad weather, but Scotland hadn’t had any of that.

So, due to set off Friday morning, except Honey chose that morning to run off, chasing pheasants, and got further and further away (although I could still hear her from 4 fields away, barking her happy little head off as she disappeared off up the hill and into the woods). She’s usually pretty good on the whistle, but didn’t even flicker when I called... dammn spaniel. So, I decided that I would go with out her if she wasn’t back... She got back 15 minutes before I was due to leave. So, I got to Scotland on the Friday, took the dogs for a lovely walk (the views from the b&b I stayed in were stunning). Think the dogs quite fancy a move to Scotland.

 Soooo Champ on the Saturday. Champ jumping – a pretty hard course which saw 56 of the 78 dogs entered eliminated!! Amazingly, Scandal was one of the 22 still in contention – with 5f and one of the fastest times. Honey also put in a nice round (clear) which put her 3rd. Champ agility – Honey picked up 5f but this was good enough to put her through to the final. And Scandal..... Scandal Scandal Scandal, poor little dog. Absolutely flying round, couldn’t have done any more for me, worked like a dream... and then I got her eliminated on number 19... idiot. I was so disappointed as Scandal had worked amazingly, and I loved the final course.

Champ final – Honey ran somewhere in the middle, I think there were 18 dogs in the final. She did a nice clear, not blazingly fast but got a nice weave entry and a lovely sharp turn off the dw where the dog had to run past a jump they were pulling to. She was clear and into the lead, but I didn’t think too much of it, carried on chatting away... And then the final dog ran slower than Honey, and people were coming up to me saying ‘YOU’VE WON IT’ which I couldn’t quite believe. Dave Alderson’s little poodle got the reserve and I think clever spaniel was 3 seconds faster. Really thrilled that she won her (and my) first ticket. Well... that seems to have curtailed Honey and I’s ability to go clear that was our last clear round for the next month!

Vyne on the Monday, I was surprisingly excited at doing this show. I hadn’t entered Honey in any classes so could just concentrate on Scan. She did a ‘good’ champ agility round – just 5f at the end for a missed weave entry, where I tried to help but just messed it up for her. Champ jumping and she did a really nice clear, and was 3rd when I looked. This put us through to the champ final, where she went CLEAR and we came 3rd!!!! There were about 9 clears, and she finished just 0.2 behind Greg and Detox, who were 2nd. And that was with 2 bits that I could have improved a teeny bit. Not quite sure how we could have caught Ant/Ruby up – they were on fire. Really happy that Ant’s made Ruby into Ag Ch Blazing Red of Rujaff, so Scandal now has an Ag Ch mum and WT Ch dad :-)

The Olympia qualifier Scandal was crazy, put her in a wait and she got up and crept :-O which she hasn’t done for 9 months. She flew through the tunnel (number 2) sooo fast that she ran past the next jump (I was about 5 minutes too slow). The rest was stunning, good girlie Scandalina.

Tunbridge... well the less said about it the better, I couldn’t string two jumps together and didn’t really enjoy the show being indoors. Just one of those things I guess. Worcester, and I used the 2 agility classes to train Scandal’s contacts – two perfect seesaws, 1 perfect (yay) stop dw, and 1 slightly less than perfect but very fast stop dw. And 2 nice aframes. 2 great weave entries. She was fabulous. Honey... ermmmm half a sleep spanielsaurus. Nuff said.

Nottingham – this was my first time at this show, I’d heard mixed reports on the venue. The ground for the rings I thought was pretty good, I’ve certainly run on worse. Lee G was judging the champ – I thought this would set us in good stead for the FCI courses for the WT Tryouts on Monday. Not going to lie – I’ve always enjoyed Lee’s courses, the first one we won was in 2003 (Open Agility – took Ricky from Novice to Senior!) and we’ve won a few more along the way.

Champ Agility – I pulled her past a jump so she got 5R but otherwise she was fab. She finished 21st out of 127 entries. Champ Jumping and I was soooo pleased with her weave entry in this – completely nailed it. Just one silly thing from me meant we wasted some time, but still clear, and 9th. Woohoo. This put us into the final AGAIN! We ran 13th out of 20th. Greg and run before me and as usual had put in a great round with Detox and was in the lead. Detox has 2 CC’s, a 2nd place in the FCI Individual Agility and has just been selected for the GB team once again. She’s one of my favourite dogs in agility and I knew we’d have to do a pretty special run to beat her. The dogwalk exit in the final meant I could possibly do a ‘run’ but would rather play it safe with a ‘stop’. Knowing Greg was clear I decided it was going to be a completely all out no holding back run... nothing to lose. And gosh, did Scandal go. I said at the time, I thought I probably had about 0.1 of a second when Scandal had exited the dogwalk to command her to go round the back of the next jump, and somehow I got it right. It was an amazing run and probably one of the only rounds I’ve ever done where a) I couldn’t have got it any faster... in my eyes it was a ‘perfect run’ and b) I was completely focussed on every single obstacle, and Scandal – not aware of people, the tannoy, the fact we were going clear, or anything else. It was one of those runs that just feels gooood. I nearly burst into tears after the run (I’m so grown up lol) as it was one of those times where everything just comes together. To my amazement we went into the lead, taking 2.5 secs off Greg’s time (which I completely didn’t believe at the time). Dave then put in a lovely run with Sunny but was still 2 seconds off Scandal. I couldn’t believe that we had WON the TICKET :-D thrilled was an understatement. She then also got a 3rd in the Crufts Singles. Below is a vid of her in the champ classes at Vyne and Nottingham.

The Worlds tryouts didn’t exactly go to plan... our first run – jumping, she got 15f, then the next two agility rounds were (IMO) great, just a blip in each one. But hey, can’t say I was toooo upset, sooo overjoyed about Scandal winning the ticket on Saturday :-D

So now I’ve got 2 dogs in the champ class at Crufts 2013... madness. Scandal’s just getting better and better – loving every second of running her. Feel very lucky to own such a clever little princess!