This year at Olympia was really one to remember... I have been very lucky this year to run Claire Burrell's super talented cocker spaniel, Teasel. Teasel is one of the most phenomenal agility dogs I know - her intensity, focus and intelligence really do amaze me. Teasel won Olympia as a 2 year old with Claire back in 2013, and this year she once again took the title of Olympia Small Winner, only this time with me running her :-P we won both the Jumping Speedstakes and the evening Final. It was a privilege to be able to run Teasel at Olympia - she really is awesome (running out of superlative to describe her :-)) We are next competing at Crufts in the British Open, Singles and Champ.
The morning semi final sort of went to plan - Scandal had the first pole (definitely not in the plan) so we had to go for time to try and get in the top 10. We managed this with an 8th place, and the fastest time overall, so this put us to run 3rd in the final. The final was a pretty testing course and seemed totally different to the course plan we had been studying all afternoon. You get literally about 2 minutes to walk the course (a different course to the one you thought you'd be getting ;-)) so changes to handling plans, and visualisation of this has to happen in doubly quick time. Scandal ran so so beautifully, I really couldn't have asked for any more of her. Unfortunately my legs had totally run out of puff by the time I got to the dogwalk, obstacle number 15 ish, I had pulled a muscle in my quad the day before, and by the Saturday evening it was soooo painful, dosed up on tablets but I think I needed metacam ;-) Scandal just couldn't hear me on the obstacle after the dogwalk, so did the world's widest turn (it felt like that at the time), and we came 2nd, by 0.08, to the incredible Pip (Scandal's cousin) and Lee Windeatt. So happy to have finally got into an Olympia final with Scandal, and she just loved the atmosphere.
And more good news of Scandalbabies... Barrie James' Ru (Mendipstar Rumour Has It) got his final win to grade 7 on the weekend. Can't wait to watch Coy, Ru and Rusty in champ in 2017 :-)