Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Luxembourg Day 3 Sheltie Agility!
The venue was a nice indoor riding arena. It was a nice place; good footing for the dogs and an nice area to sit and watch. There was only one problem...or should I say there were many noisy little problems called Shelties! HAHA!
We kept our dogs in the car where they could relax and sleep and only take them into the venue when they are ready to run. The Europeans, on the other hand, are used to brining crates and puppy pens into the venues and keep the dogs in the venue all day. Uhhhhh, you know shelties bark? Well these shelties barked ALL day long! You could not really hold a conversation and you definitely could not hear any announcements! This was basically my only complaint about the entire tournament. Other than that it was great fun and very relaxing. A nice touch was the tee-shirt they gave out to every competitor.
For lunch (yes food is very important to me!) they had a tent set up outside with guys barbequing local sausages and hamburgers and super pork cutlets. In addition they had a large pot of mulled wine which is called Gluhwein. Yummy!
We only had two runs per dog each day. I had to get myself psyched up to run as I was feeling a bit too relaxed! After the World Champs; this seemed like...well...fun! hahaha!
They did have Grade one, two and three classes at this show although most of the competitors were in Grade 3. This was the Grade 3 agility course as posted on their website but I think there were a few tweaks to the course. as it didn't quite run like this. Zen did her usual saunter around the course and won it by 1.4 seconds! Hex and Chi had the exact same problem which caused their eliminations! Chi and Lisa ran before Hex and I so you WOULD think I learned from their mistake? No, I went and did the exact same thing and got Hex eliminated! Basically instead of going up the see-saw they both took the back of the wall jump #7. Actually it is funny, I think Hex and Chi run more alike than Zen does.
Our second run was Grade 3 jumping. Again the course ran a little different than this course shows but it will give you an idea. Zen ran clear and ended up in second behind a little girl and her sheltie by 6/100th of a second.
I am so proud of Zen. I wish we could have done this at the Worlds; but she was just showing me that she has it in her! She won a lovely glass trophy for her first place in agility. And what did she win for her 2nd in jumping....a yellow ball. Yes, we drove to Luxembourg to win a yellow dog ball! Zen was happy! We have popped up with start line issues again with Zen; I think this was compounded by the noise and excitement. Some work for the winter!
Here is the video of Zen's two runs on Saturday. Dennis was being sentimental and picked the song!
As for Hex and Chi...again in the jumping they decided to be very much alike and drop a bar! Actually the jumps were so different than what we are used to; the bars are very light and the jump cups virtually non-existant. So basically the bars are just resting on the jump cups which make them very easy to knock over. GIVE ME fat Premier Jump bars and cups anyday! Even with the knocked bars I was impressed with both Chi and Hex. Without the knocked bars, Chi would have been the fastest Medium and Hex would have been the fastest small! Actually little Hex was faster than both Zen AND Chi! You coulda knocked me over with a feather; my slow girl keeps surprising me! I think we will work on some jumping excersizes for Hex as her winter project; she need to learn to keep the bars up even when I get in her way!
The other difference in the equipment was in the contact obstacles and the weave poles. The Contacts were really cool! They were made from an aluminum frame and the surface is not sand coated wood but is a rubberized coating. It felt really soft and cushy for the dogs and you didn't hear them scratching or scrabbling. I think they enjoyed the footing. The weave poles are wider apart so the dogs seem to go thru easier with less strain. The equipment was made by Smart-99.