Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
It was strange beginning as almost all the small classes were on at one time. To make matters a little more stressful one of the judges told her ring party not to let anyone check in late. Which in theory is fine, but when small dogs have three smallish size classes to run at the same time (one being pairs and realize that needs to take priority) it would be nice to have a little flexibility! I really do not think anyone was looking to run late, it was just hard to hit all the rings at the same time!
The funny thing was that I did make all my small dog classes on time but then FORGOT that Zen had a jumping class for me to walk and then run. We caught that one at the last minute before it closed, watched three dogs run and went to the line trying to quickly figure out the course. Zen, bless her, did her best to help me out and went on to get 3rd in that class. Zen also got 2nd in both her agility classes AND 2nd in the Mini/Mixi pairs!! We are partnering with a tiny adorable little poodle who is probably one of the smallest of the smalls. Considering Zen is probably one of the smallest of the mediums I think it is cool that we did so well!
But really this was Hex's day! She ran 100% clear in all her runs and got 2nd in the Grade 6,7 jumping and 1st in the Eukaneuba Agility Challenge. What a doll she is. As usual I didn't think she was running very fast! HA! With two first in two Eukaneuba shows she may have a good chance at being at Crufts in 2008. We won't know until the end of the year but hopefully......
No videos for Axtane as Dennis was not there. I left him home to do garden work! And with all the small and medium classes on so early it would have been too stressful for Lisa and I to also think about videoing.
Sunday I decided to skip Axtane and spend the day with Dennis. We went with Lisa and Tony and their friend Steve to the Country Game Fair at Parham House in Storrington.
It is so interesting seeing all the country folk out showing off their talents. I am not into guns and hunting but these people take it very seriously as a way of life. I have to give them credit for that. There were quite a few displays of gundog work and training and that is always interesting. I find that gundog people have a different attitude towards training sometimes but in general they all were fairly gentle with their dogs. There was the usual herding dog display and that is always fun to watch. People think these dogs are robots but I like to see the shepherd pull the mike away from their mouths and yell at their dogs "would you lie down dammit" hahaha. Even their well trained working dogs don't listen all the time!
The best part of the day was one of the Falconry and Birds of Prey display. Thanks to Steve's enthusiasm I joined him and Lisa to sit up close in the arena while one of the displays was going on. This particular display was with the Eagle Owl. The "bird Man" had us all first sit on the ground and then later lay on the ground looking up while the owl flew over us. WOW! What a feeling! The first time he had us sitting with our backs to the owl while he called it towards him. You could not hear or sense the Owl flying towards you and right over your head until it practically touched you with it's wings. That is how quiet it glides and why it is such a good hunter of prey! It was amazing. The second time he had us lay on the ground on our backs looking up at the sky. Then he had the owl fly right over our faces so that we could imagine how the mice felt as the owl swooped in to hunt them. Wicked! I could really get into owls (but that is not a hint for people to start buying me owl things!) as I find them so interesting to look at as long as I forget that they eat little animals!
We are off to Scotland on Thursday! I have my fingers crossed that it doesn't rain because the only other two times we were in Scotland it rained!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
The Saturday after Supadogs we went to the Hinkley Championship show for the first time. Well it was a good thing we tried that show! It is a brilliant show with really good ground to run on and a positive atmosphere. I am glad we made the trip up even though it meant a night at a B&B. It wasn't worth camping there as there were only classes for Zen on Saturday and none on Sunday. The Bed and Breakfast was Victoria Farms and it is dog friendly which is always a plus! Very nice people there and the rooms are clean and comfortable if not fancy. Oh and the full english breakfast was lovely!
The show was so successful for us in so many ways. Zen getting another Champ ticket, Hex going advanced, Chi winning the Champ agility qualifier and Indy winning the Champ Jumping qualifier. I am so proud of them all....even if they don't run clear they always put in a good effort. None of these dogs need to be dragged around the ring or begged to work...they live for agility! And that is what makes them so fun to run. I am blessed with my dogs.
Here is a photo of Zen with her 4th Championship Agility Ticket and her trophy. She was a good girl! It was so nice to win under Andy even though his courses were way too front cross crazy! hehe
And here are some videos of Hex and Zen from Hinkley. Dennis picked the music!
Then we did something that the instructor called Pose of Tranquility...but I cannot find that one on the internet. I need to get a book and look them up. It basically was similar to a plow but you were getting your legs up higher and starting to go into a shoulder stand. Really hard! Then we ended up with two balance exercises; the fig tree and some other one I did not catch the name of.
And we ended up with some wacky abdominal "flapping" exercise. I wouldn't want anyone seeing me do that it was totally weird!
We are actually going to leave for Scotland next Thursday but AFTER my yoga class as I think it is so helpful for me. If nothing else I should be better balanced and less likely to fall down running in agility!
Monday, June 11, 2007
.....and blame Lisa for no photos!
I have lots to post about but no videos or photos to go along. So that is just boring!
Dennis had to go away on short notice to New York so he has not had a chance to sit down and transfer the videos to the computer to post on You Tube. Now if he would just show me how......but then he would be afraid he wouldn't be useful to me anymore!
And Lisa took photos of Zen's wins last weekend and has to bring her camera over to transfer them. SIGH!
But OBay shelties have had a great two weekends. To summarize:
- Hex went advanced (oops excuse me...Grade 7 which just doesn't sound as exciting) at Hinkley Agility Show. Hex is amazing me with her wins as I don't even think she is fast! I guess I am wrong!
- Zen WON the medium CHAMPIONSHIP at Hinkley! This is her first Champ win since she finished her championship last summer as I pulled her from all Champs last year after her 3rd win. And then she came in season this year and missed two champ shows. So if felt really good to run in Champs and win again! Zen is just ridiculously fun to run.
- Chi won the RESERVE CHAMPIONSHIP Ticket at Thames Agility! This was the first time Chi has made it into a Champ finals and he ran perfectly! Chi definitely has the potential to become an Agility Champion.
- We picked up and used our new caravan at Thames this weekend! It was so much nicer being at the agility show with a nice place to relax afterwards.
I will go into more boring details when I get videos and photos to go along with it!
Monday, June 04, 2007
So we went to Supadogs for three days; one of them being the qualifier day for the Friday finals. There was ALOT of rain and alot of mud but it was still a good week. Zen struggled a bit against some of the faster medium collies but she still pulled off one 1st place, two 3rds, two 4ths and one 6th place. Hex was a superstar and came away with one 1st, two 2nds, one 3rd and one 4th. The funny thing is that both of them got a 1st over the same jumping course and got E'd over the same jumping course!
On Tuesday, the qualifer day, both Zen and Hex ran clear in the qualifer jumping and agility classes. There was 165 small dogs in Hex's classes and 128 medium dogs in Zen's classes. These clears qualified both of them for the Friday finals! Hex was actually seeded 1st in the finals for having the highest placed double clears of all the small dogs!
These were the trophies on offer for the Supadogs 2007 Finals. Aren't they gorgeous? I took the photos so that I could mentally picture one or two of them in my house. haha I have my own version of a mental management program!
We arrived on Friday for the finals with NO cheering crowd! Dennis was home putting up caravan security thingies and Lisa was home preparing for our long trip up to Hinkley. So it was me, Zen and Hex all by ourselves! Luckily Sue also qualified for the finals with her Novice dog Millie so that I had Sue and Barry to sit with, video and cheer for each other.
Here is Zen and Hex in my little car waiting to run in the finals.
My old girl Pax qualified for the Supadogs finals twice. The first year she got 4th and the second year she got 5th and we always missed out on the good trophies. Last year Zen qualified for the first time but ONE knocked bar in the second round put us out of the trophies again! I was determined this year to win one of those Supa Crystal trophies! I was so focused on Hex winning as I did not think Zen would win on the flat out open courses against the faster and larger border collies. But luckily one of the judges put up a suprisingly tight little course that just suited Zen down to a tee.
Unfortunately that tight little course caught out Hex and I and she got Eliminated on the first round. Boo hoo. She did redeem us by flying around the second round agility course and she was over 3 seconds faster than any other small dog in the final. Of course it was a bit of coulda, woulda, shoulda! She ended up in 7th over all in the small dogs finals.
Here is Hex flying in the finals.
Zen won the first round which put us running LAST for the final agility round. No pressure! I liked this photo of her even though it was taken from behind her. It shows her grace and drive.
Here are some cool photos of Zen jumping. Notice how her front legs are crossed and she seems to be turning in the air over the jump. She is so incredibly agile.
In the agility round I played it safe and actually held her contacts! Sue thought that was quite funny but I had the champ show the next day and that was more important to me. Luckily Zen had been in the lead from the first jumping by around 1.5 seconds (I found out later) because one of the super medium collies had a faster agility round by a full second. So in the end Zen won the Medium Supadogs Finals by a nice margin of .5 seconds! Whew!
Here is a photo of a happy me and a Zen who hates having photos taken after agility!
Finally here is a photo of Sarah Osbourne's Touchango Top Gear (Tig) with Zen. Tig easily won the Supadogs Novice Final which was a fitting end to his fantabulous Novice career! Sarah and Tig also train with Lesley Olden so we wanted to take this photo for her. Lesley has kept us on the right path in training our dogs. I must say that Sarah looked as cool as a cucumber in that final! Way to go Sarah and Tig!
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Dennis was in a rush to get ready to head back to New York tonight so there is no music on this video. You get the luxury of hearing our "yeahs" at the end of Daniels run! hehehe
On Sunday instead of going to Supadogs I went to a more local and smaller (5 rings) show at Cippenham. Well that was a very good choice on my part as we did much better there. The reason may have been that I was more relaxed because the show was smaller. It certainly was not because the weather was any better as it rained there too! Anyway at Cippenham both Zen and Hex were little stars with each one winning all three of their classes! (Zen's classes had around 60 medium dogs and Hex's class had over 100 small dogs) I must say that was the greediest we have ever been at an agility show; winning 3 out of 3 with two dogs. 6 trophies and 6 red rosettes! This also put Hex 1/2 way towards her advanced status!
Here is a photo of the two winners smiling!
Who are now very bored with photo taking!
This show was made so much nicer because Liz was there with her mom and they set up ringside with a tarp over the cars and a nice dry place to sit and watch some runs. Liz even brought a super picnic with fresh salad and veggies from her garden. Now that's the way to enjoy an agility show!
The best part of the show was seeing Liz get her first ever agility trophy with one of her super Golden retrievers named Archie. Archie got third place in a jumping class of almost 200 dogs. What a fabulous achievement for a handsome SHOW bred golden retriever! Liz has been getting such nice comments from the judges on seeing both her goldens running with such enthusiasm and attitude. I wish I had some of those runs on video but it was too rainy to bring the camera out. Liz also did well in a subtly tricky ABC agility with a 4th or 5th place out of 100+ dogs. I think Liz was pleased to run some nice courses that actually required some handling challenges for her and her dogs. It is boring for some people stuck in Grades 1 and 2 to always have to run straight up and down courses. She trains her dogs well and loves to have some good challenges to be able to show off her dogs strengths. Her goldens will never beat the super fast Border collies on straight lines but they can do some nice work and love to show off on the more tricky courses. I really enjoy seeing judges that can design fun courses for the dog but that challenge the handler. It is a real science to designing those types of courses. Once I get my computer back I will try and post the ABC course as it was also the same agility course that I ran with Zen and Hex.
I will post more about Supadogs later; it was an action filled week of mud drenched agility!