What time were we up on Saturday? 4:30 am! 'Nuff said bout that!
So Saturday was the individual runs. The way it worked was strange. Basically you were competing against your own team-mates as it was the top three dogs from each country and each height that went thru to the finals on Saturday night. My morning wasn't going so well when we were eliminated on our first run. Doh! Bad handler.
The small jumping course was really great except for one thing. There is new combination in the FCI rules that I did not know about. Basically it is the old A-B-C jumping sequence but it is in a straight line with minimum pacing. If I had known I would have trained it! Actually it wouldn't be so bad if it had not come after a long stretch of a fast run to a spread and then to the sequence which was three jumps in a row with ONLY TWO METRES in between them. Hex can do grids and bounce jumps but I have never asked her to do them from a fast run or from a spread jump. Poor little things; all the dogs really tried to clear the jumps but you could see they just had no idea it was coming up.
I saw dog after dog hit the jumps really badly. I saw one little sheltie ram the second bar with his face and hit the ground crying. I have since heard that he possibly broke his jaw. How sad is that? If the dogs actually got through the sequence it was not pretty as they had to really contort their spines to clear the jumps.
Now to make matters even worse; we were the first group in. So all the other groups after seeing the problems all went to the practice jumps and set up the sequence and practiced! Darn!
All that doesn't excuse my poor handling where I watched her go over the off course jump. But I am going to blame that on the fact that she knocked that 3rd bar in the sequence and it threw me a little. Yeah that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!
Here's the video. I am very brave to post my bloopers! The announcer was evil and played funny music once you were eliminated! Not so funny when you are running; but really funny to watch! I have included Henry's jumping run so that you can see another dog try and negotiate the A-B-C sequence. Henry is a clean and careful jumper usually but even he had trouble. Arghhhh if only we had known to train this! Our fault probably!
Luckily for me (but not for my team-mates) we had alot of eliminations in that jumping round. This put us all at level pegging for the agility round; it would be this round that decided who went through to the final. I really felt like I pushed Hex on this agility round; although when watching the video I still don't look like I am running! Her see-saw was called as a fly-off as she left it too early. It was a very fair call and totally my fault. Partly I was thrown slightly as I didn't expect her to come out of that long FCI tunnel so fast and thought I had more time for my front cross. Had I realized that I would have stayed on the other side of the see-saw. Also I was pushing for time and mis-timed my "go" and told her to "go" before the see saw was down. I also blame her slightly; as she was a bit naughty leaving it in mid-air! I really loved this course and tried to walk it telling myself that there was nothing in it that we could not do. "We can do this; we have trained this" is my new mantra when walking a course. Between that and "I am so psyched; I love to compete" (ala Jane Savoie) we were all set!
Here is her run. Her time would have been good enough for 3rd place in this run.
So with only one double clear (Sharon and Ruby) in our team; the field was open. One other team-mate (Wendy and Scout) put in a clear in agility. The rest of us had faults in the agility so basically Hex got through as having the fastest 5 fault in the team. That put Sharon and Ruby, Wendy and Scout and Me and Hex through to the evening final. They had a strange way of setting up the running order though! Basically you ran in reverse order of your time on the agility round only. So if you had a fast time in the agility round (no matter how many faults) you ran towards the end of the running order in the finals. This put Hex and I running right towards the end of the final. A great spot to be in; so we would know what we had to do.
Here are the two other British smalls to make it to the final! Well done guys on getting to the finals especially Ruby for putting in two clears to get there.
Gosh you would think I was away for weeks and I still have more to write. To be continued....