We arrived at the KC International Agility Festival on Thursday morning. It was nice to be allowed to set up early; this year you could arrive at 10am and that gives you all day Thursday to set up the caravan and garden and just relax.
I actually didn't relax too much and helped out a little in checking campers in. What an amazing amount of work to try and sort out over 500 campers! The set-up crew had been at the showgrounds since Monday marking out all the camping spaces. I just helped check people in; which was good fun as everyone (well mostly everyone!) was in a good mood and excited about the show. I enjoy helping when everyone is relaxed and having a good time.
Thursday was Dennis' birthday so I brought along a cake and we did a little BBQ to celebrate. Thanks to everyone who came by to wish Dennis Happy Birthday. And thanks to Mandy and Arthur for giving us such a nice camping spot with a special welcome for Dennis painted on the ground! Here is a photo of our camping spot before we had the doggie-garden set up. You can see Happy Birthday painted on the grass.
I had a cake made for Dennis with this photo of him and Pax taken up in the Lake District last month. I love that photo of the two of them.
Friday was the first day of competition. We did not get much video during the day as Dennis was working on a ring. He is really great and puts down to help at most of the bigger shows. I had some fantastic runs with Hex that I was really pleased with but she came 2nd each time to her brother Indy. Indy and Nicky are so on form for the Worlds in Finland; I am expecting great things from the two of them! Anyway those two 2nd places qualifed her for the British Open Final on Sunday afternoon. Lisa and Chi also qualifed for the medium finals along with Nicky and Indy and Peggy and Timmy in the small open final. To add to the great showing of the OBay Shelties this weekend: Andy and Kizzy qualified for the Novice Cup and Daniel and Bailey qualifed for the Starters cup which were both held on Saturday afernoon. If only Karen and Toddy had ENTERED The novice cup qualifers we could have had a 100% showing of Obay shelties in the finals! Ahh bless her; Karen didn't enter the qualifiers as she did not know back a few months ago if Toddy would be ready. As it turns out he is more than ready and racked up three 1st places this weekend in his other classes. Good boy Todd!
Zen had some great runs on Friday but we got eliminated in the British Open jumping so that put us out of the British open finals for Sunday. I wasn't really too dissapointed because I knew that Hex qualifed for the small finals and Zen still had the Olympia Semi-final to do on Friday Afternoon and that was our main goal.
So did we achieve our goal?? Ta-da.........Zen is going to Olympia 2008! She has come back from pups better than ever and I am so glad we took this year slow and let her recover from pups. Zen came in 2nd in the Olympia Semi-finals and joins the 9 other medium dogs that are going to Olympia. As we did not tryout this year for the World Champs nor the EO; Olympia was my big 2008 goal for Zen and me. What a sweetheart she was in helping me achieve that goal.
I pushed her as hard as I could (yeah really I was pushing and don't laugh at me as I really thought I was running!) as we ran in the middle and there were still loads of the medium border collies left to run. I could not play it safe. Last year the semi-finals were dominated by the medium border collies and in the end 8 out of the 10 medium dogs qualifed to go to Olympia 2007 were border collies. This year turned out very different and we only had 1 border collie qualify to go onto Olympia 2008. Look at the line up of the dogs qualifed; a nice variety if you ask me!
Here is the Medium Olympia line-up for 2008.
And here is our semi-final run. Hurrah for Zen!
More about the KC Festival later as I get more videos and photos sorted out.