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Monday, September 28, 2009

Our World Agility Championships 2009

Well I had loads of thoughts to put down in the blog about the World Championships but they have left my head. I have just returned from a quick trip back to NY and we have too much going on! So all organized thoughts of the World Champs have gone. I wish I could be organized and efficient like some bloggers and put the thoughts down immediately. This could have been done if we actually had internet access but that never seems to be the case.

What can I say except we had a great time and Zen was my little star. Whether I go again next year will depend on alot of things but I do enjoy the experience each and every time. I have been so fortunate to be on Team GB five times with two dogs and it does get easier each time. We all deal with nerves differently and it is so interesting to "people watch" at the World Championships. I have heard a few times about how "cool" I am on the start line and that makes me smile. It has taken a long time to feel that way and I am so glad that I can enjoy stepping to the line instead of being nervous. I attended my first World Championships as a spectator back in 2002 in Dortmund and then 2003 in Leiven and 2004 in Italy. I made a vow back then to eventually get there myself and to be as cool as Nicola Garrett when I enter the arena. While I will never be as cool as Nicky when I run I just pretend as I step to the line! ha!

I would suggest any agility fanatics think about going at least once in their lives. It is an experience not to be missed. AND the support means so much to the team. I greatly appreciated each and eveyone who came each year that I have run even if I do not know them personally. To step onto that line and hear the cheering is a once in a life time experience that I have been lucky to experience more than once!

So no long winded course analysis or deep thoughts. Enjoy some photos that were taken during the weekend.

This photo was taken after our warm up practice which consisted of a few of our dogs (yes Zen too!) running into cardboard tunnels that were supposed to be barriers between the practice rings! She even mother-flickered away from me into one and that should have clued me into a later mother-flicker that got us E'd! Darn Austrian cardboard tunnels! haha

I love Zen's tongue in this photo. And how about the sign above our heads!

You know how everyone talks about getting on the "world team" as if it is so prestigious and exciting. Well check out our prestigious and classy locker room! They were metal caging covered in plastic sheeting! hahaha It felt as if we were either in a crazy room in a mental instituion or that they expected some bloodshed.

By the way that is my bum in the photo as my team-mates and I warmed up before our runs. One of my teammates is a serious excercise freak and the other is a very young agile 20-something....hmmm guess who really needed the warmup! me!

Alan continues his warm-ups in our fancy locker room. Indy thinks he is crazy but then again Indy spends alot of time with Nicky (not big into our warm-up routine were you Nicky?) But please notice the carpet on our locker room floor! It was "borrowed" (read stolen) by our fearless assistant coach who shall be nameless. When he brought it into the locker room he said "Just don't ask"....so we didn't.

I was very proud to have been asked to hold the flag during the opening ceromony and tried not to cry when walking in. The flag did get heavy though and I handed it to my team mate Alan during the speeches!

The team was given fleecy pompom toys for the dogs by a very nice lady who I have forgotten to thank (thanks to the lady who breeds the borderstorm border collies!). But the team used them instead as cheerleader's pompoms to wave around! Here is Alan shaking his pom-poms. I must say that Alan is the best team-mate to have around. Thanks Alan for all your support and your cheerfullness and your positive attitude.

Here is our medium team. Yes we had two medium border collies on our team; just get over it world!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Ohh dear Roger.

Zen and I know how to pose for our photos! Please note donated fleecy pom pom AND Snugglepet Fleece Harness and Leads donated by SNUGGLEPET the best bestest ever harness makers!

Unlike Team GB who just really cannot totally get it together for any photo. In this shot the small dog handlers refused to pick their dogs up because their feet would get their shirts dirty. Make the Large dog handlers pick up their dogs for once! Small dogs rule!

What is Lee thinking? World domination...running contacts.....tight turns....
But I can make fun of him because he never ever reads blogs so please don't any of you tell him!

Natasha won the world championships with one hand tied behind her back and while being sick and almost slept through her last run! Ok I lied about the one hand behind her back but she was sick all weekend AND she almost slept through her last run!

And this one is just funny. This is Dennis after I ask him ONE MORE TIME if Zen has had a pee/poo.

Until the next time!


Serena said...

Wow, looks like everyone had such a greeeeat time together! (except for the one sleep-exhaustion photo!)But other than that, tons of character poses and fun and cheer! I thought the fat border collies mixed in with the much! smaller medium dogs was a bit hilarious. They look so big and fluffy and their expressions so hilarious when picked up for a pose. You can always count on a border collie to make funny faces at the camera, Hahahaha! Little Zen, on the other hand, looks so regal in her posing with the outdoor group shot and also the photo with her modeling her harness. On the other hand, her photo with 3 people (you in the center) has her agility-eager, excited, get-ready smile on her face! Bless her little heart!

Mary-Anne said...

I was up early the one morning, caught the live stream of you guys practicing and I saw Zen run away from you into a tunnel you obviously hadn't intended. I didn't realize it was actually one of those cardboard barriers - silly girl!