Friday, March 25, 2011
Crufts Part 2: ESSC Sheltie team
The Friday of Crufts was our Medium Team day. It was nice being able to run team at Crufts; twice before we have qualified and not been able to go for one reason or another.
We were running for the English Shetland Sheepdog Club. There is nothing better than a team of shelties and I think it was quite an achievement for our team to qualify. Thanks to Lian for organizing the shirts for the team even though ,sadly, we had to pay for the shirts ourselves. I do think it would have been nice for the club to sponsor us considering we were representing them. Most teams had club sponsored shirts and some even had jackets for their dogs.
Lian gave us all lovely gifts! A fantastic coffee mug with photos of all the team members.
And a bag of chocolates with the dog's photos on the wrappers! I hated to have to eat the chocolates but I made the sacrifice! I did save a few until I got home but sadly they are eaten now also....LOL
There is one "semi final" team run in the morning. Out of the 8 teams that compete only 4 make it through to the "final" in the afternoon. What a let down it would have been to make it to Crufts and potentially have only one run! Luckily in teams anything can happen! We all had good runs and no one got eliminated which in teams is usually the goal! LOL We made it through to the afternoon final!
It was a tough team course with a straight tunnel at the beginning and the end. Well done girls for some great runs.
Then came the "final".
I think we looked really good as a team. Lian had some issues with Saturn but it can happen to anyone. Probably in hindsight we should not have had Lian run last as it is alot of pressure. It is difficult in a team of 4 with a baton change to get the order right. I was especially impressed with Lisa and Tyler for putting in two fantastic clear rounds at their first Crufts! They looked like pros. Thanks to Eleanor, Lian and Lisa for being good team-mates.
This is a photo of the entire team including the 2 reserves. I think Becky with Ellie were very glad they didn't have to run and just got to enjoy being a team supporter! I can see now that choosing the reserves can be just as important as choosing the team; it is not easy putting together a team when everyone is so spread out geographically.
I don't think I will be doing a sheltie team again but I enjoyed it this year. I think everyone knows that I am PASSIONATE about shelties so it is a tough think for me to start pulling away from a "sheltie" club. But, let's be honest, I have never felt that the ESSC has been supportive of my dogs (in fact quite the opposite with the whole American vs English sheltie debates) so it actually feels strange running "for" them. So I think I will skip teams this year unless I find a nice team of small dogs that wants one of my shelties! I could offer myself to the highest bidder? Anyone who will actually give me a shirt? I am really pretty easily bought. LOL
I would like to do Mini/Mixi this year instead if I can organize some of these OBay handlers to join in! The trouble is finding shows with qualifiers that everyone is going to.
I will end this post with a fuzzy photo that makes me laugh. How could I resist? Zaz had her Crufts debut.....she was fantastic with the entire atmosphere and I am looking forward to qualfiying her for Crufts 2012. I know she will love the atmosphere in the main ring.(I am sure this photo is considered sacrilege to the breed people but I think she is the BEST!)