Bank Holiday Sunshine at Dog Vegas

It’s official, our outdoor agility season has finally got underway – at last! It’s been a long time coming but summer has finally arrived and who would have thought it, on a bank holiday weekend that over the years has been notorious for its bad weather!

After the disappointment of having to miss yet another show last weekend at Lincoln due to the awful weather, this May Day bank holiday weekend saw us bathed in wall to wall sunshine at the Dog Vegas agility show at The Camp, Ramsey. This is a very unique setting in the heart of the Cambridgeshire countryside where it feels like the clock has been turned back to the 1940’s – think Dad’s Army and you get a pretty good idea of the setting. Built as a search light battery unit in 1939, the grounds, NAAFI, parade of shops and Drill Hall have been sympathetically restored by a band of dedicated volunteers to maintain their 1940’s features, appealing to TV and film companies alike as an authentic backdrop for a new mini-series or blockbuster movie. With lovely walking trails too to explore from the site after our agility work was done, we were looking forward to a super sunshine day ahead.

Jasmine had a couple of Allsorts classes, Agility and Jumping. Allsorts classes are open to dogs not entered in any standard classes at a show. This “umbrella” caters for Veteran dogs (Jasmine), dogs wishing to jump a lower height as they return to agility after an injury or dogs that are just starting out on their agility journeys and are looking to gain ring experience. The Agility class has a lower height A-Frame and Dog Walk, no seesaw, tyre or weaves. The classes are designed to be nice flowing courses but they can be cleverly designed to still test the partnerships as Jasmine and I found out, with a tunnel entrance set beside the A-Frame creating a great obstacle discrimination trap which we fell for – Ooops! our day was to start with an elimination. On the plus side, the event photographer was at the ringside photographing this class and took some super shots of Jasmine in action which hopefully I can share with you over the coming months. We did, however, redeem ourselves in the Jumping class coming away with a 2nd place out of 55 dogs which was a great result for my non-collie dog.

Flyte had three classes, two Agility and one Jumping. In the first Agility class we came up against the new Breakaway Tyre for the first time. With effect from January 2018, the use of breakaway tyres at Kennel Club licensed shows has become mandatory. This is to address the safety concerns raised over the “fixed” tyre which has been in use for many years. Any impact on the tyre now causes it to split apart and in so doing reducing any injury risk that there could have been to the dog. Flyte did hit the bottom section and sure enough it parted upon impact but with no injury incurred and only a look of surprise on Flyte’s face. No breakaway tyres in our other two Grade 6 classes and we were able to put in two good performances finishing second in both.

We are all delighted to be back in the agility groove and after this show’s results, fingers crossed things are looking promising for the weeks ahead. Next stop Anglesey!