I’m pleased to say we are back in the agility groove after our short break. We escaped to glorious Northumberland (Robson Green and Vera country) for some R and R which included experiencing all the super things that Northumberland has to offer. I have to say it is one of the most dog friendly counties I have ever visited with glorious countryside and restriction free beaches open to dog walkers all year round and cafes and pubs only too pleased to welcome our four-legged friends and their owners. Anyway, enough of the travel log and back to the agility …..
So the Spring Bank Holiday weekend saw us at the Nottingham Championship Show at Newark Showground, another large show in the agility calendar complete with Championship classes for the elite plus qualifiers for Olympia and Crufts and other independent qualifiers for various competitions which will take place around the country throughout the agility season. Weather-wise, it was a case of four seasons in one day – we had sun and extreme heat, thunder, a hailstorm and strong winds and boy did that wind whip up out of nowhere taking the score tents and jump poles with it – a nightmare for the show organisers as you can imagine.
For this show update I would like to talk about our participation in the Crufts Team Agility. This event is open to teams from Kennel Club registered and listed status clubs with each team consisting of four dogs and handlers from the same height category (in our case, large). It’s a team relay event so a baton change between handlers is required (and some dogs (Jasmine!) would just love to assist with that bit given half a chance – I think she thinks the baton is a new dog toy!!!). Only the winning team makes it through to Crufts so the competition is fierce with every team vying to be the one team from the eight heats across the country to reach the final at the world’s largest and most famous dog show.
Our team, “Megs Mixed Magic”, representing Megagility Agility Club included a great mix of breeds and agility grades – our team captain, Michelle, with Benji her Grade 5 Spanish Water Dog, Becky with Lily her Grade 3 rescue Setter/Springer/Labrador/Pointer mix, Jo and her young Grade 7 Border Collie, Trini and me and my Grade 7 Flatcoated Retriever, Jasmine.
After lots of course walking, team running tactics and baton change rehearsals with the help of our team trainer and founder of Megagility, Lesley, we were ready to go. The course consisted of various obstacles, including 12 weave poles with quite a challenging weave entry, seesaw, tyre, long jump, dog walk, A-Frame and jump sequences set to challenge, which proved to be trickier than expected for many, catching people and dogs out in a variety of places. No team actually made it round fault free and Megs Mixed Magic were thrilled to finish in a very credible 9th place out of a total 41 teams which could so easily have resulted in a top placing had lady luck been with us on the day, definitely giving us something to build on for the next team outing and which just goes to prove that almost any breed of dog can take part and compete successfully in agility even at the highest level and hold their own against all the fast collies out there ….. if you are looking for a new and fun activity to do with your dog, why not take up agility it is open to all. Until next time …..