If I had to choose one word to sum up our holiday in Cornwall it would be “amazing!”. Amazing weather ….. wall to wall sunshine from beginning to end; amazing beaches ….. almost all of them in the Padstow/Watergate Bay area dog friendly all year round, our particular favourites being Harlyn and Daymer Bay; amazing dog walking country ….. we loved visiting the National Trust owned Lanhydrock, with dogs welcome and nearly 1000 acres to explore it is well worth a wander with miles of footpaths and trails to choose from through beautiful woodland, parkland and along the River Fowey (Jasmine’s particular favourite!); amazing food ….. the best cream teas ever! Sadly, the holiday was over in a flash and as we waved goodbye to sunny Cornwall we hit the ground running on our return straight back into the world of dog activities and a Spring Bank Holiday weekend packed full of Hoopers fun.
With the recent exciting announcement of the Canine Hoopers UK National Finals event this August, I thought it prudent to focus on our Hoopers whilst there was a competition in the area to give ourselves an opportunity to perhaps pull off some qualifying runs. In order to qualify for the Finals, three qualifying runs from any Canine Hoopers UK 2019 show are required, a qualifying run being any run which earns standard qualifying points i.e. a clear round, so it was important for us to try and get those clear rounds in.
With Hoopers, Barrellers and Tunnellers classes on offer at the weekend’s Taming Canines Show it would also be our first time running in a Touch N Go class, a class which must include one piece of contact equipment. Until recently this had been a lower height A frame as used in agility classes, but with dog comfort and joint longevity in mind the A frame has been replaced by a new even lower impact piece of kit ….. the Touch N Go Mat or “TanGo Mat” to use its proper name. TanGo Mats are a large, flat, non-slip rubber mat, with marker poles at each corner highlighting the entrance and exit points. Designed for the dogs to run across making contact with at least one paw, there’s no stopping, no contact area and no upright equipment to scale. Now I must admit our training of the mat was not quite complete but I thought we would put it to the test anyway after all, what did we have to lose.
The weekend was a lot of fun and full of new challenges, some of which we conquered successfully and others highlighting that more work is still required. We were lucky enough to bring home a number of rosettes including a first place for both Jasmine and Flyte in their Touch N Go classes having both successfully negotiated the new Tango Mat. There was even the opportunity for me to have a go at course designing and judging with the very welcome help of some equally eager to learn Hoopers enthusiasts – there’s nothing like a bit of teamwork to help in climbing the learning curve and confidence build!
Fingers crossed we have done enough to secure our place in the National Finals ….. exciting times ahead hopefully!
Maria, Jasmine and Flyte