Oh dear what a disappointing start to the outdoor Agility season. The British weather strikes again!!! There we were all revved up and raring to go for our first show of the season over the Easter weekend only to find that rain was to stop play. Actually the show we were due to attend still went ahead whereas many others around the country fell victim to the elements and were sensibly cancelled by the organisers. To me, the ground conditions were far too treacherous for both human and dog to enjoy our sport safely so I took the decision to stay at home and cheered myself up with a little Easter egg indulgence! Not great for the fitness regime I know but it did ease the disappointment of another Bank Holiday washout!
So Easter came and went and the rest of the week was filled with speculation as to whether Agility would be on the menu for the following weekend. For some it wasn’t, which rather depended on where in the country people were based, but for us luck was on our side and in the words of a certain well known nursery rhyme “out came the sun and dried up all the rain” and agility at Thoresby Park was back on again!
We love our twice a year visits to the Agility Nuts shows at this super venue in Nottinghamshire and for us this show was about blowing away the cobwebs and easing back into Agility competition life after the Winter, switching to the great outdoors running on grass after spending the winter indoors on Astroturf. Our day was a nice mix of activities, a Grade 6 run for Flyte (eek! very rusty first run from both of us!) followed by Team Agility for Flyte (lovely fast clear round from her) with helping on the rings for me as our Agility Club was providing the ring party, catching up with friends who we haven’t seen over the winter and most importantly, Jasmine reaching another agility milestone.
Agility milestone? Well, my beautiful and talented Flatcoated Retriever made her debut in Veterans in the same week she has celebrated her 10th birthday. A dog can switch to Veteran classes from the age of 8 but Jasmine was still more than capable of competing in her Grade 7 classes at that age and actually, she probably still is, but I thought it was a good time to take things a little easier now she has reached double digits. Veteran classes are open to any size of dog and are intended for dogs who are still active but who want to run simple and flowing courses at a lower height of the competitor’s choice ie. 450mm, 350mm or 250mm. Pieces of equipment which put more strain on a dog’s body are not used in these classes, for example the weaves and the tyre and the contact equipment used in the agility classes is set at a lower height. I have decided to run Jasmine at the 450mm height as she is very comfortable with jumping at this height which she proved in her Jumping class at the weekend, flying round the course at top speed with me trailing in her wake – I knew consuming all that chocolate over the Easter weekend was a bad idea!
So a new Agility era for Jasmine has begun and I know I am truly fortunate that we are still able to enjoy our time in the ring as we enter our 9th year of competition together. Here’s wishing you a very Happy Birthday Jasmine and fingers crossed for lots more Agility fun in the year ahead. Oh and one more thing ….. if anybody finds the sunshine, can they please send it our way!