I have at long last decided to join the band wagon and start my own Blog,especially as its the start of the new Agility season.I hope you will bear with me whilst I get the hang of it. Any help warmly welcome. I shall back date this to the beginning of March so I can include my Crufts experience.!!!!!!!!!!!
My preparation for Crufts 2008 started in ernest back in January. I did a bad injury to my Hamstring/Piriformis(Bottom) muscle back last July. At the time I saw a sports Physio and she did various deep massages to try and release the tightened muscle, but it just refused to get better. I did lots of swimming right up till December before we went to Olympia. After Xmas I decided that I had to once again try to get to get this injury fixed. I went back to my original Physio for Acupuncture. I had 6 sessions and it definitely helped, she also said that although my hamstring was tight, the actual injury site was just behind my hip bone.
I also invested in a magnet bracelet, a magnetic hand massager, and also a month ago bought a very expensive electronic massager (like they use on horses) Things have definitely improved but I still have to run on pain killers/anti-inflamatories.
Disney's preparation was regular swimming and a slight increase in training. I also did a couple of extra Toni D training sessions with him as well.
Well Crufts came round very quickly . Jane ,my best friend came up from Devon to stay.We went up on the Thursday for a shopping day. Friday was an early start..5am. Disney and I were part of the Sunbury & Hanworth DTC team. Sue & Bug went first and got 5 faults. I went second, Disney did an uncharacteristic back jump on the long jump and we got the big*E*. Toni Johnson & Mouse were 3rd and also got an *E*. Alan Gardener and Jude were last and he went clear. Even with the 2 eliminations we were 5th,just one place from qualifying for the final.
Saturday I stayed home.It was my Dad's 90th Birthday and the the family were doing a special birthday lunch. We had a lovely relaxing afternoon.
Sunday back up to Crufts, Another early start,we left at 6 am again. Today was Champ day. The courses were incredibly trappy and tricky. First was the jumping..Disney did a fantastic round,he listened to me all the way,I have posted the video below.He came 2nd. Next was the Agility round,unfortunately my camcorder decided at that moment to play up so I don't have that round to post yet..hopefully I will get it sent to me soon.Disney was again a very good boy,it was a bit nail biting with a lot of panic moments but we got round it, and it secured our slot in the finals. There were so many eliminations that only 3 medium dogs got through to the Final. I was very confident as Disney had beaten the other dogs many times ,and I knew we just had to pull off a clear. I really really wanted this, Disney will be 10 in May and it would have been lovely to have made him up to an Agility Champion at Crufts. I could then have just enjoyed his last year or so of competing without all the pressure of Champ classes.I also fear that with all the new small ultra fast collies now coming out ie Gemma & Hoax and Natasha's Dizzy etc that the chances of Disney getting the last 2 CC's is now fairly remote. Well as the whole of the country and millions of viewers saw it all went horribly wrong. Disney did a wonderful wait ,putting me in the right spot for the jump tunnel combination, he however missed the jump and I had to get him to do it, putting me in the wrong place for the tunnel, he then took this from the wrong end !! I should have carried on but I decided ( as it transpired)to put him back into the right end, he however then started to argue with me, and for what seemed like an eternity barked whilst I tried to put him in it. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me,I felt sooo embarrassed. I couldn't wait to finish the course and get out. I have to confess to having a small cry as I walked out back..all my hopes and dreams gone.
Still after a day or so I put things back into perspective and vowed to try really hard to get those 2 cc's this year.
So last Sunday I set off to Chippenham to try and do just that. I was feeling stronger ,more confident and somehow had a new determination.
Disney repeated the Crufts scenario..Fantastic Jumping round (Video below) in which he got 2nd again. He also got a clear in the Agility. He was 3rd from last to go in the Final and yes you've guessed..ELIMINATION. Not in such a spectacular way as Crufts but still a big * E * This time however it was entirely my fault. Terrible body language and I pointed him directly at the jump rather than pull him past it to get into the weaves.
What I have noted now is Disneys increasing barking/arguing at me on the courses !!!!!! I am finding this very frustrating , it seems to be when he's in the position of facing me,such as pulling him towards me rather than sending on away from me.... something else to tack
Disney's Crufts Champ Jumping Round (2nd Place)
Chippenham.Disneys Champ Jumping Round( 2nd Place)