Monday, April 7, 2008

The Wettest Agility Trial Ever!

I have never been to a wetter trial ever! Saturday’s Agility & Jumping Trials at Cloverdale really tested the dedication of WA’s agility fraternity … it rained, not showered but rained, from first thing in the morning NON-STOP until early afternoon! I don’t think anyone managed to avoid a soaking whilst walking courses and running their dogs. Wow! I can’t believe there are so many agility addicts here … most of us stuck it out to see it thru to the end ... we must be crazy! The wet weather gear was certainly tested to the limit and I have to say the judges and stewards must be commended for volunteering their time and keeping such cheerful attitudes in such awful conditions … and thank goodness for my Dita hockey shoes!

To top it off this was Chilli’s first trial, and her being not the keenest dog for agility I expected her to bail out when I asked her to play in the rain, but she didn’t … she did exceptionally well, apart from a big shake at the start and stepping over the start line … I returned her to her start position and she ran a lovely clear Novice Jumping round. Even though we were DQ’d for the start line trick I was really pleased with her very first try and she received many compliments from people who enjoyed seeing a Malinois in the ring and commented on how graceful she is ...

Ticket tried her very hardest in the conditions, our first round was nice however we missed a couple of bar jumps, but continued on as if nothing had happened and finished with all bars still in place and on a positive note (I told her she was the winner!) I have to say it takes a lot to make Ticket frown at the thought of running agility but she was not impressed with the consistent rain … however we continued thru the day and tackled Ticket's very first Snooker round, ending up with a Qualifier in 3rd place - that's her first "Q" towards her SD Title. I think she enjoyed the Snooker because we were able to make our own course - she even managed to slow down just enough to do some really nice contacts and complete all her weaves with me racing her to the end! Well done little girl!!!

Fortunately the Masters Jumping was run after lunch when the rain had finally subsided for an amazingly warm afternoon … lucky for little Rocket who had watched everyone get soaked all morning, from the comfort of his dry cabana crate, wondering just why he was there! We even had sunshine to walk the course … a lovely, flowing Masters Jumping course set by Richard Barville, with different challenges for all sizes of dogs (and handlers) … Rocket and I stepped to the start line, being the very last run for the whole day, the little fella ran as fast as he possibly could (as he always does) and yes, we ran clear and in time! Another Masters Jumping “Q” for little Rocket – still the only Papillon trialling in WA!

Boy was I glad to get home and have a nice warm shower and get into some dry clothes ... and I'll certainly be re-assessing my wet weather gear before heading off to Melbourne later this month.

'till next week ...

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