Sunday, 17 August 2014

Agility Dreams.....Agility Champion OBay Tiz Wild

Its peculiar you know, in my last post on the 4th August, I talked of agility dreams and goals, of making them real and pushing for more. At KCI, the premier show of the agility summer season, we had two off courses, a beautiful run in the Olympia semis, that unfortunately was not quick enough against other competitors and in the British Open, we again had a beautiful run but Zev, uncharacteristically had a pole down. In competition this is incredibly rare. 

I was wondering when all the improvements I had made to our fitness, technical skills and team work was gonna start to pay off. I focused on my processes despite the season being really in many respects our worse season ever on paper, In my heart and even my rational mind, I know we have improved and I needed to stick to the journey I had set us on. It would have been all to easy to quit and go back to tried and tested methods and not stick to the new processes I was working on.

I needed a boost very much. The process of working towards Zev's agility title had become harder than I though it would be. I was beginning to doubt myself, even with the prestige of being on Agility Team GB. Too many times there was 'if only' scenarios this year, the competition has gotten tougher and I wondered would all our improvements would ever be enough?

The day of the Welsh Kennel Club Championship Agility Test arrived. I focused on my mental game, kept reminding myself of my processes that I was working on and how to handle the courses for both me and Zev. We were clear in the agility and jumping qualifying rounds. Our placements meant that we would run the final run - last but one. I gave up running my dearest Bear to concentrate on Zev, as their runs were too close together. I need to be fully focused on Zev. On to the start line I knew I needed the run of our life and told myself to concentrate on the processes. Another clear it was an excellent run but would it be good enough???? There is so many factors to this and to my total jubilation we won. This  was this was our 3rd Ticket win aka Challenge Certificate, an agility dream come true. Zev would now have the title of Agility Champion.

Marc has put together the following 2 mini movies made with imovie. The first is a celebration trailer and the second movie shows our runs.

The first time I watched tears welled up and I thought of so many things such as that my beloved Nuts was not around to see this happen, that me and Zev had done it, how lucky was I that Bernadette and Dennis Bay had entrusted me with one of their precious sheltie puppies.  How lucky am I that my resilience 'kicked in' and I kept on going and working at the processes and Team GB pointed me in that direction...

Sometimes Agility Dreams Do Come True..........

Monday, 4 August 2014

The European Open - Agility...its hot, hot, hot....

Christine & Marc W-Ws and Zev and Mister Big
The European Open - Agility - Taszar,  Hungary

What a trip - epic coach journey and then the heat and sunshine, hot, hot and hot running in 30 degrees.  

The courses were fabulous, tough, clever and unforgiving. For me they felt gladiatorial in a  very good way, and even though I got Zev e'd they were e's that I did not feel ashamed of. As our performance has improved, so has Europe and it is catch up all over again. 

Marc and Mister Big made the final and how my heart soars watching this tiny poodle run. I also luv the expression from the judges, indicating their thoughts of technical performance, empathy and sympathy depending how the course is run, it is really excellent and sporting. The jumps and poles were Smart-99 and they are so clever in design and demand that the dog jumps very cleanly, adding an additional technical skill factor, making the agility even more exciting. so many things to enjoy and reminded why agility as a sport is so darn great. Someone made this real nice video as a celebration :)

Marc and Mister Big in Action - EO 2014

The winners fantastic performances from both the handlers and dogs. The courses were inspiring to watch and they are so exhilarating to run.  Course design and judging is a tough role, and lucky for agility sport, there are people with such a talent for this.

There is no doubt we all miss Nuts like mad, at times we are all a little lost. The focus on this event has helped deal with this as much as one can. Returning home without out him to greet us, toughsville :(

There is randomness of thoughts and focus for me, developing and improving our training for both parts of the partnership. Striving for dreams and goals, making them real and pushing for more. 

The new management team for Agility Team GB, are really bringing the sport performance aspects and a strong foundation has been set to build upon.

Now to prepare for the FCI Agility World Championships only 6 weeks away.....