A Summer of Agility….

A Summer of Agility….

Photo by AgilityFoto

So this summer has been a summer of agility, our first summer of properly competing. Last year we did a few shows but not many because we were starting out and it was all a little bit new and quite scary! We decided this year we would do quite a few more shows, the more shows we do the more we find to train and we do enjoy training!

We went into the season with Lily not weaving consistently but she did have good contacts. She was stopping on all of them, we were getting somewhere with her listening to me whilst going at silly speeds and she had decided that she would be a start line shouter.

We had our first show where Lily found that having Paul there was a huge distraction, this meant we picked up faults or eliminations where she didn’t need to. This meant we started dragging Paul to some of our training classes so that she got used to him just being about whilst doing agility.

Our second show was at the Adams Easter show, we had entered most the days over the weekend but ended up just doing the one as Lily ended up winning the Combined 1-4 agility! So she was now Grade 3! This was a bit of a surprise! So now she had to go play with the ‘big boys’. I have to be honest I didn’t feel ready for it; for whatever reason Grade 3 seemed like a really big scary thing! This meant that we had a couple of shows still Grade 2 whilst waiting for the 25 days and then we went up to the scary Grade!

Our first Grade 3 show was at Wellingborough and she came 2nd in Grade 3 agility with 0.1 second between her and first place! Gulp! She wasn’t supposed to be nearly winning out of Grade 3 that quickly! Thankfully she didn’t. We have done three/four of the ABC Crufts qualifiers this year, we aren’t ready to really try and work at getting points but we did manage to get clear in one of them. Lily did get a 1st in combined 1-7 ABC agility at Dog Vegas (not a crufts qualifier) which was great!

KCI this year was as much of a disaster as it could be. I think Lily wasn’t happy because she didn’t perform anything like normal. I was getting worried that she had hurt herself but part of me thinks she just didn’t enjoy how big the show was.

We had a few more shows with lots of faults and some more eliminations. Each time giving us something else to train and work on.

AgilityNuts at Thoresby was our second to last show, it’s one of my favourites. Thoresby is beautiful! Lily came second in a 3-5 Agility, 1st in a 3-5 Jumping, 1st in 1-3 agility and her team came 2nd in the teams. So… yep she won into Grade 4! That was also not the plan but she was on fire that day, she got all her contacts, her weaves were good, she was listening and her turns weren’t as wide as normal. I was so impressed with her! It was like I had a completely different dog to the one that I started the season with.

This last weekend we went to the North Derbyshire Champ show, it is a show much bigger than AgilityNuts with some super fast dogs. Yet Lily proved she should have won into Grade 4 by winning two Grade 3 Agility classes. She was amazing yet again and I am so proud of her.

That is us done for this season, we will be doing a few winter unaffiliated shows just to work on training in the ring some things we have been working on in training. We are currently working on speeding her up which means I am having to learn some different turns and we are working on her weaves, she has started changing her footing whilst going through the weaves as she is speeding up. Hopefully the training over the winter will make next season more exciting. Lily is amazing and has so much potential!

So much thanks to Karen Laker for all the input she has had with our training and putting up with all my questions!

Oh and next season Dill might be making his agility debut too!