Redlands Agility & Jumpers Trial: Saturday 2nd February 2019

Charli going through the tunnel

We had a great turnout to our first Agility and Jumpers Trial on Saturday 2nd February for 2019.The weather had been extremely hot and humid over the previous weeks, but it cooled down a few degrees for the start of the Trial. The cricketers were on the field till 5.30pm, so it was a mad rush to set up, but, many hands make light work. The Agility crowd are very helpful and most pitch in when it’s obvious that the host club needs help.

The 2 month break may have taken its toll as there were some very excited dogs! There were very few Qualifications overall on the night and a high percentage of Disqualifications. This happens when dogs run the wrong course or have 3 or more refusals and other reasons. It’s always difficult getting back into the full swing of training and competing after a long break and especially with all the hot and humid weather we have had over the summer.

Things didn’t go quite as planned. The lights on the field decided to go out and it made it too dark for the competitors to run their course. After about 30 minutes the lights did come back on, but even then the ring near the Club house was still rather dark. The entire course had to be moved and set up again. We also had no electronic timing equipment so it was all done manually on paper and entered on the computer in the Clubhouse by Gail. A long and hot job, but essential in order to have the results for the presentation at the end of the trial and to produce the ANKC Qualification certificates that we all aim for and so desire!! It ended up being a very late night with presentations finishing after 11pm.

Unfortunately the night was not the best for our Redlands Team! We had 6 Redlands members competing, with 7 dogs. Sonia entered with her 2 Labradors, Winston and Jedda. Disappointingly, Jennie and her Australian Shepherd, Alfie could not compete. Alfie is on the mend, but it is still not safe to allow him to jump for another few months.

Vicki’s little Beagle, Elsa does not like the hot weather. Vicki says that Elsa went “full Beagle on the night and didn’t want to play! “ Nose goes down and it was hard to get her going after that. Sonia and her two Labradors didn’t have much luck either. Jedda decided it was quicker and more fun if she skipped the first jump! Winston was excited to be back but decided after 2 jumps he’d also had enough.

Although none of our team Qualified, we did have some positive results. Kate and Charli placed a first in Novice Jumping 600 and a third in Novice Agility 600. Well done Kate and Charli!!

Things didn’t go quite as expected for Anne and her darling Dachshund, Strudel. Poor Strudel seemed a bit scared of the dark in his Jumpers event as he just froze when Anne encouraged him to run into the far corner of the course. He also needs his beauty sleep so doesn’t do late nights and he didn’t think running the entire Agility course was a good idea when it was after his bed time. He decided he’d had enough and ran himself straight off the course and back to his bed -too late for little dachshunds!

Strudel in Full Flight

Chica, the little Chihuahua mix however proved she has some stamina and staying power. She did a beautiful run on her Agility event. Paolo was thrilled that Chica ran with him during the course as Karen was the Judge and she is one of Chica’s favourite people!! Chica took out First in Novice 300, so that was a fantastic achievement!

Chica clearing the bar jump

There are three levels in Agility and Jumping, being Novice, Excellent and Masters. The higher courses require a lot more skill from both dog and handler. Shaaron and her Boxer, Piper compete in both Masters Agility and Masters Jumping as well as Open. Piper ran a perfect course and placed second in Masters Agility 600 but did not meet the time requirement so unfortunately did not qualify.

Despite everything, all competitors and dogs all seemed to enjoy the night. A big thank you to our two judges: Daphne Sellwood in the Jumping ring and our very own Karen Deguet in the Agility ring who provided great courses and are always cheerful and supportive of all efforts, even those that end up with dogs “doing their own thing” on the “fun” equipment. In fact it was a family affair in the Agility Ring with Karen’s husband doing the scribing and daughter Sarah who did a great job in her first time as Marshall, calling for, and lining up all the competitors in running order according to the schedule.

Thank you to John and Dawn who were lead stewards, Tess, who was a Marshall, Jennie who scribed and Keira and her lovely mum, Carmen who always come to help. It is a great way to learn some useful tips about what is happening on the field, so if you are thinking about competing in this fast and fun sport, you should come along to watch and maybe volunteer.

Our next Agility & Jumpers Trial on home soil will be Saturday 4th May. Thank you to the amazing club members working in the Shed and Canteen – Natalie, Ruth, Julia and Anne. Brilliant food as usual and lots of our red Club shirts visible to help with enquires and troubleshooting any issues like “the dreaded lights”.

And lastly, a big ‘Thank you’ to our Agility instructors Shaaron, Karen, Christine, Vicki, Jennie and Sonia who provide useful tips and guidance each week as well as innovative courses, so when our team competes in a trial, it seems no more challenging than a training night.