The Royal Show is over for another year...
Richard had Fred and Charlie qualified for the yard section on the first weekend, and while it would have been nice for Fred to repeat last year's wins, it was a bit much to ask, especially running on the first day. He did pretty well, scored a 90 but lost too many points with some shabby racework. Charlie was a bit unlucky- the whips at the neighbouring horse demo started cracking just as he was getting started, and he lost a bit of concentration. But R thoroughly enjoyed himself anyway, and it was great to see another Boylee dog (Andrew Gorton's Ella) take it out with Tony and Pepper (Fred's dad) one point behind in second.
it was a great socialising experience for the pups- they must have been handled by 200 people of all shapes/sizes. And on the puppy front, Nigel Armstrong's 7 week old Yarralonga kelpies (Darky-Maggot pups) were awesome in their first time on sheep. Wish I'd had my camera.
I entered the agility mainly to give me something to do while R was busy, but we had an absolute ball. Our last agility trial was last year's Royal, and we've hardly trained in the last 6 months, so I wasn't expecting much. It was Jack's retirement trial, so I was thrilled with how much he enjoyed himself. Jules stepped in to handle him in Strat Pairs, which was a godsend because I had no idea what I was doing, and Jack + Muddy ended up with a win! Muddy was as half-arsed as ever, but actually ran one a few occasions (especially enjoyed Strat Pairs), and finished his AD title with a 2nd place, plus a SP win with Jack. Bill was a star- he learnt to weave straight poles the night before the trial, and performed like a pro on the day. He remembered how to do contacts, and if he jumped like a every jump was a sheepyard panel, who can blame him? He even started to go on ahead, but I do need to get faster to keep up with him. It's just fun to have a young dog that loves agility again.
It was also great to see Jules + FredxQueani daughter Diva running in their first Royal- it seems like yesterday that she was our wee Daisy, and now she's the ferally fast DiscoDiva, with an attitude as big as her name. She won Novice Jumping, had a very near miss in Novice Agility (flawless run, dropped last bar) and was generally pretty impressive. We'd like to take some credit for it, but I suspect it's mostly to do with Jules' training- after Samroc, I can't imagine her with a slow dog. She also looks like being one of the better dogs from that breeding on sheep, with Fred's stocksense and distance and maybe Queani's cast without the swipe. R is not a little peeved that we sold her... hopefully Jules will go on with the sheepdog training too.
From Tim Abidin's fantastic photo website (http://www.yourdogphotos.com)