Saturday, 30 May 2009

Acremead Kennels

I think I've just about recovered enough to post a blog!! I decided after a lot of persuasion (ok one comment on facebook!!) to go up to Oxford on the Sunday night instead of going for the day on Monday. Their was a party going on so I couldn't really miss out even if it was my 3rd night in a row after going out Saturday night as a Ladybird (thats a whole other story!). Set up camp in the lovely venue then it was partytime for Katie's birthday Mad Mutt stylee! Had a wicked night which resulted in me eventually heading to bed at 4am, unfortunately I think their may be photos of Me, Sam, Faye and Katie doing the dance routine to Call On Me... Oh dear!

Monday we had Rockets in Div 2 and Ballistics in Div 1. Rockets were Sonny, Lacy, Perry, Smartie and Jamie. All the dogs ran brilliantly even though it was very hot (not that i'm complaining.. it makes a change!), they lost 2 races but one was to the division winners who were running under 19 and one was due to us getting lights. I got to run the lovely perry again :-) and we managed to better our seed time by almost half a second to 19.24secs. Was again very impressed by Lacy, she was quick, reliable, lovely fast box and very consistent all day. We ended up 2nd :-).

Ballistics were Diefer, Asher, Bonnie, Bunty and Jive as reserve. We took a bit of a gamble with this team as we didn't have Rosie, we could of played sensible and put Sonny up but Bonnie is quicker than him so we decided it was worth a go. Unfortunately it didn't work out for us this time. Bonnie has only done 2 starters and 1 open and with her being so fast and focused we had always ran her start dog at competitions. At training we have done loads of changeover work and really didn't think it would be a problem as she had to go 2nd to Diefer as he has to go start. Unfortunately maybe the change of environment or over excitement of competition caused her to nip at Diefer on her outrun, this completely freaked him and he wouldn't come back over the jumps if he could see her lining up. We then changed her to anchor so that we could keep her completely out of the way until Diefer had run but this caused Bunty to start dropping the ball. Eventually we were able to run her 3rd from close to the gate and a very late changeover on Asher as we didn't want him to be spooked aswell. By the end of the day she had settled a lot and wasn't looking at Asher so I think it will be easily solved, it's just a shame it didn't go right on the day! Somehow we managed a best time of 18.80secs! We finished 5th. Better luck next time!

Big thankyou to the Mutts, firstly for changing venues so that we could go :-P (and it was a lovely venue), the fab party on Sunday and the great, relaxed day of racing on Monday!

Oh and this weekend Asher decided that he was infact a lefty again apart from one random right turn in the middle of the days racing.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Arbury Hall and my Ambidextrous Dog!

We were at Arbury Hall over the weekend, it rained... alot! However the rain could not dampen our spirits!! We had 3 teams in, missiles ran Saturday. They were Tyne, Sky, Jive, Chelsey, Guinness and Fraggle. There was a big improvement in this team from Stockbridge, they all ran really well. Guinness was hitting the box alot better, and i think the cooler weather suited Tyne, Sky and Fraggle who looked alot more focused. Chelsey was a little star, you wouldn't think it was her 2nd competition, she can run anywhere and has a cracking box. Fraggle had a new audience to impress as none of the teams there had seen him race before! Unfortunately they found themselves in division 5 rather than 6 so were a little outclassed and ended up coming 5th but the main thing was that they raced well.

Sunday we had the rockets in division 3. They were Sonny, Perry, Smartie and Jamie. This was such a close division!! I think all the teams were running low 20s or v late 19s so every race really could have gone either way. I had the pleasure of running Perry as Bobbie was running Jamie. Most of the races went to 5 legs and we were just abit unlucky in a couple, we ended up coming 4th with a best time of 19.97secs which we were really pleased with considering the ground had deteriorated quite alot by Sunday.

Ball-istics were 2nd seed in Division 1. They were Diefer, Rosie, Asher and Bunty. Was lovely to have our height dog back and be running over 10" again! First race against Kiddy Monsters didn't really go to plan, we just didn't gel and weren't very fast so we lost that one although Asher's box actually looked really good despite the slippery ground! In the next 2 races in the morning things came together and we started running well, not super fast but we won. Don't think I was working Asher back aswell as I could cuz I was too scared i was going to fall over lol! Not sure what time's he was running but Mark said he had got him at 3.8s on his phone. In the afternoon, we had 2 races and you get to find out what my post title is about!

Now I may have mentioned before that Asher was trained to turn right on the box as a young dog as from about 7months he looked like a definite righty. At 18months just before his 1st comp he decided he didn't like turning right and refused to turn that way so we swapped sides and it took me ages to get his left turn as good as his right turn was. Towards the end of last yr and a couple of times this yr he accidently had the ball loaded on the wrong side and went up and adjusted himself and turned right which I thought was very clever of him but didn't think anything of it! Now in the 1st race in the afternoon he went up, hit the box and basically did a somersault, I think people thought that it was a dip infront of the box that had caused it but I watched him and it was because he'd tried to turn right even though the ball was loaded left ( everyone still with me??!), so the judge kindly arranged for this dip to be filled and we ran again and he turned right again. So next leg we loaded it right and he went up and did a 4-foot turn to the right. We won that race. Last race was against High Flyers, decided to give him a warm up with the ball on the left again just to double check that he wasn't just trying to turn so that he could see the other lane (as we were now in red lane and had been in the blue lane in the race previous) but he insisted on turning right so we decided to load it right and just let him sort himself out. We had a really fun last race against the Flyers, we took a leg off them (light) and had a really close last leg as we managed to get Bunty a bit of a lead but Chuckle was just a bit too quick for her! If anyone can shed any light on Asher's turn, answers on a postcard please :-)! So we finished 3rd with a best time of 18.41secs (last leg of the day!).

Was really nice to catch up with people we haven't seen for aaages and race against teams we don't usually see. I still don't think I have managed to get rid of all the mud, and haven't even looked at Asher's harness since, don't think you can tell it is blue anymore! And just for the record I was tucked up in bed by 9pm Saturday and had nothing to do with signs being moved to the flyball ring!!

Friday, 8 May 2009


Saturday was Starters day. We had two teams, Bristol Babies and Bristol Bouncers. Babies were on 1st with Bonnie, Elliot, Chelsey and Jamie. It was Elliot's 1st competition, not that you would of known it, he was fab. Infact they were all brilliant, although still some work to be done on turns. They won every race up until the last 1 which was against a very good bassetts team, it was close but by the end of the day Chelsey in particular tired alot which put us just slightly behind. So they finished a very credible 2nd with a time of 20.46secs.

Bouncers were Jemma, Lacey, Luna, Fraggle and Keri. I was priviledged to run Keri as her mum couldn't come, it was so lush to have a nice, obedient dog that doesn't pull and doesn't bark, she was a little star :-)! We were abit worried as to how Jem would run as she does like the other lane!! However she was a good girly and although she had a look, she didn't stop and bark or attempt to run across on her way up to the line so I think we are making progress. Lacey was brilliant as usual! Fraggle suffered a bit with the heat, especially as it was best of 5 legs, he was a good boy and did some nice runs but it was lucky that we had super-sub Keri there to give him a rest, I think she had fun aswell! Luna is still getting faster, hope this continues (and she doesn't grow anymore!!). They won every race so finished 1st with 20.10secs!

Sunday we had all 3 teams running. Extraset were up 1st, they were Tyne, Sky, Jive, Molly, Guinness and Fraggle. Racing didn't really go to plan with Tyne running out, then Sky was on a go slow and Guinness was having trouble triggering the box. On a postive, Fraggle got his 1st points, granted not many of them, but it is a start. He did keep pausing to have his picture taken but was a good boy and didn't go say hello to anyone! Needless to say they finished last, and I think we'll just move on from that one!

Ballistics and Rockets were in the same division... what a kerfuffle!!! We've done it before and managed fine but that was with all experienced dogs and handlers. Well the rockets had 4 new dogs and 2 new handlers! The team consisted of Bonnie, Lacey, Smartie (Miss Experienced), Chelsey and Jamie. The 1st race went a bit pear shaped due to Bonnie deciding that she was now racing for real and speeding up. This resulted in a faster outrun and a wider box turn, so she ran out a couple of times (well she had speeded up to around 4.1secs so we might let her off!). It was all just a bit hectic to be honest but in the 2nd race they managed to settle down and things started to come together. We ran Bonnie closer to the startline and did a warm up with the jump in to remind her of her box turn, this seemed to sort her out and she was fine after that! Lacey and her owners were just fantastic all day, you never would of known they were new, they are gonna be such an important part of the team. Chelsey and Jamie were also brilliant, another very valuable height dog! And Smartie did a great job of holding all the youngsters together. They only managed to win 1 race but there were a couple of others that were very close and they took the ballistics to 5legs so all in all a good day for the debutees! There best time was 19.67secs.

Due to having no Bunty we submitted a time of 19secs for the ballistics, we had Diefer, Sonny, Rosie, Perry and Asher. Diefer has been the bain of our lives with regard to full height jumps, he just wouldn't do them. Well we finally thought we had cracked it with him through loads of power jumping over winter and a trip to the chiropractor a couple of weeks previously. First couple of races he was fab, we managed a best time of 18.78secs which we were really pleased with. However in the 3rd race he started running out and we had to bring in Perry, the 3rd race also happened to be against the rockets! That was a stressful race with Perry trying to get back to Bobby who was racing Jamie and Smartie being pretty damn sure that she should be in our lane as she ran with our dogs all last year! We only just won it in the end with Asher having to catch up Jamie! In the 1st afternoon race Diefer was still running out and then Sonny started aswell, little git! It was so disappointing as we were fast enough to win but you can never predict flyball! Luckily in the last race we got Sonny running again and we won so finished 2nd overall. Was really pleased with Asher particularly in the afternoon, he seemed to be driving back alot more. His box was better than the last comp although still not perfect. He was running between 4-4.1 over the full height jumps.

So we had a great weekend, lovely weather (I've got sunburnt lips!) and good racing. Also played rounders on the Saturday night which was fun. I do think flyballers these days need to get a bit more hardcore though, by 1am we were the only party in the field still going, whats with that?? Although I am assured that there will be a party at Arbury and another certain Mad team will be keeping us up all night through the summer!!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Asher and Happy 12th Birthday Tess!

Happy Birthday to both my beautiful babies! Asher's birthday is 1st May and Tess' is 2nd May (same as David Beckham :-D).

Gave them both a bath the other day, so that they would look pretty for their birthdays and so I could take some nice photos to put on here, unfortunately my phone is playing up and won't let me send them at the moment so you'll have to wait for those!

Were off to flyball in the morning at Stockbridge, really looking forward to it as training went so well last weekend! Taking both my dogs as decided that it's warm enough for Tess now and I couldn't really leave her at home on her birthday! I'm sure she'll be very excited!