Friday, 15 October 2010


I went to Shackerstone for the 1st time last year and totally loved it so was really looking forward to it.

We had 4 teams in. Missiles and Extraset were Saturday. It all started well with me arriving back at camp ballistics at approx 8.15am after a night of drinking Shaka Khan style, i made it to the ring and managed to run Chelsey in the Missiles at 8.30am, pretty good going i would say! I haven't got a clue what happened but I do know we finished 4th with a time of 24.49secs which is good for that team.

Extraset were next in division 5. Luckily Jemma was better so we had the usual extraset team of Jemma, Perry, Sonny and Jamie. This was a fab division to race in with every race being really close. Our last race of the day was so exciting with it going down to a 5th leg decider against Hinckley Hounds which we just managed to nick by a tiny amount. This resulted in us winning the division :-) we had a best time of 20.02secs (again!).

Sunday we had Rockets in division 3 who had a team of Diefer, Elliot, Smartie and Bunty. The team managed to pull out some cracking times in the morning and were under 19 most of the time with a best time of 18.74secs. We had a couple of races of it going fairly smoothly before problems set in, I won't go in to it but the people who were there will know! Diefer was fab, he's really hit his stride again now and was consistently running 4.2s, Elliot ran really well, his box turn was lovely, and Smartie was also great, she gets faster and faster as the season goes on! The team finished 3rd.

Next we had Ballistics in div 1, I was gutted that Piper had unfortunately gone lame (due to his dad standing on his foot when practising his agility, bad dad lol!) so we had Lacy, Asher, Rosie and Luna. After Champs I thought we were sure to go faster on the ground at Shackerstone but without Piper it was impossible! We had been working on Luna in the gap since champs, we didn't much like the idea of pet correctors and such like so Carol had put lots of effort in to getting her to come back for a 2nd ball. We'd also tried various positions for Carol to stand so that she could fully get Luna's attention and get her to come back straight. We found that most effective was someone else running Luna and Carol standing near the gate as she was coming back so that was our back up plan if she started messing around again! To be honest I don't think we ran that well, Asher certainly wasn't on it and i could tell he wasn't driving back like he has been (I felt pretty bad when I realised he was stiff on his bad leg the next day), Luna made massive improvements, she ran across on 1 leg against Northants but this was quickly rectified.(I must stress if you haven't seen her doing it, it is in no way aggressive and she doesn't run in to/attack the other team dogs, she literally comes through the finish line and veers off in to the other teams runback area level with the opposing dog and then comes back, obviously not ideal and interference in the sense that if the other team had a light they wouldn't be able to rerun but i feel it was a problem we had to work on in the ring because it was the atmosphere causing her to do it) And then she was fine until the last race against High Flyers where she ran across on 1 leg so we swapped to mark realising her and carol by the gate, this worked and after a couple of legs Carol was able to go back to running her and she was great. We lost to Molten and High Flyers, we did a best time of 17.52secs and came 3rd. I've heard some comments on the grapevine about how we've pushed Luna too much and she shouldn't be racing etc but i think people should know the full story before judging on something they know nothing about, I think we've handled the situation pretty well considering the problem started a month prior to this and at Shackerstone it was well on it's way to being fixed! Also people complaining about the amount of people we had in the ring, well I'm sorry but that is down to the judge or the teams we were racing to challenge, I've had just about enough of the bitchiness this year, it does my head in! Sorry about the little rant!

So another eventful show, had great fun on the evenings, Shackerstone really is the best show for the social aspect!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Very Late... British Championships 2010

I know I'm horrendously behind but I thought Champs still deserved its own post.

If I'm being completely honest in the lead up to the champs due to several different factors I really wasn't feeling it and didn't really want to go. I won't go in to reasons but I hated feeling like that and hopefully next year will be a different story!

We had a dog go sick on Extraset which meant a shift around of the other teams leaving us with just 4 dogs on the top 3 teams and 6 on the 4th team (they have to be run with these dogs as there is a bit of a gulf between them and the other teams and not all of them can run all day).

Missiles ran Saturday in division 36 but were pretty outclassed for time as they were seeded on a fluke time that we knew they wouldn't hit again. They did have some close racing and the dogs ran well but unfortunately they came 6th.

Extraset ran Saturday as Sonny, Perry, Elliot and Jamie in division 18. I had the pleasure of running Jamie again which I thoroughly enjoyed even if I did have to do alot of running! Every single race went to the wire and it was really exciting. We came 3rd with 20.02secs.

Sunday started with a bit of a nightmare when Bobbie fell out the caravan and hurt her wrist (later found out to be broken) and couldn't run Diefer (who we had stole as his owners were on holiday). So Rockets had an eventful start! The team was Diefer, Smartie, Rosie and Bunty. This again was a very tight division and we possibly could of won it if it weren't for a few unnecessary lights and a certain height dog running out on her way up despite changing on a dog that she's used to changing with! Anyway, the team managed 3rd with a time of 18.83secs and I got to run Diefer for a bit aswell which was great!

Ballistics were moved up to division 1 at very late notice and whilst I was very very excited I was also very nervous. We had a team of Piper, Luna, Lacy and Asher. After Luna's lane crossing at Stockbridge we thought putting her in the pack would keep her attention on her own team and as a team we decided if it all went t**s up we would just put her anchor and hold back so as to not put off any of the other teams dogs. Our 1st race was in blue lane (our good lane) against top seeds Live Wires, who to be honest just underestimated us. On the 1st leg they got a light, next leg I think they were a bit cautious on changes and we were going for it! Asher decided he wasn't going to be beaten! Last leg they swapped dogs but Asher was high on the atmosphere and pulled it out of the bag to catch up a couple of jumps deficit to get us the win 3-0 with our fastest ever time of 17.30secs. Next race in red against bassetts our fears were confirmed, 1st leg Luna went flying in to their runback area, tried it once more with a slightly different approach from the catch team but to no avail so we went to plan b and put her last and held her back. Gutting but we felt ok knowing we were doing the right thing, we did the same for next race against High Flyers. In the afternoon our 1st race was against Shooting Stars back in blue. We wanted to win this 1 as we thought it would be the only other race we stood a chance in. It followed pretty much the same pattern as Live Wires. Asher was thriving on running anchor in that environment and his foot speed was awesome (shame about him blowing his boxturn lol), no idea what times he was running but he felt amazing. 1st leg they got a light, 2nd 2 legs Asher just kept bringing it back! We did another fastest ever time of 17.18secs! Last race against Extreme we were in red so we held back 1st 2 legs but we could hear the whole crowd shouting for us to go for it so with now even more nerves we did! And Luna did it, she didn't run across, we won the 3rd leg to take it to 2-1 but on the last leg we weren't together enough to bring it back and lost 3-1. Overall we came 5th which all things considered was bloody amazing! The atmosphere was fantastic and we are so grateful for the support we received both in and out of the ring. Belated huge congratulations to Bassetts who raced brilliantly to win all their races and hold on to their title. There are some great photos of the team and some of the other div 1 teams on:

and on the experimental div 1 photos bit :-) inc my favourite ever photo which I really hope David Flood doesn't mind me posting...

So that was Champs 2010, ups and downs and just about every emotion inbetween. Would love to be a part of div 1 again next year but we'll have to keep getting better as I think the competition will be even tougher.