Young Master Frederic

Young Master Frederic
Young Master Frederic

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

We have moved!

I have decided to move my blog to it's own site.  So thank you for following me, and please keep in touch through my new site,  I've also moved all the posts from this blog onto the new site.  Adios!

Monday, 3 September 2012

West Lakes and Dog Vegas, two 'new' shows

I've had a week off work (bliss), and taken in two shows that I've never been to before.

First of all West Lakes - we were there for the Saturday and Sunday. We did nothing on the Saturday, Miss Darcey found her speed button but unfortunately it seems to disengage the control button. So we still have a bit of work to do there... And Freddie picked up faults all day, although he did manage a 10th place with a pole down, so not too bad.

Darcey lost some of her speed again on the Sunday, but regained the control, and did three runs and three clears. At most shows she would have been unplaced, but thanks to West Lakes' very generous prizes she took home an 8th and a 9th. And Freddie managed a clear round, although out of the places.

Then the following weekend we went to Dog Vegas at Winterton. I only had one day competing, and yet again Darcey had speed but not control. If only I can persuade her to do both she'll be fab!! But Freddie decided it was his turn to be on form, he managed three clears out of four runs, and it would have been four clears if not for his handler losing the way! He came 4th in the 3-5 agility, and unplaced in the others but only just.

And on the Monday I judged agility, 5-7 small/medium, 6-7 large, then 1-4 small/medium. I thoroughly enjoyed the day. We got through 300 dogs to finish by 3pm so not bad at all, my fab ring party really helped.

I've a few weeks off competing now, until Hare n Hounds at the end of September, but I am looking forward to the Cockapoo Games before then!

Sunday, 29 July 2012


We've had a bit of a rubbish spell with agility recently. What with shows cancelled, and missing training with the appalling weather, then when I have made it to shows we've done nothing. I haven't had a place since Stanhope at the end of May - Darcey's doing some decent work but not fast enough, Freddie is more focused on what's happening outside of the ring than in, and I need to re-think things with Jasper because he loves training but I just can't get things to work in the show ring. So yesterday, I was supposed to be at Cornforth. It woke up with terrible sinus pain so stayed in bed. But by 12 I'd had a hot bath, lemsip and a good breakfast so decided to go over with just Freddie and Darcey to get some late runs in. First up was Freddie in graded 4-5 agility. Same old story - he waited fine, but did two jumps the went for a wander so E'd. But when I got him back he did some great work. Next Darcey, her agility run was in Michelle Elder's ring who we train with so added pressure! She got E'd at the second jump as she went past it then back jumped. Then did the rest of the run a bit slow, shooting glances at Michelle probably wondering why she was on the middle of the ring. By this stage I was thinking I shouldn't have bothered. I then had to take Darcey straight into her jumping, so said to a club-mate on the way past that we had no chance as D normally needs a rest between runs. It was a fairly tricky 1-4 combined course, 12 weaves, lots of flick flacks that we've not really practised, and a pull through that we haven't done before. But bless her, she ran her socks off (for Darcey), listened well and came out with a lovely clear round. And even better, 1st place! Then Freddie's second run, 3-5 combined agility. This time I did a running start and worked really hard at being super motivating and cueing early. And it worked - a clear round for the first time in ages I didn't expect to get placed with it being 3-5 combined, but guess what, we ended up 6th (out of 120). Not bad at all :-) Let's hope we've turned a corner, looking forward to Hare n Hounds summer show now.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Northern Festival

May means one thing - lots and lots of agility! Starting with the Northern Festival of Agility, this year hosted by Hare n Hounds on the first weekend and Easington on the second. The first two days I spent competing, and we did ok, coming home with a rosette for each dog. Freddie got placed in a 4-7 graded class for the first time, a lovely clear round that gained 4th place, his highest yet in grade 4. Jasper Doodle got placed for the first time - 20th place in grade 3 agility. And Darcey had a fab clear round, but in a 1-7 combined so remained unplaced. On Monday I judged, and had a very enjoyable day with some lovely runs. I had to take the dog walk out of my planned courses, but that was easy to manage and I was happy with how the courses ran. For the second weekend, I'd also been asked to judge, this time on the Saturday. And what a different day! The rain had come, and when I arrived my ring was full of boggy puddles! So I dispensed with my prepared course plans and put up what I could, avoiding the puddles. I wasn't 100% happy with the courses, but they ran ok and I got some lovely comments from competitors who appreciated the effort I'd made to at least put up safe courses that could be run in the conditions. Sunday I was back competing, and thankfully by them the rain had stopped. Freddie and Jasper both did some nice work and had a clear round each, but not quick enough to be placed. Darcey however eclipsed them both, with two fabby agility runs, each getting her 2nd place. Since she's never managed to even be placed before I was over the moon, and so proud of my little curly girlie. And thank you Easington for your generous prizes, she even came home with a trophy! I understand we may not be back at Redcar next year which is a shame because the ground is lovely to run on and held up well even in the appalling conditions. But I'm sure Chris will find us somewhere equally good. And May agility continues - off to Stanhope for the next two weekends. Fingers crossed for some more shiny rosies!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Easter faults!

We spent Easter at the beautiful Duncombe Park for the second year, enjoying Hare n Hounds Easter Show.  And the story of the weekend was faults, faults and more faults!  I couldn't seem to get anything right with Freddie on Friday.  His eye seemed to be really off the ball.  He was focused in the queue but seemed very distracted in the ring.  But really thinking about it, I reckon I just wasn't working hard enough to keep him to task, so we picked up Es all round. 

Darcey was at her first outdoor show, and was still a little nervous since being attacked, but for the most part was a very good girlie.  She kept with me, did everything I asked, just very very slowly.  We had lots of clean runs, but her best performance of the weekend picked up 11 time faults, which I think says it all!  Lots of 'aaahs' at her cuteness toddling around the ring though.

And I am very pleased to report that Jasper Doodle, my goofy babyish big lad, had his first big boy clear round in his jumping.  Not fast enough for a place, but the fact that he concentrated and got round a whole course was amazing.  Now we just have to do the same at agility, as he seems to have developed an aversion to the dog-walk.  We will train this weekend with it on full height and see if we can make it fun again.

Freddie's (or rather my) performance picked up as the weekend progressed.  On Sunday we came very close to a clear round, but picked up what I thought was a very harsh refusal so ended up with five faults.  But on Monday morning we finally had a Freddie-worthy clear round performance and picked up 9th place in Grade 4 agility.  At least we had one rosette to bring home.

And of course on Saturday I judged.  I enjoyed this immensely, and really loved watching all the dogs.  The small and medium classes were slower than I would have liked, and I will remember this when designing courses in future, but my courses got a very good reception and I was pleased with how they ran.  I had small and medium agility graded 1-7, large agility combined 1-7 and large jumping graded 4-5.  The last class was my favourite, fast and furious with some brilliant runs.  This was my course plan:

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Darcey's first clear round

We were at the Hare n Hounds Valentine Show today. A great show again. Freddie had some nice runs, but I got him E'd twice, and he had the last pole down on an otherwise lovely run.

Jasper was his usual self, some beautiful moments but some truly la la moments to go with them!

And it was Darcey who excelled herself today, bagging her first clear round at just her third show. I'm so proud of her little loveliness! She was a little slow over the dogwalk so didn't get placed but I am still so proud of her. A little more confidence and I'm sure those rosettes will start rolling in. Heres her run from today:

Saturday, 28 January 2012

First judging appointment :-)

I've done my first judging appointment today, and thoroughly enjoyed it too.  It went pretty smoothly, I loved watching all the dogs and seeing how the handlers decided to tackle various elements; I couldn't have asked for a better ring party, and had lots of compliments on my courses.  If anything bad was said it didn't reach me.  So a really positive experience, and I'm very grateful to Hare n Hounds for asking me and everyone for being so supportive today.

I judged 300 dogs in all, in the following classes:
Small jumping 1-7 combined
Medium jumping 1-7 combined
ABC jumping 1-7 combined
Large jumping 4-7 graded
Medium jumping 5-7 combined
Small jumping 5-7 combined

Here's my course plans: