We are now beginning a month of UKA shows to practice for the WAO Team GB trials starting at Bakewell on the 6th. This is quite a small show but the inclusion of the "Masters" class means a few of the countrys top UKA handlers venture in search of points that will take them to either the Grand Final or automatic qualification into the England team.
Evie continued her aim of making as many finals as possible this year ,thats 11 at the moment with all dogs,and unable to run Ace because of a slight injury she qualified Blaze and Roxy for the "Agility for Juniors " Final sanwiching Amy Pearce who came 2nd with Calli. This is yet another junior final for Amy, a popular member of the Thursday night sessions and she is now looking like the "Ice Queen " seemingly unaffected by nerves as she produced a faultless clear agility round to go with her 5 faults in the jumping leg.Mum ,not so confident,still hides behind the tent until the end.
Sarah Peall continued her successes with wins for Megan and Tilly as did Suzanne MacLennan with both George and Clyde,the latter running superbly until boyfriend Steve became more attractive than her handler and he ran past the lat two jumps ,twice, thus consigning .Steve to a weekend in the caravan. It is so rewarding to see the progress these two handlers have made this year and we watch expecting fast clear rounds and are surprised if either dont. As both are still in their first year of competing it is quite remarkable.
Suzanne however excelled all expectation and achieved her 4th place in the UKA National finasl by finishing runner up in the Circular Knockout. Apart from qualifying 2 dogs for the Beginners steeplechase final Suzanne has qualified in the pairs ,with Helen Jones and Knock Out beating handlers who on paper, work much higher levels. This latest success saw her finish only 0.2 seconds behind England International,Stephen Richardson and multi Championship Winner Libby. We now have 6 handlers and 9 dogs competing in 6 classes at the finals and for all but Evie this will be their first appearance, so what a brilliant achievement for all.
Finally on par with Suzannes success is Helen Jones run with Mac her young rescue dog. Helen doesnt do it the easy way and has worked so hard to take Belle to grade 6 and has worked even harder with Mac. It was therefore brilliant to see him go clear and finish 3rd in his first ever run beaten only by 2 Veteran dogs with solid agility pedigree. Dianne Beresfords Wookie,a grade 7 dog until last year,and Evie with Moss.Helen has worked so hard on his focus and this is the start of a successful career.
A quiet weekend for most I think but we make a 5 o clock start for Cambridgeshire on Sunday where I will be judging