Updated: Sep 21, 2018
Well eventually the day arrived for the running of our own first tournament and the hard work began. Chris and I arrived at the venue and set up camp on the Thursday. Once this was done we marked out camping areas for our visiting teams. Friday saw Banbury Cross members arrive and we started to set up the event. It never ceases to amaze me how long it takes to set up the rings (of which we had 2 to do). One was finished by lunch time and luckily the 2nd one was only for Little Leage and Pre-Cadets so could be smaller. The admim tent was set up and paddling pools and water made available for the dogs as we were expecting good weather over the weekend. Friday evening saw us all ready and we spent the afternoon and evening greeting our visiting teams, making them feel welcome by arranging a fish and chip run for those who wanted it for tea.
Saturday morning arrived and we were up bright and early ready to start racing. The weather was beautiful - clear and warm and sunny. Racing started and all went relatively smoothly with all the teams pulling their weight in the ring party and judging scenarios as well as in admin. Wash Warriors were racing as a sync team, with Amber (and Lisa) joining us again and the dogs ran steadily throughout the day. The team did justice to their seeding and came second in their division, which was a miracle as far as the handlers were concerned, considering everything else that was going on. It was fun to run against RPM (some of our old team mates at Fenland Firestorm) who joined us for their first venture with UKFL. We are glad that you enjoyed your day and we are sure you will get your revenge on us in the future!!! (Wood Green here we come!!!)
We had a first for the club by running some of our new dogs in our 'Brave Warriors' Little League team. First in the line up was Rusty with Vanessa, then Tonka with Karen, Zarah took third place and Bella (our veteran lab) joined in for a game, bringing up the rear. The first race all dogs did really well, going and collecting their ball and coming back to their handlers with no problems. This carried on until the third set of heats when it all became a bit too much for some of them, so we pulled the team from the last race of the day. However, the team managed to clock a 26 second time and come third in their division. So proud of them all............ and cannot wait for another go! We are sorry that we could not get any times for you to log on the website - another time I'm sure we will manage this.
Racing completed and our first presentation was held with plenty of time to enjoy the evening with a little of the planned training completed by Donna after racing.
Unfortunately we were let down by the Pizza man who decided not to come (he had car trouble) so I took orders for Pizza and our favourite local shop delivered!! No problem!!
We did, however, have the Stable bar come so we all sat around the admin tent (with sufficient light) eating Pizza, drinking gin and competing in Maria's (A41) quiz that she had pre-prepared for us. Lots of fun was had by all!! The Stable bar man said he really enjoyed the event and will come again next year - hooray............
Sunday arrived - another beautiful sunny day - this had turned into a training day - thanks to Donna who had volunteered her services when we had insufficient teams enter for 2 days of racing. With some 30 dogs to train she started early and carried on till mid afternoon until all had done what they needed. During the day we dismantled the 2nd ring only leaving the main one to do when racing had finished. As I said before amazing how quickly it can all be taken down!!
Many thanks to Banbury for your help in everything as we couldn't have done it without you. Thanks to Steve Leek and Andy James for the loan of equipment and for coming all the way from the northern hemisphere!!! Also to Lisa for joining us from the north too.
Another thank you needs to be made to Ernie and Barbara for allowing us to host the event at their grounds, which was enjoyed by all who came. They both said that they also enjoyed the event - Barbara loved the whole atmosphere and said it was a lot more interesting than a normal dog show (don't we know)!! Special thank you to Ernie who opened his kitchen all day on Saturday and Sunday, we know that everybody was grateful to you and I know that you had a pleasant time talking to some of the competitors.
We are looking forward now to next year........... Watch this space..............