Wow - yet another amazing day today and a milestone reached for the club. Not only did we have our league team, Viking Warriors racing but we also had Brave Warriors, our little league team entered, consisting of Ella with Skye, Karen with Tonka, Tina with Zarah, Jess with Dylan and our guest Sue with veteran dog Cassie, from our friends RPM. Bella, our lab, was racing as a guest dog with RPM for the day.
The day started with our little league team racing early in the day. 3 races to be completed in the morning and 3 about the middle of the day. They were racing in a division of 4 teams and we did not expect much, anticipating using the day for training and experience for both dogs and handlers as it was both Jess and Ella's first tournaments. It was Karen's 2nd tournament having taken part in the Wash Warriors event in September. We missed Vanessa and Rusty, who were also meant to be competing but work called to Vanessa and she had to miss out.
The first 4 dogs up were Skye (on lights), Tonka, Zarah and Dylan. We were not sure about how Skye and Dylan would cope as this was their first tournament and also indoors (with what we realise is a little bit of noise!!), also Dylan had only done a clear run on the Wednesday previously at training. What did they do? - 3 clear runs in 27.63, 28.11 and 30.80 - how amazing was that?? During the day Dylan decided that the blue lane was really much more comfortable to run in but we did manage to keep him in, in the red lane later in the day. Skye ran pretty much all day as did Zarah taking on 15 heats each, Tonka and Dylan raced 13 each. We couldn't be more proud of them and they loved it.....
Our fabulous Little League team came 2nd in the division and we are so chuffed with how all the dogs coped and raced. The handlers were awesome. A special well done to Ella and Skye - you are both stars - such a difference from when you first joined us. We are so proud of you both. A mention to Ella's mum Talitha who was also with us to support Ella, Skye and us - Helen showed her how to take times in the morning and she stepped in for the second session of racing and did a brilliant job - it does get easier.......!!
Bella had fun with RPM racing as one of a 4 dog team, she does love her flyball and tugging Chris (who ran her today) backwards up the ring!!! RPM came last in their division but who cares - says Bella!!!
Viking Warriors had lost a key member of their team the night before to a torn claw, Sheena and Sue had had to pull out at the last minute but Mike from Rocksteady jumped in with Merlyn (with both feet) and we had Happy on the paperwork as a back up for him if needed. However the 12 1/2 year old Merlyn ran all day and raced brilliantly into Jack with only 1 bad cross all day. Millie went back on lights for the day (her favourite place) and Julia had managed to iron out her crosses with Jack since the last outing (only having 1 all day). Chris managed to beat that with 2!!
Helen and Erica joined us for the morning and took times and videos for us but had to leave at midday as they had to work in the evening and needed some sleep!! For a number of reasons the newbies(!!) left during the afternoon and RPM stepped in with help in the ring, Sue taking on boxloading in place of Karen and Ian doing the line with Chris ball collecting.
Based on the times taken for the morning races (10 heats) Tina and Millie were honing down on their starts with 5x 0.08's with Millie averaging 4.26s. Charly equalled his best average time of 5.44 and Jack put in a best time of 5.14s along with a best average of 5.64 s for the morning. Merlyn proved to be a really steady dog (although slower than Sheena) averaging 5.44s - thank you Merlyn. Our league team came second in their division for the day too, so well done to them all - considering we thought that we were well outclassed having lost Sheena.
It was brilliant days racing and we can't thank you all enough for your help today. It was awesome to go in the ring with our own team members helping. Special well done to Karen Reid for her first stint as official boxloader for our league team, Ella for ball collecting and Jess for videoing our line - you all did an awesome job. From your feedback you all enjoyed yourselves, the dogs were shattered although Talitha said Skye was raring to go again the next day - that's a collie for you!!!
We can't wait for next time but until then the training continues....................