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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Macksville Weekend

Well Terra and I are back from Macksville after a very enjoyable weekend.
Results wise it was mixed but we had lots of fun and everyone was really friendly.
We arrived on friday after a VERY stressful flight- we had originally booked to fly from Perth to Sydney and then from Sydney to Coffs but when we checked in (at 6am after dropping Terra) we were told that we would miss our connection to Coffs as the plane was running late so we had to fly from Perth-Melb, then Melb- Sydney and then Sydney to Coffs! Now my stress levels are always high when I fly dogs and this just about shot them through the roof! I enquired about Terra, already checked in with tags to say she was flying to Sydney only to be reassured that she would come with us. I asked whether the check in attendant could ring to confirm and he rang and spoke to ? somebody who said that was fine. Then when I got on the plane I asked the flight attendant to check whether she was on (which I always do) and he said 'there is no dog on this plane'. To which I snapped and said 'well she is SUPPOSED to be on the plane so go and find her'! 20mins later he comes back, says he found her, she was ready to be loaded on the plane to sydney (!!) but was now on the correct plane. I wasnt very happy and said so, to which the attendant replied 'you would have caught up with her in sydney'- uh, no, she would have missed the connection! So it was a very long 12 hours to finally get to Coffs harbour and a VERY relieved me to finally get Terra out of her crate.
We picked up the rental car and drove to the accommodation, had dinner and basically crashed. The next day we drove to the show grounds to have a look around before the competition started that afternoon. The grounds were very different to what we are used to in WA- it looked like it was used for pony club and due to all the rain it was VERY muddy and chopped up. I was very concerned about running Terra on the grounds, especially jumping 650 and made the decision to pull her out of all the runs she didnt need except for the warm up. We were able to get some practice equipment out and ran the dogs over the dog walk with cleats (didnt phase any of them), as well as the hanging tire. The WA'ers were a bit concerned about the change in weave pole spacing, but luckily this didnt seem to worry any of the dogs. After a brief look around Macksville we headed back to start the competition!
The first course of the event was the World Dog Qualifier, heat one (of two). The course was fairly straight forward, with a hard weave entry catching out most of the dogs. Terra felt fairly cautious and was running quite slowly for her so she had lots of time to get into the weavers and finished the course clear to win the event for the big dogs (this event was split into toy/mini and midi/maxi ). I cant remember exactly which order the other events were run in, but we ran in an open and had a bar down as they were back to 650, and went clear in advanced jumping and advanced agility to win both classes. The snooker course was nearly impossible to sucicide (although Tom with Brynn gave it a very good go!) and I played it fairly carefully with 2 7's (dog walk) and a 5 (A frame) to win that class. The qualifying classes for the World Agility Championships on saturday were snooker and advanced jumping.
The sunday the weather looked very ominious but didnt rain which was very lucky as the ground definitely would not have coped. Terra ran in several events- including gamblers (didnt get the gamble) and advanced agility (dropped bar, wouldnt wait on her DW contact). She was increasingly feral at this stage and didnt wait on any of her contacts, barking her head off at the start line. The last event was the WDG qualifier and although she had a fault it was enough to get her over the line as one of the 4 dogs qualified for the WDGs in sydney later in october. This is going to be a very large televised event with agility, dock diving, frisbee and flyball and sounds similar to the event they have in the US. It will be lots of fun and we are thrilled to be invited to compete!
Monday we pottered around Coffs, enjoying the beautiful scenery now the competition was over, and thankfully the flight back was uneventful.
Secret was staying with a friend and I will pick her up tonight, back to start training again tommorow..

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