Well Saturday saw the teams competition at the royal show, and was also Jess's last official run in competition. She's 11 at the end of the year and starting to get stiff and sore when doing agility, particularly when asked to turn, so I decided to retire her. I wanted her to have a last official run, and decided it should be the royal show, where she has always had so much success and fun.
Terra has hurt her toe, so our reserve Riot was running, and along with Cypher and young Sonic, this was our team for the day. We had no great expectations, Riot isnt really trained in agility and it was Sonic's 1st royal, but we were going to have fun. Jess was running 1st dog for the team and the jumping course was lovely, open and flowing. Jess was happy to be back at the royal with everyone watching, and was particularly happy to have the rest of my family there. She flew off the start line and swiftly ran the course, faster than I expected, for a lovely clear. She grabbed my shoe laces at the end of the run, always a sure sign she is feeling good!
She was followed by some lovely rounds from the rest of our team members to claim 1st place in the jumping teams event! Very unexpected and a lovely way to finish off her career. She ran equally well in agility and had an absolute ball, smiling all the way round again with the trademark shoe-grab at the end of the run.
She is now retired, after an absolutely amazing career .. some of her career highlights include representing WA at the nationals for 5 years, winning many states and royal classes, winning masters agility at the nationals, competing in the winning WA team for the Advance challenge in Adelaide, of course getting her Ag Ch title at the age of 10 WITHOUT having any of her previous wins counting, and being WA's top agility and jumping dog for 3 years.
She is also a versatile dog, gaining her Ob Ch (didnt really like it
but did it because I wanted her to)and also getting the first 3 herding
titles (which she DID like but her heart and age limit her from going too much further).
The wins and highs have been amazing but really what I remember is her sheer willingness, her ability ALWAYS to give it her all, her enjoyment of the sport and the feeling of running a course perfectly 'in sync' with my dog.
To say I love this dog is the understatement of the year (and now I'm getting a little teary!), I am so so very lucky to have her in my life.
Jess- you're the Best.
Below are the videos from the royal, shot by Tim and very kindly edited and uploaded by Karen.