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Fifty Ways To Get Eliminated
Bren adult
Yesterday, my gorgeous Smooth Collie, Bren, went to his first BAA (British Agility Association) show, Jumping Jacks at Redhill. Thing started off reasonably well - we made good time over the river but arrived lateish at about ten to nine, and in the next 50 minutes got the dogs measured (again in Draco's case) with slightly different results than the measurements by us/the KC, but we were confirmed as being entered in the correct classes, walked the agility course, and met up with club members and, in my case. drank a can of coke supplied by the kind and estimable Alison.

The rest of the day consisted of Bren finding as many ways as possible to be eliminated. In the first class of the day, Introductory Agility, which consists of a mix of fences and 'equipment', Bren jumped the first two fences then (not for the first time outdoors) kept jumping off the up part of the dog walk. (June Bass, who is currently head honcho of the BAA and was judging the class was great to me, and together we got him to go over and on though he had been eliminated at this point.) During this process he ran up to the fence and peed, another elimination act. He also missed jumps and took a wrong course, so we were extremely thoroughly eliminated many times over.

The next class he was in was Introductory Jumping, consisting of jumps and tunnels. He actually did a rather good round, for him, except that he ran past the last fence of a line and stuck his head into the tunnel beyond before I managed to call him back. Technically, because the head had gone into the tunnel, that was taking the wrong course. However, it was the nearest we came all day to a clear!

After lunch, we were in the Introductory Steeplechase, and I was really looking forward to running him - all fences, in straight lines with turns at the end of each line - just the sort of thing he loves. We started up the first line of fences at a good lick, Bren jumping well, but he was looking around for Ina and Draco who had retreated to the shade under the trees where other club members were camped. Then Bren spotted them, veered away from the fences, and, ignoring my calls, half jumped, half climbed over the ring fencing and bolted in Draco's direction, leaving me to pick up his lead and head out to where Ina had caught him. I'm afraid that Ina and Draco will be at the ringside in future. He's used to that. (I am told that Dean Sheppard photographed his escape. That might be one for the club website!)

The final class was Introductory Power and Speed. The idea of this class is that you go over several pieces of equipment (in this case dog walk, A frame, and weaves - together with a fence to start the clock.) If you clear those, you jump a series of fences with some technical turns.) Bren was great over the Dog Walk, and the A Frame (particularly now Val has figured that he goes better if allowed to take it at speed) but, despite being normally good at weaves, he missed one, and later in the weave bumped against my knee, which counts as touching your dog, so he was eliminated twice there.

It was a good day, though. And I was pleased with a lot of it. One of these days, we'll go clear.
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Oh wow, eventful! (In every sense of the word, now I come to think of it.)

I imagine that you were doing this for fun and to get Bren started and so it wasn't really too stressful? I hope so - particularly because your account really made me laugh. And now I am re-reading it and finding bits I hadn't seen the first time, and laughing again.

Poor Bren! Poor Lil!

Edited at 2014-08-05 07:40 am (UTC)

We do agility for fun, and it has taken Bren a long time rouse up much enthusiasm for it, though we have found that the secret is a grass surface, rather than the shredded rubber of the riding school where we train.

I won't steal Ina's thunder, but the fact is that Draco won the award for 'class clown' at our club for the way he behaves in competition rings. And usually about half the 'Introductory' classes will get eliminated. This was only Bren's second show, and at the first one he was faced with some courses that were too difficult for that level.

Bren will never be fast enough to compete at high level and, indeed, does not have the enthusiasm. (To quote our instructor: "That dog is so laid back he's horizontal!")

Gosh! I'm exhausted just reading that!

It does sound like it was (mostly) fun.

Apart from a couple of embarrassing moments - yes, it was.

I hope you all enjoyed the day out, regardless of Bren's ingenuity at being eliminated. :)

It was a really good day out. We ended up sitting with friends under the trees, watching others compete from afar... and the lovely Fizz, a splendid Sheltie, who was competing in veteran, insisted on sitting on my lap.

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