On Sunday we had a trip to Agility Vision as Flash had qualified for the Grand National Finals sponsored by Adams Agility.
We weren’t expecting much as both dogs have been having a semi break from competing so we are a bit out of practice at shows as we haven’t been doing many this summer 🤣.
I wasn’t actually going to run Flash in the final as in an earlier agility run he came off the end of the seesaw and scared himself a little and we didn’t complete that run. Luckily he had another agility run to do with my only aim being to raise his confidence and I would just see how he went. If he wasn’t happy I wasn’t going to run him in the finals. We have been doing a lot of work on building Flash’s confidence recently so I wasn’t going to do anything that would jeopardise what we have built so far.
Flash was fine in the agility run, we occurred a few seconds time faults as I was taking my time making sure he was happy on the contacts before carrying on, as I was so focused on the contacts I also forgot the course half way round so that too didn’t help with the timing 🤦♀️🤣.
We had never run in a final before so I really didn’t know what to expect. I was actually not nervous at all, something that really surprised me. I used to get so nervous before running the dogs but I don’t so much now in normal classes, but with this being a final and with all the spectators I was expecting the nerves to return but thankfully they didn’t 😀.
The ring had a really nice atmosphere and each side was packed with spectators. We had been given a course plan a few hours before the final so we could make ourselves familiar with the course and it really helped me prepare what I wanted to do when it was time for course walking.
I was so impressed with Flash and how he coped with the commentary and crowd. We were 6th to run and his run went really well and he went clear. All I was wanting was to see him happy in the ring. I wasn’t thinking about placings as to be honest, running in intermediate height against collies is never an easy task. They are physically at an advantage compared to a springer spaniel. Flash is accurate but he doesn’t have the speed of a collie.
With it being both mine and Flash’s first experience of a finals I just wanted to enjoy it!
We were in first place right up until dog number 11, then after more dogs ran we were down to 4th.
We ‘would/might have’ finished 2nd, as the 2nd and 3rd place dogs both gained faults but the judge then changed her mind about giving the faults as the dogs were running the course 🤷♀️. I don’t mind at all though as to come 4th with a happy Flash and me with no nerves made me super proud!
What made the day extra specialis that my Mum, Dad and Daughter had come to watch some of our runs, and my Dad and Daughter were there for the final. They had never been to a show before and to have them there supporting me (along with John) was really nice.
It strengthened my belief that it is the memories that you make at a show that count, the rosettes are nice but the memories are what really matter. That is why I make sure my dogs are 100% happy when running with me, we want happy memories or otherwise what is the point in competing?!
Overall we have had a fantastic finals show. To make it even more special Milo brought home a clear 2nd place in his agility run earlier that day earning him more points towards his next agility warrant.
We hope you have all enjoyed your bank holiday weekend whether you have been competing or not.
Till next time, happy training!
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