She was pretty excitable as usual, but I'm gradually starting to have confidence that she understands what is required, however we were E'd for our Combined 3-5 Agility because I hadn't realised that she missed a weave pole - so annoying as the rest of the run was fab! We managed a 3rd for our Graded 1-3 Jumping - she ran this perfectly and exactly how I had planned when I walked the course! And then we had our team event with Sally & Taya, Emma & Star and Jo & Quiz. We were running 3rd in the team, taking over from Sally - we set off and she ran straight off the bottom of the A-frame without even looking at me or thinking about stopping!! I had to put her back as I couldn't let her get away with that and it had me worried for the final later in the day. The rest of the run was great and she did stop on the Dog Walk and Seesaw - I think the team event creates more excitement as we have another dog and handler running towards us, and I run with her from the start, so completely different than when we do an individual run. It's great fun though and I'm really glad that I've had the chance to do it this year.
Eventually the time came for the finals to start! Here's a list of my fellow competitors that had qualified to take part:
Mike and Buddy went first and set a good time of around 38 seconds with a fantastic clear round. He stayed in first place until Shanice and Mia ran an amazing clear in a time around 33 seconds. I was running 11th out of 13 and eventually it was our turn. It's strange how you step onto the start line and immediately become unaware of everything else around you. Pepper clipped the first jump - I heard it rattle in the cups but thankfully it didn't fall! I quick released her A-frame as soon as her paws hit the contact but thankfully this didn't unsettle her for the rest of the run and she hit her contacts perfectly on the Dog Walk and Seesaw. I had a momentary loss of memory just after the weaves and nearly went round the end of the course again, but thankfully remembered that all I had to do was run straight ahead over the last two jumps! Fantastic, we were clear!!
The final result was:
1st - Shanice and Mia
2nd - Helen and Pepper
3rd - Mike and Buddy 3rd
What an amazing experience and what an amazing little dog Pepper is! She continually amazes me at how she takes everything in her stride!
I would also like to thank our fantastic trainer, Michelle Hewitt, for her support and guidance - I'm so lucky to have had such a brilliant mentor to guide me and am thankful for the strong foundations that she established with us from day one that are allowing us to achieve results like this now!
Here is a picture of us with the judge, Barrie James, and a video of our run: