I'm overjoyed to report that Pepper gained her final win at the Kelluki show at Merrist Wood today taking us into Grade 7 and qualifying us to run in Champ classes next year.
It is such an amazing feeling to have reached the highest grade, and Pepper has continued to surprise me with her ability to take everything in her stride. There were many tears shed throughout the day as people came and congratulated me and it reminded me how wonderful it has been to meet so many lovely people who all share my passion for agility and are there to provide support at every show.
I'd also like to say a special thank you for my trainer, Michelle Sparks, at Paws at Play. I fell on my feet when I saw the advert for a new agility club that had been formed locally - there are good and bad ways to teach agility, and I was lucky enough to join the best club without any knowledge of this! The foundations that Michelle gave me have allowed me to reach the highest grade even though I only train once a week. She's a fantastic handler and is able to take her experience and transfer the knowledge she has gained, while taking into account the individual needs of each dog and handler.
Finally, here's a little show report. It was the first Kelluki KC show and we're so lucky that Sam is running KC qualifying shows throughout the Winter, right on our doorstep.
Graded 4-7 Jumping: Becky Layphries was the judge, and when I walked the course I was cursing her as I wasn't confident that we would get round clear, and had hoped for a really nice course to give me the best chance of getting our final win. The start was a straight line - jump, straight tunnel, another straight tunnel, and then pull off to a jump right (avoiding the jump straight ahead). When we came to run the course the adrenaline was pumping, but we got the first bit absolutely fine and the course rand much better than I expected. We won the class and I forgave Becky for the course design!!
Combined 4-7 Jumping: A similar start to the first jumping, but I was confident after the first run and we came 2nd.
Graded 4-7 Agility: Really nice course, and I was looking forward to running it. Pepper was running beautifully, but sadly picked up 5 faults on the Dog Walk contact - it was a DW/Jump finish and I expect that I was running for the finish that encouraged her to leap it! As usual, this will be our Winter training goal!
Ruby was running really well - probably the happiest she's been in a while at a show.
Graded 1-3 Agility: She broke her wait but I let her get away with it. The start was Jump/DW - while she was on the DW I had a moment when I thought 'Pepper has just won into G7' and it threw me completely. At the end of the DW I forgot where I was going and pulled her of the next jump causing us to get an E! Sorry Ruby - my fault entirely, however she got her own back by leaping her A-Frame so I put her back.
Graded 1-3 Jumping: Nice run, but ran past the 6 weaves! Took back to the start of the weaves and she did them beautifully! Oh, well!
Combined 1-3 Jumping: Another nice course from Ian Balchin and this time she got her weave entry and came 8th in the class!