Pepper, in the meantime, was taking it all in her stride! She wasn't phased by the loud announcements and music playing in the indoor arena and wagged her tail at every person that passed by!
I had plenty of time to watch some of the other events and see how everything ran, and it was great to be able to support Emma, Roz, Becky and Ash in their events too!
Eventually the time came for us to run in the Circular Knockout Final! This event is unusual as you run against another dog with the winner progressing to the next round - the course has two start points and you both complete the whole course but start and finish in different places.
Here is the course - there are two sets of numbers, circles and squares:
For the first round I was drawn to run the course with the square numbers.
We were running against a little Border Terrier. The whistle blew and we were off! I couldn't have asked for any more from Pepper - she was stunning and didn't put a paw wrong. When I turned the final corner and saw our opponent in exactly the same spot on the course I sprinted (!) to the finish - it was incredibly close, but the judge decided that Pepper and I had won by a whisker!
Shortly after we went back into the ring to run in the second round. We were running the other course this time, and I'm sure that Pepper was even faster, but sadly not fast enough to win! It wasn't until after that I found out that my opponent was an experienced Grade 7 Agility Champion who has represented Britain at International competitions, so I really can't complain! In fact, I'm really pleased that we were as close as we were and Steven went on to win the class.
So we have our first Finals event under our belts and I'm extremely proud of little Pepper! She was fantastic all day, and once I got over my intial nerves I really enjoyed it! I hope that we qualify for another event next year!
I was lucky enough to have videos taken of both of our runs from two different angles, so here is a compilation of them all:
And here are a couple of pictures from the day: