We're back on line!
So... The EO didn't go just as well as last year when all 4 dogs finished on a podium... This year, we set another record - of bizarre problems... - and only Le finished on a podium twice, for team runs. I'm especially happy with her winning jumping team run, a second faster from the rest! She also had for more than a second best time in agility team run, but unfortunately one bar down. In individual runs, we didn't have much luck, she missed the weave entry in jumpers (very unusual for Le) in otherwise great run and in agility, we had a fly-off and a rather chaotic run, but I really liked her other 4 runs, so I'm actually very pleased with our performance.
I'm also actually very happy with Bi who knocked way less bars as expected and actually had some great runs, BUT, from some weird reason, she didn't recognize the tire and was eliminated in all 3 courses that had a tire because she wouldn't jump it!?! The only course that didn't have a tire, she knocked a wall, but had the best time, so there is certainly a potential in the wild child 🙂 - but we do need to find out the tire mystery - that's her first and only time she didn't jump a tire, so it must have been something about the shape or colour that she didn't understand... - From all the problems we have had with Bi, this was certainly the weirdest one ever!
La's runs were a surprise too as she had been VERY consistent for last years and I certainly expected clean runs only - but we had two bizarre off courses and TWO missed weave entries that make me think she maybe didn't see white poles on white sand background well - she doesn't seem to have problems with vision otherwise despite her age, but I think it must have been a visual problem because again, this was not like La at all. But she was definitely the fastest and happiest 12-year old out there 🙂 That's the greatest thing at that age - whatever happens on a course, you are just so happy and proud that the dog at that age can still run at that level, that results really don't matter at all!!!
And well, it was certainly not Bu's weekend. She is at her best on artificial turf and can handle slippery footing brilliantly. But soft dirt slows her down a lot as she has no power and can't compensate on soft dirt as she can on turf. That meant not so good times, but still, she qualified in team finals and ran clean there and in individual finals, we were clean until I got stuck in too deep sand on a turn after DW (Bu's turn off the DW was brilliant - mine wasn't 🙂 ), fell and caused a refusal on the next obstacle...
The flooring certainly wasn't on our side, I had problems running on that sand and ended behind my dogs a lot. We should probably trial more often on dirt to practice, we do maybe two days per year and on completely different dirt, so I'm sure that added to the weirdness of our problems and in gathering more mistakes in one weekend as in last 3 years together!
So all in all - not much luck, but well, Le and Bi had best times every time they got through the course, La was really fast for a 12-year-old too and I knew in advance that this won't be a good footing for Bu.
After EO, we went hiking in French Alps (pictures coming soon) and then directly to Border Collie Classics to Italy (videos coming soon 🙂 ) - despite not being allowed to run with my best and fastest dog definitely made a decision to go very hard... So only Bu and Bi got to run and again, the dirt surface wasn't so good for Bu, but she did qualify for team finals thanks to her consistency and was clean in finals as well. Bi had some bars and one "my brain is fried" run (my dogs are not used to run that many courses per day + it was terribly HOT HOT HOT), but did win one run and qualified for individual finals where she had a really brilliant run until the very last jump - that she bypassed, thinking the run is over as me and the audience though we made it already 🙂 - But it was a really great run even without the last jump! 🙂