Yesterday was the finals days and I'd entered the show as a bit of a warm up and training for Tom. There were 6 weaves in his agility and I was ready to pick him up to put him through the weaves if he'd sniffed but he went in and although he wasn't very quick through them he did do all six and then finished the course and got a clear even though I mishandled coming out of a tunnel as I hadn't appreciated that the line out of it wasn't a straight line and even though I used his out command he couldn't quite make the jump (I would have given us a 5R but the judge was kind to us) We then went straight to his steeplechase course which was going really well until the last few jumps when I shouted 'OUT' making him shoot out and go past a jump. I was really pleased with both runs and then due to both his classes being first in the ring he didn't have anything to do until the final at 6pm so we spent some time sitting at the coffee shop watching the other classes.
Dudley and Suzi were both really bad in their agility classes and I'm trying to remove all memories of the whole course from my mind as I don't want to run away screaming every time I see any sort of contact equipment. After the agility I wasn't really looking forward to their jumping courses but had a go anyway and was very pleasantly suprised that they both came 2nd!! The course was one of those ones that you walk loads of times and find a different way of doing it each time and was a handler frightener but lovely and smooth for he dog, I really enjoyed running both dogs round it even though when I finished with Duds I thought I'd missed a bit as we seemed to get round a lot quicker than I was expecting.
The finals course was really well thought out and another that was flowing for the dogs but had various ways to run it. The toy dogs were the last to go and Thomas was 19th out of 20 to go which left loads of time for nerves to set in and to watch all the other heights go. I watched all the big dogs and realised that the ones that ran it they same way I'd walked it were pulling their dogs quite wide on one bit but having changed the way I was running and made a mess up in the past I decided to stick with what I'd walked. The nice thing about the evening was that everyone stayed to watch so there was quite a big crowd and everyone clapped each round. The start was jump, dog walk so I decided not to make him wait and do a running start which I think was a good choice. I have put a plan of the course as I can remember it, well I did a front cross over number 10 which was where I'd seen the big dogs going a bit wide but thought that I could get him tighter unfortunatly I sent him straight through the gap between 11 and 12 but, luckily, not up the A frame. I was not upset with this as he'd gone where I'd pointed him and but it meant 5 faults, coming out of the tunnel he didn't go straight into the weaves but came back to me really quickly and proceeded to whizz through and finish very well and we finished with 10 faults. I don't think we disgraced ourselves as he was the only one running in the final who is at beginner level and only in his first season too. Roll on next year as I would love to do it all over again.
The only bad thing is that Thomas' tuggy ball on a rope got lost in the long grass in the exercise area which is really annoying as I've just got him to play with after a run.