Monday, 30 June 2008

Another busy weekend...

On Saturday Gemma and I headed down to Oxford to visit Joy and Becca and pick up the flyball jumps and training shoot we had loaned them. We got there early evening and did a bit of agility training too with Faith, Wren and Bailey. Bai did really well so may be entered for a couple of shows over the next couple of months. Poor Fi is suffering from the lack of time I’ve put in with her recently and we’ve missed 3 weeks of agility training at Hest Bank with one thing and another but she was happy and motivated (she just loves training with Wren!) so I was pleased about that at least. We’ll be back at Hest Bank this Thursday and hopefully the field at home will be cut soon so I can put the jumps and training weaves back on and do something with them!!

Sunday morning Gem and I headed over to Daventry to watch some of the flyball racing, catch up with some of our flyballing friends we haven’t seen for ages AND….collect our new flyball box!! Here it is…isn’t it totally lush!! Lol

(are all these pics a little bit sad??)

Although this is technically the same style of box we have been running on, a ‘boomerang box’…it’s very different from the Modern Dog Sports (Alvah) box the dogs have been used to running on. For starters it’s much lighter weight (and much easier to lug about!), it has a finer trigger so only needs to be touched to release the ball rather than hit with some force, slightly less curve on the front and a different sort of rubber surface which should allow for a much more grip (especially when wet) and the holes are set much further apart (12 inches) to aide a good swimmers turn. I’m hoping that it should quicken up some of our dogs turns; we’ll have to do some work with the training shoot for those dogs that don’t currently get all 4 feet on the box at the moment (Pip, Ethan and Teal). Looking forward to getting some more training underway, lots of work to do and our first comp in 2 weeks time…yikes!
Got home very late last night (early this morning!) as we did more agility training after tea until it got dark and then ran into some congestion on the M6 following a nasty accident (not literally of course!) but had a really nice time with Joy and Becca as always, just nice to relax with friends and have a good laugh…which we did…a lot! lol

Wet weather flyball training!

Have had the usual busy sort of week with one thing and another. Thursday evening we all went down to the Wirral to do some flyball training with Steve and Bridget Leek from the Dolphins Flyball teams. They have the same boxes as the one we’d ordered from Pete Cave and a fancy set of lights and the time and patience to put up with us lot! lol (Thanks guys…it is appreciated!). It absolutely lashed it down all the way down the M6 but we persisted and the rain stopped and the sun came out so we did get some useful work done. The first run up with the first team of dogs was hilarious though as they were all running on this style of box for the first time and it totally threw them with dogs fumbling balls and running out like a bunch of starter dogs!! The look on Steve’s face was a picture! Lol (‘What the hell have we got here?!’) but they soon got themselves together and actually ran really well, especially considering the wet grass and slightly uneven ground (perfect training conditions really since this is what they’re most likely to meet in competition! lol). Mac got so excited (like a wound up spring) that he jumped up and head butted me, splitting my cheek open and giving me a lovely black eye that I have been sporting for the rest of the week (god knows what my work colleagues must think…oops!). We got some times for all the dogs and have a good idea of what dogs will run in each team and in what order so we’re very grateful to Steve and B for the opportunity and hope to meet up again in the future to do some training with the rest of the Dolphins too.

I forgot to mention earlier too that all the ‘human flyball’ photos from the Dolphins tournament at Eastham earlier this month are now online at Sunnyside Photography

Just so you can ‘put names to faces’… here’s

Gemma, Paul, Alison and me!!

Oh…and here’s Steve and Bridget too!! lol

There are lots more pics of us and the dogs running throughout the weekend in the divisional categories , running in divs 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Blown Away at Blackpool!!

Back to Blackpool today (Sunday) with border collies; I'd only entered Kitten , Spark and Ethan but was also handling Dylan for Paul and Alison. There had been a lot of rain the previous day and overnight so I was worried about the ground (Blackpool always seems to be a mudbath!) and when we got there the outside rings had already been abandoned with all judging taking place in the small 'practice rings' inside the benching tents. In terms of judging we didn't have a great day, Spark got 2nd in Graduate dog and Dylan 4th in Junior but I was SO pleased with the way he went...he stood and moved beautifully...clever lad!! Now if only we could escape the curse of 'reservitis'!! Dylan keeps getting 4th's in qualifying classes and missing that elusive Crufts qualifying place! Hopefully we'll be able to take him to a few more shows this year and if he goes as well as he did today...fingers crossed! Eth got nothing in Post Grad but I was really pleased with the way he behaved, the wind had really picked up and the tents were flapping wildly but he never bothered. By the time Kitten went in (puppy bitch) the weather had become a howling gale and she went quite well considering but once out of the ring she really started to get spooked by swaying marquee and loud howling winds so I quickly removed all 3 dogs out of the showground and back to the safety of the van. On our return to the benching area to start packing up several stewards came in telling everyone to pack up and remove themselves and their dogs as quickly as possible as the show was being abandoned, the main ring and catering tents had finally collpased under the force of the gale with people sustaining injuries :( We packed up quickly and helped others to do the same and struggled back to the van with the laden trolley in the strong winds. I'm not sure what will happen with the awards already given...all the dog classes had been judged and the dog CC and best dog puppy awarded but the bitch judging had just reached Graduate bitch?? I have to say I was so glad to have just the 10 min drive home and hope everyone else got away and home safely.

The highampress website had a few pics of the devastation...

On the bright side...I made a little trip to the Eukanuba stand and FINALLY got my two free folding chairs and pink blankets promised at Crufts! And very nice they are too ;)

Day One at Blackpool...

Have had a pretty terrible week, been off work sick for a couple of days with terrible blinding headaches, Doctor thinks just a virus so fingers crossed back to normal quickly.

I didn't think I'd make it to Blackpool with Squirrel on Friday but after a bucket load of painkillers for breakfast we left home just after 8.30 to get to the show in good time for judging starting at 9am (good job we live so close! lol). It was a lovely bright and sunny day, if a little breezy but a nice sort of day to be out showing dogs.

I've never really watched Parson judging here (have attended a few shows on the continent with a friend who breeds and shows parsons though) as they are very rarely shown the same day as border collies...with my typical sort of luck Squirrels's class (Puppy Bitch) was the largest of the day with 10 entries and no absentees (only 1 entry in puppy dog!), she stood nicely but didnt' move well at all, trying to sniff the floor and then having a little 'hissy' when I tried to pull her head up! It is entirely my own fault because stupidly I have been lead training her on a loose lead like a border collie and not with the lead pulled tightly behind her ears like you should with a Parson (doh!) so she didn't like it very much when I did it. Needless to say we got 'binned' but I have to say I think Squirrel enjoyed herself, she was certainly very friendly and ethusiastic! lol More lead training required if we enter again me thinks! Unfortunately Paul (Squirrels's breeder) couldn't make it but I was very kindly looked after by his friends Gladys and Douglas who had brought Sally (Squirrel's mum) and we were delighted when Sal, handled by someone other than Paul for the first time, won the reserve ticket! Sally already has 2 tickets and just needs that last one to get her close..maybe next time!

Having remembered my camera with fully charged batteries this time imagine how stupid I felt to discover I'd left the memory card at home (Argghhh!!) No pics of Sal looking so beautiful in the ring so you'll have to make do with this one of her winning her first ticket and BOB at Leeds last year...

I had a lovely morning anyway and how novel and jolly civilised to have watched all the judging and be home by 11.30am, plenty of time for an afternoon nap! I think I might stick to showing parson's in future!! lol

A day off Saturday and back again on Sunday with the collies...

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Eastham...end of an era...

Had our last weekend of flyball for a few weeks, a nice friendly and relaxed tournament hosted by the lovely Dolphins team over at Eastham on the Wirral. The weather was good and the racing too, the teams were slightly mixed up as we had some people missing so were running 5 instead of the usual 6 teams which saw both Dottie and Faith promoted to higher teams but we had some incredibly tight racing in all divisions, really good fun!

The pups all came too and now they've all had their full course of vacciantions got to have a good nosey round the show, sorry no pics because I forgot to take my camera (batteries all charged up and ready to go but not a lot of use on the hall table...doh!!)

Saturday night was a good laugh when the Dolphins decided to run a 'human flyball' competition, there were plenty of people wanting to have a go so we actually got together 6 4-person teams and ran it in the usual tournament round-robin format. Paul, Alison, Gem and I ran as the 'Demon Dogz' for the first time (lol) and my god it was knackering!! I have decided that it's much harder for a taller person to get a good 'turn off the box' because we have such a long way to bend down to catch the ball!! Gemma had a cracking turn though (short-arse that she is!! lol). John Clarke was taking lots of piccies (much to his amusement) so I'll keep checking the Sunnyside Photography website and post another link when they're on. Anyway, the Dolphins team won it (fix!!) and there was a single leg run of for 2nd between Red Rose and Demon Dogz with Len just pipping Gemma and pushing us into 3rd place...oh well, we had fun!!

All in all a lovely weekend of flyball and a nice way to end our time running as part of the Red Rose gang. We have a month off now and will be back out as the Demon Dogz at Rotherham on the 12th July. Alison and I will be at Blackpool champ show this weekend, Friday with Squirrel ( first time showing a parson and a very naughty one at that!) and back again on Sunday with the BC's. I hope the weather perks up...Blackpool always seems to end up being a mudbath!

Here's a link to our new team website anyway... Demon Dogz Flyball Teams

Friday, 13 June 2008

Wren training update...

I've been following Wren's training quite closely with fairly regular trips down to Joy and Becca's over the last few months so here are the latest vids of her at 15 months old...she's just getting to grips with upright weaves having been trained on channels and V's...starting to get the idea now but can't you see those brain cells working overtime?! lol

but check out this lovely dogwalk...

Don't you just love the way she sits and wags her tail at the bottom of the dogwalk? SO cute!! lol

Wren is Bryning Goldfinch btw, from Oz and Quinn
Check out Wren's page on Joy and Becca's website to find out more about her.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

A small proud moment...

I forgot to mention it in my earlier post but thought it was worth adding what a lovely proud moment it was for me on Sunday when racing in Division One and we lined up with the Rebels against Wire Sparks for some fast, close racing and 5 of the 8 dogs running against each other in those two teams were 'Brynings' as well as my own Macman to boot! Mac was obviously running in our team alongside Dylan (Bryning Truly Magic - Lloyd-Lexie) and Oz (Bryning Willie Wagtail - Sunny-Kes) and Wire Sparks were fielding two of Mac's kids...Zephyr and Nell (Bryning Bounce Right Back and Bryning Mayan Prophecy - Mac-Molly) along with Tarn (Bryning Tarn - Jaff-Spangle); it was so great to see all those lovely dogs in the ring at the same time and here's to more moments like it...with the fantastic dogs already competing and all the promising youngsters coming up at the moment we're going for British flyball domination!! lol

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Sunny Blackpool!!

Well, what a fabulous weekend we had at Penny Farm hosting our own flyball tournament. The weather really could not have been better with glorious sunshine and cooling breezes over both days (quite a few very sunburnt competitors come Sunday evening!). We had a lovely time all together and the atmosphere throughout the whole show was so relaxed and friendly, what a lovely bunch of people flyballers are.

Hazell was again on hand taking more fab piccies...too many to put on here so if you want to go see, take a look at the album

Except...I just couldn't resist adding this pic of Lexie!! lol

There are loads of really fab pics of the Rockets lining up and running which is a little sad as this was the last time that team would run together, Trish is missing at Eastham next week and after that we will no longer be running under the Red Rose banner but under our new team name 'Demon Dogz'. I'm sure I speak for all of us leaving (myself, Trish, Gemma, Paul and Alison) in thanking all our team mates at Red Rose for their support in our new venture, it's very much appreciated and we all look forward to enjoying time together at flyball comps in the future.

It was such a lovely weekend, Kevin brought Sunny down on Sunday afternoon so Hazell managed to snap a few pics of him...

and here with his son, Jack (Hazell's young boy)

We also managed to make the most of the nice weather with some new piccies of more of the Bryning bunch...



(demonstrating the impressive reach and drive she seems to have inherited from her daddy)



Although the heat and excitement just seemed to be too much for some lol

Fingers crossed for similar weather this weekend at the Dolphins tournament at Eastham. Leverhulme Park is a lovely venue for flyballing, lots of open space for running the dogs and nice cool walks through the woods (to the pub!); agility folks will know this as the venue for Wirral agility show.

Will try and get some new pics of Eabha, Viggo and Orlaith this week; they are all changing so much so quickly!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Back to agility class

Faith and I were back at agility training last night after a 2 week break and had a fairly fruitful evening. She seems to have lost some of her gusto over the last month or so and I'm slightly at a loss as to why. I think it could be a combination of things...firstly she has had her second season, she has also been competing regularly at flyball comps which she's really enjoying and I am now asking her to think about what she's doing much more in her agility which has probably taken some of the fun out of it for her. I'm sure she will come back good once she starts to get the hang of the new things and builds in confidence.

We started last night going down a straight line of 3 jumps to the channel weaves which were closed up to about 4", about where we last left them; but she couldn't get to grips with it at all and kept coming out half way which immediately got me frustrated and knocked her confidence...I could have kicked myself for being so stupid to expect she would remember and not to have started with them more open for a few goes through and then closed them up again once she remembered which was, of course, what I ended up doing (BAD NAT!). We did some stars/box jumping exercises to start reinforcing her directional commands and she did some nice work, a few bits on the contacts as Joy had pointed out to me last week that I was training Fi to stop next to my leg (oops!) so we did some recalls over with me in different positions and she seems to be grasping the idea that she has to do her two on-two off regardless of where I am but this will need reinforcing more. I was pleased as she also did a few independant seesaws so she seems to be gaining confidence with this now. We all did an exercise over a line of 8 jumps set close together at various different heights so the dog had to think about what it was jumping and bounce between each one. Fi was one of only a few dogs that managed to do this straight off and I think it's probably because of her flyball training, she is already very comfortable with bouncing/hurdling. This should be a useful exercise in moving her up to full height as it teaches her to jump the pole at whatever height it's set rather than just jumping the height she jumps (if you know what I mean). At the end we set up a course of 20 obstacles, a grade 1-4 agility course; normally when we do the course I just pick out a section I think Fi will be able to do and we do that bit but this time we actually did 1-17 (18 and 19 were weaves and seesaw and as she's not doing uprights yet and I'm not happy she has a good independant seesaw, decided not to do these)...there were a couple of sticky moments, firstly I realised I was going too fast for her as she wasn't running with her usual 'oomph' (as I mentioned earlier) but once I got that sorted I was pleased overall; she was great but there were a couple of handling bits I got wrong...crossing behind the A-frame I got away with but the dog walk was def a step too far as she just stopped dead on the up plank so once the class had finished I tried that section a few times a few different ways...everything is a learning exercise for the both of us so all in all I was pleased with what we'd got out of the evening. I really love training at Hest Bank, the set up is superb and the atmosphere laid back and everyone is so friendly and helpful; I'm really glad we found this group of people to train with. I really need to start doing more work at home though if me and Fi are going to move on more...time is our biggest restraint at the moment especially with all the flyball we've been doing but I WILL try harder!! lol

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

A walk in the fields..

I'm very very sorry, I'm sure you'll soon all be suffering from Bryning blog fatigue!! lol but I happened to have my camera in the van when we went out in the fields last night and snapped lots of are some of my faves...I promise I won't post any more for at least a week!! lol

Three pretty ladies...Dottie, Quinn and Lori

Two lovely merlies...Mac and Dazzle

Three handsome lads...Scot, Spark and Ethan

Spark being his usual gorgeous self...

Me and my shadow...Quinn with Dottie lurking (as usual!)

Teal - er...where did everyone go??

and wearing her ear like a hat!! lol

saving the best for last...Squirrels first swim!!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Weekend pics

Got the pics through from Hazell (thanks mate!), here are some of my favourites...

The Renegades (Faith and Ethan) ran Saturday and got the nicest weather of the weekend as you'll see...

The Rebels and Rockets ran Sunday (Mac and Lexie) when we got quite a bit of rain; didn't get any pics of the other teams I'm afraid.

The Rebels lining up to run, Alison with Dylan, Gemma with Bailey, Me with Mac and Trish at the back with Misty (Oz was standing out this leg)...

The Renegades in the ring lining up to run and me and Trish giving judge, Dave Long, some stick (no doubt lol)
Although not the best pic of Lexie I've ever seen I really love this pic, it shows her turning off the box at the exact same time as the dog she's running against (in the lane nearest the camera), because they're turning opposite ways they've turned to face each other which I think gives a real sense of the 'duel' about it!



Eth is a bit of an 'odd bod' because his natural box turn is to his left (opposite way to this pic) HOWEVER...Eth refuses to turn his back on the opposition so when he runs in the left-hand lane he turns to the right and it is a really rubbish box technique. I have scratched my head about how to stop him doing this and haven't come up with anything so if anyone else has any ideas please feel free to share! For the time being we are loading him, right-hand hole in the left lane and left-hand hole in the right lane in the hope that as he gets into the habit of turning to the right his technique this side will improve...we'll see!


(doesn't she have a lovely box technique?! :))

Phew...another hectic weekend over!

Another hectic weekend away at Tabley Game and Country Fair in Cheshire. The flyball was only a small part of a much larger show so it was nice to spend some time watching the pony club mounted games and gundog demonstrations between divisions and do a bit of shopping (spent far too much money!! lol)

Teal wouldn't run unfortuntely, we were right next to the clay pigeon shooting and she was just a very worried little cocker (yes, she would be the world's worst gundog!! lol) but Drake wasn't bothered and actually had a go at the gundog scurry; it was a very professional affair and something he's never done before but I was really pleased with him, there were two long ground retrieve's and while he got to hear the shot and 'mark' the dummy they were hidden once landed but he went out and found the first easily doing a lovely present on his return. The second was a really long way out and he stopped short and got his nose down but got totally distracted by another scent so I had to call him back. He was FANTASTIC on the water retrieve though and scored 10/ was quite a long retrieve out in the lake and again he came straight back and did a lovely present...clever lad. I 'may' do a bit of work with him and attempt some more scurries at other country shows we do as he obviously has quite an aptitude for it.

Squirrel was a very big hit on her excursions round the show, she is just such an easy little dog and so happy and sociable, I did end up buying a lovely limited edition print of a parson sat in a window, signed by the artist, which just reminded me of 'Squirt'.
It's called 'Terrier at Window' by Gill Evans

She also came to the airport with me on Saturday morning (fortunately Tabley is only 15 mins from Manchester airport) as we went to pick Carine up, she flew in from Belgium for the day to collect her Quinn puppy. Squirrel was impeccabley behaved in the airport too, she is fazed by nothing...she really is a lovely little dog, I'm so pleased I have her.

Anyway, not much to write home about in terms of flyball. Bailey, who had been lame last Monday and pulled from the multibreed team, was still not on top form and it showed in our times with the Rebels, we only managed an 18.14 and finsihed up 2nd in div 1...those pesky Live Wires regaining the crown (sure we'll have it back off them again soon! lol). The Renegades did ok on Saturday with Fi and Ethan both running well. I think that's pretty much it. All focus is now on our show this weekend at Penny Farm. This will be the last time we all run together so it will be rather sad...Gemma, Paul, Alison and I will be running with Red Rose at Eastham the following weekend and Trish will be at Cantley the weekend after then we will no longer be part of the Red Rose team and will be starting out on our own (ooh scary!)...we will be making our debut as the 'Demon Dogz' at Rotherham on 12th/13th July, I'm actually quite looking forward to having a month off though.

p.s. Hazell B was taking lots of pics over the weekend so hopefully she'll send me some and I'll post them later