Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Better late than never..

Well, Lori’s pups finally put in an appearance on Monday night…3 days overdue to her second mating!! I can only conclude that she ovulated a couple of days after her last mating which would make sense since she did continue to stand during this time and was positively throwing herself at Spark who just plain refused to mate her again! (stud dog’s perogative I guess! lol). With all of this and the fact she wasn’t that big, I expected a relatively small litter (she has whelped 8 pups in her last two)…I was wrong! After (what felt like) a very long labour she finally produced the first puppy at 6.30pm then got a bit of a spurt on, producing 5 puppies between 8 and 9pm! Number 7 came around 10pm and Number 8 arrived around 11.30pm and I thought she was done and went to bed only to be woken again at 3.15am by a very restless and agitated Lori who…produced puppy number 9! I am sure that she definitely ovulated well after she was mated and Spark must have very long-lived and active little ‘swimmers’!! :o)

Final Tally is…
• three blue/white girls…1 is classic, the spit of Eabha, 1 is classic but less collar and the other has classic face and collar but white flashes up her hips and small patches of white over her bum.

• Three black/white girls…1 classic and the other two very flashy with a lot of white and the white patches over the body too.

• Two blue merle boys and a slate merle boy, all three classically marked with pale powdery merling…all very like Spark to be honest.

All in all a very nice litter that I have no worries Lori will make an excellent job of rearing, just as she always does :o)

More Starters Flyball...

The youngsters are all coming along nicely and last week's training session went well with Maisie , Jovi and Fynn all running in a team together (so all should hopefully be ok at Drax!) so I was feeling quite hopeful about running the girls in starters at Norfolk Park over the weekend. Lori ’s pups were due mid week (21st to the first mating and 23rd to the second) so I expected we would have puppies before the weekend but no…nothing…Saturday she was a little restless but I knew she hadn’t started so decided to go to Sheffield for the flyball and leave her with some peace and quiet.

I got hopelessly lost trying to find my way into Norfolk Park…last time I went I had a sat nav…now I don’t…I missed the first couple of races in starters…doh! Maisie was running with the Alphas and Jovi was running with Tyne…of course…the first race for both of them was against each other so I opted to run Jo with Tyne and Mark took Maisie to run with Alphas…she will run for anyone but decided she wanted to run every leg!! What can I say? She’s keen!! Lol

Jovi ran well in a few different positions. Positives – I had her running in from 35ft and doing nice tight changeovers with the dog coming out, not bad for only her 3rd time competing. Negatives – I have a feeling she’s going to be like Ethan (not surprising since she is his niece) in that she runs in like a train but has a lot of eye and is really having a good look at everything on the way back! As a consequence her runbacks are slow and I’m struggling to find anything to motivate her out quicker…hmmmm. The Tyne team finished 4th and Viggo also managed to complete a few legs too! So Jovi now has another rosette :o)

A couple of pics of Vi and Jovi taken by Jess Penaluna from the Tyne team (thanks Jess!)

Maisie…well…as I said she is very keen…she is also running in from around 30ft and happily running past another dog, she is also much more focused than Jovi on the runout…she comes belting back to me and goes ‘what are we doing next?’ with a big smile on her face (she is just too cute!)…HOWEVER…if I don’t ‘answer her question’ quickly enough she belts straight back down the lane again…regardless of who else might be running! So…I’ve started having another ball for her when she comes out which is fine at keeping her focused on me BUT can make her drop her ball on the runback (yeh, I’s a common complaint) so I’ve decided to start training her to return to a target like we have done with Dylan and his tuggy in the bucket. I have target trained various dogs within the teams I’ve run in over the years but never had to do it with one of my own so this is a first for me. I just need to have a think about what form this might take?? Anyway, the Alpha team won (again!) so Maisie has another 1st rosette, not bad for a little dog that has only been training for 2 weeks! (although to be fair, the Alphas do have a cracking starter team that she’s been lucky to run with)

Squirrel ran with one of the Tyne open teams, making her open competition debut and despite a couple of dropped balls (we were using full sized soft balls but new ones that hadn't been well 'broken in', she likes to be able to squash them so they don't make her jaw ache I think, she won't entertain small balls at all!) I was really pleased with how she did, some nice tight changeovers and no running out! She now has her first flyball points too, clever girlie! :o)

We are running our own starter team at Drax this weekend…Maisie, Jovi, Fynn and a couple of Tyne dogs too…should be fun! Squirrel is also running with the Tyne Titans and will be making her multibreed debut in our second MB team on the Monday, which has been seeded in Div 1 with our first MB team! Haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to run Squirrel and Teal at the same time yet! Fingers crossed Squirt behaves and gains her flyball dog award this weekend!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Flyball starters and training

Arghhh…behind on my blog again already!!

I have an excuse though, I’ve been really poorly with a nasty sinus infection; this is one of those things that, until you’ve experienced it yourself, you really can’t appreciate how unpleasant it is :o(

I had come home from Sutton Fields at Easter with a heavy cold which always makes me a little nervous since I am prone to blocked/painful sinuses but the cold seemed to clear up within the week and all was fine so I tootled off over to Drax for the BFA judges and ring party training seminar on Saturday afternoon. I wasn’t attending the seminar but running dogs in the starters competition that was being held at the same time. The way this works is…those attending the training seminar have theory presentations and discussions in the morning then get to practice what they’ve learnt in the afternoon with some unsanctioned competition; in this case it was a division of starters and an NFC division of teams made up of dogs currently running in open competition that also happened to be there. It was a really beautiful day and I was really surprised when I arrived by the number of people that were there and how many were camping and almost immediately regretted not having brought a tent and camping gear! Anyway, I was running Squirrel and Jovi in the Alpha Dogz starters team and both ran well, Jo is starting to get used to passing with other dogs now and we were loading her ball in the box…she’s making excellent progress, especially considering the small amount of training she’s had. Both girl ran in various different positions and I was pleased with them both, the team all ran well and they came 3rd :o)

Hazell and Leanne arrived just as the day’s activities were ending, they were attending the seminar on Sunday but…Hazell had a spare tent and Sharon had a spare sleeping bag so….I ended up staying over! Lol Hazell had a lovely smart new black harness, still with the label attached and asked if I had a dog it would fit so I suggested Maisie, she was just a year old that day and I really needed to start her flyball training! We’ve been doing lots of groundwork in the last month or so…restrained recalls and sending away to a ‘dead’ ball or to take a ball from someone else but she hadn’t actually seen any of the equipment (I know…I am very lax in training my youngsters! lol). Anyway, Hazell gave Maisie the harness as her birthday pressie so while everyone wandered over to the club house for some tea we decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and the ring that was all set up and do some training; I wanted to see how Viggo was coming on (he’s staying with Hazell and she’s training him for me!) and also see what Maisie could do. I went to borrow the Cheshire Set box (which is the same as ours) and Hazell took Vi and Maisie into the ring…Vi knows exactly what to do so he ran straight up the lane and then back down again, it was all netted for the starters the next day so Maisie just followed him…up over the hurdles and back again. Leanne came over to box load and I did a couple of runbacks with Maisie…no problem, she was hurdling perfectly so we decided to try sending her up to Leanne for a ball…again…no problem..she ran straight up took her ball and came back…she was really keen! So after a couple more like this we decided that Leanne would show her the ball and then load it in the box as she approached…she took it straight out of the box, triggering it and no reaction to the sound or firing action. Ok…so…it seems…Maisie already knows how to do flyball!! Lol

Viggo was doing full runs up and down and triggering the box (this has taken a lot of work because he has been quite sensitive over the box) and, more importantly, he was doing this while Maisie was lined up and alternating his runs with hers…this is also a breakthrough because he has such a high chase drive that he finds the other dogs very distracting. There is hope!! All in all very pleased with both of them :o)

We then went to the club house and had something to eat and a few drinks with everyone before piling back to Sharon’s caravan for more wine (so sorry Sharon…didn’t mean to keep you that late!) and then bed. Well, the next morning I felt terrible…I was so cold I just couldn’t get warm and felt so ill. Couldn’t understand why I had such a bad hangover when we really hadn’t drunk that much. I got up and sorted the dogs out, went and sat with the Rotherham lot and watched them box training (and drank several cups of tea!) then went back to bed for a couple of hours while everyone else was on the seminar. Got up around lunchtime feeling a bit brighter but still not 100%. I asked the Alphas whether it would be possible to put Maisie on their teamsheet for starters and try some runs with her in the warm ups and they said they would be happy to run her so we decided to give it a go. I wouldn’t normally throw a youngster in with so little training (i.e. none!) but she had done so well the night before and I knew I would have to run her so we might as well see how she did. Well, she was super…ran really well throughout the whole division in numerous different positions and ended up being able to run in and do (loose-ish) changeovers etc…I was SO pleased with her! The team also won so not only did she make a fab debut but she won a first rosette!

Maisie sporting her FIRST rosette (which was sadly eaten by Esther this weekend!!...BAD parson puppy! lol)

We also made up an ‘open’ team with Leanne’s Floyd (a beautiful HUGE rottie-dobe cross), Hazell’s River (Bryning Super Cool), my Dottie and Squirrel…the idea being that it would be a good way to introduce Squirrel to open competition…no wings and no netting along the lanes but there was netting in the middle, between the two lanes. For some reason, Squirrel never even looks at the other lane in starters but as soon as you remove all wings and netting she gets very distracted by it…she doesn’t run over and chase but it draws her concentration and causes her to run out. I can only think this stems back to one of her first starters competitions last year where a Rottweiler (a friendly one but huge nonetheless!) jumped over the netting into her lane and scared her; I think removing the netting makes her feel a little vulnerable so she worries and watches the other lane. Hopefully, the more she runs and realizes that no-one is going to come across into her lane (fingers crossed!), the more confident she will become. Anyway, this setup was ideal and she ran paw perfect throughout, turning well off the box and not running out once…clever parson! Next thing we have to work on is getting her to hurdle (single stride) over the jumps. This is a big ask for a small, short-coupled dog…although she and Teal are measured the same height (both run 8”), Teal’s long and low build is actually much better suited to the action of hurdling. I have a few ideas to try to achieve this with Squirrel so we’ll see. She is set to make her open competition debut running with the Tyne team at Norfolk Park this weekend…fingers crossed! Until we have a 3rd team up and running we don’t really have anywhere to run Squirrel so she is going to run with Tyne for a while. We didn’t get in at Norfolk Park (I didn’t send the entry in time since the schedule came out the day Tammy had her accident and I forgot about it) but I will be going on the Sunday to run Squirrel and also to run Jovi and Maisie in starters too.

We stayed and had some tea in the club house at Drax and then set off home so my afternoon of flyball ended up turning into a 2-dayer! It was a lovely unexpected weekend though, good company, good food and flyball…what more could you want?! Got home and was so tired I just sorted the dogs and went to bed. When I woke in the morning feeling as though I’d had the previous day’s hangover, only three times over, I realized it hadn’t been a hangover at all…yup…the dreaded sinusitis, ended up having the whole week off work, two doses of antibiotics later and I'm back at work but still not 100%...not happy! This is typical, just as the weather has finally picked up and the evenings are getting lighter and I've done very little of anything :o(

So...puppies due this week and flyball at Norfolk Park to look forward to at the weekend...I hope this final couple of days of antibiotics finally knocks this on the head and I can fully enjoy both :o)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The van is back (again!)

The van was back in the garage yesterday after the gearstick to gearbox linkage broke just as we were pulling out from Sutton Fields!! This meant it was stuck in 1st gear so I had to pull over and call for the breakdown people to come and tow us home…not a happy bunny!!

At least the garage (that had just fitted the new gearbox!)were very good and fixed it straight away yesterday so I picked it up after work and popped to see my brother and sister-in-law since it was her birthday. My brother has just started a new job (fitting out narrow boats!) but his previous job was at a signwriters and I’d asked him to do us some more team stickers for the box, buckets and jumps etc and make us some team backboards (yeh…now that sounds pretty serious doesn’t it! lol) anyway…he popped out to put the stuff in the van and I came out to this…

(please ignore the filthy state of my van!! lol)

He had been offering to sign the van for ages but I rather like being incognito (wink) but I do quite like these and they are quite subtle I suppose.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend is always traditionally the start of the outdoor competition season, be it agility or flyball which I guess is kinda strange because the dates can vary so much from year to year making the weather a tad unpredictable…3 years ago we had glorious sunshine and sunburn at Carlton Towers, the following year we had 6 inches of snow!! Last Year we decided to go to Anglesey instead and I’m so glad we did, 4 days of lovely friendly relaxed racing and beautiful blue skies and suntans…it was blissful so there was no hesitation in entering the Anglesey tournament again this year, a nice small friendly comp with no horrendously early starts and running from ring to ring! However…as Easter approached the forecasts told of impending doom and gloom…rain, snow and sleet….eek!!

I had a slight feeling of Déjà vu from the previous week when the announcement went out on the Tuesday that the Anglesey tournament was cancelled due to waterlogged ground…oh no!! Easter was cancelled!! After a very small amount of cajoling and encouragment however the wonderful Cheshire and Dolphin teams put a rescue plan into action and managed to re-organise the whole event at Sutton Fields on the Wirral. Since the venue was already booked for a car boot on the Monday there was a small change round so that multibreed and starters would now be running on Good Friday and the open competition would take place as planned over the weekend. Only slight ‘problem’ was that Gemma and I had booked to stay in a friends cottage on Anglesey so now had nowhere to sleep! No need to worry, our wonderful team mates immediately stepped in and offered us an inner tent and airbed in the caravan awning…sorted! We are so lucky to have such a lovely bunch of people to spend our weekends with.

The racing on Friday didn’t start ‘til 9.30am so we didn’t even have too early a start to get there; I picked Rach up at 8.30am and Simon, Sharon and Megan followed with the caravan; we passed Paul, Alison and Nico on the motorway but Gem was already there when we arrived so the 3 of us ring partied for the first division then went straight on to run in Div One of the multibreed. This was a rather ‘thrown together’ team which consisted of two of our collies (Bailey and Dylan) and my Teal (cocker) along with Steve’s Ruaraidh (that’s ‘Rory’ to any normal person lol) who is a collie/kelpie cross and Kathryn’s two standard poodles from Blackpool Supernova team, the lovely Leo and Finnbarre. For anyone that isn’t aware, multibreed is a sanctioned competition that runs independantly of open competition so dogs may run for any multibreed team regardless of their ‘normal’ open team. You must run four different breeds at any one time and may only include one crossbreed. This meant of course that we had two dogs that had to run every leg (Teal and Ru) and the collies and poodles would have to swap so we alternated between Ru-Leo-Bailey-Teal and Ru-Finn-Dylan-Teal and this seemed to work really well, Kathryn’s changeovers with her boys were just brilliant and we managed a fastest time of 18.13 with the first combination and went on to win the division…not bad for our first foray into multibreed but very much a combined team effort! I am fairly certain this team is capable of running sub 18.00 but I did make an interesting observation about Teal…that is that she is very much more ‘up for it’ when Gemma and Bailey are in the ring…I think this may be due to the fact that Gemma has run her before and is good at winding the dogs up on the start. Rather frustratingly this team also ran faster than our top open team and I know this is entirely down to changeovers…hmmmm…work in progress me thinks.

We have an additional speedy crossbreed available at Drax for the May bank holiday weekend so have (bravely) entered two multibreed teams there and will split the collies and poodles up; the intention is to run Teal as the height dog on one team and Squirrel on the other! Provided Squirrel behaves herself (and I am determined she will!)…these two teams will be very evenly matched for speed which should make for very interesting racing!

After all the multibreed was finished they ran a (slightly damp) division of starters in the afternoon, our team, Demon Novaz, consisted of 3 of our starter dogs…Squirrel, Jovi and Fynn, 2 from Supernovas, Kathryn’s beautiful lurcher Saffron and Gail’s little collie Mia along with Katherine’s little ‘Ronnie Rocket’ from Rotherham. Before we even started we knew we had 3 fairly reliable and experienced starter dogs in the form of Squirrel, Saffy and Mia, 1 unkown quantity in the form of JoJo and 2 total muppets in the form of Fynn and Ronnie so we weren’t hoping for much other than 4 dogs up and down and that’s exactly what we got. It’s a shame really that Jo and Squirrel both ended up having to run at the same time because Squirrel made a few errors and I think that was entirely down to me having to run Jo instead of her. I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen again and I run one OR the other, I don’t want to ruin the good work we did with Squirrel last season. The two Novas dogs were fab, Squirrel was ok but did some nice speedy runs and was driving off the box nicely which I was pleased about, Jovi…considering she’s never run with other dogs or another lane was actually pretty good…she has a very strong eye but I learned that, provided I always lined her up on the left so she can concentrate entirely on her own lane, she’s fine. Dissapointingly we had problems in the last race when the team we were running against obviously had a last dog that was liable to run around and wreak havoc once it had finished, result…they positioned a ‘catcher’ half way up the lane, between the two lanes who chased the dog back and screamed ‘LIE DOWN, LIE DOWN’ at it to stop it from misbehaving. All very well and good but PLEASE would competitiors and judges consider the opposition team dogs when doing this sort of thing!!! This person was doing this just as I was releasing Jovi to run last dog on our side, result…a very frightened and confused dog that didn’t want to go up the lane (and who could blame her!) so I ended up having to wait ‘til the team had completed and the shouting had ceased before I could send Jo…not exactly very fair or considerate from either the other team or the judge in my opinion.

Amazingly we did get some good clean runs out of both Fynn and Ronnie in the warm ups (both also very excitable and likely to be distracted by the other dogs) and Fynn actually managed to complete a leg in competition too…there is hope! I have also very kindly been offered a place in the Alpha starter team at the ring party/training day at Drax this weekend so will take both Squirrel and Jovi and run them one at a time, see how we get on there then we have a combined Demon-Tyne starter team entered at Drax for the May Bank Holiday weekend too. least he's a pretty face I

The main Open tournament took place over the weekend and we were extremely fortunate with the weather…dry, bright and breezy!

We had the Demon Racers running in Div 3 on Saturday, just three divisions of racing for that day so another lovely lazy 9.30am start…could get used to this! We were bottom seed by 0.3secs on a realistic seed time…needless to say…we got slaughtered. I was pleased with the way Mac was running though, his times have improved from Drax the previous weekend so hopefully he’ll be back to end of 2009 times once his fitness improves. I was particularly pleased with his box turns in the afternoon once the ground had dried up. I had started alternating Fly and Ethan as last dog (Fly runs best in this position and Ethan can only run in this position); he was running 0.5sec faster than her and Rach did a great job of swapping between the two and maintaining some nice tight changeovers.

Sadly Ethan went very very lame and had to be withdrawn from racing, he’s been suffering from an intermittent lameness/stiffness in his back end on and off for around a year now (started at Anglesey last Easter) which has steadily been getting worse and resting doesn’t seem to have helped but I have never seen him quite so lame as he was on Saturday…my poor, poor boy could hardly stand up after completing only a handful of legs so I took him along to Tom (orthopeadic vet who runs with the Dolphins) to have a quick look over fearing he had damaged his hips or something really terrible. After a thorough examination and some motion tests Tom’s initial diagnosis wasn’t great but could have been worse. Eth has a full range of motion in both hips with no sign of pain or discomfort in either of those joints or his cruciates so that definitely isn’t his problem, it appears most likely that he has sufffered injury/damage to the intertarsal structures in his right hock, apparently quite common in ‘sports’ dogs which is resulting in pain/inflammation after exercise and causing the lameness. We’re going to have to have x-rays to diagnose this for sure but the good news is that this is something that may well right itself over time. The surgical answer would be arthrodesis…making those small joints fuse together but this is also possble to achieve through pain management and a continuation of current exercise/activities which will eventually result in the same thing…a fusing together of the joints and an end to the inflammation/pain. I want the x-rays done before he runs again just to make sure that is what is causing the problem and running him on pain killers isn’t going to make anything worse. A dose of Metacam on Saturday afternoon and he was right as rain and hasn’t been lame since so it appears that it is the flyball that is aggravating the joint (so hopefully flyball will also be the cure!)

A slightly earlier start on Sunday morning (ok…still only 9am but we were getting used to 9.30am by then! lol); that said we weren’t involved in the first division of the day so still no rush for us. This turned out to be a beautiful day of sunshine and blue skies. I was judging the second division in (div 5) and the team were ring partying for me…what a great job they did too…Megan scribing for the first time with Rach operating the lights and supervising and Simon box judging…very professionally done :o) There was some really good racing in this division and with quite a few teams running on submitted times the added ‘excitement’ of break outs too. The Forge Mill team earned a very well deserved 1st place…worth the drive up from Worcestershire I’m sure.

We were racing in the last division of the day, Division One…again we were bottom seed and again we struggled although Teal did run a little bit better than she has for the last couple of comps so hopefully she will improve with the more we do. We ran a 17.84 with a smidge early change from me but just really struggled on changeovers again. We did have a change of handlers/running order and I think this will be the one we continue to run with now so everyone will get the chance to ‘bed in’ to their position and hopefully we’ll run more consistently. We ran Rach/Bailey start, Gemma/Faith second, Alison/Dylan third, me and Teal last. Rach really has been thrown in the deepend, coming from running a 6 second dog in the bottom divs to suddenly running a 4 sec dog in div one! She’s doing great but is understandably taking a bit of time to find her feet and confidence so start dog seems the obvious place to begin. Gem ran Faith second in an attempt to get Fi to focus better (I think she needs a firm hand) and also to utilise Gemma’s passing skills, Alison and Dyl moved from last to 3rd to help Alison improve her changeovers…Teal can be hard to run behind so the changeover should be easier behind Fi…Alison is also having to learn changeovers after spending two years running start dog with Dyl so this should come as the season wears on. Teal much prefers to run last and comes out much better to an empty lane…she is also the only dog we can send in on Dyl that does not result in his occasional ball dropping. Fingers crossed we can continue with this combination and see some improvements.

Although we had no rosettes to collect at presentation we did have plenty of awards!! Alison collected Dylan’s silver and I collected Teal, Faith and Ethan’s silvers along with Lexie’s Platinum…that was a lot of trapsing up and down! lol

Alison and Nico holding Esther at presentation...

Next comp in a month’s time at Drax, another bank holiday weekend and more multibreed…hopefully we’ll get some training in before then too :o)


Well we had been entered to run at the Rotherham Rockets tournament to be held at the Phoenix Sports and Social club in Brinsworth on the Saturday, this was the last ‘indoor’ show of the winter season (I say indoor but it’s actually run on grass in marquees) but news came through early in the week that the ground was waterlogged and the whole tournament was being moved to Drax Power Station Sports and Social club instead! I didn’t mind because I like this venue too (fab and reasonably priced food in the clubhouse!!) and this venue fitted in better with the planned ‘hop’ up North to Newcastle after the comp to attend the North East BCC open show on the Sunday (6 dogs entered!)

Well, best laid plans and all that…the short story is that it turned out I had ordered my new van gearbox from a bunch of total cowboys (International Car Spares in Oldham FYI…be warned and do not order anything from these people!!) and it never arrived…I ended up cancelling this order (still waiting for my refund of £750!!) and having my existing gearbox re-built locally, needless to say…weekend arrived and I still had no van so we ended up taking a minimal team to Drax (in my hired Nissan Micra!) and we had to miss NEBCC…for the 3rd year running!! ( I think this show is jinxed for me).

Rach and Gemma came and stayed over Friday night and we set off early Saturday morning to Drax, the Micra was surprisingly nippy over the big hills of the M62 and we arrived in good time. We didn’t bother taking our box as Steve Leek had kindly offered us the use of the Dolphins box (which is the same model as ours); I kind of regretted this decision because, despite being the same model it is not adjusted quite the same as ours and we did have some box issues over the course of the day. We were running 2 four dog teams since I had only been able to fit 4 of my dogs in (Faith, Mac, Dottie and Teal…Ethan and Lexie stayed home) and Squirrels open debut was postponed yet again. The dogs ran just ok, Teal is still not running that well and Faith is still not focusing and is therefore inconsistent. Dylan and Bailey both ran really well and both clocked a number of sub 4 sec times but we struggled on changeovers and consistency, tried a couple of different running orders and were just generally crap! We had similar issues with the second team too but somehow managed to come 3rd with them, no idea how…a 3 way run off for 3rd place and we had run the fastest time so were awarded it! This team seems to suffer stamina issues, running much quicker times early on in the day and then struggling in later ones…this is definitely a team that benefits from having more than 4 dogs so we can swap dogs in and out. I am consoling myself that we are always rubbish at the start of the year but improve as the season wears on…fingers crossed!!

Here are a couple of photos kindly taken for us by David Flood from the Cambridgeshire Canines team who also kindly boxloaded for us in the afternoon (My lovely friend Hazell had driven down to do this for us in the morning but had to head off home before the racing had finished so she could sort her dogs out to run their Tyne teams the following day)

I particularly liked this pic of Mac…

And this one of Pip…

Here’s an interesting couple of pics of Faith turning the wrong way so she can ‘nosey-beak’ at the dog in the other lane…her natural box turn is to the right but when she starts doing this we will switch and load her left.

So here’s her left turn loaded right (the way she SHOULD be turning)…

And here it is when we switch and load her left…

I’m not sure if this actually makes any difference to her speed/times but it’s really infuriating!! Either way she loses time compared to her normal right turn...wonder if I could invent some dog blinkers like racehorses wear?? lol

There are a load more pics here

Will post the report from Easter weekend (just gone) later...