Ok…well I do feel terribly guilty that my blog really has suffered a serious amount of neglect over the last few months and have concluded that there are several reasons for this being the case. Firstly, we don’t do as much over winter so I have far less to talk about other than the fairly trivial and mundane day to day stuff (although I actually quite enjoy reading about such things on other people’s blogs lol). Secondly, with the short days and dark mornings/evenings over winter I always just tend to feel as though I have less time to do anything which is obviously psychological since I physically have exactly the same number of hours in a day! lol Thirdly, and possibly the most significant factor is my increasing reliance on facebook to share and interact with friends and like minded people but I do appreciate that not everyone uses facebook or looks at it regularly so I will endeavour to keep the blog up to date over the summer and I will invariably have a lot more to say than is practical on facebook anyway! lol
For anyone wanting to catch the facebook news and updates, from myself and various ‘Bryning Owners’ that also contribute, you can just visit our Bryning Border Collies, Working Cockers and Parson Russell Terriers page and ‘Like’ it to get all the updates and photos included in your newsfeed.
So much has happened since my last posting that I hardly know where to begin in a brief roundup. Both flyball comp and breed show-wise we have done very little. LKA was our last breed show of 2010 and I only took Spark who ended the year in style with a first place in his first ever Open class beating some really super Show Champions; he was handled by Eric Broadhurst for the first time and didn’t go as well as he should have in the challenge but I was pleased with him nonetheless and he ended 2010 having attended just 7 shows and coming away with 5 class wins, a reserve ticket and ticket…not bad going!
Spark winning his class at LKA (photo by Cathy Saxon)
From a real high we were plunged into a real low with the sudden illness and death of Sue Large in early February, just 4 months after awarding Spark his first CC at SBCC and us having a real blast together at LKA in December. What a terrible shock and a real blow to her whole family but also the dog world at large; Sue was always happy to share her time and vast wealth of knowledge and experience with everyone and I had been touched by her generosity of spirit since I bought my first ‘show bred’ border collie, sired by Tetley (Wizaland Lucky Brew JW); Sue was always so helpful and encouraging to me as a complete novice, it was a really sad time for all who knew her.
So far this year we’ve only been to MBCC champ show where Spark was 3rd in Open dog and a couple of open breed shows where Spark and Faith both had class wins, Viva a couple of consistent places and Jovi came 2nd in a strong class at her first ever show; if I can get her to settle in the ring she should do ok (although that is quite a big ‘if’!).
Spark winning his class at NWBCC Open Show (photo by Sue Tranter)
Viva at NWBCC
And of course Crufts where I had just entered Dottie and Spark but Dottie didn’t hang onto her coat so only Spark went, he was unplaced for the first time ever (shock…horror! lol) but was beautifully behaved as always and returned to represent the breed on the Discover Dogs stand on Sunday too, along with Fynn.
Spark by his bench at Crufts 2011
We have EABCC and SKC champ shows coming up over the next few weeks so fingers crossed for some good results there. It’s quite frightening to add up the cost of show entries and diesel costs so I’m not sure how many shows we will get to this year to be honest. I thought long and hard and decided that, although qualified, I’m not going to take Spark to ‘Border Collie of the Year’ this year…it’s just too far and too costly for the sake of taking a single dog unfortunately.
In terms of flyball tournaments we had a couple of months off with no competing or training so we’re not entirely prepared for the season ahead and are going to have to just ‘suck it and see’ but that means there’s no pressure on either dogs or handlers. Travis made his Open debut and is running reliably but we still need to work on his box and his junior handler, Megan has a lot to learn too but is making good progress. I am still working on foundation stuff with Tarka, she is looking very promising and I want to make sure we get it right with her so no more starters competitions for her until I feel she’s ready to run in open, the chaos of starters is not conducive to cocker confidence building. Flint (the ENORMOUS whippet/saluki/greyhound thing I rescued last summer) has just started training and is doing surprisingly well…let’s hope it lasts! Again…baby steps with him, don’t want to waste that potential by pushing him too soon.
We have managed to secure a new permanent training ground thanks to my wonderful vets at Rowan Veterinary Centre; their brand new purpose built surgery sits on quite a large plot so we have mown a half acre (ish) area that we can use for training, there is a lovely (hmmmm) open water pit in the middle of the plot too which the dogs have decided makes an ideal ‘plunge pool’ for cooling off! lol
We did have some surprise success however on our first attempt at Crufts flyball with our YKC team which had been a last minute thought at the end of last year. We had qualified at the last qualifier of the year in October so went on the last day (Sunday) looking forward to our day out but with no expectations. To our surprise and delight the kids and dogs were brilliant and sailed through each knock out round without dropping a single race to win the final against Hinckley and be declared the 2011 Crufts Champions! Woo Hoo! Team consisted of Rachel with Spice (WSD) and Aiden with Lily (Labrador) from Cambridgeshire along with Daizy, Megan and Rachel who ran Bailey(WSD), Dylan (Bryning Truly Magic), Faith (Bryning True Believer) and Haze (Bryning Indian Summer)
The Demon K9’s - 2011 YKC Crufts Flyball Champions!
We have two new editions to the pack since the last blog update too. Jellybean is a rough coated Parson Russell bitch puppy that I kept from Squirrel’s Christmas litter, she’s just an adorable little rogue like her daddy!
And Preston is a young blue & white border collie pup from the Beesting ‘kennel’ in Wigan. There is quite a sad tale behind Preston joining us here as I had originally chosen and taken his litter brother Drift who was a really super puppy and such a funny character but was tragically killed in an accident at just 5 months old which was just devastating. Shortly after Drifts’ sudden death Jean and Jimmy very kindly offered Preston to me; since I already knew him and liked him a lot it seemed like the perfect opportunity to retain the new bloodlines I had wanted when looking to bring in a new pup in the first place. He is sufficiently different to Drift for me not to be constantly reminded of him or to be tempted to compare them and has settled in here really well becoming firm friends with Jellybean.