We started off with a practise round, and all the dogs were slipping a lot. The more we ran on the carpet however, the more they seemed to adapt, wonderful creatures!
I think my nerves got the better of me in the first round, and my bad handling saw Emma and Levi disqualified in the Jumping run. Both worked very well, so I didn't have too much to complain about and Levi was flying!
The second round, Agility, Levi surprised me by having a very fast clear round, claiming 3rd place in that round, only split seconds behind the first two. Emma's round was a bit disappointing as she missed her A-frame contact and had a run-by the dogwalk, very unlike her.
By now my nerves had settle a bit, and running in front of a big crowd, indoors, and having the best handlers in the country with years and years of experience watch you, seemed less intimidating. The Round 3 Jumping was a lovely open and fast course. Emma went first and ran a steady clear. Levi ran like a champion and was on his way to a first place when mom made a bad handling error just before the last jump, which made him run past it and jump it from the wrong side. It happened so fast, it was just too late to make it right! What a disappointment, as he would have ended overall fourth if it wasn't for that, but boy did we have fun! At least that showed me he has it in him to beat the best.
At this point there was no catching up to the leaders with one Agility round to go, so we just went out to have fun. Emma ran steady again, but missed her contact on the dog-walk which was the second last obstacle, also a pity. Levi worked well again, but had one refusal and a missed A-frame contact. He ended on 18 points and Emma on 16, to claim 6th and 7th position overall.
It was an amazing experience, one I will never ever forget. I also got to see a lot of my Border Collie Chinzi's relatives in action... her dad Chi, her uncle Zildjian and her amazingly fast and absolutely brilliant aunt, Ostara. It was a treat indeed. Chi won the Large category to become the SA Champion for 2008 and Ostara ended in the Top 3 to represent the SA Team at the World Champs in Finland. Chinzi's grandmother and great-grandmoter, Jay-Anne and Sasha-Anne, also competed and did really well.
Chinzi was the youngest dog in the Flyball event which I will report more on in her blog at http://www.chinzigotops.blogspot.com/
In the end, the medium handlers decided not to go the the AWC this year, so there was no medium team chosen. Emma did end 2nd of the eligible dogs however, and would have been chosen if there would have been a team.
After a tiring but wonderful two days' competition, we moved outdoors for the Championship Show on Sunday. More about that, as well as some video clips of the SA Champ rounds to follow soon.