By Mark Laker
We’re right into the busy agility competition season now, the ‘big three’ has just been completed. These are three of the biggest competitions of the season all back-to-back one weekend after another. All the major qualifiers are there and many top handlers try to attend at least one.
I’m working towards my championship judging status at the moment, so I have been splitting my time between competing and judging. I’ve judged at two of the three and really enjoyed it. I enjoy designing courses, the challenge of building it on the day, the inevitable ‘tweaking’ that needs to be done to fit the course around unexpected obstacles e.g. drains, holes in the ground, ruts etc.. the judging part and presenting the trophies at the end.
I judged over 300 dogs yesterday; which is about normal for an agility judge
The top 20 or so were fantastic. It’s thrilling to watch these partnerships working together around challenging courses at great speed; occasionally I have to pinch myself to remind me that I’m there to judge not spectate!
We’ve got a break from competing for a couple of weeks now
I’ve got some family time planned and areas of training especially with my young dog Moog to work on. He’s coming on well, very enthusiastic and wants to do everything at top speed which is good although he does need to clear jumps not take them all out!
Meanwhile Agility Team GB are training hard for their championships next month. Both the juniors and the adult teams have held extra training session with particular focus on the traits of the international judges they will be competing under; it’s quite scary how quickly time has crept up on us this year.