Happy New Year – 2020 has arrived and promises to be another interesting year with big challenges facing us politically, on a world scale, the environment and of course topics closer to our own interests – dog sports.
On the 1st January a new jump height was introduced at Kennel Club licensed agility competitions. The new height is 50 cm and called Intermediate. It aims to address an age old issue of smaller large breeds (if that makes sense) jumping in the highest jump height category (65cm). So in effect, Border Collies (sorry to be breedist, but they’re a good example) could measure into either the intermediate or large height category.
The debates, arguments and reasoning for this additional height have been going on longer than Brexit. I won’t go over all the pros and cons – it’s done and it’ll be interesting to see how the competitions deal with the increased number of classes this year….we could have probably told Teresa May that even a simple thing like changing agility dog jump heights can’t be enacted in less than three years; she didn’t have a chance on a Brexit deal in any less!
The new height category doesn’t effect my current agility dogs Rhyme (large) and Pikachu (small) but the three existing heights (small, medium and large) have all been reduced by 5cm too. So they will be jumping slightly lower obstacles in the future. Karen’s young bitch Chic has measured in this new height.
This reduction in jump heights for the small, medium and large categories bring KC competitions in line with the FCI and most other organisations – a good move. Increasingly more countries who compete under FCI rules are introducing a 4th intermediate type height and I wouldn’t be surprised if the governing body introduce this at their showcase European Open and Agility World Championships within the next five years too.
A more pressing matter is to get Rhyme and myself back up to agility fitness ready for Crufts in six weeks (yikes!). We’ve both had a few injury niggles over the last few months, and put on a few extra pounds over Christmas. We now need to knuckle down and get working on our fitness plans.
All the best for 2020.
From Virginia Harry and the CSJ Agility Open Team
After watching you all perform over the last four days I can absolutely confirm that you all deserve your Win On Spot… You were all fabulous to watch, your phenomenal handling and training skills – it was an honour. Especial congrats, of course, to Steven Richardson, #sponsoredbycsj, for winning the 500 category. Happy now, Steve???
From left to right – Jo Tristram and Brite, Steve Richardson and Digit, David Wright, Ashleigh Butler and Sully, and Sarah McLean with Milo (holding her puppy, Ember).
Well done to you all! The top three in the CSJ National Final in the 400 height were:
- 1st Samantha Towe and Franky
- 2nd Becci Chant and Jaffa
- 3rd Abigail Doxford and Wiggy
Well done to these three competitors who have all been a total joy to watch this weekend. Such skills! The top three in the CSJ National Final in the 600 height were:
- 1st Ola Kordas and Dessa
- 2nd Anthony Clarke and Ava
- 3rd Joanne Tristram and Brite
Steve Seale gets it together when it counts! Huge congrats to Steven Richardson and Digit and Karen Marriott and the national treasure that is Puzzle. The top three in the CSJ National Final in the 500 height were:
- 1st Steve Seale and Flec
- 2nd Steven Richardson and Digit
- 3rd Karen Marriott and Puzzle
And not forgetting the ‘Smalls’, known here as the ‘300s’. Fantastic effort, ladies. Lucy Osborne-Norton – running well! Roz Quail, on form as per last year. Amazing. And Sarah Mclean – I think I’ve said it all on other posts… props, lady. You and your dogs are awesome. The top three in the CSJ National Final in the 300 height were:
- 1st Lucy Osborne and Fling
- 2nd Sarah McLean and Milo
- 3rd Roz Quail and Tula
The WAO 2020 super win on spots for England, Scotland and Wales have been published. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in the Netherlands in May 2020.
The winners of the future prospects award have been announced. Congratulations to them all.
From Virginia Harry & the CSJ Agility Open Team
And the action starts again…
This afternoon’s CSJ Agility Open course plans. Notice the very tricky weave entries in both classes. In fact, the entry looks easier on paper in the Pent Jumping 2. In fact, the dogs have to make quite an adjustment after the tunnel to get in the correct weave. Of course, some are making it look very easy.
Two more clears for young Steve! This time in the CSJ Championship Jumping Round 1. Currently lying in 3rd with Digit and 6th with Future, whose round is posted below.
So… in the Biathlon there’s a jumping and an agility round and the scores from the two are added together. A very unlucky pole from Digit put them in 8th place, with 6 clears above them, so all is not lost if they excel in the agility – and others don’t, of course! Here’s their run. Future crashed a jump and Steven Richardson wisely retired her.
Some very nice distance work from Hayley Laches and Atom…
Tonight’s Steeplechase Final course plan.
The courses here at The CSJ Agility Open demand top level skills from dog and handler (@!**!#) difficult, in other words!) but of course there are always handlers who make you wonder what all the fuss was about. One such handler is Sarah Millwood (I hope you don’t mind my posting, Sarah!) with her dog Phaze. And as you can see, I had a bird’s eye view of her run. So many dogs are going from the weaves into the tunnel – it’s very close – so props to anyone who didn’t get eliminated there!
Rather annoying refusal for Steve and Digit in an otherwise flawless Pentathlon Jumping 2.
Photos of today’s action are available on the CSJ AgilityOpen Facebook page
Pentathlon Agility 1
Today’s course plans
First round CSJ Agility Open and Hayley Laches and Atom nail a 3rd place in the 600 height! What a great start.
Steven Richardson and Digit win their height in the Steeplechase 1 class!
Sarah Hamblin and Princess Karma were the first to run in the CSJ Agility Open’s first class, Pentathlon Agility 1.
Snooker… Here’s Steven Richardson and Future having a go and finishing in 11th place.
A ‘tail’ of two halves, the one in which Atom leaves his ears at obstacle 3 and gets them back at 8! Fantastic second half. The second half of this run is amazing…. Hayley doesn’t break out of a walk!
Two fabulous runs from Steven Richardson is in the Pentathlon Jumping 1, putting him 2nd with Digit, so far, and 3rd with Future. This superb run puts them in 1st place in Pent Agility 1 – for now! Also a nice run from Future…. that’s a very tricky weave entry!
Pentathlon Agility 1 results
See you tomorrow for Day 2
Superb photos here from Simon Peachey on the CSJ Agility Open Facebook page.
Remember, you can watch all the action on 4 Legged Flix YouTube channel.
By Mark Laker
Maybe summer is here now, although I remember an olde English saying ”Ne’er cast a clout till May be out”… in other words don’t get rid of your winter clothes just yet. Anyway, after a glorious Easter, May so far has been a bit of a downer for me in more that just a weather related way.
Last October I picked up a muscle injury in my hip area (I told people I’d broken my bum as that’s what it felt like!) Apparently I’d damaged a deep muscle which wasn’t easy to stretch or repair so I just had to be patient and do the exercises. It meant I couldn’t run or do anything too strenuous for about five months.
Easter came and I’m fixed, exercising again and gradually getting back into training with Moog. Then we had a change of plan and decided Moog needed some proper dog training… I just pretend to be a dog trainer, Karen’s the dog trainer. I’m the people tamer!
Karen’s first run with Moog was at Shrewsbury earlier this month and they did well. I ran Karen’s well trained dog Rhyme and had a 1st place, a 2nd and a 5th which I was pleased about. So there we are, Rhyme and I both fit and running well again – some would say “ye olde magic is still there”.
Then without warning last week I picked up a back injury (ye olde-re occurring back pain). Fortunately it isn’t serious and everything was put back into place by the Physio. However I’ve had to miss another weekend of competition while it recovers.
I’ll be working on my fitness when I get the all clear and plan to enjoy the rest of season competing with Rhyme and supporting Karen with young Moog, Chic and Pikachu.
One of the many good points about dog ownership is even when you’re not feeling 100% dogs still want to be you and will enjoy anything we do with them. Whether it’s out for a walk, a run, agility or other work they are always keen to join in.
Have a great May and remember no casting of clouts yet…
PS – apparently the saying is also related to the Hawthorn being in flower too.