Judge – Julia Milligan
Placed 1st in Introductory Class – This win earns Faith her INTRO ex title (subject to KC confirmation).
This win means Faith is no longer eligible to enter Introductory Classes
What a great day and huge surprise! Arrived at the show bright and early for a 930am class start. Faith hadn’t been pulled in the draw so I knew we had time for a bit of ringside practice. Unfortunately it didn’t go well, the grass had been cut for the show and there had been lots of nettles in the grass near our ring, as I tried to practice Faith wouldn’t even look at me but instead was flicking her feet all the time and looking down to see what was prickly! I tried everything I could think of but she didn’t want her treats and didn’t want her toy, just was too distracted with the nettles. Eventually I decided that there was no point in trying anymore and I might as well just let her relax ringside and ‘what will be will be’ but I had a strong suspicion that we were going to look like we hadn’t even been to an obedience class before!
Time came for us to be called in and thankfully the ring was clear from nettles and Faith began to work for me, I think it helped that the first test was the play based one so we went straight in and had some fun. Did our heelwork and recall and both judge and steward were really kind and helped put me at ease as much as possible but I still felt my heart racing at the end. I got my feedback from the judge and tried my best to make a mental note on what to work on for next time and came away really pleased with how hard Faith had tried, I could go home happy!
We went for stays at 10:45 and I was really nervous as we have worked hard on Faiths stays and last class was probably the best we had had but that was class and this was a show environment with a huge stay ring and loads of dogs there for the exercise but, long story short, she did it!!!! I was over the moon. What a perfect day. Then on the way back to the rings it got more perfect when a fellow competitor mentioned that we were looking high up in the places, I was really shocked and really excited.
The rest of the day was spent hanging around in the sometimes sunny, sometimes cold weather and socialising Rhea in the new show environment, I was supposed to work her too but couldn’t get her nose off the floor (later discovered the grounds were littered with rabbits darting in and out of bushes). Since I haven’t really trained Rhea well enough I didn’t feel it was fair to try to work her so distracted so just made the most of the show environment training around the rings etc.
Later in the afternoon Faith and I returned to the Intro ring after hearing that we were due to be in some kind of ‘run off’, I had no idea what one was or how it worked. Eventually I met Pat whom I work with and she informed me that we would have to complete an exercise chosen by the judge and whoever got the best result there would win the higher place. However, when the time came it turned out we were actually competing for 1st place and would have to repeat the whole test, I was at this point really excited and also wanting to run a mile!
So our turn came and we finished our repeat test, Faith did much better heel work than last time but I knew how tired she was and worked hard to engage her. The other young lady and her Collie did a super job too and I resigned myself to a 2nd place. Pat came to wait with me along with another lovely lady I train with. So, well, I couldn’t have been more shocked when they began to read out first place and it was my number!!! I even looked down to double check my number because I simply couldn’t believe it. I wished I could have bottled that moment and that feeling, I hope Faith realised just how proud I was off her, she couldn’t have done any more that day. A day I will certainly remember for some time to come.