Lilli and I qualified to the international agility competition at Crufts by winning the Swedish tryouts last year. I know by experience that it is a tricky, complicated, time consuming and expensive trip, but I also know it's A LOT of fun and really exciting to be there and to compete at the big Arena! So we were very happy to qualify and was so much looking forward to run Lilli there.
It was some years ago we were there now and once we came there I just wanted to run! I don't know who was the most unpatient, me or Lilli. But we enjoyed every second on our trip and we all three enjoyed our Friday off. Lilli just love to mingle around all people, chat, get some food, love and play in the different stands. We watched some agility and bought some new collars and dog toys.
Then finally Saturday and our day to run! Lee Gibson and Dave Jolly were our judges and when I saw Lee's courses I thought he must have woken up on the wrong side in the bed when he designed the courses... First I didn't like them at all, but if the courses are challenging I use to get motivated about it and in the end love them. This was the case with Lee's courses. Especially the final course. First I just thought he was crazy, but then I was more and more looking forward to run it. I was a bit worried that Lilli would slip on the carpet, I had seen so many dogs on Fridays competitions that had a hard time with the surface and I hate to run and think about how the dog will manage the footage, if they can run, if they will slip and so on. But as we started to run I felt like she managed the carpet really well. We won the two first runs and I was so pleased and excited, we qualified for the final! We got the final course and it was a real challange, especially with running contacts. But that's usually what makes me excited; something crazy, hard and something that will be solved best by running fast! I'm still excited when I think about it, it was so much fun.
The course walks are shorter than usual and it felt like it was so many places to make important deciscions that the "easier" parts didn't get that much focus. Me and Nettan decided that I would just give everything and run as hard as I could, no safe ways to solve any parts. My best and most successful way of thinking is if I run fast and hard I will either win or learn and that's exactly how it is! In the two first runs we won and in the last run we learned something and we had extremely fun. We disqualified in the "easiest" part of the course as I had definately underestimated the difficulty in that sequence. Lilli took a bonus jump after the flat tunnel and our perfect run was not that perfect any more... ;) But it didn't really matter because it was so exciting to run on that course, in that arena, with that dog and with the audience cheering for every dog! It was an experience for life and I was really pleased with everything else in the run. My pulse is still going up when I think about it :)
I made a video of our adventure to Crufts in Birmingham, enjoy! And don't miss out the end... ;)