We had an amazing weeks holiday, combining a trip abroad with agility - perfect.
The trip started with a detour to De Warre in Belgium the venue for next years WAO. It is a spectacular venue and is a good motivation for trying to get in the Team. We then met up with some friends in the evening. It is always lovely to meet new people and even lovelier if you know you've found a new good friend too :)
The house in Denmark was absolutely beautiful with sea views and a short walk to the beach. With course walking at 7:50 and prize giving (everyone attended) not finishing until around 7:30 we probably did not get the full benefit of it.
The competition it's self was great. There were a few differences to get used to like remembering to take your collar off and strict running orders but once we got used to that it was good.
I really enjoyed the courses with judges from several different countries including this years FCI judges putting out courses of all kinds.
Torro was enjoying himself and travelling at the speeds we managed on the Autobahn but my reflexes and body were not. We did manage 3 top ten places, a fastest five faults and one podium place of 3rd along with quite a few eliminations. It was great to take the flag up and stand in front of the crowds if a bit embarrassing. When Detox got made up to a Danish Agility champion they played "Stand Up" and everyone stood up and clapped - even Greg looked embarrassed. He also got a bottle of Champagne. It did make me think what an anticlimax it is to win a ticket and even more so to win the last ticket to become an Agility Champion. Often the crowd is left wondering who won and reliant on Facebook to know when it makes that dog a Champion. As the ticket class is so much more expensive than any other it surely could have more show made of the end results.
Back to Denmark and the Dania cup. Another big difference is that people bring tents and put them up beside the rings to sit and and have their dogs in. Great for the rain and shady when sunny plus no long walks to the car park or camping area to get dogs. We did see several dogs go lame on the courses which makes me wonder if that distance to get our dogs is actually a good thing to ensure our dogs are warmed up for those people who do not understand the importance of it. Despite the running in order and therefore more accurate times of when you would run we did not see many people warming their dogs or themselves up.
Despite the different course styles to what we're used to the British appeared at prize giving a lot. Bernadette with Zaz winning 4 classes, Greg and Detox winning 4 and becoming a Danish Champion, Amy and Fudge appearing on the podium for 2nds or 3rds 5 times, Mark and Devo getting 2nd in SP3 jumping and Torro getting 3rd in another class. Jo and Bitz were regularly in top 10.
The prize giving involves podium for top 3 with winner being called up first and everyone shaking their hand as they go past. Then in the larger classes up to 7th place being called up to stand beside them. Then the remaining places (about 10%) get called to go"straight to the table". As you are called up the top 3 got medals plus a card with a number on. Before the lower places get called you're led to a table with an array of many different prizes to choose from. You have to choose in order so winning get want they want. Detox won Greg a few cases of lager :)
We got 2 shirts, a suitcase, a few sacks of dog food and a voucher for a massage.
Bernadette kindly chose some sting relief spray for me when I got stung by a wasp. Strangely the was the day before Torro got 3rd - slightly different version from a kick up the backside LOL