Sunday, September 26, 2010

JRTCC Nationals 2010

The JRTCC Nationals Trial was held this weekend in Paris Ontario, only 45 short minutes from where we have been staying. This is the premier show in Canada for Jack Russell Terriers and the competition is always fierce. Top kennels from Canada and America come to compete for the coveted titles of JRTCC Champion and Reserve. Unlike the typical JRT trial which is two - one day trials, this is one two-day trial with only one shot to win, and one judge to impress. The girls, as always, did not disappoint.

Saturday was Racing for Kiwi and Veteran Conformation for Sadie. Eight thirty am saw Kiwi bright eyed and bushy tailed anxiously awaiting the start of racing, and me desperately wanting a second cup of coffee! All of that exhaustion from a 5am start to the day would soon be forgotten through as Kiwi put in an impressive performance to win Over Puppy Racing Champion! As he day went on it got cooler and cooler and wetter and wetter. Miserable weather for a dog show but the girls kept warm and dry in the comfort of the heated car and it was only I who had to suffer the elements trying to make sure we would be in the right place at the right time. I was shivering by the time Sadie's class was due in the ring and wrapped in a blanket we waited outside the ring to be called in. Sadie is as close to a push-button show dog as they come, you simply put her on a lead and walk off knowing she will be strutting her stuff beside you. In the ring she simply stacks herself and shines and I have been spoiled all these years having her at my side. Even with the inclement weather she never missed a beat and earned herself the honor of Best Veteran bitch and the Reserve Veteran Terrier Championship!

By Sunday morning all evidence of the previous day's miserable weather had disappeared save a few dew drops that would burn off shortly in the crisp fall sun. Today was Open Conformation for Sadie, her curtain call in this division as Kiwi will take her spot next year, and Canadian Bred Puppy Conformation for Kiwi. Sadie was once again simply lovely and even though she was the oldest terrier in the toughest class she still managed a top-3 placing at this National event! A true testament to how wonderful dog she really is! A short while later and I was back in the ring with her daughter Kiwi, who is to say the least little more difficult to show. Kiwi has an incredible mount of exuberance and a 3 second attention span. This is not to say she is not incredibly showy, she is just a terror to handle. The goal in the show ring is to show your dogs best attributes at all times one can imagine how difficult it is to get a 9 month old Jack Russell puppy who has other ides to stand pretty for any length of time! Despite all this Kiwi showed enough flashes of brilliance to capture the Canadian Bred Puppy Championship! I am always proud of my girls but I was particularly thrilled by this weekends affirmation that our terriers can compete with some of the best!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another Year Comes to a Close

This weekend marked the end of the fiscal flyball year for 2010. It was a year of ups and downs but on the whole I have to say a pretty good one. Cali debuted in Souris, MB in October of 2009 when Sadie came into heat a little early. Despite having absolutely no practice passing, or running with dogs in the other lane, she was wonderful and earned her first two titles, FD and FDX. The next tournament was in February and after a winter of working on her box turn Cali came out and ran in the sub 5s right off the bat. She has been solid ever since. This tournament was also Sadie's first back after having her puppies and she ran well until a border collie from her team went AWOL and went after her. This was the beginning of a grueling 5 months recovery process that, while frustrating at times, taught me a lot about bringing a dog back from being attacked and rebuilding confidence. Topher (Inseguire Christopher C) also debuted for the Lloydminster Hotdoggers this weekend and earned his FD and FDX title. By years end he and his handler Donna would earn 3700 points and set a PB of 5.2!

Shortly after that tournament came the decision to switch flyball clubs. This has always been about the dogs for us, and while we do it for them we need to consider our enjoyment as well. Flyball is our hobby,we do it to kick back, relax, and enjoy some time with our dogs and teammates a few weekends a year. We are highly competitive when we line our dogs up to race but once we walk them off the mats we leave all that behind. Finding a club that shared our outlook was not too hard and we will be forever grateful to Furry Flash for allowing us to join in their fun!

This last year with them has been awesome. Cali has held a full-time height dog position all year and earned a whopping 6200 points and a PB of 4.7. Sadie recovered to enough to run a few races and earn her FM (5000pts), and while she is not yet back up to full speed I am confident that in time she will get there. Riley even made his debut after 3 years and has been solid as a start dog posting times in the 4.2-4.5 range. None of this though could have been done with out the guidance nd support of Ken, Christine, and the entire Furry Flash club. It is going to be hard to top this year but with both Kiwi and Tovy to look forward to running in the future we just might!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Northgate 2010

Spending a little time in the East definitely has it's advantages, one of them being much more access to JRTCA trials. Since we are out here anyway we decided to make the quick hop to New Jersey for the weekend and attend the Northgate trial for the very first time. Held at Doug and Susan Tack's place it has to be one of the most beautiful venues for a trail I have ever seen. Their farm is cut into the side of a mountain and sprawled across woodlands with trees so old I could not even begin to guess their age. It was breathtaking to say the least and set up wonderfully for terrier trials, with the racetrack a permanent fixture and ever thing easily accessible. Friday night was a lovely BBQ and social at the house and I had a wonderful time socializing with old friends and meeting new ones.

The competition in the East very stiff and such a nice venue and a well run trial attracts the best of the best in the terrier world. Saturday morning racing came early but was a lot of fun! Kiwi was second in both flats and hurdles to the very fast Farmcliff Sarah so she did not make the finals but the exercise paid off and she was somewhat behaved in the conformation ring. I have to admit that I always feel a little nauseous before I walk Kiwi into the ring, the combination of knowing she is pretty nice terrier and her being a terror to show makes my stomach do back flips. She has so much energy and enthusiasm that she does not always show herself as well as she could and that is where my lack of handling experience (comparatively to these kennels that have been in this business for 15+ years) are not always the best combination. Thankfully Martyn Hulms is a forgiving soul and saw through all her antics awarding Best Bitch Puppy and a few minutes later Overall Puppy Champion! I could not have been more elated! She beat some very nice dogs and to have her be puppy I bred and raised just made it that much sweeter! Sadie carried on the winnings taking Best Veteran Bitch, and held her own with the much younger dogs in the open conformation classes.

Sunday morning saw us back at the racetrack bright and early with young terrier who had now spent the bulk of two days in her crate and was more than a little anxious to get running! Once again in the flats she was second to Farmcliff Sarah but not by much. A rematch in the hurdles gave a few tense moments but Kiwi prevailed a length the better and earned herself spot in the over puppy finals. She seems to really excel over the hurdles and as luck would have it that is how the finals in terrier racing are run. This particular trial chose to remove the last two hurdles making the race a half and half and meaning it would be a much tighter finish as Sarah tends to be better on the flat and Kiwi better over the hurdles. A post draw to the outside and a good break put Kiwi in a great position and she battled it out with Sarah every step of the way. She really put her heart into the race and managed to hold off the rest of the competition and win Over Puppy Racing Champion! Although she did not fare as well in the show ring that day the versatility she showed me this weekend taking Championships in both venues once again speaks volumes to the abilities of this little girl!

With that success we are now on our way to Canadian Nationals and hope to repeat at least some of it the last weekend in September!