First Competition of 2018 – Fantastic Achievements All Round!
We were back in the lanes this month and it was a day of firsts for our babies and newest recruits, as well as our more experienced team dogs and handlers!
On Saturday 10th February we competed in our first competition of 2018, and our first UKFL tournament. The event was hosted by Cambridgeshire Canines and was held at a local venue: Wood Green, The Animals Charity, in Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire.
It was a cold and icy start to the day and with measuring starting at 7am we were glad the venue was close to home! All of the dogs handled the measuring process with no problems and several dogs measured at least an inch or two less than their BFA heights. Hartley surprised us with a measure of just 8”, becoming our first UKFL team height dog!
The venue was great, with plenty of space for equipment and spectating, and two rings: one for Open Staggered Competition racing and one for Open Block Competition racing, Little League and Pre Cadets. The facilities were good and the whole event was run efficiently, with a great atmosphere. It was a busy one for us as we had teams entered in open, Little League and Pre Cadets!
Pre Cadets (PC) gave us the opportunity to work our newest team dogs (with use of the whole ring) with many of the distractions but none of the pressures of open competition. Our teams (PC1: Phaze and Switch, and PC2: Gus and Deena) each had 3 sessions of 7 minutes through the day, and they all did amazingly well! This was their first time in a competition environment and they didn’t seem to be ‘phased’ by it at all! They all worked hard, putting in some great box work as well as focused and consistent run backs. It was great to have additional training aids available to help control their lane work if needed, but they all did brilliantly with minimal props.
Our Little League team, TimeShift, consisted of Neo, Wibble and Badger. We were running against other teams which provided more distraction than the dogs have been used to during training, but were also able to use training aids where needed, which allowed us to work on specific training needs. Neo put in some great runs and was obviously excited to be back in the lanes! Whilst Wibble has competed before, it was his first time out since joining the team and he did himself and us proud, remaining focused throughout. Badger also coped well, having never run next to another team, and did amazingly for his first time in the ring.
Roxy, Bella, Logan, Nera, Hartley and Willow made up the team for TimeFlyZ. The UKFL rules took a bit of getting used to, with different scoring methods and 5 heats per race, but the dogs were raring to go and the team put in some strong performances throughout the day. The whole team worked fantastically together; there were some great starts from Roxy and Bella, some amazing individual times, including a PB from Roxy, and some near perfect changes (although there were some ‘bum clenchers’ in there from Traci!). Logan, Nera and Willow also ran brilliantly in all of their races, and Hartley did himself proud, putting in some great runs for his debut performance with Flyz. Despite only coming fourth in our division, we thoroughly enjoyed a great day’s racing and were absolutely thrilled to achieve our fastest ever team time of 17.36 seconds!!!
We are very grateful to our sponsors Green Pantry, Seraquin and Cambridgeshire Canine Massage for their continued support. We’re so proud of all of our dogs and excited to see what we can achieve at our next competition. Here’s to even more fantastic performances throughout 2018!