We decided to visit the Kennel Club International Agility Festival for the 2nd time this year at the great location of Rockingham Castle in Leicestershire. Unfortunately the lovely place we stayed last year was all booked up so eventually we found somewhere locally with a vacancy. It was a bit cheaper than last year and a bit more basic but it was within 15 minutes of the show and close to Rutland Water so it ticked most of the boxes - Redwings Lodge.
We also took the time to visit a couple of local dog friendly pubs and also visited the The Osprey Project at Rutland Water again.The drive up to Rutland was in the worst weather and took double the time it should due to heavy traffic. We were exhausted and hungry after sitting in the car so long so after checking in we headed off to give the dogs a run stopping in a quiet country lane where there was a pull in and a footpath sign. The sun finally came out and we had a lovely walk across the fields spotting in the space of half a hour, a Buzzard , a Red Kite and a hare who ran out in front of us across the path. Dinner was at The Horse and Jockey in Manton which was packed out and clearly very popular.
The next day we made a good start at the show with a clear round in the first part of the Crufts Novice Cup Qualifier. Unfortunately an extra jump in part 2 put an end to our chances of qualifying for this year.
An 11th place in an agility class of 200 dogs and a clear round in Izzy's only run of the festival mean't we had a pretty good first day.
Spectacular view from the showground across the Leicestershire countryside
On day two we had only 2 runs. both pretty good but not clear and we were finished nice and early.
We headed off to Manton Bay, Rutland Water to the dog friendly part of the nature reserve
Little Egret fishing in the shallows.
We were lucky enough to see two juvenile Ospreys and their Mother who had not yet left to start the long trip back to West Africa for the winter.
Lunch was at the not very dog friendly Finchs Arms on the Hambledon Peninsula we sticks out across the middle of Rutland Water. The food was lovely and we were allowed to take the dogs into the garden but only via the side gate.
In the evening we headed to The Wheatsheaf in Edith Weston for dinner. Dog friendly and the food was good and it was lovely sitting outside in the warm evening sunshine. After on a whim we decided to stop, give the dogs a quick leg stretch and have a quick look at Normanton Church. It is the landmark which appears in many photos of Rutland Water. It was deconsecrated and set for demolition in 1970 but public outcry mean't it was saved when plans were made to flood the area. The lower level was filled with rubble and the floor raised above flood level and causeway built to connect it back to the land.
We were so lucky to catch the sun setting over the reservoir.
On the Saturday of the festival we managed a 24th place out of 300 dogs and a couple of 5 faults rounds so all in all a pretty good effort over the three day we attended.
Jazz in action at Bridge House Show on the Bank Holiday Weekend.
On the Sunday of the Bank Holiday I left the dogs at home for once (moods all round) and headed to Brighton for the day to celebrate my birthday. The weather was unusually for a public holiday very hot and sunny and Emma and I spent the day in the lovely sunshine mainly drinking jugs of pims.
The Remains of the West Pier
A Few Seafront Views
Bank Holiday Monday it was back to Edenbridge and Oxted Show to help on the have - a - go agility ring and to take part in 2 demo's with Sunniday's Agility Club.
It was very hot but the girls had fun!
Jazz and Izzy in action.
And some rather cute Donkeys!