Thursday, 16 November 2017

Trip To Bracklesham Bay And End Of The Agility Show Season

At the beginning of the year our aims were to try and win into Grade 4 and to achieve our Silver Agility Warrant. As we reached September I was starting to think that it just wasn't going to happen.Then at the 2nd to last show of the season we won into Grade 4 by a convincing 3 seconds. At the last show we not only won again proving that the previous weekend had not been a fluke but managed to get the last points we need for our Silver Warrant!

The middle weekend of September we headed off to Wave Runners KC Show with plans to stay at nearby Bracklesham Bay. We opted for a dog friendly chalet booked through Waves Chalet Rental which we found on the Dog Friendly website.
We set off on Friday morning with a stop off for lunch at the lovely Black Rabbit pub near Arundel.
The food was really good and the pub is set right on the banks of the River Arun. After lunch we walked from the back of the pub car park up along the river to the next village with great South Downs views in all directions.

The River Arun (View from the Black Rabbit)

View back towards Arundel Castle

The Black Rabbit

The South Downs

South Stoke village

Arundel Castle

We made it to Bracklesham Bay late afternoon  just in time for it to tip with rain so we relaxed in the chalet for a few hours until it brightened up. The sun was low in the sky when we headed out to explore. The beach was only 5 minutes walk and another 10 minutes or so east along the seafront we were into RSPB Medmerry Reserve (One of the RSPB's newest reserves)

                                    Bracklesham Bay at dusk

                                    RSPB Medmerry at dusk

We wandered back down to Medmerry first thing the next morning before heading to the show. It was so peaceful, just the noise of the birds and no one else about.

The girls had great fun at the show over the weekend. They had 7 clear rounds between them and Jazz won into Grade 4 on the Sunday. We had a nail biting hour or so to wait as we ran early while we kept our fingers crossed that we held onto the lead!


Our prizes!

Our 3rd place run on  Saturday


Jazz winning into G4!

We finshed quite early at the show so as the weather was still reasonable we headed off to  West Wittering Beach. The parking is quite expensive if you are just stopping for a short while but it is worth it if you are planning a day out. There are a few dog restrictions in summer but during the winter dogs are allowed on the whole beach. Be aware though that the tide comes in really fast.

Lovely sand as far as you can see!

Moody sky but the weather did hold!

 On Monday morning we decided not to head straight home but make a day of it. We headed down to Pagham Harbour firstly having a walk from the small visitors centre which is found on the way down the road to Selsey. We headed off towards Sidlesham. When we reached Sidlesham we continued on a footpath which headed East. The path was a little wet in places and a short way along we came to a bit of path completely under water and decided to turn back. It was only when we retraced our steps and found the path to be wetter still that it occurred to us that the tide was coming in! Thank goodness we turned round when we did!

                                         The flooded path!


After a spot of lunch we headed round to Pagham itself and had another short walk on the opposite side of the reserve before heading back home.

Little Egret in flight

A flock of Redshanks

On the following weekend we headed down to Nedlo Agility near Romsey in Hampshire for the last show of our summer season. We were in the 25 day overlap period after our win so we couldn't go up another grade at this point. The plan was just to relax and enjoy the day, no pressure.
Jazz was on great form and as if to prove we were ready for the next grade went clear in all of her runs. We ended up with a 1st, a 2nd, a 3rd and a 7th.  What a superstar!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Fun Packed August Round Up!

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.

                             View from the hide to the Osprey's nest

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!