Thursday, November 25, 2010

Team Malaysia at IFCS WAC 2010 UK - Final day

Jumping Individual, Team Relay and Agility Biathlon was scheduled for Day 3, the final day of competition. Another fast challenging jumpers course with tight sequences mixed with long straights. From the opening tunnel, I ran around the 2nd hurdle and jumped the wrong side which got us eliminated, mainly due to late handling cue from Mr Owner or perhaps I was a little over exuberant … would like to think it was more of the former. We went on to complete the run in a decent time of 35s.Agility Biathlon was the final event and I missed all 3 contacts plus incurred a refusal for running pass the Aframe … hee hee, payback time for making a JRT work on his vacation. Surprisingly, we recorded our best result with 11th placing due to a number of teams being eliminated on the demanding course. The tunnel trap and obstacle discrimination between Aframe and tunnel proved to be many team’s undoing.

We were spectators for the 3 Dog Team events which combined the results from team agility, jumpers and relay events. Team relay was new to us and proved fun and exciting to watch as 3 teams from each nation lined up to run a prescribed course of 12 obstacles each – 1st and 3rd relay teams run the same route while 2nd relay team runs a different one. Baton is passed at the starting exchange area and next team can only start when arriving team has baton in hand and dog under control. Time for some showboating as certain teams marched in with elbows crossed and dogs heeling smartly at the side. Certainly one of the more colourful events at the championships.I only made one contact throughout the event … which goes to show that you can’t stop a good JRT from jumping off any obstacle or height.

In summary, out of 25 dogs in the Mini class, I managed to place as follows:
Agility Individual - 13th
Agility Biathlon - 11th
Jumping Individual - E
Jumping Biathlon - E
Snooker - 18th
Gamblers - 22nd

Not great but not too bad either for a one-eyed Jack. Could have sneaked into the top 10 if we had nailed the Jumpers events but slip-second hesitation and miscues cost us. Appeared a little tentative off the blocks and didn’t dig in as much as compared to my usual sprints at home, so times were below my best … not sure it if was a combination of the cold weather or softer equestrian surface or perhaps a plain case of competition nerves. Well, when in doubt, blame it on the handler!

Nevertheless, to be competitive in future WACs, prospective Malaysian teams will have to work hard on perfecting their running contacts, right angle weave pole entries and sharp turns off the hurdles. Ability to handle dogs from behind and at a distance is a definite advantage.Our only regret was not having enough time to chat and exchange notes with the rest of the world teams. With 300 runs scheduled per day, it meant that teams were running from 8am till 6pm and by evening, most teams were too tired, hungry and mostly looking forward to a good rest. During competition, teams were also preoccupied in discussing tactics and running strategies as well as warming up their dogs. There was also the language barrier for non-English speaking teams. But we did catch up and took photos with members of Team Japan, New Zealand, USA, Australia and Netherlands. I also found time to play ball with a couple of Team Italy’s handlers in the paddocks.Closing ceremony saw all teams marching into the arena and Team Russia dominating the podium, winning 14 out of 25 gold medals being contested. Great Britain, Canada and USA followed suit with 3 to 4 wins each. Japan did well with 2 gold medals and 1 bronze taking 5th place. Team New Zealand scored the biggest upset of the tournament when Chelsea won the maxi jumpers with a UK host dog, Mission the Border Collie. Teams Russia, Japan and Canada had the leanest and swiftest Border Collies at the championships, and were a real delight to see live.

Event closed with handing over of the IFCS flag to the host nation for WAC 2012, the USA. Seems too far away for most of us but if you dream and train hard enough, you never know where it will take you.No bragging rights to bring home with me except for the dubious honour of being the only mutt to have my face featured in the show program together with all the humans … the rest of the dogs only had their names mentioned. Not sure if it was intended or the printers have mistaken me for a human. I tend to get that a lot (being mistaken for human), so perhaps it was not so unusual after all.

At the Plume of Feathers Inn, we had beer and an oversized pizza for dinner to drown our sorrows … for dogs, also known as post-trial blues.


Anonymous Pet Lover said...

Great photographs of the Dogs, Agility Biathlon is a good way to keep the dogs trained and keep them agile.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looove those pictures! The people look like they're working almost as hard as the dogs. Almost.
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Blogger Unknown said...

i loved all the pics. and and this is very exciting to know that you maintain a high profile. good! keep it up
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2:54 AM  

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