2013 European Open Championships – My Experience
Got home last night from quite a trip 🙂 I felt like I was gone forever because my trip was action packed!!!! Sorry my updates were non existent. The internet connection was pretty poor.
It all started………..
I flew to Germany first to meet up with my good friend & travel partner, Dante Camacho. Funkee Monkee, Grand Slam & I attended a Seminar in Germany for 3 days. It was such a cool experience. I got to work with 7 different instructors from all over the world. Each had a different spin on agility & all brought something different to my experience. I was able to share the time between Fun & Slam. It was the perfect warm up for Funkee & I before competing in the EO & was excellent experience for Slam & I. We were able to work through some tough courses & continue to work our team work. I was impressed with how well he handled everything at only 2 years old. Super excited about his future. I think I will try to run him at the EO next year as well.
The weather was unbelievably hot! The dogs & I spend many of time under the hose! I stayed right on the site of the seminar in a little “house” that we nicknamed ” the Box” – It was basically a shipping container with a window, door & power in it. Was kinda cool actually. It was nice to stay there & enjoy the company & amazing food! I met so many new friends. Good times & I will never forget the final night filled with crazy games & karaoke, Sergio seeing the moon & Alen becoming Tunnel Sumo Champion! LOL
After the seminar, we drove to Belgium for the EO. This was my third visit to Belgium. I had been there in 2008 for the IFCS & in 2012 for the WAO. I happen to be staying at the same hotel & competing at the same venue. The hotel is nice, but this time I was staying in a different wing then the first time. This room wasn’t as nice & didn’t have any air. It was NOT the most comfortable sleep I’ve ever had. The dogs & I huddled in front of the small fan each night. The food however, was pretty good & I recognized many of the waiters from the restaurant.
The EO event was much bigger then any world championship I’ve ever been to before. So many teams, people & dogs! I think there were over 700 dogs entered! The opening ceremonies was incredible.
Friday was Team dy. (Agility & Jumpers) I was on a team with Preston (Justine Davenport) Mec (Annie Vezina) Dice (Jessica Martin) & Funkee. Our team was called “Can’t touch this” – Overall our team did pretty well, but had enough faults that we didn’t make it to the finals on Sunday unfortunately.
Saturday was Individual Day (Agility & Jumpers) I really had to dig deep for some confidence for this day. I made some stupid mistakes on Friday & really wanted to have a better day. Putting too much pressure on myself never works to my benefit. There are only 2 shots to get in to finals!!! Jaakko & Janita really helped me in the morning, giving me a great pep talk & confirming that my handling choices for the Jumpers course were good ones. Funkee & I ran a great course!!!!! We placed 3rd overall and were only less then 1 second from the first place time. That meant we got to compete in finals on Sunday! Then I competed in the Individual Agility course. I actually didn’t know that it wasn’t combined score, so I really went for it again in the course. Part of the course was a straight away that ended with a backside jump. Funkee turned on the after burners & left me in the dust! (the footing was really deep) I thought she was going to take the back side jump the wrong way so I desperately yelled out “WAIT!” and Funkee stopped dead in front of the jump. hahah What a good dog. I then sent her to the back side & we nailed the rest of the course. I got called for a refusal so we didn’t place in that course. The crowd thought it was pretty funny that she stopped like that! I thought a refusal would be better then an Elimination!
That night I had a lovely dinner with Janita & Jaakko (at their motor-home). Ended up staying there quite late so when we went to get dogs from the stalls – the buildings were all locked up with our dogs inside! We had to search around to find someone to let us in. Luckily the problem was solved quickly & we were on our way home. That night I got very sick & didn’t get much sleep. Not very good prep for finals the next day 🙁
Sunday – Finals!! (Agility) – The energy in the air was incredible. All the competitors surrounded the arena & there was so much screaming! All the jump heights had a different course to compete on (this is different then what we do in Canada where all heights do the same course) I felt pretty comfortable after my walk through. I felt this was a good course for Funkee & I. It was fast with some technical parts. The adrenaline was pumping as I walked to the line. The girl before me just posted the fastest time & the crowd was screaming. Funkee loved this…. I think she thought it was for her! haha. I was running 6th last, so pressure was on. I decided that I was just gonna run as fast as we could & take some chances if we were gonna beat the time. In an effort to go fast, I didn’t pull through her through the gap #2-3 for a pull through & she ended up taking out one of the wings of the jump. Poor girlie! After that – we decided to run for it & get a fast time. The rest of the course was beautiful – tight turns, excellent contacts, great weave entry! We didn’t end up making the podium in that course, but I was still happy with how we did. It’s very rare then Funkee would knock any bars, but we were going for it!!!!!
The whole experience was amazing – It was so nice to see some familiar faces again! I’ve made some great friends from other countries – all thanks to agility! Our Canadian team was really fun to hang out with. Great people & a good group of dogs. My travel partner Dante was wonderful as usual! Loved this trip 🙂
The journey home was a disaster, and I’m going to bother writing about it. I got home in one piece & the dogs are good – so it’s a happy ending!
Hoping to go to Hungary for the EO again next year. This time with Funkee & Grand Slam!