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Sunday 31 July 2011

Individual Pursuit For Dogs

I didn’t over indulge last night and a good job too, with another 6am start and another day at the show. It’s hot again, not quite as bad as yesterday but there’s still plenty of scope to top the sunburn up.

Most club members are assigned to the same ring this morning for a Crufts qualifier for something called the Circular Knockout. 96 dogs pitched one on one, racing against each other from the other side of the course. Think cycling and the individual pursuit in the velodrome but for dogs. I’ve never seen this before as it’s for little dogs, they don’t do it for collies. Now that would be mayhem. It would probably attract upwards of 300 entries, take about 8 hours to run and cause a fair number of on course fights and that’s just the handlers. I hate to think what the dogs would do to each other.

As it is, it’s mayhem anyway. Seven rounds of knockout and the fights are restricted to the queue as handlers jostle for position to take their turn. It’s exhausting administering it but the finale is good. With both finalists going to Crufts there are jubilant scenes as the competitors win their semi-finals. It’s good to see. With most events usually being against the clock, it’s often hours later before you know who’s won and by then there’s hardly anyone there to witness it. A refreshingly different sort of competition.

That takes up the first few hours of the day. When I finally get around to running my own dogs, MD is better than yesterday but still gets 5 faults in pretty much everything. Then again, one of those 5 faults lands us an 18th place rosette; again we are the fastest of those with faults, although not below the winner time on this occasion. Then he rounds off the day with a clear in a qualifier that could have taken us to Olympia. It wasn’t quick enough though, but we didn’t want to go to Olympia anyway. Well, who am I kidding, maybe next year.

I run Doggo in three but they’re all a bit too simple for him and we don’t come away with anything.

It’s been a tiring weekend but a good one. Later as I attempt to round things off with a romantic dalliance with L, as you do, it is to the sound of gunfire outside... How romantic. It can’t be gunfire surely? This is supposed to be a leafy suburb. Doggo hides just in case, MD is oddly quiet. Perhaps we should hide under the duvet. Later it transpires that it wasn't gunfire after all. Phew, relief. It was only a car on fire. That's alright then.

(Sunday 31st July)

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