And We’re Off!

September 11, 2009

We are just finishing off our to do list before we leave this Saturday for Austria.  Riot and I have been training hard all week, setting up courses from this years judges and working lots on jump grids and obstacle performance.  I am really happy with the way she has been running lately and am getting very excited about the competition.  This will be my sixth year competing at the FCI world Agility Championships, but my first time with Riot.  The FCI World Championships in my opinion is as good as it gets and it is my absolute favorite event.  Even though it seems crazy to spend all this time, effort and money on travelling half way across the world for only two runs, believe me, when you step onto the carpet and put yourself up against the best of the best, it is so totally worth it!  I think this years Canadian Team is the best it has ever been and we should have a fair shot on the podium.

The team arrives in Austria on Saturday with a chance to settle in.  We have team practice on Monday and Wednesday and a few tours planned on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday is the vet check and check in as well as our team training at the event.  Each country is allotted a short amount of time on the floor to practice on the equipment and get the dogs used to the footing.  The time alloted depends on how many dogs are on your team.  Team Canada will get 18 minutes on the floor for all 13 dogs to train.  In the past we have divided into groups based on jump height and rotate through 3 stations.  This is the first year I have only had one dog on the team so those 18 minutes will seem much more relaxing for me, but for the rest of the team it is a whirlwind 🙂

The competition starts on Friday and continue through until Sunday.  All team events will be finished on Saturday and Sunday is left for the final individual agility runs for all heights.  The event always ends with large individual agility as this  is the most exciting and competitive category.  By the last day of the event the stadium is packed leaving standing room only.  Supporters from each country are grouped together in the stands to cheer on their own dog and handler teams.  The final round is run in reverse order and when the top placing dogs begin to run the crowd falls absolutely silent.  When dogs who have potential for final placements make an error the crowd bust into a chorus of rhythmic clapping in support of the attempt.  When the class is coming to a close and the final few dogs make their way to the line countries in contingency prepare for celebration with supporters ready with flags to run onto the floor as the winner makes their way around the ring in victory as the music plays “simply the best” or “we are the champions” .  After celebration the floor is quickly cleared of equipment and  filled with people from all countries who sing and dance to the world championship sound track .  It is quite the event.

Thank you to all the people who have sent me good wishes and to all my friends and students for supporting me.  To all those that bought t-shirts and poop bags, it is greatly appreciated!

Wish us luck!

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6 Responses to “And We’re Off!”

  1. Tonnes of good luck!
    We’ll be watching you closely through http://www.agilityvision.com!

  2. Sue C. said

    Best of luck Justine! Have a great trip and I look forward to hearing updates!

  3. Erin Piercy said

    Good Luck Justine! We’re all rooting for you.
    I know you’ll do great! 🙂

  4. cecilia said

    Good luck to you and Riot!!!

  5. Roxanne Brierley said

    Best of luck!!! Will be cheering for you and the rest of the team. See you soon.

  6. We keep all our fingers and paws crossed for you!!
    (For us you ARE the best! 😉 )
    A big hug from us all the way from Sweden! (still dreaming about the great days we had when you were here)

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