A day in the life of...a dog agility show

This weekend was my dog training club's agility show, so as I have pretty much lived and breathed agility for the last 48 hours...here's a taste of what I have been up to. Ive had a really great weekend! So happy...and SO tired!

5.30 am ... Day visitors rouse themselves and their pack of excitable canines from their sleep to begin the journey to the show

7.00 am ... Weekend campers slowly wake up in their tents and caravans on the showfield as the morning chorus of barking dogs slowly rises up in the clear cool air

7.30 am ... The club who is holding the show swarm everywhere like ants, setting up the various show rings.  There are jumps to be moved to set up courses, boxes of snacks for the people who will spend the day helping out on each ring and endless steaming flasks to be filled for thirsty helpers

8.00 am ... The (human) competitors are out walking the agility courses.  These consist of various numbered obstacles.  Dogs must complete each obstacle in the correct way and in numerical order within a given time to get a clear round.

8.15 am ... The judges brief the competitors.  The judge is responsible for deciding whether a dog completes obstacles in the correct manner

8.30 am .... The first dogs are ready on the starting line and the classes begin.  There can be over 200 dogs in a class (they are grouped based on size and ability level), so the "rinse-repeat" flow of dogs through the ring has to be smooth and continuous

9.30 am ... As each class finishes, the course is changed for the next class and walked by the handlers, the presentation of rosettes and trophies occurs for the class which is finished and then the whole process starts off again

12.30 pm ... The rings fall quiet as everyone breaks for lunch

1.30 pm ... And they are off again!  As well as the ability level classes, there are also special classes for junior handlers and for veteran dogs.  The old dogs only get one run a day compared to the 3 - 5 a younger dog will get, but they love to still get the chance to participate in the sport they have loved for many years

4.00 pm ... As the last classes finish, everyone joins in to help take the equipment to pieces and tidy up the showfield.  

6.00 pm ... The very last tired and happy dogs and handlers finally leave the now deserted showfield - the show is over - until the next time!


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