World Championships Hamar 2007
How was Hamar? Lots of fun in and outside the ring, but lots of bad luck results-wise. Disappointed? Not at all, best time in all four courses, nice lines with an exception of one bigger turn, winning two of four courses Ė thatís most certainly good enough for me.
This was a short version of answers to most common questions Iím getting those days. Here is a longer version:
This was 5th World Championships for La and 10th for me Ė but one of very rare ones to run with only one dog. We came to Hamar Wednesday afternoon, after 34 looong hours on bus. Luckily, I can sleep pretty much unlimited amounts of time, so it wasnít too bad for me and La is the happiest dog in the world whenever she is my only dog, so she didnít care too much either. She did great on a training on carpet on Thursday. We watched the other teams too, especially our ďfamilyĒ: Laís half-brother in Japanese team and Buís four older sisters, two in German, one in Swiss and one in Hungarian team (yeah, she does have big family).
Friday, the competition began with individual jumping. I didnít have the best feeling when running it, La seemed somehow slow and turns werenít as tight as usual, one was especially big, but well, it felt better after seeing the time of 27,11 what was by far the best time Ė the second best time was, the same as last year, from Nitro, Canada, 28,60s, soÖ Not that bad afterall.
Saturday, we had agility and jumping run for the team. Our team started as first, but ten minutes later as we thought because of the mistake, discovered after white dog run. Not too good for La, but she did really great anyway, she again had more than a second better time from the rest and perfect contacts, but unfortunately one bar down. After Lyme, she is not 100% on bars anymore and does knock a bar here and there if I tell her a direction when in the air, so that was certainly my mistake. The rest of the run was really nice, despite it didnít go exactly as planned since the up-contact-judging-lady appeared in my path, we almost crashed and then I didnít have a time for a front cross after dog-walk that I was originally planning, but I saved the situation nicely. We even survived those horribly boring 5s on a table Ė no idea who wanted a table back to agilityÖ The other two team members went clean, so we were shocked to learn afterwards that we got eliminated because I was feeding the dog in the exit ringÖ.
Well, yes, while I most certainly do know that Iím not allowed to feed the dog on a training or in a preparation ring since this would help me, I completely forgot about the exit ring and out of habit gave La some rewards while watching Polonaís run... I got eliminated because of that and I wouldnít complain about it at all IF there werenít many much more severe breaking of the rules and the others only got a warning for it! There were people feeding the dogs on contacts in a training, people with toys in a preparation and an exit ring, people with way too big dogs for small and especially medium class Ė and while all those rule-breaking meant an advantage for them, I had absolutely no advantage over anybody because of what I did. But because Iím from small, unimportant country, I get eliminated for that and the others get a warning for much more severe breaking of the rules!
I find this completely unfair, especially since I really always stick to the rules. My medium dog is smaller than several dogs in small class and is almost 10cm smaller from some of the dogs that were allowed to run in medium despite they were measured too big!!! Ė Personally, I donít care about that, they can be 50cm as far as Iím concerned since La is still faster, I just find it unfair that rules only get applied to those countries that the guys in suits arenít afraid of, no matter if my mistake is not affecting anybody and doesnít put me in any advantage. This, I find very unfair.
I was angry enough about that to run the next run, jumping team, brilliantly. It was not my kind of a course at all, straight lines only make me loose time because La is so small in comparison to other medium dogs and Iím also not such a fast runner as those long-legged guys, but despite there were no turns for us to get some advantage, I was angry enough to get everything out of La and easily won this run too, despite it was really not my type of a course. The other two team members went clean too and we again, as already several times, won team jumping. In combination results we would have been second if only I didnít get an elimination from the big important guys who are always happy to apply the rules to small unimportant countries and only warn the big ones. I really hate to see that much politics in agility, but I guess thatís the way it isÖ
Sunday was the day for individual agility run. Small dogs did great, the best ones ended on a podium. In medium, this was not the case, we saw lots of stupid mistakes what ended with rather slow dogs on a podiumÖ Polona for example got a first-in-a-lifetime up-contact on a see-saw what cost her a podium and I got a first-in-a-lifetime down-contact on an A-frameÖ Well, I also got a fault on dog-walk contact, but this one was done, itís just that a judge obviously didnít see it. An A-frame really wasnít done and I was really surprised by that, because she always does it, but here, she actually jumpedÖ Strange, really strange. I wonder if it has to do with Lymes. It's true that even though she is much better after treatment, she is still not quite the same, she knocks a bar here and there when told a direction in the air (like in team agility), what she also never did before. Now, it's one bar per 10 courses - so not too bad, but in comparison to none before... I donít know, but we did diagnose Lyme late and it could be some damage was already doneÖOtherwise, the run was really nice, Finish Kooikerhondje was the only dog that came anywhere near my time, so it was not too bad afterall.
Overall, Iím really happy with how good La did, especially after Lyme problems that we were having this year. All four of her times were really impressive. Winning two of four runs really mean a lot to me, actually more than any World Champion title and by now she already won 9 runs on World Championships!!! Yeah, you can get to a World Champion title thanks to bad luck of others, but you can only win a run with an extremely good dog and an extremely good run.
Iím also satisfied with my handling, I think there are only three or four things that I could do better. But as always, the most important thing is that we both really enjoyed the atmosphere, our runs and the courses. The courses were really nice to run, team jumping was a little too easy, but we loved it anyway. It was also great to meet all the old friends again and make some new ones.
It was really nice to meet all of you, Iím already looking forward to Helsinki 2008!
All pictures are taken from the offical WC website.