Last weekend we went to Kongsvinger in Norway for the really well organized, fun and exciting yearly event, Norwegian Open. This was our second year and we are already looking forward to next year! On our way to Norway we passed Nordens ark, a private non profit foundation that works to ensure endagered animals have a future. They are engaged in breeding, rearing, research and training different animals. They also try to increas puplic awareness of biological diversity. This last summer I wanted to see the great capricorn beetle (Cerambyx cerdo) when we vistited the Swedish island Öland. The great capricorn beetle is classed as endangered and can be found only in one single site in Sweden, Halltorps hage at Öland. When we came there we were lucky enough to meet and get to know Jimmy Helgesson, the guy who works with the project to save the great capricorn beetle at Nordens ark. He was there to collect some individuals for rearing at Nordens ark and we spend several hours helping him to search for the rare beetles. The beetle, who is the largest longhorned beetle in Sweden is a realy cool insect itself due to how it looks like and its size. Also, because it’s so rare, I can’t really describe my feelings when we, in the meddle of the night and after hours of searching, finally found one! My adrenaline level was higher than in an agility world championship final…! Anyway, as we were going to pass by Nordens ark, on our way to Norwegain open, we got invited to visit the breeding station at Nordens ark. So, we stopped by and it was amazing to see all the larvaes, beetles and other animals and also to get a closer look at the fantastic projects and all what Nordens ark are doing to preserve endangered species. Do I need to say my weekend started on cloud nine?! After this perfect start of the weekend it could just continue n a good way!
Saturday was a pretty good day with all great runs, but ”only” one win in agility open. In three classes we got a small mistake, but generally I was super pleased with Lilli’s performance. Ogin also qualified to the final in the open jumping, but both Ina and Ogin had problems with some tunnels and it took ages for them to run through and they kind of looked a bit dizzy when they came out. I don’t know if they slipped, crashed or what they did. But besides this and some corrected contacts, they were both running really good. So we collected only one moose from the runs on Saturday but we went home with a lot of trust and excitement for the next day. Lilli was in perfect shape and we had so much fun. I was a bit annoyed over the small mistakes we had and adding the small mistakes from the FCI WC in Italy, I was a bit sick and tired of perfect runs with small mistakes. I discussed it all with Nettan and the conclusion was to just keep working with the same technique and the same trust in Lilli. It has been different things with no connection and we decided that sooner or later our luck will change.
So it did. On Sunday we woke up to sunshine and good energy and both Nettan and I had the feeling that this Sunday would be a good day. We started the day with a course by Lee Gibson. It was really a challenging opening of his course and also the weave entry. First I didn’t like it, as when I first saw his course at Crufts. But then I so badly wanted to make it and I realize, that to solve it in a good way, I need to trust the dog, RUN and give everything – the things I like the most in agility! If it works, it works and it will be really good. If it doesn’t work, I know what I need to take home and train. So, I gave everything and handled all three dogs the same way and all three of them did really nice runs and the opening felt almost easy in the end! (and I liked it!) We continued to work according to plan during the day, we gave everything like we use to do and had so much fun! Lilli and I did four out of four clean runs, also Ina and Ogin was running great.
In the end of the day it was time for the final. Tamas Traj was judging and I was excited about his course, I usually like his design and way of thinking and he always put some new challenges for us. That’s especially what I like with him, that you can’t really recognize a course by Tamas, because he’s always doing different things in his courses. Anyway, I liked also this course. Especially the part from weaves to after DW, where some good dog skills, trust in the dog and running was required. First I was running with Ogin and he was doing a great run, I was so pleased with his performance! Except the A-frame. He was not deep enough and unfortunately he got five faults. Lilli was in the end of the starting list and we waited impatiently. I was a bit nervous before but when we entered the course it was all gone. I just wanted to run and we did! Everything went according to plan until the DW, I got a bit behind for the threadle after DW and I felt like I wouldn’t reach my position for the serp in the end, so I improvised a rear cross. It was not my first option and maybe not the best, but it worked. My old Lotus would had been proud, three rear crosses in the two last championships!
It was a great feeling to cross the finish line without a small stupid mistake, like we had in most of the courses in the WC. Lilli and I were the winners of Norwegain Open, which was a perefct final of the championship finals of 2015!
The long way back home went pretty smooth and we had alot of energy to stay awake in the car. A BIG THANKS to the organization of Norwegain Open 2015, you are doing an amazing job and we competitors are so lucky to get the opportunity to participate in this big, fun event! And as always, THANK YOU Nettan for being such an important part in our team!
Further down you will find a video from Lilli’s weekend!