Deece qualified for the Novice Cup final at the KC Festival last year. This meant that he was invited to the final at Crufts, where there was one agility and one jumping run, with the results to be combined. Because Deece has such long legs, I did want to go to Stoneleigh to do some training on carpet beforehand, however the long journey, cost of fuel and other commitments made it unfeasible in the end. We would just have to wing it. On the Big Day there was a strip of carpet in the collecting ring to warm up on, and I was really grateful that Deece at least got to have a little try on that. The first round in the morning was the agility, and Deece did struggle, he was so out of kilter that nothing about the run felt particularly good. However, bless his cotton socks, he managed to go clear and ended up in third place. I was so pleased that he seemed happy and confident despite the intense atmosphere; he took it all in his stride. In the afternoon we had part two, the jumping round, we ran in reverse order so he ran third from the end. I really liked the course. I tried to run it sympathetically to the conditions, just trying to give him the best lines and minimise slipping. He seemed to have found his feet, and was an absolute star. (Thank goodness for all that co-ordination and balance foundation work!)
These fantastic photos were taken by Ian Watts.
The official coverage is here: and thanks to Lorna Peachy for videoing from the stand, but for some reason it won't load (will try again later). Thanks also to Duessa for being a fab groom and Matt and Natasha for their support :-))
I felt for Matthew Goodliffe, who had two stonking runs but Quincy just clipped a couple of poles. However, he did win the novice finals at Olympia! Not too shabby for the start of Quincy's agility career! They are looking fab and I'm sure there are great things ahead for them.
Back to the Crufts ring, and we were called back for the presentation, although not told where we had ended up..... I couldn’t believe it when I realised that Deece had won both the jumping round and the overall competition, I am so proud of my special little guy. Clever Deece.
9 hours ago