Monday, 14 March 2016

Plan B swings into action

I managed to get completely disorientated at Crufts this year. This was probably because we were in a different car park to usual on Thursday which meant I was taking different routes for most of the day. Anyway, I got to the right places at the right time...and saw some different parts of NEC.

Our team, Scunthorpe (large team) won the Team event on Thursday which we were extremely pleased about. My three team mates (Roger, Julie and Karen) did their job brilliantly only collecting five faults between them, all I had to do was to go clear... well that was the plan.

When we ran I knew the leading team had 10 faults with a quick time. So when we, Devo and I, joint responsibility, got marked on the dog walk contact, I knew I was going to have to change tactic and speed up if our team was going to win. We won by .03 of a second...that was close.

Running in relay teams requires different psychology and tactics to 'normal' teams and very different again from individual runs.  Our preparations were solid. Over the period of our training sessions I really felt we got stronger and stronger as one team.

Winning at Crufts is an amazing experience in whatever class. I'll be running that team class over and over again in my head for a few months to come.

Other highlights for me this year have to be:

  • Being asked to present the trophies to the YKC winners in the main arena,
  • Having the opportunity to lead the Team GB Large Team World Champions out for a special award recognising their success at the 2015 FCI World Championships,
  • The opportunity to be 'back stage' with the competitors to help, watch, talk and observe and 
  • Catching up with people for a chat and a drink
Crufts is far more than a big dog show for me; its one of the highlights of the year. 

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