Wow, what a great experience at EO in Belgium this year! It was a good opportunity to reconnect with friends and the international agility community, especially as I was camping on site with good facilities and a fun atmosphere. Our excellent coaches and the comradery of the U.S. team added to the event. In all I came away feeling satisfied that the training over the last year prepared us well for the course challenges and inspired to take our skills to the next level. In particular I marveled at the fitness and attitude of the German handlers that let them get where they needed to be on those long courses and at the fantastic distance and verbal control of the Russian team. Everyone’s dogs were well conditioned and highly motivated. There’s a reason many countries had teams called “All or Nothing”! This year Bella and I ran completely clear and fast in 2 runs with very respectable rankings and had 2 other qualifying runs with only a fault or 2 – no off-courses at all! This year I felt we stayed in sync through all the sequences.
The weekend prior to EO Bella and I along with 2 other North American friends enjoyed the hospitality of a local club at the Lihos trial in Genk, Belgium. The weather was extremely hot but luckily we were able to borrow some shade tents for the dogs and take refuge ourselves in the spacious clubhouse, where we also enjoyed the Saturday night BBQ. The courses were extremely challenging and gave us a good lead into the EO weekend. Bella had a great first agility run at that competition taking first place.
There was a trophy for first place – the miniature weave pole set !
The club also hosted the U.S. team for practice during the week prior to EO, where Bella was snapped in action over the wall jump.