Horseley Fen

A quick roundup of last weekends racing from our Horseley Fen July comp.

Saturday saw us race 4 teams…
CANINES in division 1 – continuing to gel the different line-ups and nailing them crosses allowing our slowest line up to break into the 14s multiple times and our quickest line up to hit multiple 14.47, winning heats and the division.
CATAPULTS in division 4 and CANNONS in division 5, both had another comp of solid racing and teamwork which saw them both win their divisions. These two teams are very much pushing each other with a best time of 16.91 and 16.95.
CRITTERS our newly formed team consisting of 7-8 inch height dogs, were in division 6. This is a teeny tiny team not to be messed with. You can hear them before you see them and they did not put a paw wrong, only loosing 1 leg all day to win the division with a nice 19.47 .

Sunday was quieter for us with just 2 teams racing which saw the CANINES back in division 1, still working on stamina over 2 days of racing and cementing those A,B & C line ups. Once again they hit the 14.47, which seems to be a favourite for UKFL teams. Then on their last leg of the day they hit a very nice 14.45 to take the divisional win.
Cambridgeshire FLYBALL had a little play at being a MB team, with new line-ups to test out we didn’t really know what to expect from this team, so a 2nd place (seeded 4th) was the icing on the cake from a great weekend.

We rounded off the weekend with Domino being awarded his Cadet Superior (5000 points) pin and Kylo and Zola gaining their Pilot Officer award (10,000 points).

Cambridge Flyball would like to thank everyone who came and took part in the weekend, we could not run these events without you.

FOWC 2024

Two years ago we left the FOWC 2022 having had an absolutely amazing time, vowing to come back in 2024 to do better than our 39th place. This weekend just gone, we realised that dream, and just WOW! We prepped hard and entered this event as 7th seed in the world, putting us seed 1 in group 7.

Friday saw us having a well structured half hour training session. We planned and co-ordinated everything to the minute and it worked so well. We had time to test the dogs on the new mats, run line-ups, do individual work and practice on the lights. The half hour flew by but everything felt perfect. Hats off to Anita & Nicole for marshalling the team so well.

Saturday dawned with miserable weather but nothing could dampen the adrenaline that was coursing through the team! We had 4 races throughout the day, each of 3 heats and the aim is to win as many as you can, whilst also putting in a fast time as the top 12 fastest group winners will get the chance to enter the championship division on the Sunday. Our first race didn’t go quite to plan and we lost 2-1, but we did manage to put a 15.00s on the clock which stood as the fastest time of the day for a fair while. Entering race 2 and the pressure was on to rack up some heat wins, which we did, winning both race 2 and race 3 3-0. At this point we had 14 points (2 points for each heat we had won) and were equal 1st in the group. We eagerly watched the race before ours which saw the other team in contention loose 3 heats. We entered our 4th race knowing we just needed to win 1 heat to take the group, which we did with a 14.98s time. With the win secured, our attentions turned to a time as we knew other teams were starting to push. Heat 2 and we put out a 14.92s… could we do better? Heat 3 and unfortunately we got a false start so lost the heat, but we could see a 14.77s time including the false start. Then the wait… was a group win with a 14.92 enough to place us in the Championship division….!? We watched as the other groups finished their races, watched the FOWC record get broken by Green Angels, supported our friends in Tails We Win push for a time of 14.90s, just pipping us. In the end, our time was good enough to put us seed 5 in the champions division, something we had dreamt and hoped for!

Horseley Fen Fun

The final event in our series of one-day fun events saw us open up to league teams to fill the spaces. As this event was means to be part of our Paw Camp, we elected to not enter too much as we had training on Sunday/Monday, but we did put our world cup dogs in for some good H2H racing practise against some fast teams.

After setting up on Friday night, Mat spent 2hrs re-covering and re-setting our box ahead of racing. Thank you Mat, we are very grateful for your hard work and the box was 10 million times better for racing!

CANINES were in division 1, racing against our fellow TeamGB teams of Raptors, Essex and Aces. This was Texan’s 2nd ever full day of racing and with no training between Newark and here he started struggling with a wide turn and elected to return down the side of the jumps in the left lane. Obviously this is not safe for any dog/handler but when, as we do in the canines, we are releasing on the box, this becomes very dangerous. We therefore made the sensible decision to go NFC to fix the turn and allow Nicole & Prime the chance to pass in safely. The back half of this team – Vegas & Kyloe – are now pretty solid, but racing B2B weekends, over 11″, with no training in between deff saw Kylo slightly off his usual times (by 0.1s) and Ellen struggling to pass as tight as normal. Before they went NFC however, they did post a lovely clean 14.65 with space all round. The future is very bright for this team!

CAMBS FLYBALL were in division 2 for more World Cup practise. Quest & Ossie will be joining their CANINES friends in the final WC team, but Storm & Zola are just as valued as our amazing travelling reserves, so deserve just as much work, training and effort. Frank has also worked hard alongside the squad over the past few months, supporting this team as their 5th dog. Today was the day that we saw Mell step up to take the reins of running Quest, meaning we needed a backup handler for Storm. Mell & Quest absolutely nailed it but Storm was starting to struggle. As a young dog at his second ever open comp we decided his needs were greater, so Quest was handed over to Ellen and Mell went back to her boy. Ossie is currently going from strngth to strength over 11″ and posted many, many sub-4 times… Zola is showing us that the winter working on his box turn and reward system was the right decision but is definitely enjoying being back racing… Frank is really loving the game these days but is coming in with so much power that he is struggling to control his turn.

All in all, there is a good reason we don’t tend to do B2B weekends of racing, and it showed. Back to training next weekend dogs… ready for Newark in 2 weeks time!

Newark

With the Flyball Open World Cup just over 5 weeks away, there was a lot of focus on the squad dogs this weekend but also time for everybody else to play in the first of our summer season events.

Saturday saw the CANINES in div 1 with aims to win, re-run as required and adapt to the race, whilst also introducing Texan into the ring and supporting Prime back from a recent health episode. Well, they nailed every single aim… racing well, winning heats and the division, with Texan debuting in 2 heats in the last race of the day. CATAPULTS took on division 4 and were a bit off the pace of the rest of the teams, but solid racing/teamwork saw them take 2nd in the division. CROSSBOWS were in division 7 and these “small and mighty” dogs hardly put a paw wrong, but didn’t quite manage the win, again taking 2nd. They did however put up an incredible time 19.54 for our 5th team… well done little legs!

Sunday saw the CANINES back in div 1 to work on stamina over 2 days of racing and the main aim of day 2 was to support Texan into open racing, with a view to going NFC if required. Well, the boy nailed his full debut, helping the team take a new club record of 14.64… running over our FCI of 11”… with a ton of room and 0.15 on the start! A few spits throughout the day, but the handlers and dogs all settled well into the new lineup saw them take 3rd. We also saw the rest of the FOWC squad lineup together in our CAMBS FLYBALL team in div 4. This team was a mixture of experienced and young dogs, with Quest taking the helm as a height dog for the first time, alongside Storm and Frank debuting into open, supported by solid racers Ossie and Zola (these dogs made up the majority of our LL team the other week). They raced so well and looked like pros, taking the win in their stride and nearly hitting those 15s. Finally we had the CANNONS in div 5. This team is well known as out super solid, race well and win team. They did not disappoint today! Winning 15 of their heats they took their division by storm, just the way we expect them to 😉

We ended the weekend with Texan and Storm being awarded their Cadet (300 points) pins and Harper gaining her Flying Officer award (13,000 points).

Horseley Fen Fun

The second event in our small series of “fun events” with options targeted primarily at the next generation of dogs, with a bit of fun thrown in for the more seasoned racers.

With our sights set on 2 full little league teams at the 4th event, we used this event to test some LL pairings. Texan paired with Storm worked hard on ball carriage (Tex) and controlled box turns (Storm). They both aced it and even started putting in some lose passes. Our other LLP were Bella and Tutti. Theses guys hadn’t had much time to practise together so they started with lose passes and tightened up throughout the day, ending the day racing perfectly as a solid pair to win their division, nailing themselves new PBs to boot!

Frank and Rosie were playing in LLS, and everything was about building success. Frank can be a bit sensitive and has had a couple of setbacks, but today he was solid and confident earning himself a shiny new PB and winning his division with 8 clean heats… next stop pairs/team and passing. Rosie had an empty lane on her first race which allowed us to continue what we’ve been working on in training – go down 4 jumps, collect ball, return to handler – and she nailed it. Her 2nd race and, OMG, there was a dog in the other lane that needed to be chased and played with. With support from the whole team and our judge, we jumped the start sequence to allow Rosie to go out ahead and complete successfully in this race too. This chaser is learning to race… just the brain explodes every so often.

Our other young dog that played today was Cuba, paired with the amazing Harper. Cuba is new to passing and sometimes forgets that she needs to pull into the jumps on the way down but by backing off the passes, giving her space to adjust herself, this pair successfully completed several clean heats and Cuba bagged herself a new PB as well!

With some of our other seasoned racing dogs we started some prep for the World Cup in June, with Vegas and Kylo working hard on passing as well as transitioning to the newer box and we think they did OK… taking (what we believe is) a UK record of 7.04s for pairs, running over 10″ (Kylo’s correct height), as well as the div 1 win. Against this crazy duo we had Quest & Prime who were also working on passing again, confidence for Quest to take Prime and confidence for Prime to run in the pack. Lots of spat balls meant very few clean heats but they did put out a 7.53s time with much more to come.

Holly Lodge

We had a great day over at Holly Lodge at the fantastically run Tails We Win competition.

CANINES 1st in Division 1

Our last outing before Crufts, the team were looking really good and pulling out some super exciting times.

CATAPULTS 1st in Division 3

Minor blip when Wendy had a quick visit to the blood bin. Ellen stepped in to handle Quest on lights, managed to get a roller, and demonstrated just how far Quest has come to take it all in her stride.

CANNONS 1st in Division 5
CROSSBOWS 2nd in Division 5

These two were battling it out all day, with two head to head races, and a little bit of banter.

Plus an amazing PC session for the CADETS and COLTS, who are getting ready for taking on little league with style.

Another great day of racing against a great set of teams. Of course fuelled by great cake and coffee (thanks to Holly Lodge cafe). Big thanks to all involved!!

Next stop Crufts!!!!