Tails We Winter Series

Thank you Tails We Win for a fantastic day of racing and general team support on Saturday, it was appreciated.

With many of the team out of action this weekend Ellen had a bit of a job to rejig the teams to provide the right support for the more Rookie dogs (ever mindful that consistency is key) but a quick zoom on the Thursday evening the the training team were all briefed and ready to race 3 teams.

During that zoom meeting, conversion strayed and we started to talk about walkie-talkies and ear pieces (very much inspired by you Road Runners ). And as it happened Mell knew just the person to talk to to get us a set to try out. Thank you Mel and Lewis!!! And oh my goodness these things are a game changer……. We loved them and they will definitely be a fixture going forward. Not only can you play at being bouncers, you can sing to the box loader when they look a bit lonely all the way up the other end. You can let the host team steal the mic and entertain everyone plugged in. Oh and yeah, we could easily call the team in when it was time, calmly change orders mid race, ask the box loader to try a different ball, get line information directly to the team. Every team should invest in a set!!

CANINES – These guys had one core objective for this competition….get a time!! In other words our current seed time was about to expire therefore we had to run clean at least once and complete to get a recordable time and preferably we wanted to keep our seeding. Obviously the complication was that many our dogs/owners couldn’t be there so we were missing some of our more solid dogs and were leaning more on our green dogs than we would have liked.

It was not a smooth journey and at one point we did think we would need to be seeded on a 17.55! But we had one gloriously tense yet perfect leg that gave us a new seed time of 15.87. 🎉🎉

Thank you to everyone that rallied around and helped us to achieve it in the ring and cheering from the outside – it felt truly amazing and just a shame Ellen and the rest of the team weren’t there to share that moment with us. The Canines came 3rd but we left the competition feeling as joyful as if we had won.

CANNONS – The line-up of the Cannons was a 4 dog team, and new to each other. There were definitely a few hiccups, which the handlers (Janet, Mat, Pamela & Nic M) all took in their stride and helped their dogs to work through.  We are really proud of how this team ran… they came 3rd with a fastest time (and new team record) of 17.54! Congratulations to Wally & Nicole for making their league debut AND earning their Cadet award.

CROSSBOWS – We were so pleased with the Crossbows who got a 2nd place with a fastest time of 20.40. We think it was far to say this team was a little thrown together, a hybrid of a couple of the more regular teams if you like! Not that you might have noticed, they worked together beautifully. With a few dogs returning from injury (and 3 unpredictable terrier types in the line up) we kept it as 6 dog team to give us options and make sure the dogs that needed to didn’t have to race all day. Congratulations to the dinky Doris (aka “Pig”) for being awarded the UKFL Inca award for best character of the day… we think this was very fitting!

Newark

Newark was our first “proper” event of 2022 and it feels like a blinking long time since we last raced (November 2021!) so we were expecting to be a bit ring rusty on top of everything we had planned for the day.

We had entered this event with the aim to post 3 new team records…. as it turned out, do to unforeseen circumstances, we only nailed one of those, with the Cannons breaking the 18s barrier multiple times to post a 17.86s record. Congrats to Harper, Indi, Jake, Coda & Taggle!

CANINES – well, what can we say!? Declared the fastest we have ever declared for a comp and debuted 2 new babies straight into the top team. The aim for the day was to take things as they came… with the main view to be a training day. We elected to give the dogs a chance at racing before ultimately going NFC in the afternoon. Both Prime & Vegas looked incredible…. yes the environment blew their heads a bit but both boys haven’t even long since started running in a team, so to actually complete some heats (minus the odd ball) was amazing. We saw a 15.30 L2L time (with 2 very late spits) from Kylo, Bailey, Domino & Vegas, which resulted (upon data analysis) in giving us our first EVER sub-15 “dream time”. Kylo posted some of his fasted times in competition, equally his PB of 3.53s over his own height, and showing he is able to do passes! Domino was his usual robotic self and Pete enjoyed the challenge of lights later in the day when we were in NFC mode; Bailey struggled with the mats in the morning and was pulled before he could injure himself. All in all, a good day at the office for all! Couple of weeks off, back to training and then back to try again at Holly Lodge.

CATAPULTS – the second team we had hoped to post a team record but with poor Quest still not 100% sound we opted to run as a sync team and were joined by the lovely Walter from Phoenix. This was the first event that we had used Tristan as our height dog, with the team running over 11″ ready for the World Cup (just in case!). The dogs times were all a little bit off what we would expect, but they raced their heart out, taking 2nd in division 2 with a fastest time of 17.49s ( a smidge off our DT of 16.50s, LOL!). Congratulations to Hope & Ian on earning your Cadet Superior Award (5000 points).

CANNONS – our third team aiming for a club record and the only one succeeding…. but that was second to the amazing news that Harper made her first official outing as a Cambs dog after spinal surgery 14 months ago, rehab and box re-training – banging out a 4.20s time as well. Congratulations to the Cannons on you new record of 17.86s… not quite what we know you are capable of but still a massive achievement! Indi & Jake, although both still fairly green to competitive racing, are now the solid backbone of this team, both happily racing in both lanes and throwing out 4.3s times for fun. Taggle seemed a bit off his game so ended up sharing with Harper… watching the videos back dhow a fumble on the box in the 2nd race that caused him to twist so a bit of rest and a check over before we play again Mr T! Finally we have Coda… who is also still relatively new to this sport but is happily becoming robotic, whilst remembering his ball and clocked himself a new PB of 4.08s… can we dip into the sub-4s category? They came 2nd in their division after some amazingly close racing, being piped 3/2 by Re-Energize in the last race…. with a 0.03s difference (17.91 to us, 17.88 to them!).

CRUSADERS – this team saw Lord make a come-back to racing after his horrendous crash last September on his debut… so we are going to call this his debut instead… and what a debut! He and Janet had so much fun and not only raced well but also put a new PB of 4.17s on the clock! Lord was backed up by solid dogs Tizzy, Lennie, Ruby, Bella & Reeva… although the lack of balls does not really support this “solid” tag. Due to a whole race of ball spitting, plus dogs struggling to find grip, we didn’t fair as well in the division as we would have hoped coming 3rd with a fastest time nearly 1s slower than we declared.

CHARGERS – our super reliable “bottom” team did it again…. winning their division with winning 19 out of 20 of their heats. Yet again, we have grip issues with some of these dogs, making them a bit hesitant and off their speeds, but well done handlers for adapting and reading the race correctly to give all dogs the best support. Lexey joined this team after being booted out of the Cannons by Taggle and she has an absolute ball. Whisky, Dizzy, Remus and Amber just did their job and did it well. Bryn, bless him, found the noise a bit too much, so happily handed some ofhis heats to Lexey, standing in the wings happily egging on his team mates.

 

All in all, a good day…. roll on Holly Lodge at the end of the month!