• Drax Review

    Multibreed weekend is always exciting, exhausting and busy. This weekend we were being hosted by Rotherham and Hatfield at Drax Power Station and had teams running every day. Saturday was DogStar and Diddy Dogs, Sunday was Devils and Monday we had the Synergy, Diversity and Selection multi-breed teams in.

    And what a weekend it was. New seed times for DogStar and DogStar Devils and some fantastic racing with all teams putting in a good performance.

    Saturday started with DogStar, and a frankly leisurely morning since we weren't racing until 3rd division in. Whilst a lie in bed would have been welcome the dogs had other ideas, as usual, but we arrived at Drax around 9. DogStar Diddy Dogs were 4th division in.

    DogStar comprised Domino, Arthur, Angel, Melora and Merlin as backup dog who would only be used in the event of an emergency (Merlin had expressed the preference to save himself for multibreed, and who are we to argue with that). Things started well with a run of 19.58, closely followed by a new seed time of 18.92. Ultimately though the first race was lost. The second race was won despite the number of lights we seemed to acculumate!

    With a loss in race 3 followed by a couple of wins DogStar ended the day with 3 out of 5 and collected a shiny 3rd place rosette. Melora also achieved her Platinum award.

    It's fair to say that the weather on Saturday was a bit all over the place, Teresa started running in a T-Shirt and sunglasses, followed by torrential rain, hailstones that caused everyone to take cover under the marquee and then overcast weather. We had it all!

    Diddy Dogs were up next, and the lineup there was Penny, Archie, Seve, Jenna, Meg and Fizz. Penny has continued to gain confidence with Nev box loading and did some cracking runs. Sadly no new seed time for Diddy's but there were some fantastic runs from all the dogs. Unfortunately with only 2 wins recorded we only scaped a 4th place, but there were a lot of encouraging crossovers and runs so much to look forward to from this team. From a personal perspective Jenna is starting to really get into her stride and loving the competitions, it's just the handler that needs a little more training.

    On Sunday Devils were running made up of Sparky, Prada, Nahkohe, Bedevere and Fidgit. Fidgit is slowly building up his confidence in the blue lane which is nice to see and all the team ran consistently recording most times around the late 19, early 20 mark. Highlight of the day was a new seed time of 19.27 which was also a break out but we also managed a clean sweep of 5 wins and a shiny first place. I put it down to your good luck charm box loader who gave up his day off to come and help :-)

    Sparky received his Gold award at presentation and to top off a great day Prada achieved her Flyball Dog Advanced award. Fidgit also gained enough points to reach Flyball Dog Graduate. Congratulations to all of the teams on their fantastic achievements.

    And so we arrive at Bank Holiday Monday and multibreed. Multi tends to be a different kind of racing, not sure why but it always seems just a little more intense than normal racing. We had 3 teams in today as well as a start team, so we were pretty much busy for all divisions. Thankfully Rotherham had balanced the runs across the 2 rings and had even scheduled in a 30 minute lunch break.

    First team in were Synergy comprising Sparky, Domino, Nahkohe, Melora and Fidgit. With Sparky taking over start dog role from Domino and a group of different dogs that we hadn't really managed to get together in a while we managed to pull off some quite impressive results. We won the first race including an 18.52 which beat our declared seed time. Race 2, despite a couple of wobbles we managed to win in 5 and also won race 3 in 3 legs. Clean sweep in the morning. Unfortunately we were then up against the two teams seeded above us and in all honesty we weren't really going to be able to beat them, although we did take the last race to 5 legs. With a 3 out of 5 ratio we ended up in a three way tie and took 2nd place in the end which was a nice finish for the team and gives us a good springboard for the next Multibreed.

    Next up were DogStar Diversity made up of Archie, Penny, Jenna, Bedevere, Meg and Fizz. Yes, we had Keith and had drawn the short straw, but we welcomed him in with open arms as is the DogStar way.

    Again things started encouragingly with a win in 5 legs and the second race we won in 4. There were some good times being posted hovering around the 22.5 mark which was good to see. Sadly things kind of went downhill from there and we ended up losing the 3rd, 4th and 5th races which wasn't so good. In all honesty though we lost some of those due to our errors rather than being beated which was a shame, but it's all experience for us and something we can work on in the run up to the next multi at the end of May. We ended up coming in 4th.

    At the same time that Selection were running with Arthur, Angel, Prada and Merlin with guest star Nell and Rachael from Commandos starters were in the other ring with Alva, Fern, Clyde, Rosie and Muffin which made it a bit of a juggling act but we managed it.

    Selection had a 7 team division, so extra races to contend with, but they managed it admirably. With the first race dispatched in 3 legs and the second in 4 we were 2 wins out of 2 which is always a nice position to be in. Race 3 was won in 3 legs but we then hit a stumbling block and lost race 4 spoiling the clean sweep. It was hard fought, but sadly not to be. We did pull it back in race 5 though and won in 4 legs, but finished race six with a 3 leg loss. It ended up with Selection gaining a 3rd place.

    In the meantime Starters were putting in some good runs, and despite a bit of shakiness and wide cross overs on occassions we did manage to win the first 2 races. Sadly races 3 and 4 didn't quite go the same way and we lost those even though we were running pretty well and changing the dogs around. Even though we only had a 50% ratio we still managed to take 2nd place overall which was really good.

    All in all it was a good weekend and we had a great time. The weather overall was generally good, with periods of winter but you can't have everything.

    Many thanks to Rotherham, ably assisted by Hatfield for putting on the tournament and giving us a great weekends racing.

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