August 15 2018: Nationals and beyond
The national...what can I say? We were treated to an excellent venue and three OUTSTANDING performances from Aled Owen, Kevin Evans and Dai Howells. The sheep were difficult to manage as they almost completely defied walking in straight lines and, in the ring, they were testy. But these three gifted competitors showed us how to get the job done in style. Magnificent to watch...and very humbling. It was very unfortunate that an error was made in the posting of the score for Aled's run, and this appears to have unnecessarily set the rumour mills churning, but an error it was. Plain and simple. Aled and Cap were worthy winners. Kevin and Ci worthy reserve champions, and Dai and Rock giving us all a huge climax to the competition on the very last run of the competition. Well done, gentlemen. HUGE R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
I won't say much about my runs...because they weren't spectacular (well, except the demo I did on the last day for the spectators during the lunch break...a far better run! Ha ha ha). Suffice to say, my dogs are not machines and with 'only' 11 years trialling experience, I am not a machine either. We made our fair share of mistakes but thankfully Pippi put in a class drive and saved the day. Into the team she goes for her third year in a row. Given that she is only 4.5 years old, I am proud of what she has been able to achieve. I once again thank Ian Carroll for saving Pippi's life as a tiny pup and raising her through the first few weeks of her life. They broke the mold after they made Ian. To be representing Wales for the 7th time in 11 years is beyond my wildest dreams. An honour on so many levels but my feet are firmly on the ground knowing the quality of the competition. As long as Pippi and I have fun, that'll do me!
Kelvin just missed out on the team finishing 18th overall with Levi and the work of Cade at the pen was spectacular. Well done, boys. Your time will come again..soon. In the meantime, the household rivallry has kicked into full gear. Damn, it's hard to be top in our household on any given day.
Congrats to Meirion Jones, Logan Williams and Nigel Watkins who round out the four competitors on the team from Carmarthenshire. Good luck to all team members at the International. May we all get good sheep :-)
We would personally like to thank Anke and Birgit who drove all the way from Germany to look after our other dogs while we hightailed it north to compete. Thanks girls. You did a great job and we are forever thankful.
To our sponsors, CSJ and Birds' Hill Renewable Heating, we say a special thanks. Your support is appreciated and very humbling. It is nice to be surrounded and supported by such quality individuals and companies.
And now back to regular trialling for a few weeks. Bring it on. Time to give some young ones a whirl at the local trials. Going to be fun!