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Celebrating Aussie style...

Tired of the same old New Year's Eve parties - too many people, music too loud, too much to drink and a sore head the next day? How about celebrating the New Year the Australian agility way. Ann Trubshaw sent us this report, extracted from her club newsletter about how they welcomed the new year Down Under. Before you get too envious, remember that Christmas comes in the warm summer weather in Oz.

Suncoast Fun Dogs Agility Club  hosted a dusk to dawn competition, organised by the Agility Dog Association of Australia (ADAA) at the Club Grounds at Elimbah, Queensland (Australia.) This was a fund raiser for members of a team chosen to represent Australia in Agility at a competition in USA in May 2012. One of Suncoast's Instructors, Ian Weston is training with the Team and hoping for final selection.

People started arriving at 11.30am Saturday, 31 December to get their overnight areas set up, have time for a chat and give the dogs a run. There was a pay-on-the-day practice ring, another fund raising initiative which was well patronised. We probably had about 40 groups set up for overnight with another 40 groups with their gazebos set up at the back of their cars for the evening.

This is a large event for Australia. There were 14 events - each with eight or nine classes - the practice ring and raffle all contributing to the cost of sending the Team to USA. Many people offered to judge so it wasn't too onerous for any one person and everyone had time to run their own dogs, too. Although it was advertised as 'no prizes' many sponsors had been very generous, so all 1st places got a little something in all events. Many cards were earned, too.

There were two rings running all night, with the first event at 6pm and the final event at 4am. We had a break just before midnight for about an hour for the presentation of certificates for the first half and to celebrate the New Year. Then there was a quiz where you could buy a bonus question, which resulted in an extra 5 points - a well spent $5 - and a 'bring a plate' feast - so much delicious food.

There were a few showers, but nothing that held up the competition at all. The daytime temperature was cloudy and overcast about 25C, about 22C overnight. Overall it was very pleasant conditions for Agility.

At a rough guess, I would say that there were probably 20 people who were up all night. Others set their alarms and had a snooze when they could. If they missed their call, we just scratched them. The final presentation started about 5am and breakfast was served. The last of the competitors left the area at about 10.30am.

Some people just came for the social side, and brought non-Agility friends. It was a great atmosphere, and one I hope we repeat another New Year.

About the author...
Ann Trubshaw
was celebrating 40 years in Australia on New Years Eve. She moved from the UK with three little kids when her husband transferred from the British to Australian Army.

She didn't have a dog until she saw dog agility and knew she wanted to do it.  Ann joined Suncoast Fun Dogs before she had a dog. Bundy, a seven year old Border Collie X was adopted from Pet Rescue in August 2008, and in 2010 he earned his Australian Agility Dog Title. Early in 2011 he was diagnosed with Spondalytis and an atrophied jaw, both of which have settled down now, but he is retired. 

In July 2011 Ann was given Blitz, a five year old Border Collie who was already trained by a very efficient handler. She is a right little 'madam', and runs rings round Bundy. She earned two clear rounds on New Years Eve - at 3.30am and 4am!

Ann still has two sisters in the UK, and her son and his family are living in London at present. She would love to spend a summer with Blitz in UK doing Agility, but can't leave her lovely Bundy for that long tho'.

First published 03/01/12



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