Looking back on 2015 this girl has had an impressive list of successes. Our trialing season started in April and we started to seriously compete in Open Obedience. This was only our second season in competition and Shelby posted fantastic results of 199 points, 198, 197 and 2 x 196. We also had some failures, and that is what we learn from the most. We competed in the State and National Titles, where we were sitting in 3rd place out of over 30 dogs in this class. Shelby was a little frazzled by all the goings on and changed her stay position. But I can only blame myself for that. Shelby had 10 events in the one day, and in hindsight it was just too much for both of us.
Early in the year I decided to also take part in Rally Obedience competition. I did compete in Novice the year before and she gained her title straight away, but then decided not to go further. My aim was to concentrate on her Novice Obedience title and I thought competing in Rally Obedience as well would be confusing. So this year we re-commenced our Rally Obedience career. Shelby gained her Rally Advanced title very quickly and then also her Rally Excellent title. Once in Excellent, she never scored less than 90 points. All our deductions were due to me not executing the station correctly. She had 2 perfect scores in Rally Excellent and also gained the State Title in this discipline with 96 points.
These are just her results on paper, what I am always amazed about is her working attitude. She loves what she is doing and it is obvious for anybody watching us. Her focus is incredible, the speed at which she completes individual exercises is pure joy. Obedience can be fun and exuberance – she shows why.
This was also our second season in agility. After gaining her novice titles last year we moved into Excellent class this year. I am still having trouble with the incredible speed Shelby brings to the table and that is the major challenge I face. I will need to learn and step up to do Shelby justice. When everything goes well Shelby is unbeatable, with one run described as ‘the run of the day’ by Jody Brown, the judge from Brisbane.
So I think she deservedly gained the annual awards at the Cairns City Kennel club for Best Open Obedience dog, Best Rally Advanced, Best Rally Excellent and Best Agility Open dog. Plus she achieved the first dog to be recognised for the inaugural Belgianbeau trophies for any Belgian Shepherd dog getting the highest and most scores in Obedience and also in the combined Dog Sports.
All I can say I am so proud of you, Shelby.