Posted Date: May 7, 2008
Team Manager Janet Gauntt reported in on Wednesday, May 7th.
Team members have been arriving all week, beginning Saturday. Each team member was allowed to choose his or her own arrival date. Some preferred to arrive days before to acclimate their dogs and/or work through any pre-competition jitters by sightseeing before the events. Others have decided to arrive later and save the sightseeing for after the event. On this Wednesday morning, the team is complete as Mike Murphy with Bailey and Stuart Mah with Qwik arrived at the airport in Brussels.
First up was a short practice session at 12:30pm arranged by coach Stacy Peardot-Goudy. Thanks go to Karen Moureaux and most especially to the Hondenschool de Bezellige Blaffers (www.dgbzwevezele.be) for arranging to have their training grounds available and for providing the team with a round from their well-stocked clubhouse following the practice session.
Coach Stacy provides feedback for Suzi & Jib and Elizabeth & Hemi on a training drill.
Stuart prepares to reinforce contact criteria with Qwik while Rachel and Fable work in the background on weave poles. Weave spacing (approx 21") and contact equipment (textured rubber surface) are from the same manufacturer as that which will be used in the competition.
Prior to the refreshments, one of the Hondenschool club members provided an interesting demonstration of Belgium style obedience. Rather more expansive than American obedience, it combines "standard" obedience exercises with obstacles and situations that demonstrate the dog's confidence and versatility under a variety of conditions. The obedience equipment was set up in one of the three training fields behind the brick clubhouse building.
View of the obedience training field of the Hondenschool de Bezellige Blaffers.
View of the Grote Markt from the window of the Hotel Brussels.
Afterwards, some of the team headed over to the stadium in Ingelmunster to check out the trial conditions. By late afternoon, everyone was back at the Hotel Brussels located in the nearby town of Kortrijk. This is a pleasantly appointed hotel immediately opposite the Grote Markt. The remainder of the afternoon and evening was spent socializing at the outdoor cafes in and around the hotel. This being Europe, dogs are of course welcome at dinner.