Sunday, 14 September 2008

World Sheepdog Trials

We've just had a lovely few days in Wales - and the sun shone for the shows! Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Tinker and I set off for Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire on Wednesday, but no sooner had we stopped at the first services on the M5 than the lorry broke down - AGAIN! So we rang the breakdown people ('we'll be with you in an hour') and sat and waited. The breakdown man diagnosed the problem to be the starter motor, bump started us and told us not to stop or stall for the rest of the five hour drive! So now we had a lorry that wouldn't start, and when it was started wouldn't stop unless it was stalled - brilliant! Everybody at home was really helpful and between us all we managed to arrange for a new started motor to be bought, brought over to us, and for some local mechanics to come out and fit it, and all before we'd even got to Wales - thankyou Andy, Katherin and Chris!

Thankfully we managed to reach the site with no further dramas, but the field was a sea of mud and the rain was incesant - perfect weather for setting up! Luckily this was the only rain we had, and the next four days were lovely and sunny. On Thursday evening Rebecca and I cycled up to the nearby ruined castle for a little bit of exploring, and from the top we could look down at the entire showground - our lorry and tent looked tiny!

On Friday our new started motor arrived with Rebecca's Mum and Dad, and shortly after two lovely mechanics, Anton and Mark, arrived to fit it. We were all in suspense when they'd finished and asked us to try and start the lorry, I turned the key and... CLICK! Nothing! By this point Rebecca and I were really starting to hate the lorry, but Mark and Anton knew what they were doing and managed to fix the problem in a matter of minutes. It turned out it wasn't the starter motor at all but just the terminal on the battery, so the breakdown man could have quite easily fixed it in the first place and saved us a lot of hassle and expense!

After all the stress Rebecca and I took the horses for a ride for a bit more exploring and also took them up to the castle. They really do love going off to different places and seeing different things, and although they're both quite well travelled I think it was the first time either of them had been in a castle!

Over the weekend we watched quite a bit of the trialling. It looks really difficult, and the skill with which the handlers controlled their dogs, who in turn controlled the sheep was really impressive - if only I could get Tinker to be so responsive! The title was eventually won by Aled Owen and Roy, so the home crowd were happy to have a welshman as world champion.

All our shows went really well, and although the ground was quite slippery from all the rain earlier in the week the boys really looked after us and took things steady. We managed to get lots of photos of various different things, click here to have a look at them. We're off to Weston Park on Friday for the Midland Gamefair, a two day duo show. The journey shouldn't be too long this time - providing we don't have any more breakdowns! I'll let you know how we get on...

Love Rosie


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