Olympia 2005 ABC Winner – Anne Challis


Dreams do come true!



It was Monday the 19th of December
and after a restless nights sleep of excitement about the day that lay ahead I finally left my house at 9.30am with Julie Saunders, Dogs, Grooms and Co.  At 11.30am we pulled into the Seagrove car park and got onto a Shuttle Bus, this was it! we were actually on our way to Olympia .  We got dropped of outside the gates and as we entered the building we were tagged and finally we were admitted into the show.  We weaved our way through the horses past the stables and into the bar area, where we set up camp and made ourselves comfortable.


The briefing was at 1.15pm and we were told our do’s and don’ts !  Most of all we were made really welcome by the organisers and we all had a bit of light hearted banter to put us in good spirits.


It was 2.30pm when we entered the arena for the Speed Jumping and the crowd was already buzzing and I could feel the excitement of the crowd atmosphere all around me.  We stepped up to the start line and Timber set off at full speed we were going clear until disaster struck and Timber popped out of the last two weave poles. Why? Who knows! It could have been a number of reasons it was a shame but I was not too disappointed because I felt I was unlucky and Timber was soaking in the atmosphere the more the crowd cheered the faster he seemed to be travelling with me in hot pursuit this was a great opportunity for me and Timber to get a feel for the surface the noise and the equipment in preparation for the ABC Agility Final which was scheduled for the evening performance at 7.30pm.


The time flew round we just about had enough time to do our shopping and study the course which had been handed to us on paper.  I was quite happy with the course on paper, but decided to take no chances and play it safe at the weave poles this time and decided to work them on the left.  I was running order number 7 to run but I did not get a chance to watch the first 6 dogs run as I was working and warming Timber up before I run in an attempt to gain full control and attention from him, he is a strong dog and always travels at full speed with me as passenger tagging along behind.  I knew we needed to get a clear if we were to gain a good place, I wasn’t nervous just focused (Louise my daughter and groom for the day did the nervous bit for me!) When I finished the course I was not sure if I was clear but Louise was leaping up and down with excitement I knew I had lost time at the last jump as my little legs just could not get me there fast enough and Timber turned to face me before jumping it,  we had gone clear and we were the first clear of the event  in a time of 32.77 which put us into the lead.  Lisa Gantly then went clear with her Groenendael Delark Lucky Total Eclipse in a time of 35.23 followed by Andy Brown and his Groenendael   Heidron Chasing Storm Skye  Clear in 34.73 as Andy finished Louise declared that I had won, I started to shake I did not cry I was in shock and before I had time to even think about what we had achieved we were ushered into the main arena for the prize giving I was given a beautiful crystal bowl along with a sash that Timber thought would make a good tuggy when we did our lap of honour and what an honour it was a dream come true! 


I was then taken upstairs to a room where all the helpers KC reps Judges and friends cheered as I entered into a champagne reception followed by a photo shoot.


It was like a dream one of the most exciting experiences of my whole dog career.  After the champagne reception we went down to the Kennel Club stand where we were greeted by members of the public, adults and children swamped the Kennel Club Stand to speak to Timber they just wanted to touch him and stroke him and take photographs, I think this was the hi-lite of Timbers day!  Timber was fantastic he is the most gentle wonderful dog and a real credit to the breed I owe him so much!


I would like to say a big thank you to The Kennel club and Pedigree also to Dave Ray and his ring party, special thanks to John Gilbert for setting such fair and fun courses and not forgetting my family and friends and to everyone who contacted me via phone, cards and flowers thank you all it made the experience last even longer and one I will never forget.


Anne Challis