I have always enjoyed crazy trips, seeing agility in other countries and hanging out with great company. That's why I didn't even hesitate when Sanni asked me "should we go to Hungarian Open?". Said and done. The biggest struggle for me is living so far in the north and not having enough training possibilities in the winter. I have been focusing on Partys skills the entire winter and we have had zero chances to do course training. With the knowledge of this i decided to not hope too much, just enjoy the big event and why not try some of Partys skills.
We flew to Budapest on Wednesday morning where we met Sanni and Stig. It was the longest flight Party ever did in Cargo but she literally woke up when she came out on the bagage belt. We spent the night in Budapest, walked up to the castle and by accident ate 70€ Sushi.
On Thursday we drove to Székesfehérvár (yeah we actually learned to pronounce that) for some training with Tamas Traj. Tamas is a genius when it comes to the dogs line and it was a pure pleasure to hear his knowledge in agility. Party absolutely rocked it - it was worse with her handler, clearly showing who had been the focus of this winter season. We went for some indian food in Budapest at night with great company and I woke up on Friday with SORE legs. Now i got the real receipt - I was OUT of shape! Luckily it was resting day for me, but I got the opportunity to teach in Székesfehérvár for such a nice group! Talented handlers and wonderful dogs. Hope to come back in the future! On Saturday it was finally time for competition. We ran two agility runs for Jan Egil Eide and Jocke Tangfelt and one jumping run for Sandra Deidda. This day, it felt like everything just worked. I was still super slow and Party was still super FAST.
But she solves so much on her own, her skills and independence grew so much this winter and i truly feel the bond of trust between us. This day was crazy enough for us to go clean and WIN all 3 runs with amazing times!
On Sunday we decided to skip the first run and sleep in. Both me and Sanni had qualified for the finals (Yey! Team Scandinavia) and three runs per day was a bit too much for us with first competition of the season. We decided to only run jumping and then FINAL. The jumping class was a fast course by Jocke. On obstacle number 5 I tried to sprint to a blind cross but felt that my legs were not with me. I lost Party behind my back and DQ.
I continued mostly for Party to give her a good experience and the further I came the more I felt that something was wrong with my leg. I decided to leave the course and there I was, sitting outside the course and I could not get up. I recognized this feeling from earlier, I've been playing football for a few years and I know the feeling of a muscle strain.. it can be really painful. A pack of ice and also some tears as I saw them starting to build our final course. That moment I knew I couldn't run.
I was lying on the sofa in the judges room when Jan Egil came by, I knew he was judging our final so I asked him "Can I do it? Can I do the course without running?" he just looked at me and laughed.. "My courses without running? Well.. you will need a good dog". I remember thinking "I don't have a good dog, I have the best one". So I got up and went out for a jog. Tried to warm up til the sweat was dripping. 5 kilometers and 25 minutes later I remember thinking - I can never do this. Stretching stretching stretching but the second I tried to sprint it was like someone stabbed a knife in my thigh. Tears running down my cheeks until I stood on the start line. The adrenalin never came. But in that moment it was like Party also knew, she had to do this by herself. This run was for me maybe not the fastest, but definitely one of the most memorable and coolest one. I have never felt more connected to another individual then in this run. And it was only because of Party we were winners of the Hungarian Open Final 2019. I learned something that day. I work a lot with mental training, I know how important it is to believe that you CAN do it, I know how important it is to have the right mindset. But sometimes you don't have that correct mindset and then it's all about going in there &
just do what you got to do - it's about pure stubbornness. Maybe cliché but I learned that I can do anything with Party as my team mate.
That was the biggest win for me.
The trip home was.. exciting. First traveling with 2 bags, one dog, one gigantic crate, one backpack and an aluminium JUMP! Finally home I saw my physioterapeut first morning after I got home. My injury had affected the sartorius, iliopsoas and rectus femoris. The three biggest muscles in a thigh. I have been treated ever since and after a myositis I am now on my way to recovery. Some rehab left but my goal is to run at the Swedish Open!
Overall a great competition, the surface was fantastic for the dogs, top class judges and helpers, great prices and lovely organizing team. We hope to be back next year!
In this link you can find all of our runs from our week in Hungary.