Time to meet two of the members from Team "Cooper". Milly Martin and Stephen McGuire.
MILLY & BREN
LABRADOR RETRIEVER, BITCH, 08/12/09
Having watched the competition last year I knew it was a challenging experience with top quality dogs, so when I was picked for the team this year I was excited and proud but also nervous. This far exceeds anything Bren and I have done before. I have a mature dog so I felt this was the year I needed to push us both and step outside our comfort zone.
Training has been a huge learning curve for me and Bren, covering from back to basic handling to advanced exercises. I found problem solving and what to do when things go wrong has helped to enhanced my handler skills and build my confidence.
We've also supported each other as a team, meeting up to train in small groups on different ground and putting into practice what the trainers have shown us.
Team training has been a challenging but positive and confidence building experience. I know there will be fierce competition but I think we've earned our place in the competition and will give it 100%.
STEPHEN & FIZZ
SPRINGER SPANIEL, BITCH, 26/10/14
As a newcomer to the group I really put myself into the deep end from the off as my first experience with the Kirkbourne family was the first stage of the selection process , so I wasn't too optimistic that I would be selected as me and my young ESS bitch were pretty green and from a first impression there was plenty of capable handlers all looking for selection .
This year so far has been one massive learning curve , both for me and the dog as it was all an unknown . The other team members and trainers have been great . This has helped my confidence in knowing that what I'm doing is right . I'm definitely starting to understand why we train certain ways .
The sessions that we have been having as a team have been great and good confidence builders , without these I wouldn't have thought it possible to work at such distances with a spaniel . The team selection looks very even and I'm chuffed to bits to be considered on par with the other team members .
I don't envy anyone that has to make the sort of decisions Darren has throughout this process . All the other team members have been top draw and it would be great to bring a trophy back as both teams are very capable .