First race went down a STORM® with the sledge dogs!
Top Handler Mary Kelly tells about her experience with STORM® Canis
“We started our race season on great form at the SDAS Tentsmuir race October 2014.
It was going to be interesting to see if the Racing Blue – STORM® Canis feed supplement, that we had begun trialling, was going to positively influence their performance.
Our CSJ Command Performance bred and fed youngsters, Neon & Xenon, had a whole year of playing, free running to build muscle and improve coordination, their only training as such at this stage being taught basic manners. Then, a week after their first birthday in August, their whole world changed when they got their first run in harness.
We started them off, as ever, alongside sensible older dogs. Hydrated with Lap-It-Up, and with Fishcuits or energy bars as their treat after their run, they performed as we expected – like naturals – full of drive, strong, well-constructed and coordinated. First a month of slow heavy work, building more muscle, gradually increasing distance, the occasional taste of speed, then interval training once they were fit until they were ready to compete in their first race.
I took two of our bomb-proof dogs to put alongside our youngsters for their first time running outside of our home ground, Bowland Trials.
Adrenaline flowing, Neon drove like a possessed thing in the lead at her first ever race, alongside her relentless uncle, Denzel. Behind them, at wheel, Xenon showed his immense young strength alongside his power-house grandfather, Nitro, in a fast and furious family affair! Finishing day 1 with a 50 second lead!
Second day gave rise to a new dimension to trialling ‘STORM® Canis’ at the race – The winds had picked up & there were some almighty gusts blowing, causing a degree of disruption at the race; blowing over the finishing clocks, causing breaks in the finish beam and blowing trail markers over! Pre-warned by a passing dog walker of a tree on the trail, I continued on my way hoping that I would be able to easily overcome the obstacle – I did not expect to see the entire trail blocked by one of the mature pine trees, uprooted, and laying completely across my path. This was not the type of STORM® , I was hoping to be trialling!
With good manners, Denzel and Nitro halted and stood still calmly, and the pups followed suit to allow me assess the situation & fathom out the best action. I took the leaders neckline to lead them carefully through the undergrowth at the side of the trail, and make our way around the former tree-top, over old broken-off stumps and brambles to get back onto the trail at the other side.
Totally undeterred by the interruption, they lined out so I could see there were no tangles to sort. Relieved, I called them ahead where they set off like rockets and continued to drive like demons past the next marshal point (where I raised the alarm for help) and all the way back through the finish line. Being the only female driver in my class, and having negotiated the tree and completed the trail faster than the others yet again, I finished in first place one minute ahead of the competition.
John was taking our other STORM® Canis – supplemented competitive team in the 6-dog class at Tentsmuir. He finished in first place, 55 seconds faster than my winning 8-dog team, and 75 seconds ahead of his competition in the 6 dog class. Suffice to say, we will be, without doubt, ordering more STORM® Canis! (so long as the wind storm does not come free with every trial.”