Esther with Jamie – Our OEC Experience


The Monday evening after the Open European Championships my Sheltie Jamie and I arrived home, pretty exhausted but full of inspiration from the wonderful competition that weekend. We had a great time and enjoyed every second of it!

I look back at the OEC 2011 with much pleasure; it was great to see a lot of the people I met at the World Championships in Denmark last year again, and also to meet quite a few new Freestylers as well.

I really enjoyed watching all of the routines, in both HTM and Freestyle. Wow, some of them were quite amazing! Congratulations again to all the winners. To me everyone is a winner by the way, no matter what your result was. Everyone should be very proud of themselves and their dogs; all of you were great!

Obviously, some of the routines really stood out for me. In HTM for example I loved Anja and Queeny with their Avatar routine; it was beautiful and so emotional. I also really liked our dressing room companion Thierry’s routine with Ubac. Thierry WAS Zorro. From Karen and Fly I loved their perfect position work; it was so nice and tight!

In Freestyle it was again Thierry with Ubac that I really liked, with their Gladiator routine (despite the fact that I’m not a big fan of so many props in the ring); their routine was so fast and well executed both times! But of course I was also rooting for the only Sheltie in the finals: Sini and Sonic with their beautiful Alice in wonderland routine; I loved that very much, wow! Our Belgium Friend Jules with Matisse were briljant too! And then there was Catherine AKA ‘Marilyn’ from Russia… she and her dog were great as well! Thankfully I wasn’t judging; how hard must that have been to choose between so many good routines!

A thing that I noticed during the weekend was the great atmosphere at the event; there was no rivalry (like which can be the case in other dog sports) but friendly competitors that supported each other, no matter what. We should definately keep this attitude going!

My own little Jamie had a blast at the event, in the ring and out. Unfortunately he was very happy to let everyone hear how much fun he had and also was a little jumpy, hehe, so our placing was not very high. I liked what they said on the blog about him being ‘full of beans’ (= very energetic), haha. That is totally true! Maybe I should have made him a little more tired before we entered the ring ;-). Despite his barking I had a lot of fun competing with Jamie in the ring with our two routines. I think we showed everyone that we love to dance together. Freestyle is fun!

I would like to give a HUGE thank you to Emmy and the team of organisors for a very smoothly running OEC. Also to the helpers for their hard work, to the judges (you must have had such a hard time!), the other participants for their company and inspiration and of course to all of the supporters who came along to cheer! It was great to spend time with all you guys.

I hope to see everyone again next year, at the OEC 2012 in the Czech Republic!

Esther & Jamie
Team Holland


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