European Open 2023

European Open 2023 was held at Hoersholm in Denmark 20.-23. july and the judges were Kine Eimhjellen, Stefanie Semkat, Esa Muotka, Morten Juhl Hansen and Regin Reinhard.

Zen and me travelled together with Vilde and Ekko. We drove to Kristiansand tuesdays night, took the ferry to Denmark wednesday morning, and drove through Denmark the rest of the day, before arriving in Hoersholm in the afternoon. Since the camping site was located at the same venue as European Open, we decided to stay in a tent for this championship. The “house tent” as I call it, had more than enough room for the four of us, and we were quite comfortable.

European Open 2023 program
Thursday – Vet check, measuring, training and opening ceremony
Friday – Jumping Team and Agility Team
Saturday – Jump Individual and Agility Individual

Before the championship can begin

The first event on the program was vet check, measuring and training. The vet check is to scan the dogs microchip, check their passport and vaccines, followed by a physical health check as well as observing their gait (walking and trotting).

Since 2023 is the first year the new size (intermediate) is a part of FCI championships, measuring was required for all large dogs. Zen is about 52 cm, a obvious Large dog, so the judge who measured him had an easy job. Intermediate dogs are lower than 48 cm.

As soon as the whole team was cleared at the vet check and measuring, we had a small break before it was time for training. At EO we had 4 courses (1 for each size) available, and we had about 2 minutes per dog. Training at a championship for me is mostly for my dog to get a feel of the surface, and the obstacles, especially if it is a type we don’t normally train or compete with.

After the training we had plenty of time for sightseeing, walking and relaxing since the opening ceremony did not start until 6 that evening.

European Open 2023 starts

You can find all the courses we ran at the bottom of this post.

Friday at 0730 we had our first coursewalk of the day. We had Team Jumping with judge Kine Eimhjellen. She is a very familiar judge for me, and she always provides inspirational and fun courses. This was exactly so, and we had a blast running it. Sadly we had a bar down, but with a somewhat wet surface I am proud of Zen and his efforts.

Read what Kine herself thought about being a judge and her experience at European Open 2023.

The next course was Team Agility for judge Stefanie Semkat. I have ran her courses before with both Zen and Buffy, and they are usually speedy cool courses. This course had several challenges I felt we would manage, but a delayed command from me caused Zen to jump the wrong way already at number 6 unfortunately. My team made it through, but we sadly had to many errors to be in the Team final on sunday. It was a pleasure being a part of this great team! And I am already looking forward to the next time we are running together, which will be at the AWC (Agility World Championship)!

Saturday was for individual runs, and first up was Jumping for judge Regin Reinhard. If I am being honest I thought there was a typo for the starting sequence when I saw the course for the first time. It was not. The course itself was doable, but the distances was short and the dogs lines were not particularly good (or even existing). I did my prep and coursewalk as a test of my mental training and used visualisation as I normally do. We got through the course with 1 bar (without the bar our time would have been around 36th) and I am very pleased with our efforts.

The final run on saturday was Agility and the course Esa Muotka had given us really made me want to get out there and run! When it was finally our time to run (we had coursewalk around 1 in the afternoon, and ran the course about 5.30 in the evening) we found the flow immediately and had a blast through the whole course! We had a clean run and our time placed us at 37 (of 199). It was a perfect finish to European Open for us! I would have loved to run the finals, but sadly we had a bar too much. We got to cheer for our teammates Tarjej & Posh who had a beautiful run on sunday.