There were a couple of non competitive things worthy of a mention, Mary had a new puppy called Frankie, he is Lyrics brother and its fair to say when he is not sleeping he is fairly lively
The second was getting rid of the downstairs carpets and with a new puppy on the Horizon a pretty good move, we chose Karndean and to be sure we had the most dog friendly surface we went to the HQ/head office to try them out with Lyric and yes we had all the staff even those in the warehouse out watching him trying out the various floor finishes, we got it fitted and its brilliant just got to see how it goes in the long term now, Oh and we did not even get a discount for the showroom performance from Lyric !!
The day after Thames it was a local show for Mary, Coventry Ch show and reserve in the Ch Dog for Levi under Pat Batchelor and 3rd on open C under Roger Gunby
Mary always competes at Thames on Championship day, another great venue run by a very experienced club, we were all a bit tired after a week in Anglesey especially Mary who had worked all the previous week, it’s was a good and bad day, tried to get there at a reasonable time so we would not be too far from the rings for her but alas everyone got up early and we were parked at the back of day parking, Levi was leading Champ C and failed scent But the good was Lyric won her 5th “B” under Barry Fitter and also got a 3rd in Open C under Janet Oliver, Levi got another Open C win under John Taylor
Its always Mary's annual Anglesey course in September with it being a regular booking for a lot of the participants, great venue on Rex & Maggies farm, a small training hall with a super non slip surface, acres of grass to camp and walk your dog on and what must be be one the best beaches in the country to take you dog to, on facebook Mary termed it as a great week in great company and just about sums it up, we have a welcome BBQ night on the Sunday, a home made soup and doggy dancing night on the Wednesday, am great meal out on the Thursday and HTM & Obedience training each day, also a full set of competition agility equipment in the field for those who wanted to use it. Its easy to see why this is the 10th annual week in Anglesey and no doubt number eleven will take place next year.
The first Saturday in September we were at Lichfield show at Dartmouth Park, great venue !!, A good day for Levi with a second in both Ch Dog and Open C and a Lyric’s fourth “B” under Roger Gunby, Lichfield was stop off point for us on our Journey up to Anglesey for Marys annual weeks camp so she missed the second day at Lichfield
We decided to have an easy August bank holiday weekend and Mary just entered Worcester show, well perhaps we should have gone north as they had the better weather !! as usual I had my motor scooter but did not get out much but more importantly it was miserably wet for Mary & Pauline not only getting wet but we seemed to be so far from the rings for Mary with multiple dogs, think we will day park next year.
In saying that, Mary had a great competitive weekend with Lyric winning her third “B” and Levi gaining two seconds on Open C and winning Championship Dog, as usual there was to be a run off for the overall Championship winner between the dog and bitch just a shame it had to take place in heavy rain with very few spectators, Bitch winner was Linda Rutherford with Denim yes Levi’s sister, Mary and Levi won this so a great finish to a wet weekend.
We did our usual annual trip to Ditton Ch Show held at the Rugger Club in Ashford, we both love the venue and its great having a bar and catering in the clubhouse so no cooking for me !!. this year we also had the excitement of the Irish travelling community forcing their way in, 4 caravans at high speed followed by 2 more after they removed fencing panels, followed shortly after by 4 police cars !!! a number of the Obedience folks were getting ready to leave at this point BUT a miracle occurred the police escorted them off the site, whatever was said it worked. A good weekend for Mary, 3rd in Ticket, Levi winning C both days and Lyric winning B and getting 2nd in C, first weekend out for the new Puppy Frankie as well
We are always at the KC Agility Festival in mid August, I have been a member of the festival committee from its inception with Mary & Pauline helping as well, sad for me this year as I had decided to give up my role at the show so my last one, a few kind words were said at the show dinner and I was presented with a bottle of gin. Its a great event and myself and Mary are really proud to have been part of its inception and being able to watch it grow to a world class event.
The second weekend in August was the Woburn weekend, Lovely show lovely venue and great weather, not often we can sit under the awning late with a drink and not be chilly !!!
The first weekend in August, Mary was at Hatchford Brook without me she’s staying there with Pauline for the weekend as Lyric is in season and I have to keep her untouched at home. Poor old Levi thinks it’s Christmas and I don’t think he understands why he can’t have his present!
This year we decided to spend a whole week at Redcar, then it became a week and a day because of the demise of St Helens show so we actually went up on Saturday 18th July and were all looking forward to it. It’s a great venue, just a few hundred meters from a lovely beach, the sea goes out a little way and it is just all sand. The venue is a Rugby Club with lots of room for camping and a great area for the rings and it was Redcar Championship Show and Middlesbrough Open Show. Mary was actually leading the dog ticket with Levi then he decided he would rather stand than do the sit in the stays, so broke at 55 seconds. Why well, we don’t know as sometimes he just throws one in. Mary had a good weekend though, winning two Open C’s. Her sister Pauline, who is with us at all the shows now, was working Cruz and is soldiering on, trying to have some success with him. He’s a lovely dog to live with but she’s struggling with him a bit as he always seems to do a different thing wrong with him at the shows.
In mid July we went down for the Winchester weekend again, two super venues but unfortunately with no camping for either of them. Eastleigh show was held adjacent to Victoria Park overlooking Southampton Water at a police college. This is a superb place for a show and not being renowned for my prowess at working a dog gives me the opportunity to have a wander off. We just drive down very early in the morning then we have the pleasure of going to see our friends Peter and Carol Lewis for the Saturday evening and staying on their drive. We’ve known Peter and Carol since just after we started in dogs as Peter was one of the handlers at the inception of agility which, of course, Mary joined shortly after.
Winchester is held at the recreation ground at Botley, just down the road from Peter and Carol’s house. This is another well-run show and a lovely venue and as our camper is a little on the big side, they do reserve us a space in the car park which is handy for Mary for the show.
During the preceding week, Mary held a three day Obedience Training Seminar just outside Chipping Norton at Great Rollright for Hazel and Julie. What a stunning place Hazel has! There is a big field for camping and running the dogs and a lovely area in front of a small pavilion for the outdoor obedience and, if it was inclement weather, there is a big hall which is fully carpeted with mirrors. It really is obedience heaven! There were some lovely handlers on the course and Mary really enjoyed taking it. We decided that if we were going to be gypsies then we would live on the field there!
The first weekend in July we went to Chadkirk Championship show. This isn’t our most favourite venue, and not because of the show itself or the ground conditions, but the fact that we cannot take the camper there as the headroom into the park where the show is held is very low. And not wishing to get a tree branch through the roof, we just go for the day in the VW van. Nonetheless, this is a very friendly show and we even had time for a little dog swimming during the day in what is a great park.
Towards the end of June, Mary had a week’s camp at Daventry. This is held at Kath Dark’s farm and this year they were blessed with good weather and it is just a lovely place to be. Kath herself really enjoys having the course there and spectates for most of the week, there is a small business called Green Acres Farm Rural Enterprises being run by Heather from one of the buildings which takes youngsters who perhaps have social difficulties and are disadvantaged and try to train them in skills ready for adulthood. Hence, they have a full kitchen and grow a lot of their own organic produce, including having some chickens. She has been hugely successful with this and one of the spin-offs is that she also does catering so we have two evening meals there, she provides breakfast and afternoon cakes all really convenient for us and she is such a lovely lady.
Kath has a small indoor training weather for bad weather but her competition ring is erected outside next to the caravans where most of their time is spent. We do have a bit of a doggy dancing night as well as a very convivial evening down at the local pub. So it’s a cross between hard training and having a good week’s holiday.
In mid June, I arranged a defibrillator training evening for Rugby DTC. We have been behind a lot of fund raising for defibrillators which all started when Rugby cancelled their Championship Show and left us with the quandary of whether to write out hundreds of cheques or do something worthwhile. Prior to this, of course, we’d had the sad loss of Alan Warner at a show from a heart attack. So we started the defibrillator fund with Rugby’s money. Hence we now have quite a number of defibrillators spread throughout the UK and the majority of shows should have a trained handler with a defibrillator on site. Rugby also bought their own so they funded a certificated training evening for twelve of our committee and trainers.
In early June, we went to Petersfield as usual a very well-run show on a beautiful piece of grass behind a school-type building.
The first week in June was another mid-week training break, this time for Angela White at Haxey Training Ground in North Lincolnshire. She has a superb indoor facility, fully carpeted with a really great bunch of people on the course so another one we will be repeating next year. In fact, it is already booked with the majority of places sold out so you will need to be quick if you want to get on that one. We even had a young lady who flew over from Italy just to come on Mary’s course. She did actually finish up working one of Mary’s dogs and went away full of new ideas.
At the end of May we went on our usual pilgrimage to Waldridge Fell. This was a Bank Holiday weekend show but we went up on the Wednesday. It’s a lovely venue and well-run show which we really look forward to in a beautiful country park - although I do think that next time we will try to find a place lower in the field as we were quite high up so seemed to catch the breeze.
Another usual fixture for us was Loughborough which isn’t too far away. We are always very kindly given the same parking space at another extremely well-run show run by a great team. This also has the benefit of a bar on site as well as a good working surface and, this year, good weather! I usually lend Loughborough my outdoor pa system which, where possible, is available if any shows want to borrow it.
The weekend prior to this was Wirral Show, again another regular in our calendar and we are lucky in obedience as we do have some very nice venues and this is one of them. Held in a country park, and I know it sounds boring, but this is another show run by a really good group of members with great caterers on site, good working surface and a great place to take your dog for a walk and another show which uses my outdoor pa.
At the beginning of May we had our own Rugby DTC Championship Show. This year, we didn’t have YKC as the entries have fallen to almost nothing so that there wasn’t any point in doing it. Also class numbers felt a little different as numbers were down although this made life a little easier for us. Anyway, we had a great show and we’re a very lucky club having lots of keen members who come to help and we know just how lucky we are. Mary has never started her own club and has always remained faithful to Rugby DTC where she always trains on the rota. Also, as I think a lot of people are aware, we were left a bequest in a founder member’s will and hence we have different evenings for all kinds of disciplines at the club house which gives us a rather larger pool of helpers than some clubs. It was a good show as usual and we were blessed with decent weather. It’s a shame that we didn’t have more campers and an even bigger shame that this year we didn’t book the disco and closed the bar at 9:00 pm and I can only just say that it’s a case of ‘use it or lose it’ and at the moment it has been temporarily lost.
The day after Rugby, Mary went to the BH Monday Leicester Championship Show. We’re sometimes spoiled with the good venues that we have and Leicester has suffered this year with the Hinckley Football Club being closed down then partially re-opened then finding out that the whole ground is owned by different people. However, the show did run and they were able to overcome the tremendous difficulties that they had. We did try to book the rugby venue for Leicester on the Monday but unfortunately it was already booked out.