Well, I’m late with an update again as it’s now January 2016 and we have a brand new web site thanks to our web site wizard Pete. It must be fifteen years ago that Pete and his then partner came along to RDTC dog training and shortly afterwards said that he would like to write a website for us to replace the poor one that I had put online. And at the time, it really was the ‘bees knees’ but of course technology moves on and he has done another one for us.
Mary is now getting ready for Crufts so, as well as doing a bit of Obedience training, she’s putting together her new HTM routine. It is just going to be Mary this year as Richard has decided to take a break and she’s putting together a special routine for Levi because this will be his last routine in the Main Ring at Crufts. Yes, retirement is on the horizon for him! It’s going to be a touch of strictly come dancing this year and having not seen the completed routine yet I am really looking forward to it, the music is really good !!
We had Christmas at home as usual and I was rather unwell with the worst cough and bad chest that I think I’ve ever had, probably picked up during the week I had at the Olympia International Christmas Horse Show managing the Kennel Club Agility Finals. Of course, being incapacitated and in a bad way over Christmas, I suffered all the usual taunts about ‘man flu’ but that didn’t last long as both Mary and Pauline promptly went down with exactly the same problem – and they were both rather unwell with it.
At the beginning of December, Mary did a repeat weekend down in Devon at a village just outside Sidmouth for Cheridah. We didn’t want a repeat of the performance the last time we went when there was a ‘jumper’ on the M42, so we left earlier on the Saturday to drive to Sidmouth where we were staying at Cheridah’s home – and what a lovely place she has. Mary then held an evening on the Saturday night with a day’s HTM training on the Sunday. They’re really lovely people and it was a most enjoyable evening and day.
November was a little busy as we had a new booking in Northumberland at the Northumberland Dog Training Centre. So off we toddled up the A1 with the forecasters saying that it was going to be the worst weather of the year. And the sad part about it was that it was true, with wind and rain being the order of the day. We did start early enough up the A1 to try to avoid the traffic, which was fine, and in some ways it was a voyage of discovery; firstly because I didn’t know that the A1 went to a single carriage road once we were north of Newcastle and, secondly, when we got to Newcastle with twenty plus miles to go the Satnav lost the signal and we never got it back again, and I hadn’t got a map, so to say we found the venue by accident would be an under-statement!
But what a great venue – a new-build barn with kitchen facilities, a large, fully carpeted training hall and another small separate area for training as well. There was also a big car park and masses of exercise area. Mary did an evening on the Friday night which was pretty well for their own members, and the same for the rest of the weekend, then two days of training. They were a great bunch of people, really keen and made us feel very welcome. They all went to have a meal on the Saturday night while I stayed with the dogs at the camper van which is usual for me, as I don’t like leaving the dogs anywhere new by themselves, although we were in such a quiet place that no doubt I could have done. Mary enjoyed the weekend because everyone had a thirst for knowledge.
In mid-November, we had the usual weekend for Jackie Muir and an evening at a lovely venue in Jarrow. It’s a church hall and we were able to park right outside the door and within a few yards of the entrance is a huge park which is great for the dogs. Also of course we had lots of friendly northerners.Mary loves it at this venue as well, as it always has a nice friendly feel to it and the handlers there are always good to work with. Another supreme sacrifice for me again as I stayed at home with the dogs while Mary had a night out with the girls.
Early in November, we both went over to help the Obedience Class Championships run by Fran Bush and her merry bunch of helpers. She has done a great job at starting up this whole class championship event from the qualification process to running such a lavish and professional final at the Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh. She has obtained some sponsorship and gave everyone a superb day. We did a little bit on the tannoy and generally helped all day and I also managed to get a new caterer for her which is Eleanor’s Catering from Hinckley. We have used them for our show for a number of years as well as the Kennel Club International Agility Festival and they did another great job for Fran at the Class Championships. So if anyone is looking for a caterer at their show within striking distance of the Midlands, they have a superb trailer and specialise in home-cooked food.
At the end of October, we were up at Moreton on the Wirral where Mary was doing an evening and a course for Kathy Russell. This was a great venue with lots of room and another great bunch of people, both on the evening which was hilarious at times and on the training days. We were parked right outside the front door and the only shame was that some of the locals decided that bonfire night should start a week earlier hence we did suffer a little with fireworks.
Unfortunately, Mary had to miss East Grinstead Show due to her commitments at Discover Dogs BUT we did manage to get to Tunbridge Wells and what a great shame that this was the last Tunbridge Wells Championship Obedience Show ever to be held – how sad is that! Shows do suffer from two problems – lack of help beforehand at the events and lack of profit – and I think it was a combination of the two that actually forced the end on Tunbridge Wells. But well done to Jenny and her team for keeping it going for as long as they could.
In mid-October we were at Discover Dogs which was held a little earlier in the calendar this year and, of course, a new venue. It’s always a little unsettling going to somewhere we’d never been before and we had never been to the Excel Centre before. The usual concerns are whether there was anywhere to take the dogs, how far away was the hotel, what the traffic would be like getting there … Well, it was pretty brilliant with the hotel over the road, places to exercise dogs around the exhibition centre, a great main ring and a really good weekend. Mary did some training demonstrations and with a reduced cast did their Crufts routine as Richard Curtis was there with her . In fact, Richard even brought along his ducks for a demo – which must be a first at a dog event! I’m sure there were some teething problems but it certainly was a good venue for the show and there were masses of people there. While Mary was busy doing her demonstrations of course, I ran the main ring and commentated along with Paul Moore and Kate Smith helping on the commentaries.
On 11th October, we were at Cheshire Show as usual. This is a great venue which never changes and I dread to think how many years we’ve been going there. Anyway, it’s a very well run show and Mary was thrilled to win the Dog Ticket under judge Kath Mangan.
At the beginning of October it was our usual date at Thurrock, another ‘must enter’ weekend for Mary, and an extremely well-run show as usual.
Along with just about everyone else in Obedience, Mary stayed for a week at Birmingham and did the two consecutive weekends competing and she loves staying in the camper van at Birmingham. And I love staying at home, waiting for the telephone call saying something has gone wrong with the van, whether it is a gas or electrics problem! But it wasn’t too bad this year with no big panics, although I do have to go there two or three times to empty the toilet for them and fill up with water (I somehow got that wrong!) Mary loves the training between the shows and the atmosphere and camaraderie between everyone and, of course, everyone tries to park in the same place every year. And that is probably the most stressful part of the whole show – finding the same spot every year!
Mary didn’t stop for the final day of that week so we left on the Saturday night and went home. The previous year, we’d gone straight from there to the GSD of Wales Show but this really was too much, so we took the camper home and went down in the VW van on the Sunday. It’s a shame that they seem to be struggling for entries a little as it is a lovely venue in the grounds of a castle
|2015 OB. CH COLLIEWOOD BLUE JEANS ( Levi )|
|4th April||Midlands BC||John Farr||1st||Open C||5|
|4th April||Midlands BC||Kath Hood||1st||Champ C||20|
|5th April||Midlands BC||Kaye Ball||1st||Open C||5|
|18th April||Oxhey||Geraldine Steadman||1st||Open C||5|
|4th May||Leicester||Roger Gunby||3rd||Champ C||8|
|10th May||Wirrel||Heather Gray||3rd||Open C||2|
|16th May||Loughborough||Di Cobin||1st||Open C||5|
|17th May||Loughborough||Nigel Slater||1st||Champ C||20|
|23rd May||Waldridge||Mo Graham||1st||Open C||5|
|24th May||Waldridge||Ann Shearer||1st||Open C||5|
|7th June||Petersfield||Jenny Goode||2nd||Open C||3|
|7th June||Petersfield||Jane Wood||1st||Champ C||20|
|14th June||Newbury||Jo Northfield||1st||Open C||5|
|11th July||Eastleigh||Dee Steadman||1st||Champ C||20|
|11th July||Eastleigh||John Farr||1st||Open C||5|
|13th July||Winchester||Bev Hughes||2nd||Champ C||12|
|25th July||Middleborough||Kath Hood||1st||Open C||5|
|26th July||Redcar||Ken Boulton||1st||Open C||5|
|1st August||Hatchford Brook||Roger Gunby||1st||Open C||5|
|8th August||Woburn||Jane Bint||1st||Open C||5|
|9th August||Woburn||Keith Gwillian||1st||Open C||5|
|9th August||Woburn||Lyn Tozer||2nd||Champ C||12|
|22nd August||Ditton||Teresa Patterson||1st||Open C||5|
|23rd August||Ditton||Pat Burford||1st||Open C||5|
|23rd August||Ditton||Wendy Hagger||3rd||Champ C||8|
|31st August||Worcester||Jenny Goode||2nd||Open C||3|
|31st August||Worcester||Kath Hood||1st||Open C||5|
|31st August||Worcester||Sue Garner||1st||Champ C||20|
|5th September||Lichfield||Mick Vessey||2nd||Champ C||12|
|5th September||Lichfield||Ken Boulton||2nd||Open C||3|
|12th September||Thames||John Taylor||1st||Open C||5|
|13th September||Coventry||Roger Gunby||3rd||Open C||2|
|13th September||Coventry||Pat Batchelor||2nd||Champ C||12|
|19th September||B-ham & District||Roger Gunby||1st||Open C||5|
|26th September||B-ham & District||Roy Page||2nd||Champ C||12|
|21st September||BAGSD||Lou Jackson||1st||Champ C||20|
|27th September||GSD Wales||Gerard Paisley||1st||Open C||5|
|3rd October||Elm Park||Russel Beque||3rd||Champ C||8|
|4th October||Thurrock||Nick Buxton||3rd||Champ C||8|
|11th October||Cheshire||Kath Mangan||1st||Champ C||20|
|24th October||Tunbridge Wells||Sue Johnson||2nd||Open C||3|
|25th October||Tunbridge Wells|
|2015 SARKHAM SINGS THE BLUES ( Lyric )|
|5th April||Midland BC||Carolyn McConnel||1st||A|
|3rd May||Rugby||Stella Henstridge||1st||A|
|10th May||Wirrel||Pat Werner||1st||A|
|17th May||Loughborough||Pam Clayton||1st||A|
|7th June||Petersfield||Kathy Killock||1st||A|
|9th August||Woburn||Roy Page||1st||B|
|22nd August||Ditton||Lorraine Bennett||1st||B|
|23rd August||Ditton||Barry Fitter||2nd||C|
|31st August||Worcester||Sandra Trainer||1st||B|
|5th September||Lichfield||Roger Gunby||1st||B|
|12th September||Thames||Barry Fitter||1st||B|
|12th September||Thames||Janet Oliver||3rd||C|