Fabulous Weekend at Willow Farm

Well, what a fabulous weekend I’ve had.

I was at the Willow Farm Exemption Show in Doncaster, organised by Wendy Nottingham and her team. 3 classes on Saturday – Pre B, Begs and Novice, plus ‘have a go’ Hoopers and a couple of fun events – a ‘pairs’ competition and a ‘team challenge’ – both well supported, and then A, B and C on Sunday plus another chance to ‘have a go’ at Hoopers. Capped. Full running orders. No stays of course. Scent in with ring work, but to the side of the main ring area.

Classes designed to motivate and reward.Rosettes for 1st to 6th, plus rosettes for ‘best BC’, ‘best Gundog’, ‘best GSD’ and ‘best crossbreed’.

An event that was small enough to be Covid safe and incredibly relaxed and friendly, but big enough and competitive enough to feel like a proper show. Even the weather stayed reasonable. I loved, loved, loved it.

Thanks to every single person and dog that was there and therefore contributed to making this weekend. Oh for many more such events – a really fabulous way to encourage newcomers, as well as give us old timers a big enough challenge.

Dawn Cox

Back where we belong!

One question I’ve been asking recently is do I want to carry on with obedience ? Its certainly easier not too.

I’ve got used to just walking , and lie ins , the lack of disappointment .

Yet on Saturday morning at 4am in terrible weather my heart sung a bit as we got up. We laughed at the rain on the way , windscreen wipers on full blast . I laughed at the fact I was too fat to fit into my waterproofs .

As we turned up the hill for Plymouth, I felt those familiar butterflies , and I remembered why. As we pulled into the venue id been to countless times over 20 years. I felt like I’d come home . To see “my family” again.

And it rained and rained and rained .

As I worked my dogs I felt the glow . My footwork was questionable , my dogs felt incredible , alight . They were loving it , gosh they were norti too , so out of practise , but it was great.

Its easy to be happy and love obedience on a sunny day , but to truly love it on a cold wet day with a great big smile and a zillion missed positions , makes it even more special. And there was no longer any question. We were back where we belong and happy to be so. Thank you Jason Bath for some precious pix

Michelle Verrill

The End of Stays

So after sixty years plus stays look like they have finally gone – Is it right? I think it is probably right, it will definitely free up time and make life easier for most clubs who run the shows.

It made no difference to me personally except for the way, in some instances, how you would mark them. My own thoughts are that you have to look to the future – Obedience has largely never changed, but in one way or another it has.

I remember years ago sending a letter into Obedience News about people complaining about folks at the shows playing with their dogs, but the same people never complained about harsh handling. The letter was described as smutty and sarcastic and it was, but at least the letter worked because now people do play with their dogs, and the harsh handling has now almost gone thankfully.

Now it’s motivation and rewards, I also remember when a certain team who was denied ticket wins because the dog was deemed too flashy and bouncy by some judges who were still thinking about the old style in their heads. Of course that team became a legend and proved beyond doubt that nothing can stay the same for ever as now most teams train with the idea of flash, enthusiasm, and precision – so in one way or another we have to move on.

I still say there is nothing wrong with obedience and its enjoyable but would like to see more variety especially in the lower classes. If by any chance we get an influx of more people starting obedience do you really think they would want to be doing the same things for the next sixty years?

Just a thought now that it looks like stays have gone, could it be possible that we have a full running order for all the classes, I know there are a lot of people who do not want any change, well that’s fair enough that’s their choice, these are just my thoughts as I’ve never stood still with anything, always looking to the future, sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t, but if you don’t try, you will never know – Stay safe folks


Bill Pykett

Show secretary’s report – Reedyford

REEDYFORD D.T.C. Show Saturday 29th February 2020

On behalf of the Committee of Reedyford DTC I want to thank all the Judges and Stewards for giving up their time to judge for us yesterday, without you all we wouldn’t have a show. I hope you all enjoyed your day as much as we enjoyed having you.

Reedyford DTC is a small club with only a handful of Committee members working so hard on the day of our shows, and this time has been no exception. everyone gets stuck in to make our Show run as smoothly as possible. As well as the Committee we are very grateful to have much needed help from the early morning crew at silly o’clock to help with setting up the rings and anything else that needs to be done although not Club members are always there to volunteer there help on show days .
Me & Lynne went over to Croft Top on friday teatime to put up direction signs ad drop most of the show stuff off ready for morning and to say we had a couple of OMG moments is an understatement, firstly the road just before you turn into Croft Top was knee deep in flood water right across the road, then when we pulled up at Croft Top you couldnt even see the carpark it was a proper pea souper fog and a river running down the lane towards the arena, thankfully the weeks of heavy rain turned into drizzle overnight, with a very cold start to the day next morning.

An early start on Saturday and in just over an hour we have set up a show a quick brew and bacon butty then all ready for the off. Thank you Elaine and the stay ring team..

I also want to thank all the competitors for giving our show the support needed to keep this show. As far as I am aware you all enjoyed your day with us , I received many compliments, also lots of lovely comments regarding the food served in the cafeteria, Elizabeth did an amazing job and never stopped all day long.

Not one complaint from anyone also and can I also add that anyone at all that asked for easily accessible parking so they didn’t have to walk up and down the lane got it , Congratulations if you went home with a rosette and one of our trophies, I saw quite a few happy people walking out clutching their rosettes & prize cards making their journeys home all that much better.

I would also like to give a BIG thank you and thumbs up to everyone for cleaning up after their dogs, you did us proud, We left Croft Top SPOTLESS again and got another compliment to pass on to each and everyone of you from the owner who in her words “ your lot are a lot cleaner than the horsey people.

Good Luck to everyone competing at Crufts next week, Obedience Championships, KCGC Special Pre Beg finals, Rally and All of the Inter regional teams especially our very own Northern Team, enjoy your special day with your dogs, Hopes & Dreams can and do come true.

Hope you all had a safe journeys home with your precious 4 legged cargo.
Our next show is to be held on the Saturday 6th March 2021 here at Croft Top Equestrian Centre. Haslingden, BB5 2DP easily assessable from both the M6 and M62

Kym Pearson

Show secretary’s report – Lune Valley

Lune Valley DTC – Winter Show 25th January 2020

Just to say a big thank you to everyone who made our Winter Show another success.

To all our Judges and Stewards, you know what a ‘rare breed’ you are and how difficult it is to find you! So thank you to you all for allowing another show to go ahead.

Thank you to Pat Wilson for an excellent job as Chief Stay Steward, thank you to all our stay steward volunteers, your help is much appreciated.

To all our competitors who seemed to be a happy bunch with no complaints, well done to all our winners, good luck to you all for the season to come.

Last, but by no means least, thank you to our small band of Lune Valley members who set up, take down and do all the jobs in-between, mostly with a smile on their faces!

Hope to see you all at our Summer Show 1/2/3rd August 2020.

Lesley Alsop
Show Secretary

Show secretary’s report – Reedyford

Reedyford DTC Show Saturday 30th November 2019

Can I first thank all of the committee for putting in the amount of work needed to put on this show, their really are just a handful of us ,Brenda Holden our acting Chief Steward, Elaine Hargreaves our Chief Stay Steward along with Susan,Wendy,Judith, (stay Stewards) , Lynne& Judith serving the Judges & Stewards their meals in the Cafeteria, also Ian Hargreaves, Audrey Wilkinson, Steve Rutter and Rachel Millington who were all there to help at the crack of dawn on a very cold and frosty morning with setting up the rings and anything else that needs doing early on show day, the help was very much appreciated as it always is but even more so today as we were 3 members down due to ill health

A MASSIVE Northern THANKYOU to all the Judges and Stewards for giving up their day to judge for us at Croft Top Equestrian Centre, with some of you traveling quite a distance to do so, without you all we wouldn’t have a show to put on, hope you all enjoyed your day and our hospitality,

It really does go without saying THANKYOU to all the competitors who entered and joined us on the day a very cold and frosty day at that, think I heard someone say it was -4 at 7.30am, I don’t think it got above freezing the entire day.

I saw some very happy faces walking past carrying their Trophies, Rosettes & Prize Cards, well done all of you.

The food in the cafeteria was excellent and the staff brilliant all day , and as a bonus the cafeteria overlooks both the main arena where all the rings were and also looks over the smaller arena where the large stay ring was, so you could if you wanted to sit in the warm and just watch,.

Hope you all had safe and uneventful journeys home with your precious 4 legged friends ,

If you won a ribbon or not your dogs are all so very precious and should never be taken for granted they can be gone in a heartbeat, cherish every moment with them at your side .

The staff at Croft Top again pass on what a pleasure it is to have so many well behaved dogs at our show and asked me to pass on their compliments.

All of us at Reedyford DTC look forward to see you all at our next show on Saturday the 29th February 2020.

Kym Pearson

Show secretary’s report – Wigton


I would just like to express my sincere thanks to club members, friends and relations for the effort they put in at our Winter show to ensure, what I thought, it proved a great success.

We had one of the biggest entries we have had for a while at this show and so in this regard have to thank all judges and stewards, especially Neil Walton who agreed to judge B part 2 and Jackie Muir who took on Julie Rowlands’ ‘C’ when Mario took ill – we sincerely hope he is making progress Julie – you were in all our thoughts. A new pairing in charge of the stay ring as we had to use the usual culprits as ring stewards so Gary – got yourself a job!!!

Thank you to all who helped in the stay ring and in the secretary’s department and of course our catering staff upstairs. You are all stars, thank you so much.

To add the icing to the cake, our members won Pre-Beginners, Beginners and ‘B’ as well as other placings so well done Sophie and Fly, Tricia and Gale, Henri and Millie on your wins. Onwards and upwards.

There didn’t appear to be much waiting around for dogs to work so a lovely early finish meant competitors getting home before the cold struck (and in good time for Strictly!!)

I only have one item of lost property, a purple rubber ring attached to a purple, pink and white tuggie – if the owner gets in touch (either e-mail patwilson142@btinternet.com) or phone (01697342656) I will arrange to get it back to them. Out of interest, I still have a grey Primark zipped jersey jacket from the August show if anybody has mislaid it – it was found in the marquee at the end of the weekend.

Our next “event” – Bank Holiday weekend 29th (Championship) and 30th August (Open) 2020 at Dalemain – hope to see you there!

PAT WILSON (Secretary)

Show Secretary’s Report – Anglian Acorn Obedience Group

Well as we say goodbye to our 2nd Show, the weather is finally improving. I have finally dried out and am now busy washing dog towels and bedding.

Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for all of the entries we received, without which there would be no shows.

The weather this year was pretty much the same as last year, horrendous!

A massive thank you to all of our chief stewards, judges, stewards, stay stewards and scent decoys especially those who did these roles in the pouring rain on Sunday.

Our venue is wonderful and despite natures best intention to ruin our weekend, only two motorhomes got stuck. These were pulled off by the groundsman and our caterer.

I apologise for the less than perfect lunch for our helpers, this was beyond my control. Thank you for your acceptance that lunch wouldn’t be the full hog roast as promised, and for accepting the alternative.

We hire our venue from Thursday until Monday which allows us to have a relaxed approach to setting up and taking down. Jacky Roddick thank you for your expertise in marking out camping pitches and erecting rings. My OCD is finally back on track and things are lining up again!

We are a small team of obedience enthusiasts who decided to “put something back” into our sport. We could not do this without additional help and my biggest thank you goes to my sister Lucy and her partner Kay who worked with me from Thursday lunch time until Monday afternoon. They do not compete in obedience and offer their help to support me in this venture. Thanks go to Vince Winyard and Kathy Woodgreaves, Chief Stay Stewards for the weekend, you were amazing. Teresa Patterson for manning our gate on Thursday and Friday. Stay stewarding on Saturday and Stewarding C on Sunday. You give so much to obedience, thank you 😊 Richard Nichols who gave up his time to help with parking on the Saturday and stewarded on the Sunday. Richard you are a star🌟🌟
Yvonne Percy who came both days just to stay steward, thank you.
Lynn Farrington and Neil Ticehurst the help you gave over the weekend made all the difference.
Lesley Taylor who helped on the gate on Sunday in the pouring rain, thank you.

The whole team worked hard over the weekend and I know we were all tired and aching by the end of Sunday. Huge thanks to Sylvia Allebone for being our Chief Steward for the weekend.
Kate, Jacky, Val, Viv, Rose, Suzy thank you for all you did prior to, during and after the show. Additional thanks to Tracy Allebone and Vicky Main, Julie Martin and Linda Hewitson for your help.

We hope you enjoyed the shows and that you loved our venue. We are looking at a new date for 2020 and subject to KC approval this will be the 15th and 16th of August. The weather we have experienced for the last 2 yeard has beaten us so fingers crossed August will be kinder.

Judges are required for all classes, so please help to keep this show running by offering to help in some way

Good Luck for the rest of the year

Christine Bowles

Show secretary’s report – Elm Park

Another successful ElmRock weekend over for another year. We were so lucky with the weather, dry on Saturday and not too bad on Sunday, we didn’t get the terrible rain as forecast.

The weekend started at 10.00 on Friday morning when both clubs gathered their forces to start setting up the rings. A big thank you to Dave Gillet who comes over every year to help with the rings. Thank you to Teresa and Linda for manning the gate while the show construction was taking place. The fish and chips went down well at lunchtime. I think the whole show was set up by around 4.00.

Thank you to Les Willis for taking over gate duties late evening and early o’clock on Saturday and Sunday – greatly appreciated thanks. To Shaun and Malcolm for keeping an eye on the gate during the day on Saturday and Sunday. To the Elm Park members and the Thurrock team who helped during the weekend. To our judges and stewards for giving up their day – hope you enjoyed it. Also to the score board stewards for keeping the scores in order. To Colin and his stay team thank you. To Richard Kebble our Chief Steward once again, hope you’re ok for next year.

Once again Smiffys did a fab buffet lunch.

Congratulations to our two ticket winners Lorna Hilton and Halligalli Take a Bow and Kathy Russell and Ob Ch Ruskath Mokana Image and all the other successful competitors.

I hope I have not forgotten anyone.

Can’t wait to do it all again next year lol!

Julie Appleton

Show Secretary’s Report – Birmingham & District GSD Assoc. Shows 14th & 15th Sept

Another year over, all equipment and stationary packed away, except judges’ contract for next year.

This year was our 70 years anniversary, so every judge and steward received a small gift from the Association. Thanks to everyone who attended our show. It was a great success, no problems and the weather was superb for the time of the year.

Special thanks to all our judges and stewards and the numerous helpers who started on the Tuesday before the show marking out the rings, wardens in the paddocks, gate stewards, stay stewards, decoy stewards, people who helped set up the show, man the refreshment tent and dismantle on Sunday. There are too many to name but you all know who you are, without you these shows could not be run, you are all invaluable and reside all over Great Britain and meet up in the midlands for a weeks holiday.

Special thanks must go to Bryan Luckock who is our Chief Steward for both days and Marcia and Andy for being Chief stay Stewards.

It was the first time I had stayed on site for the duration of both weekends. I now know why so many people stay, before dusk on the Sunday night there were 14 rings erected for training throughout the week. With brilliant weather, everyone was willing to help anyone who wanted to work through a problem and people moved from ring to ring. It was a wonderful atmosphere.

I understand some judges were disappointed with the fact we only put a class list in the judges envelope instead of a full catalogue. We were thinking of the environment and trying to cut down on waste. Out of 593 competitors 219 witheld their address (37%) so the full catalogue gave very little extra details. Next year I will ask judges if they would like a full catalogue to rectify this mistake. (I am prepared to learn and take your comments on board).

With regards to running orders, it is impossible to please everyone. At present there is a discussion taking place on facebook, hopefully a solution will be found.

Enjoy the remainder of the showing season and hopefully see you all next year.

Kathy Hood (Secretary)