Competitor’s Report – Great Baddow

I had a lovely, lovely day today at the Great Baddow Dog Training Club’s Obedience Show.

The day was fine and dawned with a misty haze which, as the day progressed, gave way to bright sunshine and heat.

A 53-mile trip for me, the M25 was kind and I sailed along and through the Dartford Tunnel with no waiting at all. A pleasant and trouble-free drive, with no issues locating the show itself which was both well signed and staffed at the entrance. We were quickly and efficiently parked up on the sloping grass behind the show ground and greeted by a board showing the class lists and ring lay out. This open, public park lends itself well to dog shows and there was ample space for the rings, sauntering around, and dog exercising – some of it punctuated by local dog walkers and people and children out for a stroll or to use the park facilities. From my perspective, we rubbed along very nicely – even the errant pet poodle who wandered up to say hello was friendly and eventually captured. I heard tell that a spaniel shot through a higher-class ring, but that could be apocryphal although it is not unlikely!

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Show Secretary’s Report – Elmrock at Plantation Park & Five of Clubs

Elmrock and Five of Clubs Weekend

Well what can I say? Within a few hours of Gt. Yarmouth and Norfolk Broads clubs announcing they’d decided not to hold their shows this year, and after a couple of phone calls and WhatsApp messages, we’d swung into action lol

Massive thanks to all our judges & stewards who happily agreed to swap over, and to the extra judges needed and to the ones on standby in case someone got “pinged” and had to isolate. Fortunately that didn’t happen.

Huge thanks as always to our lovely camping ladies – Gloria Fountain & Helen Jermy. You know you’re back at PP as they’re always the first faces you see when they appear with the camping lists to help everyone find their spots.

And thanks to the 2 Steves (Steve Parmiter & Steve Clark) doing the day parking – a bit easier than our May shows! Thanks guys. Thanks to Glynis Smith for making some lovely cakes for us again – much appreciated.

And – yay!!! I don’t have to thank any stay stewards


Thanks to Barry Fitter for coming over to help us put up the rings and thanks again to Vanda Fitter for taking all our scent cloths to wash and iron. We’re really grateful for that Vanda.

And I should thank Dave Gillett for doing the smelliest job of all – keeping the cesspit emptied



And lastly, mega thanks to Richard Kebble for being our Chief Steward both days. We had a few laughs and not too many things to tax your brain!

A successful two days and nice to relax and let the Five of Clubs gang take over for the third day. Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. See you all again at the Elmrock Weekend next May (28/29/30)


Kath Westell
Show Secretary

Show Manager’s Report – Chesvale

CHESVALE DTC Open Obedience Show
Sunday 29th August 2021

Our first show in 2 years due to the pandemic and after the initial shock in realising that Clare Williams and myself are not ‘match fit’ the show turned out to be fantastic!

With 25 of our members on hand to help set up, rake all the rings from grass clippings, work all day and finish off leaving the showground in perfect condition it reminds me of how lucky we are to have such a supportive membership. I would like to thank them all personally, but it would make this post even longer so consider this a collective pat on the back with an extra one for Clare Williams our show secretary and my partner in crime without whom we couldn’t run the show.

Thanks to our super judges and their stewards who gave their time freely, with many competitors giving thanks for their efforts and for the help, advice and the time they gave to everyone who came into their ring. Our entries were 23 in Special Pre-Beginner, 30 in Pre-beginner, 38 in Beginner, 87 in Novice. The numbers were down on our previous August show which I’m hoping was a just a blip because of the 3 day show being put on at Plantation Park but after losing so many shows over the last 18 months every show is precious.

The weather was perfect for the dogs, with cloud cover and occasional sunshine but never too hot. Our new caterers were on hand to not only cater for the competitors but also supplied a great buffet lunch for our judges and stewards. One thing Chesvale is renowned for is our catering and no-one goes home hungry!

The training rings were manned by Donna Bastin and Sue Monk who worked tirelessly throughout the day, starting before judging commenced and ending with us having to call a halt to it at 4.30 p.m. Our chosen charity was The Thin Blue Paw, a charity that provides care for ex-service dogs in need of support when their organisations can no longer care for them. Donna and Sue took £167.55 on the day and Chesvale will make this up to a round £200.00 to donate to this wonderful charity.

We would like to thank YuMOVE for their support and donations of a year’s supply of their super product, Adult Daily Bite, for our winners in each class and a large tub for 2nd and 3rd places. One competitor won 2 classes and was a small dog so probably has 6 years’ worth of supplements!

I have already posted photos of the day which I hope will be an inspiration to newcomers to the sport showing so many different breeds taking part and being successful in their own way. The atmosphere at the show was fantastic, relaxed, friendly with a minimum of restrictions but with everyone being considerate regarding social distancing. We were touched by the number of wonderful remarks and thanks given to us on the day and in some posts on Facebook, it is always great to hear that you have ‘done good’!

Final thanks go to all the competitors who came to the show, it was lovely to see so many old faces and many new ones. We look forward to welcoming you at our 2022 shows on Sunday 1st May and Sunday 28th August 2022.

Carol Spencer
Show Manager and proud Chairman

Lune Valley DTC – Secretary’s Report

WOW – That was different but seemed to work. Thank you to all at Wirral and Wigton for joining us in what was a great three-days of Championship Obedience Shows. The three committees and helpers worked well together and made the whole process easier for each club, enabling all three Champ classes to take place this year.It felt like only yesterday since our last show, but it was two years, how things have changed. Because of COVID we needed to make the show as safe as possible for everyone, we had a new entrance for day parking which worked very well, allowing more space for camping, I think this will be carried forward to future shows. We had a new catering service, I think everyone would agree was a great success, and packed lunches for our judges which again I feel worked well, it meant we didn’t have ‘crowds’ in a catering marquee, also considerably less work for our very small committee! Thank you to everyone for being COVID aware and acting sensibly in these strange times.Thank you to all our judges and stewards and thank you for accepting the changes we put in place to allow the show to go ahead. We will have to see what next year brings.

Thank you to all our competitors, I hope you enjoyed your weekend of shows. Well done to all our winners, it was nice to see such a variety of breeds in the line ups, I’m sure Alison will be posting many photos before long!!

Again, my thanks to Wirral and Wigton committee and members for joining us at this brilliant venue and helping to get the Obedience Shows up and running again.

Lesley Alsop

Show secretary’s report – North West Kent

I think that it is fair to say that the weekend went really rather well despite the weather doing its very best to spoil things – I never knew that there were so many weather apps or so many forecasters around but they were all mostly wrong. We did start Saturday with thunder and lightening but it didn’t scare those at the venue off one little bit. Sunday offered more of the same including the threat of torrential downpours but they were steered away to the north east of London thankfully. Attendance was down due to these forecasts but we are grateful to all those who took the option to stay on the rugby club car park, I would say that the groundsman was very happy too.

Thank you to all the competitors that did make it, the atmosphere around the venue was amazing, smiley happy people, the release from Covid restrictions clearly had a part to play and the fact that were able to run the show in the ‘old fashioned’ way helped enormously.

Many thanks to all our judging teams, almost all of whom honoured agreements made for 2020, to the stewards and scoreboarders who help so much towards everyone’s success. Congratulations to all our winners, especially Lorna Hilton & Lenny, Dog CC and Jodi Lunn with Fia, B Girl CC, good luck at Crufts 2022. Well done to all club members, what a haul of rosettes, (and points), were collected over the 2 days, success for 2 first timers too.

This show is only a success because NWK have an amazing group of helpers and we receive offers of help from competitors too, I cannot name everyone as there are too many and I would hate to miss anyone but the camping team deserve a special mention, this is a difficult venue to police and without Linda Plows, Vanda Fitter, Gaynor Taylor and Thelma Alexander taking up the task of seeing everyone parked up correctly plus those that sat on the gate until 10 pm (sorry but I might miss one of you as I know you arranged it amongst yourselves) a sincere thank you to you all.

Aylesford Bulls Rugby club were really welcoming and there were many compliments regarding the catering – the picnic box lunch was a huge success and the cream teas were amazing. The working surface was in perfect order so a great all round effort from them was appreciated.

Only one really rather annoying incident that involved several members due to one person wanting delay their arrival until way after the venue gates are locked at 10pm – there is a reason for this, Travellers make repeated attempts to gain access to the venue and is why we had someone manning the gate from Friday to Sunday during daylight hours, it is not unreasonable to expect everyone coming to the show to comply with the request to arrive before the stated closure time. That the Club Manager had to be got out of bed at 11.45 to let the late comer in was beyond unreasonable and could have lost us the venue in the future. Such irresponsible action could put our future use of the venue in jeopardy and a 2 day event gone from the calendar.

We hope to be back to even more normality next year, 23 & 24 July 22, without the need to cap entries although smaller shows have some advantages!

Eileen RestellE

Show Secretary’s Report – Redcar


Phew! Another show done and dusted after not being able to have one last year, and what a fantastic turnout we had. What may have seemed like a smooth running show, had us running in circles trying to sort various problems out! Firstly our catering people cancelled on us due to covid which made them short staffed. So, we quickly rang the best fish and chip shop in town who agreed to supply us with lots of boxes of fish and chips at very short notice. Then … Steve had to collect them on Sunday lunchtime only to find out that the route to the fish shop was closed because of a road race! Anyway, he smooth talked his way through and promptly collected and delivered. All of the judges seemed to enjoy them so job done. We had an incident of a ripped hand caused by a dogs claw, so that was a quick hospital visit, then a dog took ill and after calling the vets and making an appointment, the dog recovered thankfully, so is being checked out at her own vets, then unfortunately one of our judges took ill so was quickly replaced by our overall judge, Carole Patrick! The skip turned up two days late, the kitchen was locked on the morning of the show so Steve had to boil pans and the kettle in the motorhome to ensure the judges got their refreshments. But hey, apart from that, all went quite smoothly!

Our thanks have to go to every single person that helped out in any way that they could, from the people helping to put the rings up, to the people who helped take them down again, but I have to say, Bob Faville worked his socks off! Thank you Bob. Thank you to Wendy, Richard, Anne, Steve, the Rugby Club, our stall holders, etc, etc. I’m so sorry if I’ve missed anyone out but believe me, we are soooo grateful for any help we can get. Huge thank you to all of our judges and their stewards for ‘volunteering’ their services, we hope you enjoyed your day.

Saturday night was AMAZING! Jackie Muir organised a number of fund raising events, from a tombola, to wack-a-mallow, and the pinnacle was ‘Braving the Shave’, having her head shaved – brave lady – all in aid of Cancer Research. Everyone joined in and supported her and raised a massive £371 from auctioning each go of the shavers, and £114 for wack-a-mallow! Obedience people are so generous! And that’s without the money from the cake stall and the tombola. Jackie, you are one very kind person.

Good luck at Crufts 2022 to our two winners – the dog ticket was won by Julie and Yoshi and the ‘other’ ticket by Karen and Rhyma. Well done you two, enjoy every minute!

Karen Davies

Fabulous weekend at North West Kent

Well, what a fabulous weekend North West Kent Dog Training Club gave us at the Aylesford Bulls Rugby Football Club. It was a delight to be back at this well laid out and spacious venue, and from the stoic gentleman on the gate to those helpers wandering round to keep things ticking over, we could not have wished for more cheerful efficiency.

The weather wasn’t really with us. Thundery, humid, and oppressive topped off with torrential downpours on Sunday, it wasn’t ideal for working some dogs and neither of mine pulled out their best. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it!

Saturday was a busy day, with the Ticket classes active and well attended. It is always nice to watch those competitors and dream. Meanwhile back in the lower classes, which I inhabit, and despite being the offspring of two accomplished ballroom dancers, walking a straight line with even the semblance of good deportment and accuracy defeated me today, and a return to wheeling around corners cost me dearly. I was still lucky enough to be in the ribbons on both days but as my school reports so often lamented “could do better” about sums it up. In my classes, despite quite fierce competitive natures, everyone still roots for their fellow competitors and congratulates and commiserates as appropriate. On Saturday I had a poor run in Pre-Beginners, which was ably won by William Forrest and Birkcross Gem. William and I have a friendly rivalry, and it was incredibly gallant of him to concede second place to me in Beginners rather than run off for second and third. He commented that he was more than pleased with his win and felt for me in my Pre-Beginner round. It was incredibly sportsman-like and indicative of the camaraderie of our sport in general.

Today, I was delighted that Vicky Bristow and her Havanese, Thistlesweet Jasmine, achieved a first in Pre-Beginner. I worked after her and she commented “please don’t tell me Eric has beaten me”. We hadn’t. We knocked up a cricket score with my seemingly drunken walking and Eric’s desire to disassociate himself from this fumbling buffoon of a handler out for a Sunday stroll.In Special Pre-Beginners Shirley Budgen and her helpers encouraged every single competitor through, offering helpful tips for future improvement. At the grass roots of our sport these kindly comments and words of wisdom are so valuable and greatly appreciated. I am always amazed at the ability of these senior and accomplished judges to see the positives in all of us and our dogs. Despite my less than stellar handling, we got ribbons. Lovely, lovely ribbons no doubt funded by the provision of sponsorship from CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds, who provided Salmon Oil, Platinum Natural Pet Food and Care, who provided many sample packages, and Fish4Dogs who provided lovely fishy things. Don’t you just love a goody bag with samples in it? I had them all laid out on the counter at home and gloated over them as special treasures. Now, there is nothing fishy, if you will pardon the pun, about how I acquired these treasures. I did a tiny bit of helping and received a reward. I also grovelled like crazy at the Secretary’s tent.

And so, the weekend drew to a gentle close. Around us, like over energized Wombles, the helpers from North West Kent were dismantling rings and collecting all manner of things. It must have taken hours to put up, it didn’t seem to take that long to take down however I am sure the clearing up went on until late in the afternoon. I do hope they avoided the rain, which torrented down and made the drive home rather challenging. Next stop Halstead. See you there.

Katrina Arnold

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