By: Susan & Gemma Henshaw
In this day and age where we often read of clubs that have folded or clubs that are no longer running their Obedience show it was so nice to look at the show diary for this year and find that Solihull Dog Training Club were running an open show again after a 15 year break.
So Sunday 29 June saw us setting off up the M40 towards Birmingham to the Woodrush RF ground at Forhill, having left the sat nav at home on the table we used the directions from the schedule, which were straightforward and easy to follow. On arriving at the ground we were informed that the top field, that is used for parking the vehicles in when Hatchford Brook hold their show here, had unfortunately not been mown and parking for today’s show would be either at the top end of the rings on the show field or on the hard standing around the clubhouse.
Deciding on the field parking we followed the directions given by the lovely gentlemen in their bright yellow jackets and were shown to a spot by a hedge which was within a stones throw of the out of sight area for the stay rings that had been set out at a good distance from the working rings.
Once we had seen to the dogs and covered the van we found our rings and signed in, all the rings were of a good size set in two long lines with a central aisle running down the length of them. The working surface was quite good, nice short grass and not as uneven as we have seen it before.
Towards the clubhouse end of the ground there was the smaller of the Pet Needs stands, selling their usual wide range of dog products, plus there was a stand selling natural dog treats which had large baskets of different recipe sausages in, of which a large bag full somehow ended up in our van, much to the delight of our dogs, even our fussiest one deciding that she might just manage to try a piece.
But the best stand by far was the impressively stocked tombola, which was raising funds for the West Midlands Retired Police Dog Benevolent Fund. We bought several tickets during the day and came away with some lovely prizes including a good quality dog toy, smellies, a teddy and three/four large bags of assorted chocolate bars, caramel eggs and mini chocolate eggs. I think at least one bag did not make the journey home! The tombola obviously proved popular as they raised a total of £118.00 for the fund, a brilliant effort.
As the show progressed during the day we did wonder if with everyone having to park together at the top end of the field there would be enough room for either practise or exercising of the dogs but there was still plenty of space available so no problem there and as it wasn’t much of a walk to get to the rings there did seem to be more people watching the various classes during the day.
The stay ring looked to be well manned during the day, the club had given out a small note to competitors on arrival asking if you had time during the day could you help at all by doing some stay stewarding for them.
Speaking to a delighted Jen Wyatt and a couple of the club members in the afternoon we were told that they had had a visit from a KC Field Officer and he had graded the show as ‘Excellent’ which must have been a real boost after such a long break. This show must rate as one of the friendliest shows on the circuit, they seemed to have lots of club members around who were making sure that everything went off without a hitch and they were easily distinguishable in their club polo shirts.
Some of the teams going home with the red rosettes today included Emma Campbell with her WS ‘Tamras Top O The Morning’ gaining a qualifier with a win in ‘C’ Pt 2. Taking top spot in Novice Pt 3. was Sue Cotton with her GR ‘Wild Foggy Marsh’ and winning Beginners was Sue Lang with her lovely SS ‘Chelmarsh All The Way’.
Top honours in ‘B’ Pt 2. went to Janet Hackett with her WS ‘Snow Flurry at Forestbeck’ and a delighted Sheila Webster with her BC ‘Choystean Reed Warbler’ continued their purple patch by winning ‘A’ Pt 1, even though Sheila was thinking about doing the scent without her dog!
One of the happiest handlers at the end of the day must have been Jane Bint, taking the red in ‘B’ Pt 1, with her WS ‘It’s Jaros D’ream’ and also winning Novice Pt 2. with her lovely youngster ‘It’s Jaros Fun’.
Hopefully with such a successful day under their belt this club and their show will continue to grow and become a regular feature on the Obedience calendar.