The British Obedience Championship Scene Pt 4

By: Susan & Gemma Henshaw

A bit of a delay in writing this last report on the 2013 Championship season but all the delights of Christmas and New Year crept in and pushed this slightly to one side.

So a look at the last set of Championship shows from 2013 and the teams who have qualified through to Crufts 2014.

Starting off on 1st September and a journey north into Scotland for the East Kilbride DC show, many of the judges remarking on the superb hospitality shown to them by the club, the catering also had to be first class judging by the many excellent remarks made by all who were there. Margaret Harvey was in charge of the bitch ticket today and awarded her 1st place to Karen Davies and ‘Ob Ch Stillmoor Celtic Banner’, working a superb round, ‘all exercises carried out with accuracy and attitude’. The dog ticket judge Sharon Dunstan’s top spot went to a delighted Jackie Duck and ‘Ob Ch Tyefold Xander’ their first ticket win of the year.

The following weekend and back to the south of the country for the Thames DTC show on Saturday 7th at Ockwells Park, Maidenhead. Although some of the ground was restricted this year by new planting there was still ample room to park without being on top of each other, plenty of dog exercising areas, combined with excellent catering for both judges and competitors, what more could you want. Anita Neal judged the bitch ticket today and her winning team were Carolyn Heath and ‘Ob Ch Forever Magic Phoenix’ who produced ‘flowing heelwork’ to take the top spot. Mary Ray and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’ took top honours in the dog ticket ring under judge Pandy Hannay.

The following day and many of the championship teams headed to the Midlands for the Coventry DTC show, well known for looking after their judges with excellent hospitality. For the competitors the working rings were huge with well-mown grass, an ideal working surface. Judging dog ticket was Roy Neal and he awarded his top honour to Philomena Barnes and ‘Ob Ch Forever Magic It’s a Gift’ a team that flowed round the ring with outstanding heelwork. Fred Burns judged bitch ticket and the top spot went to Michelle Newman and her lovely girl ‘ Myall Kanya Tri Again’, a super team to watch.

Back in the Midlands the following weekend for the Birmingham & District GSD show on Saturday 14. The ground and surroundings at the King George V playing field are certainly ideal for a dog show, large level rings, room to walk and exercise the dogs and plenty of room for the many caravans that assemble on mass here, many people choosing to stay on during the week so that they are here ready for next weekends shows as well. Judging dog ticket today was Bryan Luckock and his winner was Julie Rowlands with ‘Blue Eyed Boy Of Daislen’, with neat handling and beautiful, accurate heelwork from ‘Pat’ this win making him up to an Obedience Champion. Bitch ticket saw Diane Martin and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Candy Girl’ earn their first ticket of the year under judge Marie Cartwright.

The following day we had the re-arranged ‘Ticket’ class from the Midland Border Collie Club show that had been cancelled at Easter due to the very inclement weather we had at the time. Thanks to the kind offer from Birmingham & District GSD club, the two Ticket classes ran alongside today’s Open show under their own licence. Lou Jackson was in charge of the dog ticket today, she had a very mixed standard of work in the class, and this might have been partly due to the weather, windy and cold with spells of driving rain. One team who didn’t let this bother them was Christine Roberts with ‘Ob Ch Bheinn It’s Cuddly He’s Dudley’, determined and totally focused on their work and taking the top spot. Lyn Tozer judged bitch ticket and her first place went to Linda Rutherford and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential’, ‘outstanding teamwork’ from this pair.

As said previously many teams stay on the ground during the following week, with impromptu training sessions and practise stays during the day and perhaps a few evenings spent with friends, a bottle of something warming and a good natter to pass the time.

21 September and it’s the turn of the British Association for GSD’s show on the same ground as the previous weekend, and the dog ticket judge for today is Bev Hughes and her class was won by Mary Ray and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’ a ‘together team’ with excellent set exercises and their usual command of heelwork. To finish off a good day Mary went on to win the bitch ticket with ‘Ob Ch Red Hot Foxy Music’ under judge Bill Pykett and as Bill said ‘It’s all been said before’ about this team.

A trip to Wales on the 29 September for the GSD of Wales show, an excellent venue, flat well spaced rings and lots of room for parking and exercise. Philomena Barnes awarded top spot in her dog ticket to an overjoyed Mark Herrits and ‘Dodgin Master Markat’, their first ticket win and very well deserved. Rob Bint judged bitch ticket and his top honours went to Jenny Gould and ‘Zankanja Little Creature’ who worked the round with ‘style, attitude, accuracy and class’.

So into October and a double weekend at the Orsett Showground in Essex, unusually the weather held all weekend and made for ideal working conditions. A superb ground for exercising the dogs with many walks stretching away from the main rings area. The stay ring is positioned at a good distance from the other rings and there is plenty of room around the working area.

On Saturday 5 we had the Elm Park DTC show, many judges commenting on how well organized the show was. Judging dog ticket today was Ian Watts, his top spot went to Geraldine Steadman and ‘Ob Ch Nobite Defence of the Realm’ with a ‘good all round performance’. Wendy Hagger judged the bitch ticket and her winner was Linda Rutherford with the simply stunning ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential’.

The next day it was the turn of the Thurrock DTS show and once again judges and competitors sang the praises of a well organized and run show. Linda Rutherford was the judge for the bitch ticket and her winner at the end of the day was Jenny Gould and ‘Zakanja Little Creature ‘ this being their 3rd win and the dog earning her Obedience Champion status. Judging the dog ticket today was Nicky Hale and she awarded her top place to a delighted Jessica Lewis and ‘Pepsanner Atlantic’ – this also being their third win and another dog earning his Obedience Champion Title.

The championship teams travelled across the country the following weekend to Shooton Deeside for the Cheshire DTC show, described by many as a brilliant venue, good size flat rings with short mown grass, allowing handlers to step out with their dogs. Bitch ticket judge Sue Garner awarded her first place to Michelle Newman and ‘Myall Kanya Tri Again’ they worked the round in persistent rain and gave ‘heelwork to die for’ and following on from last weekend, another team earning their coveted third ticket and the title of Obedience Champion. In the dog ticket judge Peter Height saw Dot Watts and ‘Ziggdan Zyco’ take his top spot with excellent set exercises, a first ticket win for this team.

Moving on to the last few Championship shows of the year and 19 October saw the East Grinstead DTC show at the Ardingly Showground. A very popular show, with excitement building for those competitors still striving to earn their Crufts 2014 ticket. Judging the bitch class was Kamal Fernandez and his first place went to Linda Rutherford and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential’ a very special team who certainly excel at this level. Jill Holness awarded the top honours in her dog ticket to Geraldine Steadman and ‘Ob Ch Nobite Defence of the Realm’, described as handling the test ‘smartly, accurately, with style and commitment.

The following weekend and the teams head back down to the Ardingley showground for the last championship classes of the year at the Tunbridge Wells & District CS show, a brilliant atmosphere, almost like an end of term party, with an excited buzz around the rings and a little something to help the judging parties keep warm. Jessica Lewis was judging the dog ticket today and her top spot went to Steve Frazer and ‘Ob Ch Gwynfair Classical Gas’. Bitch ticket judge Nicky Hale awarded her first place to Linda Rutherford and the sublime ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential’.

So that brings us up to date for the 2013 Championship shows, for those who like statistics, out of 46 dog tickets Mary Ray and Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans won a total of 10, then sharing 3 wins each were Jenny Gould with Ob Ch Zakanja Bitter ‘N’ Twisted, Janet Matthews and Ob Ch Croftmist River of Krismoss, Steve Frazer and On Ch Gwynfair Classical Gas and Suzy Tooley with Ob Ch Woughstock Wynsome Hartze.

Out of 46 bitch tickets Linda Rutherford and Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential won a total of 6, closely followed by Mary Ray and Ob Ch Red Hot Foxy Music on 5 wins, Karen Davies with Ob Ch Stillmoor Celtic Banner on 4 wins and sharing 3 wins each Jenny Gould with Ob Ch Zakanja Little Creature, Kathy Ingham with Ob Ch Ruskath Portent Image and Kathy again with Ob Ch Ruskath Othentic Image.

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