Heelwork to Music in the UK

Canine Freestyle GB Premier show
9th and 10th of September 2017

Novice Heelwork part 1.

1st. Laura Wiley scoring 20.35 and Australian shepherd B Moonstyle Mystic Frost, working to ‘For the Heart I Once Had’. A good range of positions, directions and paces was demonstrated, all flowing smoothly around the ring. A smart costume and several lillies effectively used. An enjoyable performance and worthy winner.

2nd. Jean Page scoring 18.10 with her X breed Trip the Light Fantastic, working to ‘Ain’t no Stopping Us Now.’ A fetching orange and red costume and a good range of Heelwork positions. This dog was able to maintain position without the constant use of hands and body signals to assist. Well planned with good timing/phrasing.

3rd. Margaret Whisker, scoring 17.30, with her X breed B Mysterious Millicent, working to ‘Portsmouth’. Some interesting and appropriate moves and also varied handler footsteps. A routine with real potential, but it does need more control and attention from the dog especially on entry to the ring and the early part of the routine.

4th. Sally Silvers scoring 15.25 with herToy Poodle Red Wold Drakkonina, working to ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’. Limited positions as yet but Sally incorporated different patterns of movement pivots and some slower moves, all with quick and easy links.

A special mention for Julia Folland and her young WSB – this team is going to be fantastic!

Novice Heelwork part 2

1st. scoring 19.85, Sandra Hallam and Bernese Mountain Dog, Arvella Sparkles at Oldberne, working to “Cockney medley”. An amazing smart ‘pearly queen’ outfit for Sandra! An interesting and varied performance with good content, accuracy and image of oneness. This young dog worked with commitment and flair. A worthy winners of this class.

2nd. scoring 18.70, Ann Smart and WS B Mythical Forest Nymth, working to ‘White Horse’. A competent performance with good range of positions, lateral moves and also backing. Well planned with quick neat and easy position changes. Well done.

3rd. scoring 18.20, Rob Creek and beagle bitch Dialynne Making Waves, working to ‘Hound Dog’. Lovely to see this older happy and attentive little dog now enjoying heelwork with her ‘Dad’. A range of positions, good use of the ring and musical interpretation all evident. A smart checked jacket for the handler.

4th. scoring 16.90, Helen Boyd with crossbreed bitch ‘Creator of Chaos’ working to ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’. Fast moving and full of energy, this team motored round the ring demonstrating a range of positions with good timing and phrasing.

A special mention for Kristine Hodgson doing a TR with her young BC bitch. Some really good heelwork and rhythmical trotting, all the more effective as much of it was in time with the music.

Jean Page and her ‘Boogie Shoes’ brought the house down, when Tiny Dancer ran off with the shoe cover! An impressive costume!

A few general comments for both parts of Novice Heelwork today.

1. All competitors should aim on entering the ring to quickly set up their dog ready to start, without time wasting whilst the dog wriggles, changes position or wanders off to explore the floor. This part of the routine needs practising!

2. The judges start marking when the music commences, but some competitors are asking the DJ to start their music before they are fully in the ring. Far better to pause in the ring in full view of all the judges, before asking for your music to be started. 

3. Some dogs are “mugging” their handler’s hand or the handler puts their hand down onto the dog’s nose. This is markable, ie points off! See rule 18 g.

4. Many dogs especially younger ones cannot cope with too many position changes and would benefit from longer stretches of heelwork rather than bitty chop/change routine.

5. Those who make an effort with their costumes should be commended over those competitors who do not bother. An appropriate costume can add the icing to the cake.

Lesley Brocklehurst - Head judge
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