Heelwork to Music in the UK

Crufts 2018 - Head Judge Jenny Deakin

First of all I must thank the Crufts committee for inviting me to judge the 2018 HTM finals at Crufts and the International Freestyle finals. To say it was a pleasure doesn’t seem to express the enjoyment I had watching some of the best HTM dogs strut their stuff on the green carpet.

Thanks must also go to Gina Pink and her team behind the scenes for the HTM competitions to take place. I appreciate the support and professionalism received in being part of the competition over the three days.

Congratulations to all handlers and dogs who took part in the HTM competitions over the three days at Crufts.

Between the three Judges there were some difference of opinion in what we saw, interpreted and scored but here is a write up of the top three places & a couple special mentions:

Freestyle final:

1st Lucy Creek and Harriet Skiffle King

What a routine! Full of creativity and telling the story of Cinderella. A routine that will not be forgotten anytime soon. Lucy’s creativity and execution of this routine is truly up there at the top. Skiffle was telling that story with Lucy, a true partnership on show. There were a few inaccuracies throughout the routine but still a winning performance. Well done Lucy and Skiffle.

2nd Cathy Bates and Ruskath Lyrical Image

A gentle performance showing some advanced moves and dancing together.

Sybil showed she knew what she was

doing, at times it felt like she knew what was coming next and her execution of moves is unlike any other dog I have seen perform.

After a very successful season for a well placed 2nd place.

3rd place Kim Lyddon and Cannon You Said What

A comical performance from this team, another enjoyable routine.

Tyler didn’t seem 100% ready at the start for me but soon got into performing the routine. The way this routine was performed showed a great partnership and great use of moves to perform the story.

Well done you two.

A mention must go to Kay Laurence & Genabacab Light Merlot, my highest scoring freestyle routine. I thoroughly enjoyed this routine.

It showed Time moving in many different ways - walking to galloping all in time to the music, something I don’t think seen before on the green carpet. For me, beautiful musical interpretation and very good execution. Well done Kay & Time.

HTM finals

1st place Lucy Creek and Harriet Skiffle King

The accuracy of this dog’s heel work whilst Lucy performs with different footsteps is highly impressive. Plus I enjoyed watching the smooth transitions between positions and behaviours. Added in with some clever freestyle behaviours this routine had a high scoring win. Congratulations you two I thoroughly enjoyed this routine.

2nd place Pam Sullivan and Bandaitcth Mack the Knife

Having never seen this dog work, what a treat it was to sit there and watch this dog been shown off so beautifully. His movement in heel was delightful with accurate, well held positions. The musical interpretation was well delivered and a balanced performance to show this dog off. Along with a wonderful partnership shown throughout their performance together, it was delight to watch and judge.

Congratulations Pamela.

3rd place Caroline Garret and Wildsea Phoenix of Fire.

A beautiful piece of music and grace movement from Caroline showed off beautiful heel work together. An elegant performance with a wonderful display of how top level heel work and well executed heel work can be performed in a routine. Congratulations Caroline and Fawkes.

It was a real shame to see Michelle Dodson & Kinaway Doctor Kildare withdraw from the competition. I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw. Glad to hear Devon is all better.

International Freestyle

1st Japan. Lucie Plevova & Power Jump Aibara

Wow! What a fast and impactive routine full to the brim of well executed moves. They performed together and showed off some

clever moves and choreography.

2nd Germany Sandra Roth & Lizzy Vom Ettikogarten

A beautiful routine. Sometimes it was difficult to concentrate on watching the dog as Sandra performed so beautifully, with clear dance performance experience.

Some very clever and well executed behaviours and an absolute joy to watch.

3rd UK Lucy Creek and Harriet Skiffle King

Skiffle was “on point” for this routine. Well executed moves and great story telling, with clever and complicated chains of moves displayed.

I really enjoyed Lukas Pratschker & Falco Out of the dark’s routine, as did the audience & thousands that have viewed their routine on YouTube. Original, well executed and some very clever synchronised moves shown together.C
Winner of the HTM & FS finals 
Lucy Creek and Skiffle
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