It was a pleasure to judge in this lovely venue. Plenty of the room to prepare the dogs and warm them up; and a good sized ring with carpeted surface. I am surprised more people are not travelling to this show to take advantage of the fabulous conditions – with the added bonus of being able to visit the many trade stalls and other dog activities that are taking place.NOVICE FREESTYLE1st. Jo Preston performing to Pineapple Rag by Scott Joplin. Score 22.05
This is a lovely routine with Jo doing a portrayal of Charlie Chaplain and Cody working well, using some unusual moves to maintain audience interest and coordinate into the choreographic theme. Jo has worked hard on minimising hand signals and so is able to give a stylish performance, in theme, herself. Very enjoyable to watch.2nd. Nicky Maxwell and Ironlake Seferino (Large Munsterlander) performing to You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two by Stanley Holloway. Score 19.7
Another interesting round, but Fiji was not at his best, suffering a bit from his skin, which was wrecking his concentration. He improved as the round went on. Interesting choreography, well placed and using the space available to good effect.3rd. Maureen Heasman and Cappuccino Becky (Crossbreed) performing to All Around My Hat by Status Quo. Score 19.55
And this round did go All Around the Hat, using this prop well throughout the routine. Some interesting moves, taking advantage of Beccy’s modest size. Beccy was a little hesitant at times and not fully focussed throughout which affected her score.4th. Georgina Springall and Dolly Mix (Crossbreed) performing to The Wombling Song/ Remember you’re a Womble by Mike Batt. Score 18.05.
This was the first time this dog had worked in Heelwork to Music and she made a promising start to her career. The choreography, sensibly, was relatively simple to achieve the best chance of success. She was a little inattentive at times, which tempted Georgina to over handle her.ADVANCED FREESTYLE1st. Cathy Bates and Ruskath Lyrical Image (WSD) performing to Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush Score 24.75
This is a fabulous round with the choreography expressive, flowing, using the space available well and, importantly, holding the style and choreographic theme throughout. Also refreshing to see a round without a plethora of props. The only prop is the scarf which is used throughout, to good effect, by both partners. A stylish and interesting round to watch.2nd. Lesley Brocklehurst and Rhyrb Makhaya (Flat Coat Retriever) performing to Blue Smoke Rising by Dolly Parton. Score 21.0
Another stylish routine with great choreography and musicality. Minstrel is a big chap and the choreography respects this and uses his strengths.3rd. Louise Ince and Try me Jodi (WSD) performing to Feeling Good by Michael Buble Score 19.75.
This was the happiest that I have seen Jodi, in the ring for a long time. The pace of this routine worked well, without putting pressure on Jodi, who made a slow start but gained in confidence and style as the routine went on. A nice variety of moves giving some interesting choreography.INTERMEDIATE MUSICAL DRESSAGE
1st. Donna Wallington and Pippie Squeak (Lakeland Terrier) performing to Manhattan Playboy. Score 20.05
On this day Pip decided she could work and has never looked better. Pip is a smart little terrier who looks fabulous when doing dressage. She maintained focus and style throughout her routine, which scored above dogs with move varied choreography but less focus on the day. Pip did however perfrom some really fabulous backing, on the beat of the music – and for sufficient distance to really demonstrate her skill. A good use of patterns and variety of heel and free positions adds interest to the choreography.
2nd. Nicky Maxwell and Ironlake Seferino (Large Munsterlander) performing to Moulinet Polka by Andre Rieu. Score 19.6
This routine includes some lovely, varied choreography with good use of patterns, directions and paces. Nikki uses her hat very stylishly and appropriately to give variety to the routine. Fiji is a large powerful dog who looks wonderful doing dressage and this ring is big enough to really show him off. His focus was not as good as it could be on this occasion.
3rd. Louise Ince and Decoymans Piper Edward (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever) performing to Disturbia by Rihanna. Score 18.8
Troy was also suffering a lack of focus, which is a shame as this routine includes some very good, varied choreography with changes of pace, direction and patterns adding interest.
4th. Jill Davis and Rosmarinus Cinnabar at Gildersway (Border Collie) performing to Boccherini’s Minuet by Novi Novog. Score 18.75
Matisse is such a pretty dog and looks wonderful when he is established in a good working trot. He was having trouble holding consistent paces on this occasion, but was doing his best throughout.
INTERMEDIATE DANCES WITH DOGS
1st. Louise Ince and Decoymans Piper Edward (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever) performing to Stepping Out to Kool and the Gang. Score 20.65
Louise can be relied on to get on out there and dance. Thank you!! Some of the hand signals need to be hidden in the choreography a little more to increase the style of this dance, but as Troy had not been focussing that well earlier, it was probably better to give him as much help as possible. Interesting choreography and a good variety of dance steps from the handler.
2nd. Di Morgan and Darquest Fancy That (Border Collie) performing to Dance of the Blue Danube by the Anglo Persians. Score 18.35
Some interesting ideas in the choreography but the overall style is not yet holding together consistently in this routine. The handler’s hands and arms need to be choreographed to carry the style of the dance through.
3rd. Jackie Field and Caragcennes Sir William (Minaiture Poodle) performing to Hillbilly Rock by the Woolpackers. Score 14.45
Another routine with more potential than could be actually demonstrated on the day as the dog was a little flat and unresponsive, making Jackie work too hard with her hand signals and losing the style. The concept of the dance is there, and Jackie was working hard to maintain her footstep rhythms.
4th. Jackie Field and Atastar Fairytale (Standard Poodle) performing to Hot Stuff by Donna Summer. Score 13.4.
Sadly, Jackie’s second dog was also a little flat on the day and consequently didn’t show off the choreography to best effect. A good use of space and some interesting ideas.