Heelwork to Music in the UK
Lead Judge’s Report on the Intermediate Freestyle class at Forest Oak Farm on 29 August, 2015. Co-judged with Gina Pink
1st. Tricia Hollingshead with Quizically Quizz, a Working Sheepdog, performing to Puffin’ Billy by Melodi Light Orchestra, scoring 22.95 and qualifying her for the Advanced Class.
Tricia was dressed in a railwayman’s jacket and cap. This routine tells a good story based on the old steam railways where Tricia plays the part of a station master as well as a stoker and an engine driver and Quizz plays the part of a signalman and the fire tender of a steam locomotive! The props of 2 flags, a signal, a duster and station nameplate are used to great advantage in an innovative way and it will be interesting to see what ideas Tricia comes up with in the advanced class. Lost a few marks for barking but the standard of their work was so high that it did not knock them off top spot.
2nd. Kay Laurence with Genabacab Light Merlot, a Working Sheepdog, performing to Baccanale by Jarve Neeme, scoring 22.85. Kay was dressed in a black tunic and her props were a large cauldron and a sword. They began with opposing circling round the cauldron much as a shepherd and his sheepdog keep the sheep between them. He did a couple of interesting moves with his front legs inside the cauldron, firstly holding its edge and then pivoting clockwise and anticlockwise. A good routine but which I felt the sword was providing just a little too much to aid the dog perform some of the movements.
3rd. Nicola Rendall with Bekkis Jumping Jack Flash for Heartside, a Border Collie, performing to Winterspell by Two Steps from Hell, scoring 22.70. Nicola used a ‘drum’ and a wand as props. This routine flowed so gracefully it made everything look easy and simpler than it was yet I could see the concentration on Loki’s face (now 11 years young) making sure his was watching and listening to Nicola the whole way through and didn’t put a paw wrong.
4th. Jeanette Fyfe with Enlivya Angel Nathaniel, a Golden Retriever, performing to France by Mike Oldfield, scoring 22.05. Jeanette wore a red sparkly blouse and her prop was a staff which was used to good effect in several different ways. However, he did decide today he didn’t want to do ‘Touch/Tap’ onto the staff. I am sure he does it beautifully in training. I also felt some of the moves in this routine were repeated too frequently and my opinion is that some of these moves should be changed to something different.
All the above routines were a joy to watch with very minor errors and the marks were so close that on a different day the order could easily change. Some of the other routines attempted more moves than the above but made a lot more mistakes. Sometimes less is more!
Paws and Music August 2015
Report on the Musical Dressage division at the Inter-Regionals 31.8.15
By Jill Davis, co-judged with Louise Ballard
Firstly I would like to thank Paul for inviting me to judge at this very special competition which brings team spirit and camaraderie to the fore of our sport for all members of the Paws n Music Association. There are seven Regions who can enter a Starter, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced competitor for each of four divisions, Heelwork to Music, Freestyle, Musical Dressage and Dances With Dogs. This entailed a longer than normal judging stint but it was well worth the effort to watch so many handlers and their dogs tackle what for some is slightly less known territory than the KC divisions they normally do. Some have still not quite grasped the concept of the dog working in a continuous rhythmic manner in time to the music but will, with practice, find how rewarding it is to achieve and how pleasurable it is to watch a dog walking, trotting or cantering with perfect pawsteps in time to the music.
The top five places were taken by advanced handlers, Jeanette Fyfe for Scotland with Enlivya Angel Nathaniel, a Golden Retriever, scoring 26.65; Lesley Brocklehurst for the Midlands with Rehyrb Makhaya, a Flat Coated Retriever, scoring 26.35; Louise Ince for the East with Try Me Jodi, a Working Sheepdog, scoring 25.95; Vee Richardson for the South with Langtrees Wild Card, a Working Sheepdog scoring 21.60 and Margaret Booth for Wales with Ceri Cariad, a Working Sheepdog scoring 21.40. But then in 6 place we have Elaine Jubb a Starter for the North with Standrise Girl, an English Springer Spaniel, scoring 21.35 who won the Starters Division. Winning the Novice Division was Jo Preston for the South with Calandrella Ankti, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever scoring 20.95 and winning the Intermediate Division was Carole Dodson for the West with Kinaway Doctor Porter, a Border Collie, scoring 20.70.
When all 27 scores had been computed the top Musical Dressage Team went to Scotland.
Lead Judge’s Report on Starters Musical Dressage
Written by Jill Davis, Co-judged by Lesley Brocklehurst
It was very encouraging to see 7 entries for this class, with three of them being done as training rounds. One had to train at the end as she had missed her competing slot and the other two dogs both have a great future in dressage with such an elegant gait once their confidence in being in a ring environment has grown. It was also encouraging to see that the four placed competitors actually knew what dressage was and how it should be interpreted. It is hard to get it right and although not always on the beat you could see that they were making every effort to do so and not just trotting around with nice music playing in the background.
1st. Lisa Mappin performing with Sir George of the Wood, an English Springer Spaniel. Score 22.15. Although the musical interpretation was very good, this team lost marks from me for a couple of lags and then going too fast on the arcs of the serpentine. There were a couple of trips and the walk was not quite on the beat. The trotting in various positions and in circles was executed well and to the beat of the music.
2nd. Nicola Wilkinson performing with Samphrey Sundown, a Shetland Sheepdog. Score 21.50. Nicola used some props very effectively with two lovely pots of orchids which she used to send the dog round in a figure of eight at a canter. Some of the work was done using a stick as a guide but that is perfectly acceptable at this level. Moves which were not in time to the music were the pivot and the wide weave and there was one little episode of sniffing the floor. The rest of the trotting was executed well and it was nice to see the canter introduced at this level.
3rd. Lisa Mappin performing with Boardermans Legs Eleven, a German Shorthaired Pointer. Score 21.35. Only slightly behind the second placed team with everything done in time to the music except for the walk. Not quite as much content this time but a very stylish trot which looked better when Lisa went just slightly slower. Just that bit of extra speed that crept in from time to time threw him slightly out of balance and rhythm.
4th. Becky Layphries performing with Flicker of Flame, a crossbreed. Score 19.20. I don’t think the initial pivot on the foot is a good idea as it is neither smooth nor in time to the music. You were moving too fast on your serpentine and some of the other elements were not in time to the beat, including the walk back, circle left and sideways. Unfortunately the dog also has a habit of herding you during the routine trying to bite at your legs.
However, they were all very good attempts by starter handlers and every one a different breed and size, showcasing the variances in gait that can be brought to this genre.
Show: Paws N Music Association Date: Saturday 29 August 2015
Judges: Gina Pink , Margaret Booth & Lynda Edmondson
Class: Advanced Crufts Semi-final Qualifier HTM
Number of entries: 24 Number of withdrawn dogs: 5 Number of training rounds: 5
Judges Steward: Louise Ballard Commentator: Kevin Hodgson
My thanks to Carole Dodson and the Paws N Music Committee for asking me to Judge
and for a super days heelwork to music. Thank you to the stewards for this class; score boarder, Alison Wilde and the excellent commentator, Kevin Hodgson, for giving their time during the running of this class; very much appreciated. This class was of very mixed ability. I was disappointed on some handler’s music choice as it did not showcase their dog’s abilities very well and I am shocked how some handlers only seem to move their dogs forward with little to no sideways or backwards work or variation of pace where the music allows which should be apparent at this level.
That said the placings were as follows:
1st. Kay Laurence with Genabacab Light Meriot, Working Sheepdog, performing to Incantation by Cirque Du Soleil. Very much enjoyed this music and Kay’s musical interpretation to it. The dog worked accurately and there was a good variation of heelwork positions and changes of pace. Congratulations on obtaining your Crufts Semi-final Qualifier today. Overall score: 21:90
2nd. Penny Draper with Kinaway Miss Congeniality, Border Collie, performing to Alice Returns by Danny Elfman. Dressed as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. Only 0.07 of a point between this place and first place. Also demonstrated good variation of heelwork positions and change of pace. Good story telling. Some noise from the dog which needs to be closely monitored. However, congratulations to you too for obtaining your Crufts Semi Final Qualifier today. Overall score: 21.83
3rd. Cathy Bates with Ruskath Lyrical Image, Working Sheepdog. Music change on the day to Roar by Katie Perry. Not a lot of musical interpretation except during the chorus of the song. But good demonstration of various heelwork positions and distance work. Overall score: 21.73
4th. Kristine Hodgson with Detania Devine Charm, Border Collie, performing to Apache by The Shadows. Wearing black trousers and a charming midnight blue glitzy top there was a good variation of heelwork positions with very little hand targeting but just a little inaccurate in places.
Overall score: 21.43
Paws N Music Premier show, at FOF 30 August 2015.
7 completed this class and it was a close call between the first two.
1st. Esther Kent and CKC Spaniel, Gosport Riva – 19.75. A good range of positions, appropriate for this level, demonstrating forwards, back, sideways, pivots and a serpentine. Accuracy was quite good overall, some lagging and a scratch. A well thought out simple routine which showed this willing little dog off well.
2nd. Nicky Maxwell and Large Munsterlander Ironlake Seferino – 19.50. Again, a good range of positions. Some neat and some messy/uncertain transitions which need working on. Also sidestepping where the dog was at an angle rather than parallel. Good interpretation of music, timing and phrasing.
3rd. Jo Preston and crossbreed Sweet Cody Girl - 18.95. Quite good and variable content but let down by loss of focus – sniffing the floor, some weak transitions and side stepping. Keep at it Jo, there’s potential here for a good heelwork dog.
4th. Julie Collingwood and Dalmatian Luccombe Elle Est Beau – 18.45. This dog really stepped out elegantly and kept a good position in forward elements. Sadly I had to deduct heavily for the dog’s nose ON the handler’s hand for much of the routine, without which it would have been placed higher.
5th. Anne Taylor and WSD Grant me a Wish – 17.15. This was a clean and purposeful simple pattern of heelwork but limited to forward movement and a tendency for the dog to rush in places and get ahead.
Hannah’s little Parsons Terrier worked superbly when focussed and in a correct heelwork position but wandered off and twice tried to jump on the judges table – heavy penalty from me I’m afraid.
Full marks to Helen who kept going with loads of energy, enthusiasm and a smile on her face, when her WSD decided to stop and cease working!
Lead Judge, Lesley Brocklehurst.
NOVICE MUSICAL DRESSAGE.
12 entries with 8 completing their routines. My co-judge Jill Davis and I were pretty close with our marks and placings!
1st. Lisa Mappin and GSPointer, Borderman’s Legs Eleven, 22.75. Otto hit the beat superbly, demonstrating a range of heel and free positions, patterns across the floor, good links which did not lose the rhythm and timing and a good attempt at slow pace. More directional variety is now needed. He’s certainly got the legs to show his stylish movement and spot on timing with the music, which suited the team admirably.
2nd. Penny Draper and BC Kinaway Miss Congeniality, 21.70. A good range of positions, patterns and directions, but the serpentine got a bit squashed up in the far corner. Connie worked neatly and flowed along as if she could continue for ever – good conformation helps. Congratulations to Penny who was determined that recent surgery would not get in the way.
3rd. Lisa Mappin and E SSpaniel Sir George of the Woods – 21.15. A wide range of positions were demonstrated, with interesting patterns helping to use the ring space well. Good control over the slower elements and backing but sideways movement needs more work to improve rhythmical movement and timing.
4th. Gail Avery and crossbreed Beachbum Bertie – 21.05. I can only describe this elegant dog’s floating movement as mesmerising. The only dog to achieve true rhythmical weaving in perfect time. Props used for circling and figures of 8 worked well until Gilbert became a bit uncertain and lost it. The routine would benefit from a clear ending rather than just fizzling out.
Sandra and Henry did a super routine with Sandra in King Charles black wig. Over excitement led to popping up and spins which of course interrupted his rhythmic steps.
Lynda showed off her beautiful golden retriever’s flashy footwork but high stepping is very difficult to get in time with the music. I think he would benefit from some free distance work around props.
Laura’s little lowchen was moving magnificently, hitting the beat perfectly, then suddenly lost confidence and stopped. Such a pity.
Margaret’s young Papillon demonstrated well timed footsteps but was distracted by smells on the floor and then made up his mind which positions he was prepared to work!
PnM INTER REGIONAL COMPETITION, Monday 31 August at FOF.
Helen Denis and I both enjoyed judging the FS Division at the end of a long, tiring but thoroughly enjoyable day. There were some great routines, fabulous costumes, interesting props and creative ideas, with everyone stepping up to represent their team. The dogs performed well, benefiting from the more relaxed atmosphere – a mix of fun and laughter, cheeky pranks and supportive encouragement from friends and team mates. A good day was had by all!
1st. Hannah Star was the winner on 22.45, batting for the North with Pacilito Playmaker. Very entertaining with some clever moves. Super little P.R. terrier, expressively handled by Hannah.
2nd. on 22.45 was Wendy Allison with BC Pied Boy, for the West team. Excellent costume and interesting well planned and accurate performance.
3rd , on 21.05 was Esther Kent for the South, working with Gosport Riva. Good range of moves from this sweet little CKC Spaniel.
1st, The old lady with the zimmer frame, Lorraine Rholand with Aust. Shep. Moortime Moonbeam, pulled it off for the Midland team scoring 23.45. Lyrics well interpreted using a wide range of moves.
2nd, was Susan Wolf with Goldie Nakuru Mayfly scoring 23.10 for the West. A very effective and accurate interpretation of Teddy-bears Picnic at a gentle pace.
3rd, Nicky Maxwell and Giant Munsterlander Ironlake Seferino, scoring 22.85 for the South. Good and varied interpretation of dramatic music – such a shame he barked!
1st. Won by a conductor with baton and music stand, Ann de Rizzio with BC Stillmoor Red Sky at Night, scoring 24.10 for the North. Phoenix performed a wide range of moves in a willing, motivated and natural style, ably handled by Ann.
2nd, was Naomi Evans with Stillmoor Cloudy Sunset, scoring 23.60 for the Midlands. A huge range of moves for this young dog, well performed.
3rd, Tricia Hollingshead and crossbreed Quizically Quiz, scoring 22.00 for the West. A clever well interpreted performance, but oh! the barking. Such a pity.
1st, Anne Shuker and Splish Splash won this easily scoring 26.40 for the Midlands. An excellent routine based on the Blitz, so well acted out by both dog and handler. It still brings a lump to my throat and I know, for others too.
2nd, Mary Ann Nester with Bryring Vanquish, scoring 24.35 for the West. Imaginative ideas, good timing and Musical interpretation, producing a thoroughly enjoyable performance.
3rd, Angela Briggs and Wandering Coast to Coast, on 23.05 for the North. A good range of moves and Interpretation of “ Reviewing the Situation”.