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Heelwork to Music in the UK

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Westglen HTM Club 22 and 23March 2014 Kath Hardman

I was very pleased to be invited to judge at this regular HTM Competition which was held earlier in the season this year due to the new venue which the club had “tried out” in October last year. A super venue – lots of space, good parking and great food as we come to expect from Westglen.
The ring had three blank sides which is great as the audience, competitors and organisers are then all around the same part of the hall making it a very user friendly set up. Thanks to all the Westglen Committee for finding such a superb venue.
I judged numerous classes over the weekend and had plenty of time to find the competitors individually after each class to explain my scores in an attempt to help them further themselves in this wonderful sport. I hope that those I spoke to found this a useful exercise.
As Head judge of two classes here is my report:

Saturday Intermediate Freestyle – co-judged with Annette Lowe
1st
Lesley Neville –Brambledale Blue Dewy. Lesley’s training of her youngster shone through today with a superb performance from them both to “The Night They Invented Champagne”. The routine moved along seamlessly with them both flowing like the champagne. Lesley dressed resplendent in tails well sequined and Dewy with his coat floating as he completed all the moves and finished with a super score of 26.45.
2nd
Kim Lyddon – Canen You Said What. Kim and her partner worked well today to their routine to “Cops and Robbers”. This routine involved lots of which I describe as clever moves that were obviously trained to interpret the music which this team did throughout. Kim dressed as the “copper” with a Police Desk, Chair and baton as props used in many ways but providing a setting of the scene. Great overall score of 26.30
3rd
Kerstin Kerr- Ritterburg Oregano. Kerstin is relatively new to the sport but her routines are becoming increasingly difficult as she moves up the classes with her Dachshund Floyd. Performing to “Don’t Fight The Sea” each of her props was revisited to fully utilise them. Floyd works with vigour and the routine was another that had been extremely well choreographed. Kerstin and Floyd scored 25.25
4th
Mark Collins- Lady Blaze Of Snowdonia. Mark set the scene with two stands for his “sheet music” for Lady to work around in different directions under the direction of Mark the conductor as they performed to “Victory” by Bond. Again another dog who seemed to know her routine with confidence and good accuracy. Well done Mark and Lady scoring 23.40
Out of a class of 16 entries, 10 competed with no one receiving a score below award points. A pleasure to judge, thank you.

Sunday Starters HTM – co-judged with Lesley Neville

1st
Claire Hitchins—Stormbeck Flicker Of Gold Claire and her young dog performed to “Ain’t She Sweet” and seemed to cover the entire ring with her carefully choreographed routine. Her costume suited the music and the music choice suited them both as the performed very accurately to the music. Very nicely handled and with a final score of 26.40.
2nd
Kerstin Kerr—Ritterburg American Dream. Kerstin and Lila performed to “Mission Impossible”. Fabulous heelwork from this very small dachshund which Kerstin ensured she didn’t overshadow in any of the heelwork positions which the dog was confident to work in. Quite a degree of difficulty too for a starter class – it was well trained and fitted the music too. Another score of 26.40 – which equalled the first placed dog but on the overall Accuracy and Execution mark Kerstin took second place.
3rd
Carole Turton—Lucil Worth The Wait. Very neat handling by Carole with her lovely Cocker Spaniel. Nice varied content working the dog equally on both sides of the handler. Carole and her dog made good use of the well sized ring today and showed nice teamwork. Scored 19.70
4th
Maggie Powis – Amberwave Freckles. The majority of this routine was good forward heelwork keeping the Irish Setter flowing with accuracy too. I felt the music choice was good and it suited this team. Scoring 19.55
This was the first class of the day and a busy one too. 18 entries with 12 competing and 4 training rounds. Quite a few of the routines that weren’t placed seemed to contain too much freestyle and the heelwork positions were not definite enough at times. But it was a good class to judge and thank you to those who took part – you showed imagination and promise for the future.
Thanks again to Westglen for a great weekend, good company and a super competition!

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