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Heelwork to Music in the UK

Report on Starters Heelwork to Music at Forest Oak Farm on 18.4.15

From Jill Davis. Co-judged with Michelle Dodson

1st Tori Brand with Midwinters Sharwa, a Border Collie, dancing to Savanna Dance by Deep Forest. Tori wore an Indian costume to complement the style of the music and demonstrated a wide variety of heelwork positions incorporating pivots, a serpentine and a zigzag. Sherpa showed total concentration and he and Tori executed their routine in a manner depicting considerably more experience than they have actually had. He did, sadly, sing along to the music occasionally which lost him marks but he was still a clear winner despite that and now goes up into Novice. Marks 22.70

2nd. Amanda Jinks with Stangard Waltz Wizard, a Boxer, dancing to Coming Back as a Man by Caro Emerald. Amanda wore a mask on the back of her head which cleverly depicted the title of the song, along with black clothes and a beret. Solomon was a little naughtier today than I have seen him of late, losing marks for biting at Amanda’s hands and jumping up – showing us all his joie de vivre. He always entertains and makes us smile and I am sure Amanda wouldn’t have him any other way. Marks 16.50

3rd. June Selway with Honey Bee Buzz, a Crossbreed, dancing to Boom, Boom, Boom by Ray Fox. Honey was not at her best this morning and I felt it was probably too early and she hadn’t had time to settle into her new environment as it was the first class of the day. Although I think it only fair to mention that Michelle’s marks for this routine were considerably higher than mine.

The two-day show was very well run and we were blessed with dry weather although it went cold on the Sunday. There were a lot of people camping in the pleasant surroundings of Forest Oak Farm and I look forward to going back there again in August for the Paws n Music 2-day show with Crufts Qualifiers and the Inter Regional Competition, as well as the other activities during the preceding week.
Forest Oak Farm
Saturday, 18 April, Novice Freestyle

1st, scoring 25.85, Tricia Hollingshead with WSD Quizically Quizz, performing to Puffin Billy. A polished performance and clear winner for both judges. Excellent interpretation of the theme, aided by appropriate props and costume. Some clever innovative moves were demonstrated by this team. Now out of Novice I believe.

2nd, scoring 19.3, Louise Ballard and BC Stillmoor Secret Fable, performing to Jailhouse Rock. A competent routine with good range of moves and energetic fast interpretation of the theme. A few missed cues / sniffing brought down the score but this is still a young dog with much potential in Louise’s safe hands.

3rd, scoring 18.95, Alison Wilde and BC Shemella Badgers Moon, performing to Don’t Rain on my Parade. A leisurly performance with good range of moves, use of umbrella, ring space and positioning. Mostly accurate but I thought the music was too loud. Huge distance circles which Badger obviously loves!

4th,scoring 18.50, Diane Jones with Min. Poodle performing to Ski Sunday. A smart little poodle with nice trotting action. Some cute moves to help interpret the theme of the performance and good variety overall. Just a bit messy at times which affected the Accuracy score.

A few general comments –

Well done to all the competitors today. There were some lovely ideas but only the first placed team really shone out. Several dogs lost focus, missed cues and ‘inspected’ the floor. Most entries and start ups were good but some need more practise and a complicated pose which takes time to set up is not recommended. Positioning of the dog so judges get a good view is essential – they can only mark what they can actually see! More effort could be made by some handlers with ‘costume’ – it does not need to be anything special, but a smart appropriate top does help to complete the picture.

A word of advice on the use of toys especially cuddly ones – make sure your dog does not play shake or tug and only uses the toy as cued, otherwise you must expect to be penalised.

Head Judge, Lesley Brocklehurst. Co-judge, Michelle Hubbard.
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