Heelwork to Music in the UK


This was a very well-run show and the Fylde K9 Dancers club has grown from strength to strength with a very successful and hardworking membership. Held in a Leisure Centre with the audience at one end and the judges on a second side, leaving only a few distractions on the other two sides. I was privileged to be head judge for the Advanced Freestyle class on the second day of the show and thoroughly entertained by such a high standard of teams.

Advanced Freestyle - Head Judge Jill Davis (co-judge Helen Taylor)

1st. Ann Shuker with Splish Splash, a Working Sheepdog, performing to Homefront in The Blitz by various artists. This is my current favourite routine and I could only watch in awe at all the little nuances that Ann had put into this routine – so many that it was impossible to look away for even a split second or you would have missed something. Also, of course, very topical with Britain commemorating a hundred years since the outbreak of World War 1, Ann cleverly choreographed a story of the dog being comfortable at home with her owner, lying on her bed reading her book, then helping peg out the washing, doing several moves holding a huge Union Jack, hiding when the air raids came, saying her prayers and finally being evacuated with her suitcase and her favourite toy. This is only the second time in about 16(?) years judging that I have awarded a 10 and I just could not fault the Interpretation of this music. I did not observe her miss a cue and she performed every move asked to perfection.

2nd. Ann DeRizzio with Stillmoor Showstopper, a Border Collie, performing to Always Look On the Bright Side of Life/Lady of the Lake by Spamalot/Rick Wakeman. The queen of the props does not disappoint with this latest routine and we have a sword, a crown, a hand coming out of a lake and an umbrella. Although I also love this routine and thought the story and the interpretation were great there were a few inaccuracies creeping in and I did feel that the costume hampered the dog with a couple of his movements. He was also not quite on the ball with his handling of some of the props. Apart from that a good routine which I shall also look forward to watching again.

3rd. Ann Shuker with Freckle Frenzy, a crossbreed, performing to Strawberry Fair/Laughing Gnome by Anthony Newley/David Bowie. (A good day for Anns). This is a fairly new routine to this dog and she certainly executed it much better than when I saw it in Scotland. Loads of content with the dog getting her basket of strawberries and doing various moves with it. Didn’t quite grab me as much as the other dog’s routine and there were a few inaccuracies creeping in here and there but a sweet little bitch who tries hard.

4th. Cathy Bates with Ruskath Lyrical Image, a Working Sheepdog, performing to Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush. I am so glad you changed your music on the day as I much prefer this routine. I thought the Interpretation was absolutely beautiful with a flowing scarf being used to great effect, not only to make Cathy’s moves fit the music but was also used by Sybil to wind and unwind round Cathy. Sybil is gaining in confidence with every show and although is at her happiest when Cathy is looking at her, she can still carry out distance moves very accurately when one or the other, or both of them, have their backs turned. There were one or two inaccuracies but nothing to worry too much about and are far outweighed by all the good stuff she does.

Jill Davis
Thank you to Fylde K9 Dancers for asking me to judge at your friendly, well organised show. The club members are always welcoming, the food good and the dog walking excellent.

Crufts Semi Final Qualifier Adv HTM  Head Judge Jeanette Fyfe ( my co-judge was Maggie Backhouse)

There were 17 entries, 4 did training rounds and 2 handlers withdrew , leaving 11 rounds.The standard in general was very good and a pleasure to watch.

1st .Pamela Sullivan and Norden Lights Hawk, Golden Retriever, performing to “My Baby Just cares for Me” by Jools Holland. A well presented routine with finesse, and very enjoyable to watch. Merlin was very eager today, which meant that he didn’t always maintain his position. 26.4

2nd . Ann DeRizzio with Stillmoor Showstopper, BC, performing to “The Pirates of Penzance Overture/with a Cat like Treat” by the Doyle Carte Opera Symphony.A lovely flowing routine telling a story, and interpreting the music well. Positions were maintained with minimal assistance.25.4

3rd. Nicci Hindson with Ravestar Scarlet Dancer, WSD, performing to “Thoroughly Modern Millie” by the Cast of the show. Very nicely choreographed routine, well executed by this young dog, with lots of innovative link moves. Really a shame about the barking which lost marks. 24.9

4th. Julia Folland with Jones Girl, WSD, performing to “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis. Really appropriate start and ending being apart. Heelwork accurate and flowing. 24.9

Starters HTM  Head Judge Jeanette Fyfe (my Co-judge was Marilyn Harwood)

There were 10 entries, 2 of which were training rounds. The standard in general was good, but quite a few handlers attempted to put in too many positions, which made it hard for their dogs to get properly into position before moving them into the next position. I would rather see a few positions well executed, and allow your dogs to have a more positive experience.

1st .Lesley Thomson with Killi Just Be Keebs, WSD, performing to “Love is Like a Butterfly”by Dolly Parton/ Kenny Rogers. A lovely accurate routine with good transitions. A flowing routine.

2nd .Caroline Johnson with Moffatdale Dazzlin’ Sun, BC, performing to “Me and My Broken Heart by Rixton. A well performed routine, but tried to put in too many positions, some of which were inaccurate and this lost her marks.

3rd. Selina Walton with Annaside Henry the Third, Cocker Spaniel performing to “Locomotion “ by Kylie Minogue. Great tune for this young dog in perpetual motion. Good attention but attempted a lot of positions and lost out on accuracy.

4th. Emma Yardley with Stillmoor Lynnley Flyer, BC, performing to “Paradise” by Coldplay. Again a good routine with many positions where accuracy suffered.
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