Heelwork to Music in the UK

Novice Freestyle Part One

Head Judge Karen Bartoby

Some well thought out routines in here but some equally well thought out training rounds too which was good to see; all structured to help their dogs more comfortable in the ring. Very positive work.

1st - Helen Taylor and Farthingall’s Nui Nui is Purepixie

A lovely flowing routine with some nice paw work from Cinders. This little dog trots beautifully and Helen’s imaginative use of the umbrella produced a wealth of different moves – a pleasure to watch.

2nd - Alison Wilde and Shemella Badgers Moon

Great musical interpretation from this partnership demonstrating good timing and phrasing. Alison had listened well to this music and had chosen some good moves for her dog that were performed with enthusiasm.

3rd - Carole Turton and Blue Boy of Willingham

A very emotive routine. It was clear that a lot of work had gone into this and Carole told a very sad story with her lovely Spaniel, weaving in some neat work with her props and ending with a touching pose.

4th - Di Morgan and Darkquest Fancy That

A very snappy routine that caught the flavour of the music well. Di’s cane was used to great effect for targeting, circling and jumping and they worked together well – a true Fred and Ginger partnership!

Novice Freestyle Part Two

Head Judge Karen Bartoby

This was a very imaginative class with a remarkable variety of ideas, - great to think there’s always something fresh out there!

1st - Lucy Heath and Stillmoor Star Turn

A very fast moving and energetic routine with the quick changes and spot-on timing we’ve come to expect from Lucy. Clever paw work, body-slams and skilful handling blended artfully to make this a very well filled piece of work. Full of vim this enthusiastic young dog complemented Lucy’s clever musical interpretation. Immensely watchable.

2nd -Lisa Mappin and Sir George of The Wood

Hugely enjoyable routine with George showcasing his great distance skills by firstly reversing around a prop followed by a succession of moves including neat paw work, circling and rollovers that were all performed with obvious relish! A happy dog and a smiling, relaxed handler typifying what this sport’s all about.

3rd - Louise Ballard and Stillmoor Secret Fable

Great piece of music that Louise and Quiz embraced with gusto. Louise kept the pace cracking along and the moves showed this lovely bitch to her best advantage – the athletic jumps over the chair juxtaposing the flowing circles and figures of 8 beautifully.

4th - Gill Harrison and Starside the Powder Box.

A neat and dainty stepping Jess tripped lightly through this piece of music and made the work look effortless. These two worked together well and the clever links between the moves produced a smoothly flowing, professional looking routine.
Paws and Music May 2015 
Judge's Report – Intermediate Freestyle 

 by Head Judge, Christina Oxtoby

Thank you to everyone who took part in this class, I enjoyed watching and judging your routines. After the class Helen Dennis (the other judge) and I met up to compare notes. We were mostly in agreement, and had a really interesting chat about the few times where we had viewed things differently. I know that it is usual to only write a report for the top few teams and write a general message about the class as a whole, however considering the fact that only 4 dogs worked out of the class of 11 (the rest doing training rounds, some of which were intended, some of which weren't!) I wondered if some of the other handlers might find some feedback helpful? If you do, great, if not please feel free to ignore it!I'm sorry but I don't know some of their pet names, so am not writing any of them in. As a general comment I would have liked to see more variety in the number of moves that are known, and also perhaps some distance work, or work behind the handler's back for those that are ready to move into Advanced (obviously this would suit some dogs more than others, so don't try to add this in if your dog is unlikely to be happy and confident about it yet.) Also, be careful to make sure that you think about changes in the music and highlights in the music rather than just general themes that you are working to. Generally handlers did think about this, but some did more so than others.

1st - Ashleigh Butler and The Closet Monster of Ashpen – Crossbreed – 22.05

A good routine with Ashleigh managing to dance to the music as well as help her dog to do the same. I liked the moves and the fact that your dog was keen to move quickly between them. I also liked the fact that you were good at changing style as the music changed, and although you didn't choreograph to a theme, I liked the dance style fitting the music. Just be careful as your dog lands from the high jumps that they don't start trying to take any weight on their back legs (they're not doing at the moment, but just be careful they don't start trying to!) Well done on your win today and my only other comment would be as you move up you'll need to build up your repertoire of moves.

2 - Linda Webster and Isabella Gal – WSD – 21.85 This was a routine that left me feeling light hearted and happy by the end of it, partly because of the routine and partly because it showed a lovely partnership between dog and handler, and because of that (and the fact that this is also what the music intended to do) I liked the overall interpretation of it. I think now is a good time to start to increase the number of moves that your dog knows to add more variety, and I could see the beginnings of some distance work. However, I did mark you down for repetition of heelwork in a freestyle routine (it may well have been within the allowable amount, but it isn't something that will increase your content mark, particularly when it is repeated.) Well done though, I really liked the 'feel good' routine!

3 - Sarah Smith and Forever Just Fen – WSD – 21.25 Some good ideas about theme and ideas for the music and some creative ways of thinking about keep fit. Although the dog generally worked nicely there were a few missed cues. Just be careful you don't repeat moves too many times (giving paws) and I would ideally like to see less heelwork in a freestyle routine – other than than that very well done!

4 - Ann DeRizzio and Stillmoor Red Sky At Night – Border Collie – 21.05 This young boy shows lovely promise for the future. He's a typical boy collie in still being quite young and immature, and at the moment it shows in his work, but he has a great attitude and it's a credit to Ann's handling that even when he got things a little confused he remained happy and relaxed throughout. There's a good theme and I especially liked the skipping under the brolly that worked well with the change of music. I'm sure as he matures he will increase the number of moves that he knows, and perhaps some of the props could be used in a variety of ways? Well done on some lovely handling, some good ideas and a fab boy!

Elaine Jubb and Strandrise Girl – English Springer Spaniel Training Round - Lovely sympathetic handling and some nice moves starting to happen. The dog seemed a little overawed to begin with, but relaxed once you were both moving around a little more. Perhaps this dog might benefit from quite a bit of flowing movement, especially near the beginning of a routine?

Karen Braden and Maisie Mae Blue Moon Dancer - WSD

Training Round – Well done with the car wash theme, some really good ideas in the making there, and some nice send aways starting to happen. It was interesting that Helen and I had different ideas about you 'washing' your dog with a mop. Helen was fine with it and said that it would add to the degree of difficulty (which I agree with) because the dog would want to move out of position, I would have marked you down for 'handling' your dog in the ring – it just goes to show that judges have different ideas!

Iris Maxfield and Just Call Me Rolo - WSD

Training Round – This was short and sweet, so much so that I don't really have any comments written down! I hope you found it helpful to practice the start and end. :o)

Debbie Moore and Mika Mariska - WSD

Training Round - I really liked the painting theme and the creative ideas that you had around it. There was the beginnings of some nice distance work and I liked the rock solid beg that your dog did to start with. It was a pity that after such a promising start you both lost 'flow' and because of that your dog seemed to loose confidence so it was probably good that you were able to regain their confidence by turning it into a training round (if they like toys would you find it helpful to reward in the ring during a training round, or are they not a toy motivated dog?) Possibly in future you could help to settle them again by doing some simple flowing moves and then moving back into your intended routine once they seemed happy again? Just a thought…

Karen Bartaby and The Sorcerer - WSD

Training Round – Many dogs can go very flat in the ring, however I can't imagine that this would ever be the case for yours! I imagine that you're working on the 'singing' and I don't know your dog well enough to comment further, other than to say that I think I might be inclined to perhaps think about concentrating on calm, quiet, thinking and being still if it was one of my high drive collies and them learning some self control…? As I said though, I don't know what you're working on so you may or may not find that helpful? I was very impressed with the speed and distance of your reverse and also the moves behind your back though, so very well done on those!

Louise Ince and Decoymans Piper Edward – Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Training Round - I think that this was one of those moments (I suspect we've all had them) when our dog enters the ring without their brain! There were some good ideas but he just wasn't thinking or working with you, was he? Having said that I particularly liked the creative use of the bin. The only comment I'd add would be, be careful with the work behind your back. The reverse was fine, but as soon as you turned your head and started to go sideways he left his back end behind. Is it possible that he's accidentally learnt that your head turn means a change of position rather than just a change of direction? Also, your left shoulder back is probably what keeps him straight moving to his right, and as your turned you brought that shoulder forwards and your right shoulder back, which probably had the opposite effect to the one you intended.

Louise Ballard and Kasamdiamond Truly Forever – Border Collie

Training Round – I loved the 'flow' of this routine which looked seamless. The crawl was also good, and I liked the different use of the chairs.


Head judge -Lesley Brocklehurst

Thank you PnM for the invitation to judge this class – my 2 and last such appointment for 2015. My fellow judges [Margaret Booth and Helen Taylor] and I, were unanimous in our first 3 teams - not necessarily in the same order but all within a whisker of each other.

1st, scoring 26.17, Lucy Heath and BC Stillmoor Winter Sun, performing to “Delight”. This routine was a delight, packed with a wide variety of heelwork positions and directions with Freestyle moves cleverly used to punctuate the music. Transitions were neat - I particularly liked the use of the hat to take Indie forward then back into a different position. Excellent team work and expressive handler movements, producing a polished and very enjoyable performance.

2nd, scoring 26.07, Joanna Mayston and WSD Mists of Tawny, performing to “Up is Down”. This was an action packed exciting performance with excellent musical interpretation. A good balance of positions, directions and speeds of movement and a few Freestyle moves used to good effect. Superb costume and excellent use of the sword, sometimes pointing in the direction of the dog’s movement and sometimes contrary to it.


3rd, scoring 25.73, Michelle Dodson and BC Kinaway Doctor Kildare, performing to “Hero”. A magnificent costume and sparkly shoes set the scene for this unusual music from China. The cues were cleverly integrated into the performance with the handler making interesting and appropriate shapes and patterns with her arms, hands and body. Good teamwork, content range and accuracy produced a stunning performance. A little barking/noise brought the total score down a bit.

4th, scoring 23.13, Kay Laurence and WSD Genabacab Light Merlot, performing to “Incantation”. Dramatic music skilfully interpreted, using crescendos, diminuendos and mood changes to good effect. Some more unusual moves and patterns across the floor were demonstrated and Kay made good use of the 33% permitted freestyle with a range of moves including fast controlled circling which enabled this large dog to move freely at speed.

5th, scoring 22.27, Anne Shuker and X breed Freckle Frenzy, performing to “Dream a Little Dream”. An unhurried and controlled routine with quick simple transitions. A range of movements in different directions were demonstrated with accuracy in several positions. I would have liked to see some faster movement where the dog could step out more freely.

Several people commented that the standard in this class was higher than seen recently. It was an interesting class to judge with some excellent performances showing panache, attention to detail, superb musicality, and spectator appeal. Who said Heelwork is boringjQuery172006248409324325621_1431982927812!!
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.


Head Judge - Margaret Booth

1st. Carole Thornley with Corndon Zoe at Aricia RL4, Border Collie, working to Russian March, 18.75. This was a well constructed routine containing a varied selection of moves some requiring further polish though. She used her props to good effect interpreting the music sensibly. It was a lively performance just a shame about the barking.

2nd. Toni Slater with Tilly Cobblers, Crossbreed, working to Love on the Sun, 18.55. Great selection of really cute moves carried out enthusiastically. Creative use of props – she used a large beer barrel and had a number of cut out beer bottles that the dog flipped down and stood on. I learnt afterwards that the dog was deaf and I would not have known it watching the performance. She would have been placed higher had she not run overtime with her music.

3rd. Carole Thornley with Ch Domburg Don’t Stop Loving RL4Ex, Tervueren, working to Talk to the Animals, 18.50. Another enthusiastic dog and Carole used her props (large toy dogs) to good effect keeping her dog moving around the ring. Good potential for the future especially if he can increase her selection of moves.

4th. Kevin Grindley with Foxstone Golden Daze, Shetland Sheepdog, working to Spaghetti Mix, 16.70. A good deal of thought had obviously gone into structuring the routine however Kevin’s dog was lacking in concentration throughout which is a shame as the potential is there.

5th. Betty Keepax with Danehaven Ellice, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, working to I’m Going to Barbados, 16.65. A routine with a holiday theme and appropriate props – I liked the little dog jumping into the opened suitcase. Varied moves but this was another dog that lacked focus and unfortunately wandered away from the handler a few times. I’m sure this dog will progress when more motivated.

6th. Victoria Neale with Fiesty Doris, Border Terrier, working to On Top of the World, 16.15. She used a large globe of the world as her main prop to good effect. A smart little dog who was obviously enjoying himself but not always doing what Victoria asked. She kept her routine going but it contained quite a lot of circular moves so more variety would have helped.


Head Judge Margaret Booth - My apologies for not including the final marks for this class but I forgot to note them down at the show.

1st. Lesley Brocklehurst with Genabacab Speck of Life, WSD, working to Querer Alegria. It’s nice to see a handler incorporating different directions in dressage i.e. sideways, walk back, serpentine etc. This did however mean that sometimes the dog didn’t move continuously in time with the music. This was particularly noticeable on the turns while trotting. But I’m probably being over critical since overall this was a polished performance.

2nd. Cathy Bates with Ruskath Lyrical Image, WSD, working to Next to Me. Cathy incorporated a lovely skip for part of the routine. Unfortunately her dog tried to break into a skip occasionally while trotting which did break the flow. The turns were a little problematic in that the continuity sometimes disappeared and at faster pace the synchronisation with the music was slightly off beat. However it was a well choreographed performance which I enjoyed watching.


Head Judge Margaret Booth

I was pleased to see that both handlers made the effort to change costumes even though they were working this class immediately after the Dressage one.

1st. Cathy Bates with Ruskath Lyrical Image, WSD, working to Hernando’s Hideaway, 22.50. This was a very expressive performance and fitted the music admirably. Cathy used arm movements to good effect and she linked her dog moves in nice and smoothly. When Cathy was moving around the ring in the latter part of the routine her dance steps were sometimes a little sparse so this could be worked on for the future. Enjoyable to watch though and well constructed – very obviously a dance.

2nd. Lesley Brocklehurst with Rehyrb Makhaya, Flat Coated Retriever, working to Blue Smoke, 22.40. Lesley’s dog seemed to be really enjoying himself. This was a western style dance and Lesley incorporated the obvious line dance type of moves. Some of her own dance steps were a bit limited at times but it was still a creditable performance.
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