Description
Heelwork to Music in the UK

Rugby Dog Club  
Crufts Semi-final show
25th January 2014

Date: Saturday 25 January 2014                 Show: Rugby Dog Training Club

Venue: The Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh             Type: Indoor

Class: Crufts Freestyle Semi-Final                Head Judge: Gina Pink  

Other Judges: Barbara Whittaker & Carol Mortimer

19 dogs entered the class, 16 competed

I would like to thank Alison Davidson & the Rugby DTC team for asking me to Head Judge this class and for putting on a superb show.  The first HTM show of the year and it really started the year off well.   The Kennel Club Building is a brilliant venue for Heelwork to Music and it was lovely to see that the car park now has lighting (very handy for the short dark days at this time of the year) and the walkway leading from the car park to the venue has been treated and has lighting too.  BIG improvement from last year.

This was a class fraught with difficulties this afternoon.  The first dog had just finished working when suddenly half of the lights in the building went out.  The caretaker confirmed that the remaining lights would not flash on and off so the second competitor worked her dog. During this time the Show Committee agreed that all of the lights should be switched off and allowed to cool before switching them all back on again, which would take about 15 minutes. So judging was halted during this time, which was quite a good idea because suddenly the skies turned black, there was very loud thunder and dramatic lightning; followed by torrential rain, gale force wind and hail stones.  Ofcourse this did seriously affect some of the dogs quite adversely and I don’t think we really saw the best of many of them today.  This is such a pity when I know how much planning, rehearsal and time would have gone into each routine.

However, the results were as follows:

1st  Richard Curtis with Syka Delic Darnser, Crossbreed.  Performed to When I’m Cleaning Windows, and with a ladder and bucket, Richard acted out his performance with Wizzy incorporating everything you would expect a window cleaner to do plus a rather unique way of refilling his bucket!  A well deserved first place with a credible overall score of 27.73 

2nd Carole Dodson with Kinaway Doctor Watson, Border Collie.  Dressed as Peter Pan this was a fairy tale story.  Good range of distancing and close up work; even had a fairy in a lantern.  Overall score 25.83

3rd Nicci Hindson with Ravestar Scarlet Dancer, Working Sheepdog.  Dressed as a schoolgirl, Nicci performed a very good routine with this young dog, with some excellent distance work.  Some barking deductions knocked this team down into this place.  Overall score 25.80

4th Pauline Goddard with Mist of Snowdon, Working Sheepdog.  Performing to Singing In the Rain by Tommy Steele.  Pauline started the routine with a hiccup as her music stopped 12 seconds from the beginning; but it was quickly restarted and it didn’t faze Pauline at all giving her an overall score of 24.80


Good luck to everyone who qualified for Crufts 2014 today; hope you have a brilliant time.


Date: Saturday 25 January 2014                 Show: Rugby Dog Training Club

Venue: The Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh             Type: Indoor

Class: Crufts Heelwork to Music Semi-Final    Head Judge: Gina Pink  

Other Judges: Barbara Whittaker & Carol Mortimer

18 dogs entered the class, 17 competed

I would like to thank Alison Davidson & the Rugby DTC team for asking me to Head Judge this class and for putting on a superb show.  The first HTM show of the year and it really started the year off well.   The Kennel Club Building is a brilliant venue for Heelwork to Music and it was lovely to see that the car park now has lighting (very handy for the short dark days at this time of the year) and the walkway leading from the car park to the venue has been treated and has lighting too.  BIG improvement from last year.

The general standard for the class was mixed.  The handlers’ nerves play a big part in this competition and I am afraid that some handlers’ they got the better of them.  The biggest let down for me was the general accuracy of the dogs heelwork positions, with some handlers concentrating more on trying to squeeze all eight heelwork positions in than working on teaching their dogs the correct positions.  Personally I would rather see four well executed heelwork positions in a routine than 8 bad ones.  There were also a few dogs that had been taught to touch their handlers’ hands to keep them in position.  The KC rules do state the dogs shoulder should be ... so maybe your training schedule this year should be to teach your dogs where their shoulders should be in relation to your leg rather than their noses to your hands.

The results were as follows:

1st Heather Smith with Moonlight Magic Dancer, Bearded Collie.  Nearly scored 9’s across the board from all three judges with an overall score of 28.13.  A very creative routine performed to Lily The Pink by The Scaffold.  Heathers dog definitely knows its heelwork positions and executes them in a confident and accurate manner allowing Heather to perform to the music.  

2nd Lucy Creek with Harriot Skiffle King, Border Collie.  Overall score 26.63.  Worked first in the class.  Performed a 1920’s theme routine to Rock It For Me by Caravan Palace.  Made good use of the ring.  The dog held good heelwork positions with excellent linking moves. 

3rd Carole Dodson with Kinaway Doctor Watson, Border Collie.  Overall score 26.57.  A Robin Hood theme performance to an instrumental version of Everything I Do I Do It For You.  Good variation of heelwork positions incorporating different changes of pace and good coverage of ring space.  

4th Susan Dooney with Murphy Mischief, Working Sheepdog.  I saw this dog work last year for the first time and thought “that is a good dog in the making”, and I was not wrong.  With an overall score of 25.80, this year Susan really pulled it out of the bag.  Nice controlled and flowing routine to A Thousand Years by The Piano Guys.  Odd in accuracies here and there but otherwise a very credible performance.


Good luck to all top ten dogs/handlers who achieved their ticket to Crufts today.

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