Heelwork to Music in the UK

Jules O'Dwyer

I have been involved in dogs both professionally as a trainer of Guide dog for the blind and personally as hobby with my own dogs for 30 + years

Crufts has always been the highlight of my year, whether present as spectator, exhibitor, or as qualifier it has always been my favourite venue, a magical event and the first date I write in each new calendar

I am both thrilled and honoured to be invited to judge the Heelwork to Music, Freestyle & International Freestyle competitions in 2018

Heelwork to Music and Freestyle have been my passion for almost 20 years, I won my first advanced competition in 1999 together with my border collie Webster, who was at the time more fanatic about the sport than was healthy!

I feel very lucky to have been involved with the sport since the very beginning, watching it grow and evolve over the years, I myself loved developing new moves or taking an existing move to another level, I also loved the unique bond it gave me with my dogs, working together positively, true quality time

HTM & Freestyle is a sport that absolutely anyone and any type of dog can take part in and have fun. I enjoy passing on my skills and techniques to help or improve others and maintain a high standard of the sport

Being involved in both HTM & Freestyle divisions I have also evolved as a handler and trainer, in all types and breeds, and have found my own style in my performances

To say the sport has influenced me is an understatement, from someone who had no confidence in front of a crowd, to someone who has performed in front of 30,000 people, just me and my dog

I am so grateful to my very special dogs, each one an individual character, each one assisting me in my thinking out of the box

My 2 current border collie Champions are Matisse and Chase, both dogs have had enormous success competing over the years

Matisse has competed at the Crufts International Freestyle event 3 times, we won it in 2013 and were runner up in 2014

Not to be outdone Chase won the Open European Championships in Heelwork to music 2017

They worked together combining the skills they had developed through this wonderful sport to win Britains got talent in 2015

I swore that I wouldn't still be dancing with my dog when I got old, and yet here I am, with the new generation dogs Ditto a collie and Hayley a german shepherd, back in advanced,,,my head spinning with yet more ideas,,,wondering where they will take me

Crufts 2018 will be the best yet, and certainly the most memorable for me personally, being in the big green ring at Crufts without being nervous, how good is that!

I look forward to the performances and wish everyone good luck including my fellow judges

Crufts 2018 Judges
Jenny Deakin

I have been involved in Heelwork to Music for over 15 years, starting off as an avid spectator.

My first competition dog was a tri border collie called Tom, we fell in love with the sport of Heelwork to music and together achieved more than I ever imagined. From competing at the Crufts Heelwork to music and freestyle finals, representing Team GB in Denmark to appearing on many television programmes promoting Crufts, Heelwork to music and dog training.

I was also the Team Leader for the Kennel Club’s Dog Activities HTM team at Crufts for 10 years, commentating and demonstrating HTM at Crufts in Hall 3 and the main areana over the four days.

Amongst this I have enjoyed helping at HTM shows and ran a number of shows for Rugby DTC and setting up UK HTM, which ran KC shows and the first ever HTM League.

I now have two dogs, Zac a 10 year old working sheep dog and Bobby a 8 year old miniature poodle, plus 2 daughters, aged 4 and 1. Keeping me rather busy!

Professionally, I am a Detective Constable in the Police, specialising in Child Sexual Exploitation.

Good luck to all the competitors, I am so looking forward to watching your routines. I am honoured to have been asked to judge on the “green carpet”.

Go out there, show off your dog and try to smile!

Michelle Hubbard
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