Heelwork to Music in the UK

Starters HTM 

Head Judge Ann DeRizzio -  Co Judge Annette Lowe

General comments - It is really quite depressing to see so many handlers attempt to do so many positions in this class - One wonders who is telling starter handlers that they need to try forwards, backwards, sideways, behind ,in front etc in a two and a half minute routine.

Sadly most could not do anyone of the HW position with any conviction - surely it is better to teach you dogs to walk at heel reasonable close to and approximately level with your leg, in one or two positions travelling at speeds to suit the music and get your dogs working with , drive, commitment , style, and attitude - than to have your dogs walk three feet behind you, or four feet to the side or wander off and have a sniff and a scratch.

This is meant to be fun - use your imagination to choreograph your routine to suit your dogs - don’t choreograph a routine to suit fitting in so many heelwork positions that your dogs' simply can not yet do.

Nice to see a variety of breeds.

My co judge Annette Lowe and I agreed on the winner.

1st. Lisa-Jane Mappin and Bordersman Legs Elev ( GSP) 24.05

A truly class act - way out in front of the class - Lisa walked into the ring and owned it - this team used the whole of the ring, smooth transitions from one position to another that suited the music and the dog they also moved at a variety of paces. This dog held a stylish, elegant HW position and Lisa showcased her dog sympathetically, the teamwork was so apparent. A routine that flowed from start to finish - good luck in novice.

2nd. Nicky Maxwell and Iron Lake Serfino ( Munsterlander) 20.25 
A tall elegant happy dog who enjoyed his round. There was a deduction for barking as he expressed his joy during transition. He was slightly distracted at times and there was a tendency to crab when handler moved to the side - Handler for me needs to now work on fine tuning the routine and musical interpretation to showcase the dog - stepping out so that he can flow and really shut his stuff - a lovely dog with a bright future.

3rd. Amanda Fraser and Standgard Waltz Wizard( Boxer) 20.10

A lovely routine with good choreography - Amanda’s routines always show creativity and flair and her dog performed with commitment and enthusiasm, sometimes he was a little distracted and came out of HW position. This team covered the ring and worked with a variety of paces and musical interpretation was apparent. A pleasure to judge.

4th. Jane Page and Little Miss Dinah Might (WSD) 17.65

Sadly this dog was a little distracted from the beginning of her routine she stopped and and had a long stratch, she then went on to do some nice HW but once again was distracted and sniffed the floor a few times. My notes say that even though she was distracted and did not alway maintain a correct HW position she shows promise.

Thank you Jenny Deakin for the invitation to judge at your first KC HTM show it was a pleasure - a lovely, relaxed well run show.
3rd May 2015
 Report for Intermediate Freestyle.

Head Judge Lesley Brocklehurst

Thanks Jenny for inviting me to judge at this new KC registered Open HTM show. A huge entry of nearly 130 but managed to finish by 5 pm due to good management and a fair number of training rounds and drop outs. Everyone seemed to enjoy this friendly show and the excellent venue. The KC Inspector was impressed too, so well done to Jenny.

There were only 9 entries for this class and only 4 completed their routine for competition. It was a close run contest. 

1 st, on 20.25, Karen Braden and WSD MaisieMay Blue Moon Dancer. Brilliant interpretation of the “Carwash theme”, with innovative interactive moves between dog and handler, producing a complete picture-story rather than just moves to music. Both the handler’s costume and props helped with interpretation, the props being used throughout in a variety of interesting ways. Maisie was not as motivated today with a few missed cues and a bit of barking. Now catapulted into Advanced – no pressure Karen!!

2nd,on 20.00, Ashleigh Butler and x breed The Closet Monster of Ashpen. A good range of both ground covering and cute moves which suited this little dog, and good vertical spacial awareness too. I would have liked to see better use of the available ring space and the routine more centrally positioned. The backward weaving was super, teamwork [apart from some sniffing of the ground near the beginning] and the interpretation of the music – Kiesza were all good. Ashleigh moved with elegance to complement the routine.

3rd, on 18.55, Ann De Rizzio and BC Stillmoor Red Sky at night, performing to “Life’s a Happy Song” from the Muppets. An interesting range of moves with good and varied use of appropriate ‘frog’ themed props and good interpretation of the music and lyrics. Ann worked hard to encourage Phoenix who seemed a little overawed at the size of the ring at first. A couple of messy bits and grabbing of the rolled up umbrella did bring down the Accuracy marks. A promising 3 year old with plenty of time to make his mark in HTM.

4th,on 18.00, Iris Maxfield and WSD Just Call Me Rolo. Another interesting and varied routine, interpreting “Eye of the Tiger”, well aided by appropriate props and costume. A few missed cues and a bit hesitant/uncertain at times but it is lovely to see Rolo growing in confidence and motivation. Well done Iris, your patience is paying off.

Although only 4 finalists, ALL made the effort to wear suitable costumes and where props were used they were relevant to the theme/story and used in a variety of ways to help interpretation. Although not compulsory I do feel that some handlers make little or no effort with costume or props, which is a shame as either or both can “put the icing on the cake”. Nothing fancy is needed – just a pretty or sparkly top perhaps, if the story/theme does not lend itself to a fancy dress.

Head Judge, Lesley Brocklehurst. Co judge, Michelle Dodson.
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