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Cruft 2025 Semi Final Qualifiers

 The top two competitors in  premier competitions Advanced qualifiers HTM & Freestyle (not previously qualified) go forward to the Crufts Semi-final competition. The winners of Crufts 2024 HTM and FS competitions automatically qualify for the semi-final

 

Date   Qualifying competition Division Handler name Dogs name Breed

March 2024

Crufts Heelwork to Music  Nicci Hindson Comebyanaway Wildest Dream  Border Collie 
  Crufts  Freestyle Lorna Hayes

Nora of Beacon

WSD
13th  April 2024 Forest Oak (Glos) Canine society Heelwork to Music Heather Smith  

We Robert the Bruce 

WSD
      Andrea Deller  Comebyanaway Step in Time  Border Collie 
     Freestyle  Kim Lyddon Elmleas Dance Out Loud  Border Collie 
      Lucy Creek Deltamadog Pobyddion Cae   Border Collie
14th April 2024    Heelwork to Music Michelle Dodson  Kinaway Heart On Fire  Border collie 
      Lorna Hayes  Nora of Beacon  WSD 
    Freestyle Claire Giles  Aviary Special Effect  Border Collie 
       Andrea Deller Comebyandaway Step in Time  Border collie 
7th & 8th May 2024  Canine Freestyle GB  Heelwork to Music Lucy Heath  Stillmoor Star Turn  Border Collie 
      Beverley Lockett  Sky Eye Lexi  WSD 
     Freestyle Nicci Hindson  Comebyanaway Wildest Dream  Border Collie 
      Lucy Heath  Stillmoor Here Comes The Sun  Border Collie 
25th May 2024  Paws N Music Association  Heelwork to Music Lucy Creek  Deltamadog Pobyddion Cae  Border Collie 
      Lucy Creek JK's Amazing Xante Border Collie
     Freestyle Lucy Creek  JK's Amazing Xante Border Collie 
    Freestyle Mira Hitkasch Aviary Super Mover  Border Collie
1st June 2024   Bearded Collie   (Scottish Branch)  Heelwork to Music      
    Freestyle      
3rd August 2024  Paws N Music Asssociation  Heelwork to Music      
    Freestyle      
4th August 2024  Haslemere  and District  Heelwork to Music      
    Freestyle      
24th & 25th August 2024 Paws N Music Association  Heelwork to Music      
    Freestyle

 

   
 7th & 8th September   Canine Freestyle GB  Heelwork to Music    

 

 
    Freestyle      
13-15th September South of England HTM Club Heelwork to Music      
    Freestyle      
21st & 22nd September 2024 Scottish Border Collie Club Heelwork to Music      
    Freestyle      
    Heelwork      
    Freestyle      

 

 

 

 Crufts 2024

7th - 10th of March

 

 

Crufts 2024 Judge are Jan Debnam, Kristine Hodgson and Brigitte van Gestel

 

Crufts 2024 Finalists

 

 

Crufts Heelwork competitors running order and music

 

1. Lucy Creek - Deltamadog Pobyddion Cae - BC -  Music - Play (From Finding Neverland Original Broadway Cast)

2. Lucy Heath - Stillmoor Star Turn - BC - Music - Lost Boy - Ruth B

3. Carole Dodson - Borderdance Dream Legend From Kinaway BC - Music - Incantation (Cirque Du Soleil)

4. Gina Pink -  Whitehorn Dream Catcher - WS - Music - Bring Me To Life (Live)  (Evanescence)

5. Michelle Dodson Kinaway Heart on Fire - BC - Music - Goosebumps (Cast of Goosebumps)

6. Lucy Creek - JK’s Amazing Xante - BC - Music - Toxic (2Wei)

7. Nicci Hindson - Comebyanaway Wildest Dream BC - Music - King of New York(Ben Fankhauser, Kara Linsey & Cast)

8. Helen Dennis - comebyanaway Pure Love BC

9. Christina Oxtoby - Legacy Heaven Sent Shai BC - Music - The Blessing (UK Blessing/World Blessing)

10. Cath O’Neill Stettonhill’s Jazzman - GSD - Music - Still Lovin’ You by The Scorpions

 

Leslie Neville  - Brambledale Blue Dewy - Bearded Collie - sadly has withdrawn

Reserve  - Cath O’Neill Stettonhill’s Jazzman - GSD -  Now finalist

  

Crufts Freestyle competitors, running order and music

 

1. Helen Dennis - Comebyanaway Pure Love - BC - Music - Take A Look At Us Now (Javier Bardem & Shawn Mendes)

2. Kim Lyndon - Elmleas Dance Out Loud BC - Music - The Boy Does Nothing(Alesha Dixon)

3. Mira Htikasch - Aviary Super Mover - BC - Music  - Beautiful Ghosts - (Taylor Swift)

4. Lucy Creek - Deltamadog Pobyddion Cae - Music Uptown Funk (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars)

5. Lucy Heath - Stillmoor Here comes The Sun - BC - Music - The Grease Megamix (John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John) 

6. Heather Smith - Google Chrome Fine Edition - Bearded Collie - Music - My Immortal (Evanescence)

7. Nicci Hindson - Comebyanaway Wildest Dream - BC - Music - Seize The Day (Newsies Original Broadway Cast)

8. Lorna Syrett - Nora of Beacon - WS - Music - Into A Fantasy (Alexander Rybek)

9. Lucy Creek - JK’s amazing Zante - BC - Music - Les Miserables (Les Miserables Symphonic Cast)

10. Lucy Heath - Trip Hazard - Crossbreed - Music - Lion King Medley (Carmen Twillie, Lebo M, Jason Weaver, Rowan Atkinson)

Reserve - Andrea Deller - Comebyanaway Step In Time - BC - Music -  Loyal, Brave, True by Christina Aguilera

 

 Crufts International competitors running order and music

1 Germany - Doreen Kuhrt - Luke vom Rehgebirge - Music - Champion of the Rising Sun

2 Norway - Cathrine Kise - JK Red Rubin - Music - Better When I’m Dancing

3 The Netherlands - Grietje Wagenaar - M&J Happy Days Obelix - Music - Lion King

4 Sweden - Kristin Warnbring - Pa Pricken Raser-Ruth - Music Silverado Theme song

5 Canada - Jennifer Fraser - Deloubelle Love Is All You Need - Music -Perfect Isn’t Easy

6 Italy - Lucrezia Pireddu - Latinborder Roll In - Music Medley of Sleeping Beauty & Maleficent

7 United Kingdom -  To be determined at Crufts

8 Hungary - Adrienn Bardos Mia The Dancing Queen - Music The Greatest Show

9 Japan - Lucie Plevova -  Perfect Phoenix - Music Alpenglow

10 Czech Republic - Alena Smolikova - Freestyle Fox Royal Fellow - Music  - Fishing Day/Catch a Fish

11 Switzerland - Gonnon Laetitia - Yoko Raindrop Ribble - Music Apple Jack & XyloSwing

12 Belgium - Jules O’Dwyer - M&J Happy Days Our Ditto - Music Pied Piper

 

 

 

 

 

Crufts 2024 Semi Final Qualifiers

 

The top two competitors in  premier competitions Advanced qualifiers HTM & Freestyle (not previously qualified) go forward to the Crufts Semi-final competition. The winners of Crufts 2023 HTM and FS competitions automatically qualify for the semi-final

Date Qualifying competition Division Handlers Name Dogs name Breed
9th March 2023 Crufts Freestyle Nicci Hindson

Comebyanaway Wildest Dreams

BC
10th March 2023 Crufts Heelwork Irene Holt Oltomaine Jack BC
 8th April 2023  Forest Oak Farm  Freestyle  Lucy Heath  Trip Hazard Crossbreed
     Freestyle  Lorna Syrett  Nora of Beacon  WSD
     Heelwork  Lucy Heath  Stillmoor Star Turn  BC
     Heelwork  Lucy Creek  

JK’s Amazing Xante

BC 

 

 

 

 

February 2023

 

 

Crufts 2023 Judges

 

The highest honour for any HTM judge is to be asked to judge at Crufts - it is not only an honour but a responsibility and judges take that responsibility seriously - they must have an in-depth understanding of the rules and regulations of the sport and UK judges must be fully qualified to judge all classes and all divisions to the highest level.

Each year the Kennel club invites an international judge to judge alongside our UK judges - they too are fully qualified to judge in their own country and must also have full knowledge of UK judging criteria. They will be judging according to our rules some of which may differ to the rules set out in their own country.

This years judges - are Louise Ince, Sandra Hallam and Grietje Wagenaar 

Crufts 2023 HTM Activities team
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We are  delighted to announce the Crufts HTM dog activities team for 2023. Handlers are from all across the UK and represent every class from Starters to Advanced.
 
Team members
Helen Boyd
Gill Crawford
Michelle Dodson
Carole Dodson
Naomi Evans
Jeanette Fyfe
Caroline Garrett
Janice Gibbons
Ellis O’Grady
Kath Hardman
Diane Jones
Mindy Kerr
Lisa Mappin
Richard Moss
Catherine Oldfield
Jean Page
Angela Payne
Sally Rapson
Karen Robson
Andrea Rogers
Pamela Ruscoe
Alison Sinclair
Kirsty Stuart
Alison Thompson
Vicki Tullett
Ann DeRizzio - team leader
 
What a wonderful selection of dogs we have demonstrating over the 4 days. :-
 
From Gundog group
Golden Retriever (6 of them!)
Flatcoated Retriever
Gordon Setters
Cocker Spaniels
Labrador
Vizslas
Red Setter
Springer Spaniels
and a Clumber Spaniel
 
From Pastoral and Working
Collie X Poodles
GSD X Goldie
Border Collies
Mini American Shepherd
Australian Shepherd
Pumi
 
From Utility and Toy
Papillion x Spitz
Poodles
Poodle crosses
German Spitz
Shih Tzu
Tibetan Spaniels
and Gareth a blended  x dog with attitude
 
From the Hound and Terrier
Jack Russell
Whippets
The team are training hard and have already attended two of the planned five team training days our next training day is next Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 December 2022

The running order for Crufts 2023 has been Drawn

 

 

 

 

FREESTYLE THURSDAY
1st    Helen Dennis
2nd   Lesley Neville
3rd   Kim Lyddon
4th   Charlotte Ball
5th   Lucy Heath
6th Jenny Witt
7th   Jill Davis
8th   Lorna Syrett
9th   Anne Shuker
10th Nicci Hindson

 

HTM FRIDAY
1st   Kath Hardman
2nd  Lesley Neville
3rd  Anne Shuker
4th Rachel Cudworth
5th Lucy Creek
6th Gina Pink
7th Irene Holt
8th Lucy Heath
9th   Carole Dodson
10th  Nicci Hindson

INTERNATIONAL SATURDAY


1st   Switzerland
2nd   Germany
3rd   Canada
4th   Sweden
5th   Japan
6th   Denmark
7th   The Czech Republic
8th   Norway
9th   Hungary
10th  United Kingdom
11th   Belgium
12th  The Netherlands
13th   Italy

 

October 2022

The show season is winding down - only a few more competitions left this year, which will then give handlers time to attend training shows and workshops and refresh and renew for 2023.

A new development oft 2023 will be the KC mentoring scheme for new judges. This will enable those who are just beginning their judging journey to gain from the experience and knowledge of those their mentors. more details will follow but the scheme is expected to begin in January 2023.

September 2022

The last Cruft qualifier for 2022 was hosted by the Scottish Border Collie club on the 24th and 25th of September - this competition rounded off the qualifies in style with a fantastic fun atmosphere. Two qualifiers were Kath Hardman and her Border collie Denby and Charlotte Ball - first time qualifier with her super crossbreed Monet. Those that have qualified for Crufts 2023 now have lots of time to prepare.

August 2022

The HTM working party hosted two zooms on the 23rd of August 2022 - the first for competitors interested in participating in any international team competitions. Kath Hardman explained the logistics of getting a team of handlers and dogs abroad and the costings and time requirements. This was a positive meeting and anyone interested will be invited to apply for the team when the next application process takes place.

The second Zoom meeting was set to allow the working party to go though the Summary of Recommendation from their last meeting in May and answer any questions or concerns. This was the first time this had been done and it worked very well and it was agreed to do this again.

Premier competitions

The competition season is well underway and it has been great to see people and their dogs again. Handlers winning either and advanced Freestyle or Heelwork to music class at a premier competition gain their golden ticket straight to Crufts 2023. Below are the names of those happy handlers and dogs so far.

 

Date   Qualifying competition Division Handler name Dogs name Breed
9th & 10th April 2022 Forest Oak (Glos) Canine society Heelwork to Music Nicci Hindson

Comebyanaway Wildest Dream

Border Collie
     Freestyle  Kim Lyddon  Elmleas Dance Out Loud  Border Collie
7th & 8th May 2022  Canine Freestyle GB  Heelwork to Music  Carole Dodson  Borderdance Dream Legend From Kinaway  Border Collie
     Freestyle  Anne Shucker  Freckle Frenzy  Crossbreed
21st May 2022  Paws N Music Association  Heelwork to Music  Irene Walsh  Oltomaine Jack  Border Collie
     Freestyle  Nicci Hindson  Comebyanaway Wildest Dream  Border Collie
4th June 2022   Bearded Collie   (Scottish Branch)  Heelwork to Music  Anne Shucker Freckle Frenzy  Cross Breed 
    Freestyle  Jill Davis  Demelza at Gildersway  Border Collie 
25th & 26th June 2022  Aberystwyth DTC  Heelwork to Music  Lesley   Neville  Brambledale Blue Dewy  Bearded Collie
    Freestyle   Jenny Witt  Lavender Lollipop  Chihuahua
6th August 2022   Paws N Music Asssociation  Heelwork to Music  Lucy Creek  JK Amazing Xante  Border Collie
    Freestyle  Lorna Hayes  Nora of Beacon  WSD
7th August 2022  Haslemere  and District  Heelwork to Music  Gina Pink  Whitethorn Dream Catcher  WSD
    Freestyle  Helen Dennis  Comebyanaway Pure Love  Border Collie
26th & 27th August 2022 Paws N Music Association  Heelwork to Music  Lucy Heath  Stillmoor Star Turn  Border Collie
    Freestyle

 Lucy Heath

 Trip Hazard  Crossbreed
 10th & 11th September   Canine Freestyle GB  Heelwork to Music  Rachel Cudworth  

Janjelly’s Top Gun Goose

 Crossbeed
    Freestyle  Lesley Neville  Brambledale Blue Dewy  Bearded Collie
24th & 25th September 2022 Scottish Border Collie Club Heelwork to Music  Kath Hardman  Stillmoor Extra Special  Border Collie
    Freestyle  Charlotte Ball  Monet in a Million  Crossbreed

 

 

May 2022

 

NEW HEELWORK TO MUSIC WORKING PARTY MEMBER
The Kennel Club  announced the newest member of the Heelwork to Music Working Party, Ms Kim Lyddon.  Kim's  appointment was approved by the Board at its recent meeting.

March 2022

UK Crufts Winner for Heelwork to Music and Freestyle was Nicci Hindson and her super collie Comebyanaway Wildest Dream.

The Crufts international Freestyle winner was Marianne Elise Methi and Very Vega, a Border Collie representing Norway

 

 28th January 2022

 

It is with great pleasure that we announce the Crufts Dog Activities HTM team for 2022

Team members come from all over the UK . They are working in all classes from  Starters to Advanced and have a wonderful wide selection of dogs breeds and types.

 

Team Manager - Ann Derizzio

 

Team Members are in alphabetical order:

 

Charlotte Ball

Helen Boyd

Daniella Chapman

Gill Crawford

Carole Dodson

Michelle Dodson

Naomi Evans

Janice Gibbons

Kath Hardman

Carole Harris

Kate Kayes

Emily High

Mira Hitikasch

Diane Jones

Mindy Kerr

Lisa Mappin

Lynsey McMinimee

Richard Moss

Ellis O’Grady

Jean Page

Angela Payne

Karen Robson

Andrea Rogers

Pamela Ruscoe

Kirsty Stuart

Alison Thompson

Hannah Thompson

 

27th January 2022

New member of the HTM working party

The Kennel Club Activities Committee has appointed a new Chair to the HTM working party after the retirement of Dave Ray. Dr Jacqueline Boyd chaired her first meeting in December 2021.

We asked Jackie for a brief introduction:

"Hello, I'm Jackie. I was hugely privileged to join the HTM WP in 2021 as Chair to assist the working party in all endeavours to promote and support Heelwork to Music. I am passionate about having fun with our dogs and keeping them fit, happy and healthy through training and activities.  I'll look forward to seeing many of you over the coming months"

 We welcome Jackie to the HTM community.

 

10th January 2022

Crufts

Crufts is our next big show - Those lucky enough to be going to Crufts will now be training hard. The sport will be represented there in several ways. In the main arena with the Freestyle, Heelwork to Music and International Freestyle competitions held over the first three days of Crufts. Check out Crufts pages shortly.

There will also be the Young Kennel club Crufts HTM and Freestyle Competitions.

Displays in the Kennel Club dog activities ring every day and demonstrations in the Good Citizen ring too.

Crufts 2024 Semi Final Qualifiers

 

The top two competitors in a premier competitions Advanced qualifiers HTM & Freestyle (not previously qualified) go forward to the Crufts Semi-final competition. 

Date Qualifying competition Division Handlers Name Dogs name Breed
9th March 2023 Crufts Freestyle Nicci Hindson

Comebyanaway Wildest Dreams

BC
10th March 2023 Crufts Heelwork Irene Holt Oltomaine Jack BC
 8th April 2023  Forest Oak Farm  Freestyle  Lucy Heath  Trip Hazard Crossbreed
     Freestyle  Lorna Syrett  Nora of Beacon  WSD
     Heelwork  Lucy Heath  Stillmoor Star Turn  BC
     Heelwork  Lucy Creek  

JK’s Amazing Xante

BC 

 

 

 

 

February 2023

 

 

Crufts 2023 Judges

 

The highest honour for any HTM judge is to be asked to judge at Crufts - it is not only an honour but a responsibility and judges take that responsibility seriously - they must have an in-depth understanding of the rules and regulations of the sport and UK judges must be fully qualified to judge all classes and all divisions to the highest level.

Each year the Kennel club invites an international judge to judge alongside our UK judges - they too are fully qualified to judge in their own country and must also have full knowledge of UK judging criteria. They will be judging according to our rules some of which may differ to the rules set out in their own country.

This years judges - are Louise Ince, Sandra Hallam and Grietje Wagenaar 

Crufts 2023 HTM Activities team
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We are  delighted to announce the Crufts HTM dog activities team for 2023. Handlers are from all across the UK and represent every class from Starters to Advanced.
 
Team members
Helen Boyd
Gill Crawford
Michelle Dodson
Carole Dodson
Naomi Evans
Jeanette Fyfe
Caroline Garrett
Janice Gibbons
Ellis O’Grady
Kath Hardman
Diane Jones
Mindy Kerr
Lisa Mappin
Richard Moss
Catherine Oldfield
Jean Page
Angela Payne
Sally Rapson
Karen Robson
Andrea Rogers
Pamela Ruscoe
Alison Sinclair
Kirsty Stuart
Alison Thompson
Vicki Tullett
Ann DeRizzio - team leader
 
What a wonderful selection of dogs we have demonstrating over the 4 days. :-
 
From Gundog group
Golden Retriever (6 of them!)
Flatcoated Retriever
Gordon Setters
Cocker Spaniels
Labrador
Vizslas
Red Setter
Springer Spaniels
and a Clumber Spaniel
 
From Pastoral and Working
Collie X Poodles
GSD X Goldie
Border Collies
Mini American Shepherd
Australian Shepherd
Pumi
 
From Utility and Toy
Papillion x Spitz
Poodles
Poodle crosses
German Spitz
Shih Tzu
Tibetan Spaniels
and Gareth a blended  x dog with attitude
 
From the Hound and Terrier
Jack Russell
Whippets
The team are training hard and have already attended two of the planned five team training days our next training day is next Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 December 2022

The running order for Crufts 2023 has been Drawn

 

 

 

 

FREESTYLE THURSDAY
1st    Helen Dennis
2nd   Lesley Neville
3rd   Kim Lyddon
4th   Charlotte Ball
5th   Lucy Heath
6th Jenny Witt
7th   Jill Davis
8th   Lorna Syrett
9th   Anne Shuker
10th Nicci Hindson

 

HTM FRIDAY
1st   Kath Hardman
2nd  Lesley Neville
3rd  Anne Shuker
4th Rachel Cudworth
5th Lucy Creek
6th Gina Pink
7th Irene Holt
8th Lucy Heath
9th   Carole Dodson
10th  Nicci Hindson

INTERNATIONAL SATURDAY


1st   Switzerland
2nd   Germany
3rd   Canada
4th   Sweden
5th   Japan
6th   Denmark
7th   The Czech Republic
8th   Norway
9th   Hungary
10th  United Kingdom
11th   Belgium
12th  The Netherlands
13th   Italy

 

October 2022

The show season is winding down - only a few more competitions left this year, which will then give handlers time to attend training shows and workshops and refresh and renew for 2023.

A new development oft 2023 will be the KC mentoring scheme for new judges. This will enable those who are just beginning their judging journey to gain from the experience and knowledge of those their mentors. more details will follow but the scheme is expected to begin in January 2023.

September 2022

The last Cruft qualifier for 2022 was hosted by the Scottish Border Collie club on the 24th and 25th of September - this competition rounded off the qualifies in style with a fantastic fun atmosphere. Two qualifiers were Kath Hardman and her Border collie Denby and Charlotte Ball - first time qualifier with her super crossbreed Monet. Those that have qualified for Crufts 2023 now have lots of time to prepare.

August 2022

The HTM working party hosted two zooms on the 23rd of August 2022 - the first for competitors interested in participating in any international team competitions. Kath Hardman explained the logistics of getting a team of handlers and dogs abroad and the costings and time requirements. This was a positive meeting and anyone interested will be invited to apply for the team when the next application process takes place.

The second Zoom meeting was set to allow the working party to go though the Summary of Recommendation from their last meeting in May and answer any questions or concerns. This was the first time this had been done and it worked very well and it was agreed to do this again.

Premier competitions

The competition season is well underway and it has been great to see people and their dogs again. Handlers winning either and advanced Freestyle or Heelwork to music class at a premier competition gain their golden ticket straight to Crufts 2023. Below are the names of those happy handlers and dogs so far.

 

Date   Qualifying competition Division Handler name Dogs name Breed
9th & 10th April 2022 Forest Oak (Glos) Canine society Heelwork to Music Nicci Hindson

Comebyanaway Wildest Dream

Border Collie
     Freestyle  Kim Lyddon  Elmleas Dance Out Loud  Border Collie
7th & 8th May 2022  Canine Freestyle GB  Heelwork to Music  Carole Dodson  Borderdance Dream Legend From Kinaway  Border Collie
     Freestyle  Anne Shucker  Freckle Frenzy  Crossbreed
21st May 2022  Paws N Music Association  Heelwork to Music  Irene Walsh  Oltomaine Jack  Border Collie
     Freestyle  Nicci Hindson  Comebyanaway Wildest Dream  Border Collie
4th June 2022   Bearded Collie   (Scottish Branch)  Heelwork to Music  Anne Shucker Freckle Frenzy  Cross Breed 
    Freestyle  Jill Davis  Demelza at Gildersway  Border Collie 
25th & 26th June 2022  Aberystwyth DTC  Heelwork to Music  Lesley   Neville  Brambledale Blue Dewy  Bearded Collie
    Freestyle   Jenny Witt  Lavender Lollipop  Chihuahua
6th August 2022   Paws N Music Asssociation  Heelwork to Music  Lucy Creek  JK Amazing Xante  Border Collie
    Freestyle  Lorna Hayes  Nora of Beacon  WSD
7th August 2022  Haslemere  and District  Heelwork to Music  Gina Pink  Whitethorn Dream Catcher  WSD
    Freestyle  Helen Dennis  Comebyanaway Pure Love  Border Collie
26th & 27th August 2022 Paws N Music Association  Heelwork to Music  Lucy Heath  Stillmoor Star Turn  Border Collie
    Freestyle

 Lucy Heath

 Trip Hazard  Crossbreed
 10th & 11th September   Canine Freestyle GB  Heelwork to Music  Rachel Cudworth  

Janjelly’s Top Gun Goose

 Crossbeed
    Freestyle  Lesley Neville  Brambledale Blue Dewy  Bearded Collie
24th & 25th September 2022 Scottish Border Collie Club Heelwork to Music  Kath Hardman  Stillmoor Extra Special  Border Collie
    Freestyle  Charlotte Ball  Monet in a Million  Crossbreed

 

 

May 2022

 

NEW HEELWORK TO MUSIC WORKING PARTY MEMBER
The Kennel Club  announced the newest member of the Heelwork to Music Working Party, Ms Kim Lyddon.  Kim's  appointment was approved by the Board at its recent meeting.

March 2022

UK Crufts Winner for Heelwork to Music and Freestyle was Nicci Hindson and her super collie Comebyanaway Wildest Dream.

The Crufts international Freestyle winner was Marianne Elise Methi and Very Vega, a Border Collie representing Norway

 

 28th January 2022

 

It is with great pleasure that we announce the Crufts Dog Activities HTM team for 2022

Team members come from all over the UK . They are working in all classes from  Starters to Advanced and have a wonderful wide selection of dogs breeds and types.

 

Team Manager - Ann Derizzio

 

Team Members are in alphabetical order:

 

Charlotte Ball

Helen Boyd

Daniella Chapman

Gill Crawford

Carole Dodson

Michelle Dodson

Naomi Evans

Janice Gibbons

Kath Hardman

Carole Harris

Kate Kayes

Emily High

Mira Hitikasch

Diane Jones

Mindy Kerr

Lisa Mappin

Lynsey McMinimee

Richard Moss

Ellis O’Grady

Jean Page

Angela Payne

Karen Robson

Andrea Rogers

Pamela Ruscoe

Kirsty Stuart

Alison Thompson

Hannah Thompson

 

27th January 2022

New member of the HTM working party

The Kennel Club Activities Committee has appointed a new Chair to the HTM working party after the retirement of Dave Ray. Dr Jacqueline Boyd chaired her first meeting in December 2021.

We asked Jackie for a brief introduction:

"Hello, I'm Jackie. I was hugely privileged to join the HTM WP in 2021 as Chair to assist the working party in all endeavours to promote and support Heelwork to Music. I am passionate about having fun with our dogs and keeping them fit, happy and healthy through training and activities.  I'll look forward to seeing many of you over the coming months"

 We welcome Jackie to the HTM community.

 

10th January 2022

Crufts

Crufts is our next big show - Those lucky enough to be going to Crufts will now be training hard. The sport will be represented there in several ways. In the main arena with the Freestyle, Heelwork to Music and International Freestyle competitions held over the first three days of Crufts. Check out Crufts pages shortly.

There will also be the Young Kennel club Crufts HTM and Freestyle Competitions.

Displays in the Kennel Club dog activities ring every day and demonstrations in the Good Citizen ring too.

 

 

 

 

 

Cruft 2023 the 150th anniversary Show

 

 

HTM at Crufts report by Kath Hardman

 

Heelwork To Music Report Crufts 2023

 

During the year, I began to think I wasn’t going to make it to Crufts this year and then when the first day arrived, the weather took its toll on all of us.   Heavy snow for those travelling Wednesday and Thursday made even the walk from the car park quite an ordeal.  But we made it and arrived for four Crufts Days.  Crufts was certainly back to being busy after the pre pandemic show in 2020 and the post pandemic one in  2022.

My day started at the Benches of the HTM Crufts Activity Team led by Ann DeRizzio.   This group comprised of 24 handlers, some with multiple dogs who would entertain and demonstrate dog training over the next 4 days.  It is a very demanding task but a good fun time having prepared at several training days around the country.   The main training was based in Preston to accommodate those from the far North in several regions of Scotland and also for those situated in the South of England which enabled the Team Leader to select dogs from all areas of the UK.   A “sub Group” then also met at Forest Oak Farm for a couple of sessions, following the advice and videos from Ann DeRizzio for guidelines.   

 

 



 
There were two 30 minute demonstrations in the Crufts Activity Ring each day.   This included Group Sessions and also individual performances – giving the maximum mix of dogs and handlers their chance in the spotlight and to show the general public how many different breeds dogs are involved in HTM.   Each session attracted a huge audience of people watching, applauding and thoroughly enchanted.   There was also a very special 30 minute production in the Main Ring on Sunday morning.   

 

 

 

 

During the 4 days, each member of the team was also available all day for Pen Duties which involved talking to the public, explaining more about HTM and showing their dog’s moves and more importantly, how to train these moves.   Behind the scenes were others from the team busy prepping for the demos and looking after the benches for those actively taking part.    Yes a very, very, busy area and receiving many compliments from the general public which certainly appreciated the face to face information sessions.   Congratulations to Ann DeRizzio and her very enthusiastic team of volunteers who entertained so enthusiastically throughout the four days of Crufts.

 

 

 

Meanwhile in the Main Arena, the first of the UK Finals was to be held on Thursday morning.  This was the time for the top ten qualified Freestyle Finalists who had “won” their place in the Premier competitions during 2022.
The handlers were allowed practice on that hallowed green AstroTurf from 7:00am that morning.  This gives all the handlers and their precious dogs the chance to feel the basic atmosphere and time to ensure it is a happy place for their dogs.  It is also an ideal opportunity to make sure the planned routines fit into the area allowed as covering the ring (30m x 35m) is no mean task!  Plus making sure the judges will have the best view of your dog.    The 2022 qualifiers had very different lengths of time to prepare for Crufts and all the routines were very new to the judges and audience as they won their places direct to Crufts.   

The First Day at Crufts was the Freestyle Final.


The Freestyle Final was delayed by 20 minutes at the start but the first drawn competitor, Helen Dennis and her lovely dog, Kara (Comebyanaway Pure Love), took it in their stride and entered the ring when announced with a huge smile.
Helen and Kara worked to the music “Sing, Sing, Sing!” by Benny Goodman and hid Orchestra.  A lovely fast and upbeat piece of music which delighted the audience seated in the Arena.   Kara and Helen work so well together with no props which is quite a rarity in Freestyle. This team smiled throughout, happy to be at Crufts.   (Placed 4th 23.05)

Next into the ring was Lesley Neville and her beautiful Bearded Collie Dewy (Brambledale Blue Dewy).  Lesley and Dewy worked to the music “Nowhere to go But Up” from Mary Poppins Returns and had a centre stage prop made up of flowers and three Papier-mâché balloons.   Lesley and Dewy certainly entertained the crowd with the fabulous Beardie jumps and speed with his beautifully groomed coat adding to the effect.   (Placed 6th  22.43)

3rd to enter the ring was Kim Lyddon with her youngster Rio (Elmleas Dance Out Loud)  The routine, which had a blue police pillar box, started very well indeed but it became evident that Kim was concerned that Rio wasn’t relaxed and withdrew him from the competition as didn’t want this to become a worrying experience for him.   The audience and fans gave this team a good round of applause for this hard decision.   (10th – withdrawn)

Following Kim, the 4th competitor was Charlotte Ball and her super crossbreed Monet (Monet in a Million) working to “Raiders march” by John Williams.   Charlotte hoped she would not spoil the day by being nervous, this being her first appearance in the main Arena.  Well I must say this was the best I have seen Monet work and both members of the team completed the routine effectively.   Well done to you both    (Placed  7th 22.37)

5th into the ring was Lucy Heath and her super crossbreed Trip (Trip Hazard) working to a medley from Harry Potter which was super story telling music.
Trip worked really well in the final, often with no visible cues and out of sight of Lucy.
A really well deserved 2nd place 27.30.

Entering the ring next was another young performer, Jenny Witt with her Chihuahua Sophie (Lavender Lillipip) working to the music by various artistes – a Space Medley.
Jenny had quite a number of props which actually helped her use as much of the massive ring as possible and Sophie used each prop in novel ways.
(Placed 8th 21.93)

Jill Davis and Demelza (Demelza at Glidersway) were the next team to compete in the Freestyle Final working to Bring Me Life by Katherine Jenkins.   This music really suited the style of Jill and Demelza with her distance work and moves to the music.  (Placed 9th  21.83)

8th into the ring was another newcomer Lorna Syrett and her dog Nora (Nora of Beacon) working to the music “Jump In The Line” by Harry Belafonte.
Armed with a pair of maracas, Lorna danced her way through this upbeat music with a huge smile on her face with Nora following every cue.   (Placed 3rd  26.43) 

The penultimate competitor was Anne Shuker with Freckle (Freckle Frenzy) a loveable crossbreed working to “The Great British Bake Off” by Tom Howe.    I think Anne and Freckle had the most props of all the finalists today and Anne mirrored Freckle in their attempt to bake a cake!
(Placed 5th  22.77)

And finally into the ring we welcomed Nicci Hindson and her Border Collie Elsa (Comebyanaway Wildest Dream) working to “Good Morning” by Cooper, Crossley and Strallen.
With a park bench as her prop, Nicci and Elsa worked quickly to interpret this very fast piece of music.   They worked so well  and wowed the judges taking  1st place 27.63.

 

 

 

  

  

 

 

 

 

The Second Day was the Heelwork To Music Final.

 

 

 

Again the competitors were allowed special access to the Main Arena from 7:00am to check their routine layouts and ensure the confidence of their dogs.

First into the ring was Kath Hardman and her lovely Border Collie Denby (Stillmoor Extra Special) working to “Celtic Kitten” by Ronan Hardiman.   Denby was 12yrs old on 3rd March making him the veteran of the day but they covered the ring from edge to edge having been drawn in their favourite running order!  (Placed 10th  22.00)

Next into the ring was Lesley Neville and her Bearded Collie Dewy (Brambledale Blue Dewy).  Lesley had been drawn second the previous day in the Freestyle Final so it was becoming a busy time for her.  They worked with great rhythm to the music “That’s You” by Nat King Cole, a lovely tempo for both Lesley and Dewy.  (Placed 9th 23.40)

Anne Shuker and her crossbreed Freckle (Freckle Frenzie) who also competed in the Freestyle Final on Thursday were the next to compete in the HTM Final working to “Transylvania Mania”.   Dressed in a large cloak and wearing fangs, Freckle didn’t seem at all phased!   (Placed 7th  24.57)

4th into the ring was another newcomer to the main Arena, Rachel Cudworth with her Retriever/collie cross Goose (Janjellys Top Gun Goose) working to “Run Boy Run”.  Rachel wore a hoody and tattoo sleeves to set the scene and with Goose’s high stepping stylish heelwork, they soon covered the ring and the routine was over all too quickly.   (Placed 8th  24.00)

Following Rachel and Goose was Lucy Creek with another new to the Main Arena  “dance” partner, her Border Collie Jingle (JK’s Amazing Dante)  They worked to “Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo.    This team appeared beautifully confident with Lucy smiling throughout – a great effort for Jingle’s first time in the big ring.  (Placed 4th  25.07)

6th into the ring was Gina Pink with her beautiful dog Swagger (Whitethorn Dream Catcher).  GIna added the element of signing some of the lyrics of her chosen music “This Is Me” by Keala Settle which was a novel idea and worked well.

Irene Holt was the next competitor with her Working Sheepdog Jack (Oltomaine Jack).   Dressed in a beautiful Red Blouse – Irene and Jack worked in perfect harmony.   This was a super routine to be able to watch.
Congratulations on your First Place 26.30.

8th to compete was Lucy Heath and her Border Collie Foxy (Stillmoor Star Turn) working to the music “I See The Light” by Many Moore and Zachary Levi.
Well done to Lucy in finding out how to get the best from Foxy, it is great you have worked it out and given everyone the opportunity to see you both together in that main Arena.  (Placed 3rd  25.80)

The penultimate competitor was Carole Dodson with her Border Collie, Legend (Borderdance Dream Legend from Kinaway) performing to “Pure Imagination” by Jean Wilder. Their routine depicted the story between Willy Wonker and Charlie, Carole wearing a super costume.
They placed 5th 24.93.

The final competitor – drawn in 10th place for both the Freestyle and the Heelwork To Music was Nicci Hindson working her Border Collie Elsa - Comebyanaway Wildest Dream to the music “Speechless” by Naomi Scott.
Nicci dressed in a flowing pink costume, they made their way through the music with speed and accuracy finishing in 2nd Place 25.83.

Well done to all competitors.

 

Saturday – International Freestyle Day

 

 

 

This was going to be a busy day for the Ring Party who would be stewarding all the 13 competitors in a timely fashion.   These competitors and their dogs had travelled far and wide to take part in this prestigious competition in the Main Arena in front of a full capacity crowd of 5,000.

First into the arena was Monka Gehrig from Switzerland, with her Jack Russell Terrier Sam (Enki Du Petit Royaume).   They worked to the music “Mack The Knife” which totally suited Sam’s way of working. Very discreet signalling by this very smart handler.   Placed 2nd  26.40

Second to take to the arena was a first time competitor from Germany – Cornelia Demling with her super Cairn Terrier Toto (Kiara of Barnsley).  Toto attacked this routine to the music “Concerning Hobbits” by the Stuttgart Symphony Orchestra with speed and both he and Cornelia looked relaxed and worked well in the huge area with the audience loving every moment.  Placed 12th  20.50

The following competitor was from Canada, Jennifer Fraser with her Australian Shepherd, Daiquiri  - Stargate’s Shaken Sweet Tonic performing to “Dance Monkey” by the I Tones.   Dressed in a monkey outfit, this pair made their way around the ring performing a routine of tricks and some acrobats together.   Placed 7th 23.97

The fourth competitor was from Sweden, Ella Johansson with her Border Collie Navy – Vastakra Navy Blue.  The first time they had been selected to travel and compete at Crufts, they performed to “Begging” by Maneskin – this team mirrored their moves making full use of the ring with their very clever distance work.  Placed 6th 24.57

Next to enter the ring was the competitor who had travelled the furthest to represent her country – Japan.   This was another first time performance at Crufts, this time by Sachiko Kuniyoshi and her Border Collie, Alena who worked to the music “Amazing Grace” by Celtic Woman.   They worked gracefully together covering this huge arena with steady and accurate work.    Placed 10th  23.17.

The sixth competitor was Trine Castella Nielson representing Denmark with her Border Collie Joey, Ullcorgards High-Five Joey.  This pair worked to “Carwash” by Christina Aguilera and had a two sided car as one of their props which was cleaned and driven in the routine.   A fun routine.  (Placed 8th  23.90)

At the halfway point of the competition was Marketa Coufalova from The Czech Republic with her Border Collie Angie – Kreizy Z Trnitych Akatu.   They had chosen to perform to “Narnia” by Harry Gregson-Williams.   Marketa wore an ivory dress which depicted Narnia as they floated around the arena moving neatly together.  Placed 9th 23.17

Eighth to entertain the crowds was the competitor from Norway, Vigdos Baever Larsen  with her speedy partner Bella, a Lagotto Romagnolo.   They had chosen to work to a “Medley from My Fair Lady” by the London Theatre Orchestra.   The scene was set with a picnic blanket and flowers and a garden table and chair which were all utilised well throughout the routine.  Placed 11th  22.20

Following Norway was the competitor from Hungary, Christine Elisabeth Berczes and her Australian Shepherd Meredith – Silver Dream Aussie’s Top Secret performing to a mix of music “I’m Always Here and Jaws”. In this routine, Christine was the beach “Life Guard” along with Meredith – who had to perform CPR as she had been “caught” by a shark whilst in the sea.  The audience truly loved this routine.  Placed 3rd 25.87

The next competitor was the Winner of the Freestyle Final held on Thursday and who would represent UK – Nicci Hindson with her Border Collie Elsa – Comebyanaway Wildest Dream with a repeat performance of their winning routine to the Music “Good Morning” by Cooper, Crossley and Strallen.   Although Nicci and Elsa had performed three times during Thursday and Friday – they entered the ring with as much energy as day one and performed their routine with the same speed as the first time!  To finish their wonderful time in the Arena, Nicci and Else were Placed FIRST!   26.60

Unfortunately, the competitor from Belgium, Lutgarde De Block had to withdraw from competition with her dog Niesje – Fire N Ice Vom Alten Morgenstern.

The penultimate competitor was Desiree van Zon from The Netherlands with her Border Collie Tess – Once In A Lifetime Tess working to the music “Dance Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saens.   Using a gravestone, sheet and a skeleton as props, they completed a very neat routine earning them 4th place 25.37

And finally to close the International Freestyle it was the turn of the Italian competitor, Barbara Schetto with her Border Collie dog Zoran – Zoran Del Mulino Prudenze working to a medley of music “Mercy in Darkness/Stars of Tomorrow/Journey” by Two Steps from Hell.  Barbara wore a latex face mask and dressed as a witch with some superbly executed moves carried out by Zoran.  This routine placed 5th 25.00

And all too soon the competitions in the Main Arena came to a close.  So much work is involved in this sport by the handler and dog in order to perfect a four minute routine in front the huge crowds attending but hopefully the TV Coverage, YouTube and photographers captured the moments for these competitors to watch when home.

The Young Kennel Club finalists competed in the YKC Ring and there was a demonstration of HTM in the Good Citizen Ring led by Richard Curtis.   HTM certainly had a fair share of coverage and displays during Crufts 2023.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruft 2023 will be held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham from the 9th to the 12th of March

Heelwork to Music will be well presented over the 4 days with daily demonstrations by the Crufts HTM dog Activities team and demonstrations in the Kennel Club Good Citizen ring too. Both can be seen in hall three. The Activities team will also be available to meet members of the public every day via the activities pods adjacent to the activities ring. 

 

The highest honour for any HTM judge is to be asked to judge at Crufts - it is not only an honour but a responsibility and judges take that responsibility seriously - they must have an in-depth understanding of the rules and regulations of the sport and UK judges must be fully qualified to judge all classes and all divisions to the highest level.

Each year the Kennel club invites an international judge to judge alongside our UK judges - they too are fully qualified to judge in their own country and must also have full knowledge of UK judging criteria. They will be judging according to our rules some of which may differ to the rules set out in their own country.

This years judges - are Louise Ince, Sandra Hallam and Grietje Wagenaar 

 

What's on and where

 

The time schedules  for the HTM and Freestyle competitions in the main arena are:

Thursday 9th of March - Freestyle - starts at 11.00 

Friday 10th of March - Heelwork to Music - starts at 11.55 

Saturday 11th of March International Freestyle competition -  starts at 11.50

 Every year Kath Hardman publishes a score sheet for viewers to keep up with the scoringclick to view

 

 

FREESTYLE THURSDAY -  running order
1st    Helen Dennis with Kara a Border Collie
2nd   Lesley Neville with Dewy a Bearded Collie
3rd   Kim Lyddon with Rio a Border Collie
4th   Charlotte Ball with Monet a Cockerpoo
5th   Lucy Heath with Trip a Crossbreed
6th Jenny Witt with Sophie  a Chihuahua
7th   Jill Davis with Demelza a BorderCollie
8th   Lorna Syrett with Nora a Border Collie
9th   Anne Shuker with Freckle a Crossbreed
10th Nicci Hindson with Elsa a Border Collie

 

HTM FRIDAY  - running order
1st   Kath Hardman with Denby a Border Collie
2nd  Lesley Neville with Dewy a Bearded Collie
3rd  Anne Shuker with Freckle a Crossbreed
4th Rachel Cudworth with Goose a Crossbreed
5th Lucy Creek with Jingle a Border Collie
6th Gina Pink with Swagger a Border Collie
7th Irene Holt with Jack a Border Collie
8th Lucy Heath with Foxy a Border Collie
9th   Carole Dodson with Legend a Border Collie
10th  Nicci Hindson with Elsa A Border Collie

INTERNATIONAL SATURDAY - running order


1st   Switzerland. - Monica Gehrig with Sam a Jack Russell
2nd   Germany - Cornelia Demling with Toto a Cairn Terrier
3rd   Canada - Jeniffer Fraser with Daiquiri an Australian Shepherd
4th   Sweden - Ella Johansson with Navy a Border Collie
5th   Japan - Sachiko Kuniyoshi with Alena a Border Collie
6th   Denmark - Trine Castella Nieslsen with Joey a Border collie
7th   The Czech Republic - Marketa Coufalova with Angie a Border Collie
8th   Norway - Vigdis Boever Larsen with Bella a Lagotto Romagnolo
9th   Hungary - Christine Berczes with Meredith  an Australian Shepherd
10th  United Kingdom  - The winner of Freestyle competition on Thursday
11th   Belgium - Lut De Block with Niesje a Border Collie
12th  The Netherlands - Desiree Van Zon with Tess a Border Collie
13th   Italy -  Barbara Schettino with Zoran a Border Collie

 

 

The Young Kennel Club 

Will  be hosting two competitions for YKC handlers  - The YKC ring is in  hall three - This will be on Thursday the 9th of March.

 

HTM - starts at 13.35

FS - starts at 14.10

The HTM activities team will be running two demos each day 

Thursday     10.15  and 14.45

Friday          9.30 and 13.30

Saturday      12.30 and 16.00

Sunday        9.00 and 12.30  

Meet the 2023 Judges

 This years Judges were invited to tell us something about themselves and their thoughts on being a Crufts Judge.

 

 Sandra Hallam 

                                                                                               

                                                                                                   

Photo by Richard Moss

 

 

I am thrilled and delighted to have been asked by the Kennel Club to Judge Heelwork to Music, Freestyle & International Competition at this prestigious event. 

Last year I had the Joy of competing in the Heelwork Final with my wonderful Bernese Fiz.  In the   past I have also competed in the Crufts finals in Freestyle with Henry, a deaf Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. 

I was introduced to competing in Heelwork to music/freestyle about 18 years ago and I have been judging since 2011. My judging with the Kennel Club started in 1995 as a breed show judge for the Working, Pastoral and Toy Groups, specialising in Bernese Mountain Dogs of which I award KC Challenge certificates.

 My background with dogs has included owning Maltese and I have also shown and bred KC litters with Old English Sheepdogs, Cavalier King Charles spaniels and Bernese Mountain Dogs. I currently have two Bernese Mountain dogs Fiz & Arthur. My working history has included being the proprietor of a pets’ hotel, a hydrotherapy pool, pet shop and a grooming parlour.   

I would like to wish all the Teams Good Luck in the competition . I Hope you really enjoy your experience in the Fabulous Crufts Arena

 

 

Grietje Wagenaar

 

 

My name is Grietje Wagenaar I live in the top of Holland in the city of Burgum.  I live  with my husband, and 3 dogs.

Since 2001 I have been involved in the Dog Dance sport . I started with a Shih Tzu and a Papillon. During those first years I worked very hard to develop the sport in my country. I am a founder of NDDB organization and setup the judging program in Holland. 

My dog hobby became my job, and since 2005 I have run my own Dog Training School in Holland. In 2020 I  started my online dog dance courses which have been running with great success.  I am now focusing on the effect of dogs related to personal development and combining that knowledge in my online classes.

 

My border collie Floris is currently my best known dog because between 2009 and 2019 we were nine times Dutch National Freestyle Champions. We qualified for many of OECs and World Championships in Freestyle and in Heelwork. We also represented Holland seven times at Crufts in the International competition.

It was a real privilege to work with Floris who has now retired, we adored each other and I have learned a lot from him.  My younger Border Collie Onyx has since 2019 qualified  for OEC and World Championships Freestyle.   Onyx and I are still developing our working partnership that takes time, he is a strong minded energetic dog  and I have had to work slowly with him waiting for him to be ready for competitions, we are on the right track now and have lot of fun working together.   My main goal is to always become a real team with my dogs, I love getting to know my dogs and creating a bond based on our strong points without losing my dogs own personality.  

I have been judging since 2005 and have done national and international judging, my best experiences have been judging in South Africa, Denmark. Nordic Championships, Gran Prix of France, and Japan. It is an honour and a privilege for me to be  a judge at this years Crufts Heelwork to Music competitions. 

I am looking for balance in a routine, technical aspects in balance with presentation. I want to see a strong bond between handler and dog, both happy and having fun together. 

I wish all competitors a very good time, and that you enjoy your special moment in the ring.

 

 

 

                                                                                                     Louise Ince

 

 

 

 

 

My Name is Louise Ince and I have been involved in HTM since 2005, first competing with my Labradors, working sheepdog and then Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.

For me the sport is all about having fun and enjoying each performance, I have made it to 10 semi finals of Crufts in both heelwork and freestyle with 3 different dogs and in 2018 was able to perform in the Crufts heelwork to music finals with my Superboy Troy.

I am currently on the Team GB progression programme with my current dog and we are slowly building a relationship built on trust and understanding so that we will be ready to make future steps together on our journey. 

I love the creativity of HTM and the partnership and bond that develops between teams and am very much looking forward to Judging the top performers in our sport at Crufts this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crufts 2022 

             

 

Below are two personal reports from Judges Kath Hardman and Kim Lyddon on judging Crufts this year, we thank them for their impute and special thanks to Richard Moss for his wonderful photography that captured the event perfectly.

 

Crufts Judges report by Kim Lyddon

Photographs courtesy of Richard Moss Furtography©

 

 

I was given the wonderful honour and privilege to judge Heelwork to Music for the first time at Crufts 2022.   More poignant after the disappointment of Crufts being cancelled the previous year due to Covid. Once again, we saw three great Heelwork to Music competitions taking place in the Crufts main arena as well as the Young Kennel Club finals which took place in their own arena situated in Hall 3.

 It was a great opportunity to experience our wonderful sport from behind the scenes and from the judge’s chair.   It was lovely to watch each routine close up and see the detail, effort and passion each of the competitors had put in to their performances.  

 The routines varied in terms of style, creativity and variety of moves each performed by dogs of various breeds both big and small.  I was excited to see how handlers choreographed their routines to include moves that showcased their dog’s skills and at the same time support their music choice by using the moves to illustrate their story or theme.  Here are some examples:

 

Crufts Heelwork to Music Finals

 This competition for me was a close contest between the top three teams. 

 

Nicci Hindson with Comebyanaway Wildest Dream 

 Nicci and her dog Elsa performed to ‘Fame’.  This was full of energy from both the handler and the dog.  They used the space available really well giving us the opportunity to see the dog holding position for extended periods, which gives an insight into how well the dog understands each position.  The musical interpretation was clear with the choice of heelwork positions moving in various directions to highlight changes in the music and to match the theme of their routine. Nicci remained in character throughout which added to the overall performance.  

    

 

 

  

Irene Walsh and Oltomaine Jack

 Irene chose  ‘Highway to Hell’ and ‘God of Hellfire’ music for their routine.  The music in itself gave a clear insight to the theme however her costume made sure there was no mistake in us recognising what her theme was to be.  Her use of the positions and speed to highlight the music worked really well.  I also loved the way she used her transitions from one position to another to add an additional dramatic effect enhancing the overall performance

 


    

 

 

Anne Shuker with Freckle Frenzy

They performed to ‘Just a Gigalo’.  This was a great example of the quality of heelwork positions you can achieve with a smaller dog.  Freckle holds her positions beautifully as she moves across the floor.  She is a keen little dog and wonderful to watch.  Anne moves into each position smoothly and they maintain position for nice stretches of heelwork which was lovely to see.

 

 


  

Crufts UK Freestyle Final

 Another closely contested competition at the top.

 

Nicci Hindson with Comebyanaway Wildest Dream

 Performing to a ‘It’s A Hard Knock Life’, this was a fast paced routine matching the music chosen.   Nicci did well to control Elsa’s enthusiasm and speed to complete a wide variety of moves in a way to tell her story.  Elsa’s speed as she crept at distance to one of the props was impressive.  The props used reflected the story well and for those who know the story of Annie were very recognisable.   Nicci went on to compete in the Crufts International competition with this routine and it was great to see them perform even better than in the UK competition.

 

 

   

 

 

Anne Shuker with Freckle Frenzy

 This team performed to ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’.  I loved the way Anne used moves to really tell the story and show off Freckles skills.  Freckle is such a character and the way the routine was cleverly choreographed really enabled that to come through. The way Freckle hid in the box and appears just put a smile on your face.  Then spinning with the hat on her face was lovely.   Anne remained in character throughout which also added to the overall performance.

 

 

 

Lucy Heath with Trip Hazzard 

 What another great team to watch.  Lucy chose ‘This is Halloween’ for her routine and it worked really well with her props.  Lucy’s choice and variety of moves were cleverly developed to show off little Trip and his skills such as having him running up her body, rebounding off the headstone and then there was the memorable final move as he put his head through a hole in the gravestone.

 

 

Crufts International Freestyle Final

 What an exciting and varied competition this was.  It was just wonderful to watch.

They were all super routines however here I would just like to highlight a couple each for different reasons.

 

Marianne Elise Methi from Norway with Very Vega

 Firstly, I would like to congratulate Marianne and Vega the winners of the Crufts International Freestyle 2022.  The team were the first to compete and what a wonderful way to start what was an exciting International Freestyle competition.  They set the benchmark for this highly competitive competition with their fun and engaging Aladdin routine.  You couldn’t mistake Marianne who was all in blue.  The story telling was really well executed with their choice of moves along with Marianne’s playing her character well added to their overall performance.  She had a wonderful connection with her dog which was lovely to watch.  They utilised the space really well with some wonderful distance moves such as sending her dog out round at great speed as well as at distance ahead of her.  Lovely to watch. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexandra Creusot from France with D’Hendi od Dupiku

This was a stunning routine to watch particularly close up as I could see the quality and importantly the technical difficulty of some of the moves and sequences she included into her choreography.  These worked really well to tell her ballet dancer story.   The way she integrated her cues seamlessly into the choreography gave the sense of each move flowing effortlessly from one to another.   To get these moves and sequences to a point where they look easy and flowed so well showed real skill.  One particular example of this was the side pass the dog did at a distance with Alexandra facing away.  The dog maintained its position, speed and duration throughout this move.  Alexandra didn’t appear to even be tempted to look behind to check if her dog was doing the move which showed a real confidence and partnership with her dog.  

 

 

 

Jennifer Fraser from Canada with Stargates Shaken Sweet Tonic

 This team performed to Dolly Partons ‘Crackerjack’.  This was a great routine to watch.  Full of energy and I loved how creatively each move was used to very tell their story.   This routine was well thought out with every move representing part of the story.   We saw a variety of props used to illustrate individual elements within the song.  The handler took on the character of her story really well.  This along with the energy she brought to it made it a wonderful and exciting performance. 

 

 

 

 

New This Year

 This year was a special year not only because of Crufts coming back after covid but also because it was the first-year judges were asked to give interviews during the competition.

 Although initially a bit daunting it was actually a great opportunity to let the audience, particularly those not actively in the sport understand a bit more about what the judges are looking for.   It also meant more television time for our Heelwork to Music raising its profile.  Hopefully this will also have inspired and encouraged more people to have a go and experience the fun of participating in Heelwork to Music.

 

 

 

 

Crufts - Judges report by Kath Hardman

Photographs courtesy of Richard Moss Furtography©

 

                                                                           Judges Kath Hardman, Vee  Richardson & Kim Lyddon

 

Crufts Heelwork To Music 2022   Kath Hardman 

Thank goodness Crufts 2022 could take place as scheduled this year.  After the worry of the Covid Pandemic which started affecting us in during Crufts in March 2020, we now began to realise that the World was coming out of a very dark time.

This year I was to be working with Ann DeRizzio’s Team on the HTM displays within the Canine Activities area in Hall 3.  The team had met several times in Wigan and via Zoom to get together and rehearse and develop every members’ own routines with Ann making sure all could be involved in the Group Performances showing a good range of abilities in the Activities ring twice a day.  However, this was not meant for me this year.

Due to the ever changing rules for travelling between countries and the never ending cases of Covid within the UK, a reserve judge had been requested in December 2021 to be on standby in case any of the three HTM Judges had to withdraw at short notice. 

The judges had been named for 2022 as follows:
Virginia Garner-Richardson  (Head Judge)
Kim Lyddon
And Johanna Allanach from Denmark.  
Sadly on the Wednesday prior to the competition starting on Thursday 10th March, Johanna was unable to travel, therefore, as the named reserve judge, I was called upon.

Was there much extra preparation for me to do?  Actually no!   I had printed my judges scoring paperwork that morning (just in case) and I had already prepared one outfit to carry with me each day I was attending.  I had two more outfits to find but having judged at Crufts in 2006, 2012 and 2020 – I scanned my wardrobe and luckily Covid had been kind to me on the weight and two jackets I wore in 2012 were brought out back into use!

There had been no qualifying competitions for Crufts 2021 or 2022 due to the Pandemic and a decision was made by the Crufts Committee that ten Semi Finalists from the 2020 Qualifiers would be invited to compete this year in both Heelwork To Music and Freestyle.  Invitations were sent out in the order handler and dog teams had been placed at the semis held in Ryton, January 2020.   If any handler and/or dog were unable to compete at Crufts, then the next competitor in line would be invited.   For quite a number of handlers, this would be their very first appearance to compete in the Main Arena at Crufts.

This was my fourth judging appointment at Crufts for the three days Heelwork to Music Competitions (Thursday Freestyle, Friday Heelwork To Music and Saturday The International Freestyle plus the Young Kennel Club Competitions to be held Thursday in the YKC Ring Hall 3.  It is such a privilege and honour to be announced, seated and looked after actually inside the Main Arena Ring.   A fabulous view of all the competitors with no distractions helps to keep the judges all focussed on the task in hand.

I set off to the NEC that morning, meeting backstage with my fellow judges who were Dr Virginia Garner-Richardson (Head Judge) and Kim Lyddon.  
Competitors had started to be informed of their invitation to compete at the end of 2021, but, unfortunately as the months passed other handlers found the need to withdraw and a couple of handlers had actually only been invited to take part on Monday 7th March when one of the competitor’s dog came in season.

When writing about the routines there is an added complication after judging and that is due to the placings being decided on the average scores of all the three judges, therefore, the order the competitors finished is not necessarily the order of each individual judge.  

 

THURSDAY Freestyle Competition

 

 

The Ring Party was busy dealing with the competitors in readiness for the competition and we judges sat away from the preparations but ready to be announced by the commentator.  

Once again, Richard Curtis would be in a studio ready to give his fabulous live commentary on all routines in this event which is very knowledgeable and interesting to listen to on the YouTube Live Stream.

There were ten competitors in the Freestyle Competition.

Ann DeRizzio had the unenviable task of being drawn first in the running order after only finding out on the Monday that she would be competing that Thursday! 
She entered the ring with her partner Border Collie Phoenix looking fully confident, smiling and waving as she was introduced.
Ann and Stillmoor Red Sky At Night performed to “Be A Clown and Smile by Judy Garland” which was a great choice of music to raise everyone’s spirits after the past two years events.   Ann was dressed very smartly as a clown with baggy trousers with bold red stripes, an array of hats, a “clown” T Shirt and most importantly Ann wore a smile on her face throughout, looking very relaxed and happy to be there with her partner Phoenix.   Great teamwork.    Several props were placed in the Arena which were all used when needed to help illustrate the music.
This was a lovely routine and the team covered the ring with ease, the routine giving everyone watching a smile. 

Second into the ring was Emma Pirrie with her Working Sheepdog, Yolanda The Panda working to “Like The Living Dead”.  Emma set the scene with two Head Stones which were constantly used in different ways in this routine.
This music was a superb track chosen by Emma as it included some very clear phrasing.
Emma dressed in super long black and red striped trousers and hat complete with hatband depicting skulls and bones and a bright red feather and with a further prop of a stick used in many ways. 
Well done Emma and Yola.

Next to take to this super stage was Jenny Witt with her Crossbreed Lavendar Lillipip, a tiny dog with a large presence.  They worked to a Pokémon Medley.
The props were well used in this routine and there were excellent freestyle moves especially included for a small dog like Sophie.
Jenny and Sophie both looked like they enjoyed their time in the main Ring.

Following on from Jenny was Lucy Heath with her small crossbreed Trip Hazard.
They performed to “This is Halloween” with Lucy wearing the clothes for a Zombie and with special contact lenses which certainly added to the effect of the costume.
Lucy skilfully included a fabulous variety of “small dog” moves into their routine. 
Loved the bit where Trip poked his head out of the prop – very clever and definitely gave the “ah” factor!
A clever routine with very catchy music finally taking 3rd Place - congratulations.

There were several competitors new to the Main Arena, and amongst those was Susan Wolf with her English Springer Spaniel, Ghillie.
Susan incorporated quite a few props into their routine including a box, scroll and a sword and all were used to good value.  Susan was dressed as a pirate as they performed to “Pirates of the Caribbean”.   Ghillie did take a short trip off course to visit me at the Judge’s table but soon returned to Susan and seemed to step up a gear as the routine improved speed from then on.  Maybe both were feeling a little more relaxed.

Our next competitor set out just one prop of a tree stump for their routine performed to “Colours of the Wind”.  Kristine Hodgson and her Border Collie Astra Sieva worked well with some very emotional poses included in the choreography.
The routine showed good teamwork and storytelling between Kristine and Ziva.
Well done.

Carole Dodson and her Border Collie Kinaway Doctor Porter were next into the ring which had been set up as a workshop belonging to Giuseppe Pinocchio.
When Carol started the routine with Brooklyn lying down inside a box, it became quite apparent that Brooklyn was portraying the building of the puppet - Pinocchio.
Carole needed to refer to her heavy book of instruction to build Pinocchio as the first building attempt wasn’t successful.
A very clever idea for the routine.

Eighth into the arena came Jill Davis and her Border Collie, Demelza of Glidersway.
Dressed in camouflaged desert trousers, Jill and Demelza performed to the music “Medal of Honor”.
There were a few props setting the scene, including a grenade and a disposal bucket for the grenade which Demelza found and placed it carefully in and a podium.  Plus Demelza found the flag to wave the “all Clear” which Jill had thoughtfully used the Ukraine Flag showing support for their cause.
This routine was super with a good balance of moves depicting the story.

The penultimate competitor was Nicci Hindson and her Border Collie, Comebyanaway Wildest Dream.
Nicci and Elsa worked to the music “Hard Knock Life” and featured several props including a bad, two buckets, a floor cloth!
Dressed as an orphan from the Musical “Annie” Nicci and Elsa attacked the routine from the very first note, tumbling from the bed and Elsa jumping over the rolling Nicci.  This routine was packed with moves, some of which happened so fast it was hard to spot them all.
This team scored well from each judge awarding them first place, which then took them into the International Freestyle Final to be held on the Saturday.
Congratulations to you both!

The final competitors in the class were Anne Shuker with her delightful rescued Crossbreed Freckle Frenzy.  Freckles tail never stopped wagging throughout the routine which was performed to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Anne wore a magnificent Midnight Blue Sorcerer’s outfit and Freckle took the part of the Apprentice, newly delivered in a box.
The routine told a great story of Anne trying magic with the apprentice – only for the tables to turn and Freckle becoming her master!  Freckle was then dispatched to the returns department.
Well done Anne and Freckle and finishing in second place.

 

RESULTS
1st Nicci Hindson with Comebyanaway Wildest Dream (Elsa)  26.00
2nd  Anne Shuker with Freckle Frenzie  (Freckle)   25.20
3rd Lucy Heath with Trip Hazard (Trip)   24.20


Fabulous day for judging and a great contrast of Freestyle routines.

 

 

 

Friday – Heelwork To Music Competition


Day two of judging at Crufts – what would the competitors be bringing us today?
I met my fellow judges, Virginia Garner-Richardson and Kim Lyddon again backstage of the Main Arena – competitors were dressing, preparing themselves and their dogs, gathering themselves together in order to show the results their very hard work, not only to those in the audience, but, to those all over the world as this event was live streamed via YouTube.

Because there was no Semi Final held – the routines would all be brand new to us which gives a great feeling of anticipation of the event.

Naomi Evans with her Border Collie Stillmoor Cloudy Sunset was the first team of the day too walk out onto the green carpet.
For their first competition at Crufts, Naomi and Rogue worked to a beautiful piece of music “You Will Be Found”    This routine started very slowly but Rogue held the positions well and Rogue was so happy through this routine, fully focussed on Naomi and tail wagging showing great willingness.  
This was a very well executed routine with lots of positions used.    Rogue was keen to please throughout with Naomi using some super links on the changes of positions with some huge jumps and landing in a very controlled manner.

Second into the ring was Helen Boyd with her German Short Haired Pointer, Indijazz Showstopper
This was to be both Cedar’s first and last performance at the Crufts HTM Competition.   Lovely to see this beautiful breed in the Heelwork To Music Competition working to “One Last Dance” to mark Cedar’s retirement.
Helen entered the arena in a Black Coat which was soon removed to reveal a beautiful red dress which added to the feeling of this music and routine.
The routine was well interpreted with Cedar looking very serious taking the part of Helen’s dance partner, but he couldn’t conceal his tail wagging.
A very emotional routine and a fitting loving hug between Cedar and Helen as a final pose.

Next to take part in the competition was Linda Webster with her Working Sheepdog Rob & Sykes Lottie.  Linda and Lottie worked to a lovely medley of music from “The Sound of Music”
Again this was this team’s first appearance in this Main Ring at Crufts and Linda you must be so proud of what you have achieved.
Linda made use of the entire main Arena with a very well planned routine and this super medley of music which really suited both her and Lottie with some good use of the changes of speed in the music maintaining good posture throughout.   A lovely interesting routine.   

The next team to compete was Irene Walsh and her Border Collie Oltomaine Jack.
Irene had chosen two pieces of music for this routine “Highway to Hell” and “God of Hellfire” and what an entrance to the Main Arena they made!  Irene dressed from the top of her head to the floor in black which actually totally covered her face with Jack calmly walking beside her.
This was a great routine and by using the two pieces of music, the mood could be changed from one to the other.
When Irene removed her head covering and cape – this revealed her make-up which had been expertly applied so she became the Devil with horns and a dark wig, plus top depicting muscles. 
For the start of the routine Jack couldn’t see her face and for the second part – it certainly didn’t look like his handler!
Well done Jack!   -  and Irene!   placed 2nd

Following Irene was  Nicci Hindson and her Border Collie Comebyanaway Wildest Dream.
Nicci had chosen the music “Fame” for this routine which definitely suited this action packed pair.
Elsa certainly doesn’t hang around waiting for cues from Nicci – she burst into action in this routine from the start when they walked backwards together.
Nicci wore shorts, leg warmers and a Gym Top whilst she and Elsa “worked out” together.
This pair had lots of fun with their nonstop energy from the beginning to the very last note.
Congratulations to Nicci and Elsa on winning the competition.

Sandra Hallam with her Bernese Mountain Dog Arvella Sparkles at Oldberne was the next team to take centre stage. 
Sandra and Fiz both entered the ring with smiles on their faces – which stayed there until the last note of the music.  Sandra was beautifully costumed as a Pearly Queen as they worked to “The Cockney Medley” and with a barrel centre piece which was an effectively used prop in different ways.   The barrel was carefully used in some of the transitions between positions.
Carefully choreographed, Fiz and Sandra covered the ring in interesting patterns and always keeping to the rhythm and phrasing of this very catchy music.

Following on from Sandra was Anne Shuker with her Crossbreed Freckle Frenzie.  Anne looking super sharp in a red suit and matching trilby – Anne and Freckle performed to “Just a Gigalo”.
Freckle may only be small but her presence in the ring is huge, with her focus never leaving Anne’s face and her tail wagging through the sheer enjoyment of performing!
Great musical interpretation to this very catchy piece of music making it very interesting to watch and keeping to the strong beat throughout.
A delightful performance gaining them 3rd place today.

The penultimate competitor was Christina Oxtoby with her Border Collie Legacy’s Heaven Sent Shai.
Christina and Shai performed to a very strong piece of music, “Rhapsody in Blue” whilst they depicted tourists arriving in New York, finding places to visit on their map.   Their entrance to New York was made through their prop which was a gateway from the Subway.
Christina fought to work out directions to go using the tourist’s paper map she held throughout the routine and Shai was extremely happy during the entire performance, a captivating routine where the audience would wonder where the map would lead to.  The Answer was the Statue of Liberty.
Well done to you both.

The final competitors were Helen Boyd and her Border Collie Stillmoor Silk N Satin
Beautiful figure hugging outfit for Helen with feathers along her arms and shoulders – as they performed to “Icarus”.  Helen and Raven were the last pairing to take to the ring but they both took to the stage looking relaxed and happy to be there.   This routine flowed really well with minimal transitions to change heelwork positions.
Good teamwork and the use of non-invasive cues as they covered the main area with ease with some super long stretches of heelwork
This was to be Helen’s second dog to retire after today making this their first and last performance at Crufts.
Happy retirement Raven.

The Results

1st Nicci Hindson with Comebyanawy Wildest Dream   25.00
2nd  Irene Walsh with Oltomaine Jack   24.77
3rd  Anne Shuker with Freckle Frenzie   24.63

 

 

 

Saturday  Crufts International Freestyle Competition

There is always a huge crowd in the Main Arena for this very special competition and this year was no exception.   The audience were asked to make sure no empty seats on their rows and to move along to let the waiting crowds in.   This was a very strange to hear after 2 years of keeping 2m away from anyone!   But the crowd moved along to let those waiting find a seat.  

Drawn first was Atila Rodrigues De Oliveira with his dog Panda from Brazil, but sadly they withdrew soon after the running orders were drawn

The first competitor to enter the arena was Marianne Elise Methi and her dog Very Vega, a Border Collie representing Norway.   Marianne was covered in Blue Make-up and costumed as Aladdin, with a very small Genie’s Lamp delightfully lit in the centre of the ring.
This team told the story of Aladdin with Vega instantly reacting to all the cues subtly given by Marianne.
Vega covered the ground at speed when needed and carefully planted his feet when slower moves were required and the routine contained a lot of well controlled distance moves especially those facing away from Marianne.  The end pose was eye catching too as on that last beat both Vega and Marianne turned their heads away from looking at each other to look straight at the Head Judge.
This was a very clever routine which gained them First Place.

The second team to enter the ring was representing France, this was Alexandra Creusot with her Border Collie D’Hendi od Dupiku.   In contrast to the first routine, this was a love story with some beautiful static poses held by Hendi and some superb slow movements – a routine packed with moves.
Alexandra wore a lovely costume which flowed as they travelled around the ring – together and then apart telling a beautiful story between them.
Well done Alexandra and Hendi

The Handler from Denmark was next into the ring.  This was Louise Vig with her Australian Shepherd dog Khetashio Increasing Value.   Dressed as a pirate with a hook as a hand, Louise made her way through the story and her dog, Chérie killed the prop crocodile that they had been looking for as it had taken the pirate’s hand!    All to the appropriate music “Revenge is Going to Be Mine”.
The routine contained quite a lot of slow work and creative poses including the dog’s hind paws on the handler’s feet.  It is always good to see something imaginative.
Well done Louise and Chérie.

We all welcomed Karin Baumann from Switzerland into the ring next with her Chihuahua, Joya Baumann.  The scene was set with three swans – two white and one black – and with Karin wearing a ballet dress.
Very graceful and obviously a well-schooled ballet dancer, Karin performed with her small “dance partner” to Swan Lake.  Moving in between and onto the swans and performing delightful small dog moves, they won the hearts of the audience.
Well done to you both.

Nicci Hindson and her Border Collie Comebyanaway Wildest Dream won the UK Freestyle on Thursday, giving them their place to represent UK today.
This would be their 5th performance in three days and Nicci and Elsa didn’t lose any of the speed first seen on Thursday.   No one could blink in case they missed anything!
Working to “It’s A Hard Knock Life” this team tumbled out of bed almost on a Roller Coaster of moves. Nicci worked as hard as Elsa to keep up with each other, with a bed and 2 buckets as the main props.  The audience loved it when Elsa looked as though she had her head stuck in the bottom of the smaller bucket.
Well done Nicci and Elsa.

Over half way through this class now and it was the turn of Cora Czermak with her Papillon Angel Steps who were the representatives of Germany.
Their chosen music was “Puff The Magic Dragon” which really suited the movements of both Cora and Steps.
Again another small dog but full of presence in this huge ring and some great “small dog” moves to make this a very entertaining routine.
Very nicely handled by Cora – a lovely routine.

The next competitor to enter the ring was the representative of Hungary.    Adrienn Bardos and her Beagle, Mia The Dancing Queen.  Adrienn had chosen the music “A Whole New World”.   Props included a small pink “tent” palace and a large inflated snake.
This was a simple routine which filled the ring quite well.  The props set the scene as Adrienne and Mia worked their way around the arena – Mia worked with enthusiasm throughout – her focus was constantly on Adrienne, such an achievement for her to have trained this breed of dog!

The representative from Belgium, Lutgarde De Block  with her Border Collie Fire N Ice vom alten Morgenstern were the next team to work in this great competition.
They had chosen the music “You Raise Me Up” to perform this very emotional routine.
Niesje started at a distance from the handler and carried out a number of moves with accuracy before joining up with Lutgarde who was in mourning for her father.  The music “You Lift Me Up” was very apt in lifting her spirits and beginning to start life again.
Well done to you both.

The penultimate routine of the day – we welcomed Jennifer Fraser who had travelled from Canada with her Australian Shepherd dog, Stargates Shaken Sweet Tonic and they performed to Dolly Parton’s Cracker Jack.  Daiquiri looked as pleased as Jennifer to be in this superb arena to perform their routine.
There was some stage setting with a bed, dog bowl and a tree which took us through the lyrics of this song.   This was a very neat and tidy routine with some obviously cued barking which was allowed as it started on command and stopped as soon as the command was withdrawn.   Wearing denim dungarees, Jennifer was very agile and expressive and Daiquiri was equally exuberant.
This routine scored the same mark as the eventual winner, however, when there is a tie in scores in Freestyle, the highest Musical Interpretation mark is taken.  This gave Jennifer and Daiquiri second place.

The final routine of the day was presented to us by Marta Andersson  and her Kelpie  Cefeus Zharles-Ingvar II  who were representing Sweden.
This routine was performed to “A Snake Charmer’s Medley” where Ingvar played the part of the snake being charmed out of the basket.
Some great core strength shown by this dog moving from a down to sit to a beg and then hind legs with this action then being reversed.
Ingvar performed some super jumps which looked so effortless but they were well timed to the music.  Marta gave very subtle cues to Ingvar who very rarely faced the handler.
A lovely routine with a handler who moved calmly and smiling throughout.

Thank you to all the countries who took part in this very special competition.   Covid has taken its toll on a lot of people and dogs and Crufts 2020 was possibly the last dog activity time for a lot of people, until this Crufts 2022 which actually felt that life can start returning to some normality.

 

 

RESULTS


1st Marianne Elise Methi with Very Vega
2nd Jennifer Fraser with Stargates Shaken Sweet Tonic
3rd Nicci Hindson and her Border Collie Comebyanaway Wildest Dream

 

Crufts 2022   The Young Kennel Club    Heelwork To Music

I am hoping that the low entry to the YKC Heelwork To Music classes was due to the restrictions placed during Covid times and I am really interested to see more interest in this great Young Kennel Club Event in 2023. 

Heelwork To Music
Just 3 levels represented and all were in the age bracket 18 to 24 years old.  Let us try and gather enthusiasm for this sport and start attracting the youth of today in readiness for Crufts 2023.

Three competitors in Starters HTM – Tara Fisher, Paige Jepson and Ella Garwood.  All three competitors are experienced in competing at this huge event and tried hard to show their capabilities with a super crowd of onlookers at a prime time for exhibiting the sport.

Just one competitor in Novice HTM and with two dogs meaning Jenny Witt with Sakurastar Sunset and Marvellous Eternal Flame competed against herself.

And finally Emma Pirrie was the lone competitor in Intermediate HTM.  As long as Yola didn’t commit any eliminating rules – the First place was hers and of course Yolanda The Panda is a well-trained dog who won the class with no problems.

Freestyle
Three levels represented in this Freestyle Competition – Starters, Novice and Advanced – no Intermediate competitors.   Again hopefully by Crufts 2023, some of these handlers will have progressed into a higher level and again I would hope that a lower age group could be represented.
All entries in Freestyle were again in the 18 – 24 age group.

Five entries in this Starters FS level had been accepted, but, unfortunately one did not compete.   Another dog soon left the ring leading to elimination, which left just three handlers to compete.  Emily Shewell, Tara Fisher and Jess Powling who all managed to put together some interesting routines with their dogs.

Two entries in the Novice FS class, Ella Garwood was the only handler but with 2 different dogs.   Another case of competing against herself!   One routine quite well polished (but I had judged this routine in 2020 so plenty of time to make it perfect) and the other had quite a few loose ends which need tidying up for the 2022 season.

The judging finished with the Advanced FS Class, with two very capable handlers entered with three entries as Jenny Witt once again competed with two dogs.   Emma Pirrie and Jenny Witt had both performed in the Main Arena today with their routines, I felt these routines flowed a lot better in the YKC ring – maybe nerves had settled

The competitions ran very well, the Chairman of the Kennel Club was present throughout to present each placed handler with a goody bag from the Sponsors.   He did say he enjoyed it so much, that one routine in particular should have been performed in the Main Ring.  It is good that he has shown an interest in this sport and now it is our responsibility to encourage more young people to enter more competitions with the goal of reaching Crufts 2023.

My question is now, how do we attract young people to the sport – all the above YKC Classes were the age group 18 to 24 yrs, when these handlers move onwards – will there be any young people to follow?

Over view
Well done to all the competitors over three very busy days.   It was hard for these competitors and dogs to start competing at the most prestigious event of the year after – for some – two years of trying to keep safe from the different variants of Covid.
I thought the choice of music for each team was great and it was good to see how the music was individually interpreted.   I would like to see more innovation in moves – maybe linking moves together in a way never seen before; it would be good to see handlers using their imagination in developing new and safe dogs’ moves to reflect the music/phrasing/punctuations.    I would also like to have seen handlers not touching or actually holding on to their dogs to complete moves.  And furthermore, I did note how many times I had placed a question mark on my live score sheet where a move or pose had been carried out but I had to ask “why” as it really didn’t fit with the music, lyrics or theme but had probably been included because the dog could do the behaviour.

All in all, the competition was superb – the arena seating soon filled for fans of HTM/FS to take their places to watch these superb performances.

Sorry I eventually had to drop from Ann’s Canine Activities Team – the preparation for the event really helped people get back into the open world and start having the fun HTM/FS Brings to our lives.  This is a huge part of Crufts which includes a demonstration within the Main Arena – handlers of all levels should try and apply for the team in the forthcoming years – all levels are welcomed, but make sure if you apply that your dog can withstand the long and busy days, has the ability to perform with you and be calm in close proximity of others.


Sorry Johanna Allanach couldn’t travel to Crufts and yes she is well. But thank you to Crufts for allowing me to judge this fabulous event.

 

Thank you Kath for this full report it is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 News:One of the Crufts judges Johanna Allanach sadly had to withdraw from the appointment she was replaced by reserve judge Kath Hardman.

 

 

 

 

 

Crufts Judges for 2022  are: Vee Richardson, Kim Lyddon and Johanna Allanach

 

 

Sadly Crufts 2021 was cancelled as were most HTM premier shows. Therefore for Crufts 2022 the Kennel Club decided that the the ten highest placing competitors from the Crufts Semi finals in 2020  ( who are available) will compete in the 2022 competition.

 

They are:

 

Heelwork to Music in running order

 

1. Helen Dennis - Comebyanaway Pure Love - Border Collie - sadly had to withdraw replaced by reserve Naomi Evans

2. Helen Boyd  - Indijazz showstopper - German Short Haired Pointer

3. Linda Webster - Rob & Skyes Lottie - Working Sheepdog 

4.Irene Walsh - Oltomaine Jack - Border Collie

5. Nicci Hindson - Comebyanaway Wildest Dream - Border Collie

6. Sandra Hallam - Arvella sparkles at Oldberne - Bernese Mountain dog

7. Ann Shuker - Freckle Frenzy - crossbreed

8. Christina Oxtoby - Legacy's Heaven Sent Shai - Border Collie

9. Carole Dodson - Borderdance Dream Legend from Kinaway - Border Collie

10. Helen Boyd - Stillmoor Silk N Satin - Border Collie

 

Reserve -  Naomi Evan - Stillmoor Cloudy Sunset - Border Collie

 

 

Freestyle in running order

 

1. Helen Dennis - Comebyanaway Pule Love - Border Collie - Sadly had to withdraw replaced by reserve Ann Derizzio

2. Emma Pirrie - Yolanda the Panda - Working Sheepdog

3. Jenny Witt - Lavender Lillipip - Crossbreed

4. Lucy Heath - Trip Hazard - Crossbreed

5. Susan Wolf - Exmoor Dark Sky - English Springer Spaniel

6. Kristine Hodgson - Astra Sieva - Border Collie

7. Carole Dodson - Kinaway doctor Porter - Border collie

8. Jill Davis - Demelza at Gildersway - Border Collie

9. Nicci Hindson - Comebyanaway Wildest Dream - Border Collie

10. Anne Shuker - Freckle Frenzy - Crossbreed 

 

Reserve Ann DeRizzio - Stillmoor Red Sky at Night - Border Collie

 

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