Innovations and developments
Martin Pollard reports that Jim Smith of Jaycee has two highly topical projects which might be of interest to UK agility handlers.
Further information, ring Jim Smith on tel. 01207 570334 or email Jimís daughter Fiona on Jayceejumps@aol.com
Modification of Aluminium Jumps to Comply with New Regs
In response to a number of postings on The Agility Forum from people enquiring about how they can adjust jumps to meet the new KC regulations, Fiona Green of Jaycee Jumps writes to say that Jim Smith has put together a simple, cost-effective method of altering aluminium jumps. He has agreed to share them. You can download instructions here.
It only involves moving one set of cups but if anyone has problems, Jim has kindly offered to talk them through the method step-by-step on the phone. Alternatively if you are attending an agility show in the North or Scotland where Jaycee Jumps has a trade stand, Jim will do it for you free of charge. What a nice man!
Taryntimers Changes Hands
With effect from 31 January 2005, the electronic timing business of Taryntimers (UK) Ltd came under new ownership. The business, which in future will trade as Taryntimers (UK) Ltd has been acquired by Mark and Elaine Wilson, who are based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Commenting on the acquisition Mark Wilson said ĎSince it was established by Martin and Edith Pollard four years ago, Taryntimers has done a remarkable job of leading the progression in agility from the days of the stopwatch to more accurate and technologically advanced electronic timing. Our challenge now is to oversee the next phase of development and we will be investing in new technology including wireless systems, computerised scoring and ranking of competitors, and large format displays to enhance the enjoyment of spectators.'
Elaine Wilson is a well-known face on the agility circuit competing with her two Weimaraners Princess Katrine and Gunnault Eggstraordinary and her Border Collie, Itís Bizzy Wizzy. Mark Wilson runs an electronic engineering company, which had already started on the development of a wireless system which was trialled at a small number of shows last year.
Taryntimers will continue to operate through a nationwide network of agents although all timing hire bookings and enquiries should be made direct with Taryntimers (UK) Ltd. Please note, to ensure availability all bookings should be made a minimum of six weeks in advance of the show. For shows which have already reserved Electronic timing, no specific action is required. Simply ensure that all future correspondence is directed to Taryntimers UK at the new address.
For Further Information please contact: Taryntimers (UK) Limited, The Cottage, Marshall Lands Farm, Whickham, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE16 4RA Tel: 0191-488 5082 or fax 0191-4826057. Email: markandelaine.Wilson@btinternet.com
For their parts, the Pollards have not been slow to embark on their next venture and have already set up a new company called Millstream. Among other products, Millstream will continue to supply the jump cups which were previously available through Taryntimers.
For more information or to order, contact Millstream, Alvah House, 33a Beeleigh Road, Maldon, Essex CM9 5QH. Tel: 01621-852809. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Semi-Serious Way to Clean Your Equipment
I found the best way to clean tunnels.
Get a pre-school class to watch your dogs do agility. Then arm them with scrub brushes, buckets, and sponges. Add one really dirty tunnel. Turn them loose. I guarantee, your tunnel will be spotless in about an hour. So will your jumps, your dogwalk, whatever else you have out there!
Source: Arlyn Sigeti (USA) (06/08/03)
The Quest for a Safer Tyre
In recent months Scotland has been leading the way to make the tyre (hoop) more acceptable to competitors and judges in agility. Philip Paterson of JaX Jumps describes how he developed a new type of 'safe' tyre as demanded by many of his friends and competitors.
It was not an easy task but we made Brodieís Breakaway tyre last year in an attempt to solve some of the problems encountered by the obstacle.
Many dogs have suffered injuries through misjudging the tyre. After our own dog, Brodie, hit one badly and had to retire from agility, we decided to try to develop a safer alternative.
Many attempts later, Brodieís Flexi Tyre (below) was made. Here you can see the concept of the breakaway tyre.
If the dog misjudges the tyre or hits the bottom half, it will break away preventing any serious damage. Many dogs have, in fact, tried this out and all of them are still competing happily. My own young dog Brad, fearless and daft by any accounts, proved its working many times during training.
A number of clubs and individuals have already bought these and have been happy with them. (They are selling at £55 unpainted.)
Resistance to the new design
Their point taken on board so we started to design another one that would meet their approval. A prototype was developed and taken to various shows in Scotland, and competitors were asked for their comments.
And comments we got!
Here is the final specification for Brodieís Flexi tyre:
Some judges are unsure how to mark this tyre. Whatís their problem? It is marked exactly the same as any other tyre except that if they use this tyre and a dog misjudges it (They are only human) they will still be able to run another course.
The judges who have used the tyre have all said that fewer dogs hit the tyre anyway due to that larger aperture and those that do hit it are all okay.
Thatís good enough for me and my dogs!
If there are any judges who would like to try our tyre at Scottish or North of England shows, we have one that we use for this. Just contact us for details
It is on the market at £95 as a special promotion until the end of the year to encourage clubs, competitors and judges alike that this is a major contribution to dogís safety and they need to have one!
For further info on the tyre go to www.jaxjumps.com or phone 01698 428840
Thanks to Judges, Richard Downsland, Dane Redford, Mandy Glendinning, Jane Norwood, Natalie Rankin and Pete Wade who have used the tyre in their rings. All of them have liked the tyre and praised it! - Thanks Again! (06/08/03)
As we clubs are always looking to save money, I thought I would pass on my good find. I have just bought some 1.2m wooden marker poles with a spike at the end for our new agility club and they cost £1.99 each (plus carriage) from a company called Forsport. Their website address is: http://www.forsport.co.uk. They also do traffic cones, etc.
Source: Sue Choux (06/08/03)
Electronic Timing Interim Report
Agilitynet asked Martin Pollard, developer of the widely used Taryntimer to comment on what effect electronic timing he thought that electronic timing has had on the sport. Here is what he said.
Martin: I don't think it has affected Seniors all that much. There are still run-offs, but fewer, I would guess.
Agilitynet: What do you think the main advantage of electronic timing has been to agility people?
Martin: Apart from accuracy and consistency the main effect on agility has been to speed things up. I was watching handlers at the weekend and most are ready to go immediately as soon as they are released by the scrimer. In the past, there could sometimes be collars still on and chat at this stage.
Agilitynet: We all know that entries are up this year which means larger shows and more rings. How does electronic timing effect the workload of the ring party?
Martin: I'd agree and say that even with electronic timing the amount of work has at least doubled. Without electronic timing, I think that there would be even less help than now. Shows would drag on to late in the evening. Realistically, people have to get back to their families, and as a result might be less willing to volunteer for next year's event!
Agilitynet: Are there any times when the old fashioned stop watch is better?
Martin: Yes, Gamblers and the Mini knockout work better and are more fun with a timekeeper.
Agilitynet: Do you have any other new ideas for equipment?
Martin: Yes, I developed a dogwalk contact detector called the 'Taryntouch'. I had the idea of how to do it years ago, but thought at the time that it would not be acceptable. This has had to go on the back burner recently as the timing has grown so quickly. I hope to get back to it this winter. To start with it is going to be tried out in Cleverdogs at the Living Heritage Shows as an alternative to the hoops. These are fun shows and attract vast numbers of the general public, so when contact is made a sound signal of some sort will be transmitted through the P.A. (exactly what I'm not sure!)
For next year we will supplement our large display with two slightly smaller ones. There is provision on these displays to show cumulative faults, if people think that this would be a good idea! Finally I have made and developed a flyball electronic judging system. The prototype works well and we will make these to sell. It's main attribute is its user friendliness.
Agilitynet: Any other bright ideas?
Martin: Now that you mention it, there is something I call the Wattahoot which provides an audible start signal for Knock Outs and table starts. It also hoots automatically to indicate the end of the first part of gamblers.' I think that the recent Kennel Club action relaxing the rules on handlers going to fun shows will change the dog sport scene very quickly. (Thanks are due to the Kennel Club for establishing the ground rules for behaviour and show standards). Dog sports, especially agility, are going to blossom in the next few years. I have already had had requests for new ideas. There will be plenty to do in the 'bells and whistles' department!