Having spent several months pestering every poodle owner in sight, Steph Hallam was delighted when Saturday, 30th June finally arrived. It was the day of the first Northern Poodles Only Agility Show. A sort of mini show within a show, it was held as part of the 25th Anniversary Lune Valley celebration. In addition, the Poodle Training Club raised £280.90 for Poodles in Need. Altogether is was a poodle-rific day.
After a wet and windy week at Lune Valley and a very wet Champ day on the Wednesday, we were very lucky to wake on Thursday to sunshine though there was a cold wind.
We had 23 handlers with 44 dogs entered, ranging from Toy Poodles running at micro height to Standard Poodles running over Large. They came from far and wide. Jenny Hale, for instance, came all the way from Ireland with her Mr Bojangles and his spectacular haircut. Pauline Prince even changed her weeks holiday so that she could attend.
Judge Rebecca Sargent set up some lovely courses that were suitable for all grades and heights as we had some young beginner dogs, novice handlers through to Champ level. The course length was 'fun' for some of our competitors, but not all. Jill Garnett and Christine Short, along with quite a few others, kept going to the end where we had some oxygen on standby!
There were four classes:-
Results were split into Grades 1-4 and G 5 -7 plus Anysize for those running at LHO (lower height options.) We also awarded for Small, Medium and Large to try to even out so that Grade 7 dogs did not win everything. Good job as Mike Hallam seemed to be at every prizegiving!
It was great to see all the handlers and dogs ringside. They were quite spread out at the start of the day, but the poodles soon brought everyone together.
Pat Eady was back in action with her new Toy Poodle Puffin, going home with several awards. Joanne Town was delighted with her wins, and it was great to see Alison Johnson, Caroline Park, Morag Mcpherson and Mary Gavin Hughes compete with their Standards.
Kelly Harrison finally succumbed and managed to compete in the Agility and Jumping before having to leave and go to work with two rosettes in tow. Mary Farrell brought her young dog Pixie and it was nice to have a new handler, Shirley-Ann Brookes joining in.
So glad Liz Balderstone could be there even though Percy was not well while Tracey Williams did a good job running her daughter's dog, and Hannah Wade even brought her old girl out for a run.
Vivian Knight and Margaret Pennington from Lune Valley kept an eye on us whilst they competed although we did lose Margaret a few. times to the fun dog show. Anne Taylor and Alyson Walker were also there to keep Chris Park on his toes whilst he ran his own plus Penny Stirling's dog.
.Everyone seemed to be enjoying the great runs and watching the Standards compete, but I suspect that the Pairs were enjoyed the most. The dogs and handlers had been randomly matched so the handlers had to find their partners whilst walking the course. This really broke the ice, and it was great to see everyone getting along so well with plenty of support on the runs. There were some lovely double clears with the placings including a Toy, some small and medium Miniatures and a Standard. Maybe we shouldn’t mention Steph Hallam who forgot to catch her dog who then chased poor Christine Short's Ebony through the tunnel again!
Thanks also to Becky Sargent for giving up her time to judge, Mike and Jonathan Hallam for course building, ring managing and scoring. And a very big thank you to Lune Valley for allowing us to hold this show at their show.
And finally special thanks to Cheryl at Showoff Rosettes for helping chase the rosettes all around the country until they were delivered just before we left for the show. And thank you to First Contact for the equipment.