Interview the Administrator of the Galloway Midi Challenge
Agilitynet speaks to Joyce Turner, the Administrator of the new Galloway Midi Challenge, the first national competition for our middle-sized dogs.
Q. Why did you get involved in the Galloway Midi Agility Challenge if you don't
run a Midi dog?
I actually run one Mini dog - 'run' being a rather loose term in this case - and two Border Collies myself, so I can't enter the competition. I'm almost tempted to go and find a Midi!
Q. How did you hear about the
competition in the first place?
Q. We heard on the agility grapevine
that The Agility Club had been planning on running a Midi competition. What's the story here?
Q. Why is it called the 'Galloway'
Q. What has been the response to the
competition thus far.
Q. Usually the winner of a major
competition gets a piece of crystal or a big trophy. Why are you offering a cash prize?
It was Mike's idea to give a voucher as well to the winner, and he has supplied the extra £100 to pay for it. We thought it would encourage the better midis to keep entering heats. Obviously, with such a small group, we can't afford to drop the good people out as soon as they have qualified. According to Agility Aid, though, there are actually about 250 competing midis in the country at the moment, so it will be interesting to see what the entries for the qualifiers are like.
Q. Has anyone else been interested?
By sponsoring this national competition, I felt we could indeed raise their profile and even now have noticed more Midi classes at forthcoming shows. And who knows, maybe we'll see the Final at Crufts one day!
She then started competing properly at agility, with Meg, who got numerous places in Starters from second downwards, but never that elusive first. Her other dog at that time, Astra, used to go round courses backwards - entertaining, but not terribly successful.
Meg eventually made it to the Barbour Pairs final at the Royal Show with Jackie Bromwich's very good Advanced dog Shona (Foxtwist Felicity). She also got to the Golden Oldies final twice.
Then she bought Nell, a Border Collie puppy from Jackie Bromwich. Joyce trained Nell at both Chippenham and Corton. She was looking very promising, and brought home a trophy within three months, but tragically she got killed two days after her second birthday. By that stage, she was already training Blue, another Foxtwist. He was a very reliable dog, and he eventually won her out of Starters. He has just turned eight, and he retired from full height competition at the end of last summer because he's got bad arthritis in his hips.
Blue was in the Chippenham team for the Chum final about three years ago, and he was also a reserve for the Chippenham team that got to the Final at Crufts 3 or 4 years ago.
Joyce is currently running two blue tri-colour BC bitches, Skye and her daughter Hope. She bred Hope herself. She is also running a little fluffy white Mini thing - a Japanese Spitz called Tai. He got a first in the show ring at Crufts last year, but isn't quite as good in the agility ring. She has have just bred another litter from Skye, and she's kept the bitch puppy, Glory. This means she currently have seven dogs, not forgetting the two horses and three cats.
Joyce lives in Pewsey in Wiltshire and works for Vodafone in Newbury and Theale. She's actually an accountant, but got side-tracked into computers.
Photo of Sharon Lear: Bill Glover