Moving to a new home
With another year of agility drawing to a close, and the excitement of all things Christmassy slowly infusing our senses, Discover Dogs was to be a practice run for Olympia for a few handlers and their dogs. For others it was their first chance to compete in the public arena. Mandy Wallington was watching the action at the new, larger Earls Court I.
Each agility partnership had two runs - one in the morning and one in the afternoon - with the overall placing reflecting results from both runs. As ever, crowd around the main display area buzzed with excitement, whipped up by the fabulous displays of heelwork to music and the frenetic flyball teams.
Judging the competitors, some familiar faces and some new, were Dave Harvey and John Gilbert.
Jeanette Tandy with Collie x JRT Betsy came 3rd with just 10 faults overall, and Amy Lawson with Sheltie Fudge gained second place after two clear rounds. Miranda Frankham's 8 year old miniature Sheltie was all set to be placed, but was eliminated after just touching the see-saw with a paw, leaving housemate Dodger to bark his way round to victory in just 30.96 seconds.
Claire Arends's working Cocker Maisie had a great first round, but was unfortunately eliminated at the weaves on the second. Rosie Ison's Poodle/Collie cross Disney showed off his acting skills, but unfortunately picked up several faults whilst playing to the crowd.
Despite Lorna Goodban and 'rasta' Poodle Cadbury getting two fast clear rounds, they were just out of the top three. Amanda Hampson's Toller Rogue yodelled his way into 3rd place, with Ashley Butler and Pudsey, who was an 11th birthday present, coming 2nd.
But in 1st place, and an average 3-4 seconds faster and a final time of 28.47, was Natasha Wise with blue merle Collie Dizzy, whose quick and accurate contacts proved hard to beat.
Daniel Slinkert's stunning Doberman X Schnauzer Pudding ran an apparently effortless second run to go clear, but unfortunately could not beat Joanne Apostolou's 10 year old BSD Malinois Zellick.
Just missing the top three places was Karen Young, whose Bearded Collie Dee yodelled around into 4th place. In contrast, Anna Brayley's Kelpie Revel ran silent as the wind to claim third place. Dave Wright's red merle Australian Shepherd Betsy was eliminated in the first round, but came back with a storming second run into second place.
Winning the ABC category was Jane Anderson with Kelpie Bindi, who just pipped Dave by 10 tenths of a second in 29.68 seconds.
If the performances at Discover Dogs are anything to go by, Olympia will prove to be an amazing competition with dogs and handlers at the top of their field.
About the author...
Along with her two teenage daughters, her permanent canine family consists of the very noisy Welsh collie, a laidback Lurcher, a wriggly springador and a 7 month old crossbreed who appears to be part kangaroo!
Mandy also fosters dogs for Enfield Dog Rescue and the Cinnamon Trust, and currently has two elderly residents having much Christmas love and attention!
Photos: The Kennel Club
First published 22/12/09