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Mini & Junior Finals at Dogs in Need – Thursday 18th August 2005

I was delighted to accept the invitation to judge the Mini and Junior Finals on the Thursday of Dogs in Need.

We were lucky to have a fine day for the finals, the weather had been rather a mixed bag so we didn’t really know what was in store until the day itself arrived. 

We began with Mini Starters, I set what I hoped would be a flowing course and I was very impressed with the standard of handling.   There were some great partnerships in this competition and I would think a future champion or two! 

Well done to runner up Michelle Griffiths with Bailey and to third placed Rosemary Caton with Todd – both super rounds.  The winner of this class was Lynn Voyce with her smashing  poodle Leo, a well deserved win.  Lynn had mentioned if Leo put as much into agility as he did into barking then he’d be the best – well Lynn, seems like he did just that today!

Next on was Mini Novice, the course was flowing with just a little extra handling over the starter pattern.  Once again, I was impressed by the standard and would expect to see all of these dogs doing well in future competition. 

Well done to runner up Kate Lugmayer with Toddy and to third placed Vanessa Layton with Giselle – both lovely rounds.  A special mention here for Vanessa and Giselle, what an achievement to come third in a final in your first week of competition.  Watch out for this pair.  However nothing can be taken away from the superb round which won this final by Cathy Shepherd and her very vocal little crossbreed Peggy.   Cathy had mentioned that she wasn’t sure who would be in charge of the round until they got on the course - whatever the answer, the result was the right one for Cathy and Peggy!

Finishing up for this section was Mini Senior and the course moved up a degree of difficulty accordingly.  Once more I was to be impressed by some superb rounds of agility. 

Congratulations go to runner up Angela Sallis with Zeta and to third placed Jeanette Tandy with Buddy you both did great rounds and so close to the winning time.  Despite walking the course in his slippers this class was won in great style by Alan Bray with the lovely Portia (neither wearing slippers at the time).  What a great little dog she has proved to be. 

At this point I must say how impressed I was by the standard of the dogs and handlers in all three categories – I really enjoyed judging all of you.

Following the mini finals we moved straight into the Junior competitions.

We commenced with the Junior Under Twelve's and I had tried to set a flowing course with an interesting shape.    

Well done to runner up Ashleigh Butler with Shamee (great result for a ten year old dog) and to third placed Rachel Dale with Hatty in their first year of competition together.   Winning this competition was Charlotte Martin with working sheepdog Poppet, what a brilliant result especially after this pair won out of elementary just a week ago!

Bringing the Thursday finals to their conclusion was the Junior Over Twelve's competition. I had tried to set a pattern with a little more handling involved but which still flowed and followed an interesting shape.

Well done to runner up Rebecca Castle with Bonnie (Rebecca you hoped you wouldn’t let Bonnie down and you certainly didn’t) and third placed Meg Nixon with Corrie.  The competition had a very worthy winner in Anthony Clarke with his lovely crossbreed Magic.  What a superb partnership and what a stunning round to finish the competition with.  Look out everyone, this pair are on their way up and up!

The standard of junior handlers continues to improve and it’s impressive to note how many young people are training their own dogs or indeed attend training classes with their borrowed dog. 

Congratulations to all those who made it to the finals and sorry I can’t mention everyone by name.  The overall standard was fantastic and I really had a great time. 

Thank you again to Dogs in Need for asking me to judge, thanks to the superb ring party and thanks to Genesis for sponsoring the whole event.

Andy Hudson

August 2005