Coming from a unique position…

By Mark Laker

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Social media is a great way to keep up with positive news stories and topics of interest.

Although I rarely get involved in Facebook debates, I consider them to be a huge drain on my time for little or no reward and mostly trivia.

However, I recently commented on a post regarding a proposed rule change on the number of obstacles used in agility courses. I commented because I am privileged to be in a position where I see the sport from an International level right down to local club level. So I added my thoughts and left it for the decision makers to progress.

But, the conversations in the thread of the topic played on my mind, something about this didn’t sit well for me. It wasn’t a controversial thread or one of those pointless posts people put for the sake of stirring-up others. No there was something more deep-rooted about this. Then I realised…the conversation was focused on the topic the originator intended, but the issue’s raised weren’t all about the proposed number of obstacles, they were about the one thing that makes agility unique from many other sports…

Men, women, boys, and girls of all ages and capabilities competing against each other. Increasing the number of obstacles would increase the challenge for some, while for others it may just push agility from a fun hobby to something physically out of reach; a view I sympathise with.

Maybe agility has evolved to the point where we need to take a serious look and decide if we’re still happy with our unique position. Should we remain a sport which everyone competes against each other, or do we start looking at switching some of the focus on to the human athlete, with classes for young, senior, males, females as most other sports do?

Are we able to perceive this as a way to progress agility as a fun sport for all. 

 

Mark Laker

Update on Lucy Mathews and Ezra’s 2018/2019 season

LMWe had our last race of the season this weekend just gone, which we finished first on both days, with fastest female times!

Me and Ezra have had a very successful season. Our results this season have been:

  • 2nd in the BSSF National Championships
  • 8th ranking in the World
  • 2nd in the Canicross Midlands series

A total of 5 weekend wins and 5 weekend second places!

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Now the season has finished we are hard into training ready to go to Belgium to the world championships in October. We are also aiming to improve out National Championship ranking as it was very close this season, we only missed out by seconds to first place!

I just wanted to thank you for all your support and commitment in supplying me and the team! It wouldn’t be possible to achieve what we do without your support and for that I am very grateful!

Lucy Matthews

Obedience Results from the Leicestershire Show – May 6th 2019

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1st  Ticket Bitch: Helen Murry & OB CH Sixela Uno’s Diva. Judge John Verrill

This was a round of pure class, teamwork at its best. Helen & Diva complimented each other beautifully. Deadly accurate and Obedience at its best, Its was a pleasure to judge and a privilege to award them their Ticket to Crufts 2020.

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1st Ticket Dog: Dot Watts & OB CH Ziggden Zyco

Dot & Zyco just smashed the course to pieces. A team that oozes quality in all exercises. A fabulous exhitition of Obedience and after a heart stopping scent it gave me great pleasure to award Dot & Zyco their first CC of the season. Gained reserve CC at Rugby the day before under Mr Alan Gresty.  Congratulations.

Thank you for sponsorship

Jacki Snook

Meet Rob Bunning with his winning gundog, Drake and his latest delivery of CSJ

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Rob Bunning has a dog Drake, who runs extremely well in scurries all over England at game fairs, Here are a few pictures from a recent Northern shooting show, where they won the challenge over the weekend as well as other scurries.

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“We’re in our 3rd year now and Drake seems keener than ever. He is 3 1/2 and I got him at 17 months, he wouldn’t do anything then… We run in the BASC scurry league, where we ended 2nd in first year and top last year by nearly double the points of second place .

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We also ran in the Countryman’s Chudleys World Gundog Series , and any other competitions we can get in. I have 4 dogs and all compete in working tests etc and  I hope to trial a young dog who’s also coming on well. Most weekends we are out all over the country at game fairs and shows , my daughter also competes…

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I get asked all the time what I feed my dogs. I go all around the country competing in working tests and with Drake scurrying. I use CP30 and mix in CP30 for my workers. I also always carry ‘Fruit ‘n’ Mutt bars to boost the dogs through the day and small amounts of Kronch”.

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That'll Do

Ne’er cast an agility clout till May be out…

By Mark Laker

hawthorn (2)Maybe summer is here now, although I remember an olde English saying ”Ne’er cast a clout till May be out”… in other words don’t get rid of your winter clothes just yet. Anyway, after a glorious Easter, May so far has been a bit of a downer for me in more that just a weather related way.

Last October I picked up a muscle injury in my hip area (I told people I’d broken my bum as that’s what it felt like!) Apparently I’d damaged a deep muscle which wasn’t easy to stretch or repair so I just had to be patient and do the exercises. It meant I couldn’t run or do anything too strenuous for about five months.

Easter came and I’m fixed, exercising again and gradually getting back into training with Moog. Then we had a change of plan and decided Moog needed some proper dog training… I just pretend to be a dog trainer, Karen’s the dog trainer. I’m the people tamer!

Karen’s first run with Moog was at Shrewsbury earlier this month and they did well. I ran Karen’s well trained dog Rhyme and had a 1st place, a 2nd and a 5th which I was pleased about. So there we are, Rhyme and I both fit and running well again – some would say “ye olde magic is still there”.

Then without warning last week I picked up a back injury (ye olde-re occurring back pain). Fortunately it isn’t serious and everything was put back into place by the Physio. However I’ve had to miss another weekend of competition while it recovers.

I’ll be working on my fitness when I get the all clear and plan to enjoy the rest of season competing with Rhyme and supporting Karen with young Moog, Chic and Pikachu.

One of the many good points about dog ownership is even when you’re not feeling 100% dogs still want to be you and will enjoy anything we do with them. Whether it’s out for a walk, a run, agility or other work they are always keen to join in.

Have a great May and remember no casting of clouts yet…

PS – apparently the saying is also related to the Hawthorn being in flower too.

 

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Retriever World Cup 2019 report from Alan Rees

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Well this year was the first time the Retriever World Cup has come to Wales.

The outstanding picturesque estate at Glan Usk was the venue overlooking some of the most outstanding landscape in Wales.

Nigel Probert, the course designer had done a fantastic job with very challenging long retrieves on Llangynidr moor on the first day. He used the full location of the estate and river Usk for the technical retrieves on the second day. What an excellent job.

At the gala dinner on Saturday night, teams from all over Europe were entertained in the land of song by the Bois Goitre Wen Male voice choir. That was an event in itself.

Now onto the event

The ever consistent Scotland, winners for the second time in succession. England came a very close second and Denmark in third.

Wales trailed this year in 9th place, a big disappointment but things just didn’t go well for the home team. At the end of the first day Welsh dogs were prominent with Vickie Stanley leading the field closely followed by Alan Rees and Hayden Willmott. Mike Jones found things a little difficult for his young dog.

The second day followed much the same pattern with failures for Mike, Hayden and Vickie but on a course like this there were numerous bunkers to be overcome.

Hopefully we all have learnt from the experience and will benefit from it in future events.

A big thank you from the team, we all appreciated the support from numerous gundog people that had turned out to support us as well as some of the best dogs and handlers in the world.

On behalf of the team I would like to thank Ceri, Phil and all at CSJ for their continued support.

Diolch,

Alan Rees

Wales Team Captain