Saturday 27th April 2019
Redlands Dog Obedience Club hosted its first Obedience trial for the year under clear skies and quite a warm and windy autumn night on Saturday 27th April 2019.
It had rained a great deal over the last month and during Easter so our club grounds had been closed resulting in only a few training days over the last 2 months.
We are very lucky to have such immaculate grounds. Judy Holt fields are used for cricket and they go to great lengths to maintain these grounds to a very high standard. The fields are manicured with very short, even and consistent grass providing an optimal surface. So when there is a lot of rain the grounds are closed to prevent damage. It’s the sacrifice we must make to have the use of such lovely grounds.
As luck would have it, the sun came out a few days before our trial and the grounds dried out nicely.
We had a fantastic entry of over 50 competitors which included 7 rings and these were nicely spread over the cricket grounds so we were not all crowded on top of each other. Two rings were dedicated each to the Open and UD classes due to the large numbers.
Four of our current Redlands members competed on the night. We had Alex with her Border Collie, Flynn competing in her first ever trial doing extremely well and placing second in her CCD class from a group of 12 competitors. They gained their first Qualification with a score of 88 points out of 100. Well done and Congratulations to Alex and Flynn!
To compete at CCD (Community Companion Dog) level your dog must heel on a loose lead and handler and dog must work as a team. This heeling exercise is scored out of 30. Judges deduct points for tight leads, the use of more than one command or if your dog fails to sit, down or stand. The next exercise is the Stand for Exam (20 Points) where the handler leaves their dog in a stand and without the dog moving, the Judge touches the dog’s head and body. An off lead Recall (20 points) is done next, then the 1 minute Sit Stay and 2 minute Down Stay (15 points each) from a distance of 5 meters is done as a group exercise. A Qualifying score of 85 and above is required and once achieving 3 Qualifications you can then apply for the Title.
Colleen with her Collie Rough, Ceilidh and Ruth and her Koolie cross, Biscuit also competed in CCD. Both ladies did really well but unfortunately no qualifications this time.
Karin and her Golden Retriever, Caxton placed second in their CDX class but unfortunately no qualification either. This bouncy Goldie has discovered it’s fun to run over to say Hi to the Judge during his off lead heeling!
There weren’t a lot of qualifications overall on the night but there were some amazing dogs to watch. In the CDX ring a lovely little Sheltie achieved almost perfect scores, her heeling was truly amazing to watch, but sadly she sat down for the Stand for Exam.
Thank you to all our volunteer helpers. Julia and Sonia did not compete on the night but helped out with the stewarding. They have both recently gained their Titles in Obedience so are now preparing and training for the next higher level. Sonia stewarded in the CDX ring with Judge John Bauman and said it was a great opportunity to see up close what goes on in the ring at this level as well as getting some great inside information and tips from the Judge. Sonia said she learnt a lot on the night and it won’t be long before she and her black Lab, Jedda will be out there competing in Obedience again. Thanks also to Lauren who also stewarded in this CDX ring, hopefully she has also caught the bug to compete.
Jennie and Kathy helped out and stewarded in the UD ring with Judge Mrs C O’Shea and Marg and Phil were stewarding in the other UD ring with Judge Viv Mannion. These two rings were set up on the opposite side of the field and Jennie said things were quite windy over there and this stirred up some of the dogs. There was a gorgeous snorting Frenchie in her ring who was brilliant at heeling but was his ‘own dog’ for the rest of the exercises. He was a real character! When choosing the scent discrimination article, he found the last one perfectly, in fact he went to it three times but then just looked at his handler as if to say, “I’ve found it, you come and get it!”
In the other UD ring a tiny Pomeranian did zoomies every time he was sent to do every one of his exercises. For the directed retrieve with 3 gloves, he ran flat out in circles for several minutes, then retrieved the correct glove and then sat at his handler’s feet when she went to go get him.
Although it is disappointing when our dog doesn’t do what he is meant to do, it can be said that, even at a high level of Obedience, like UD, things don’t always go to plan,… they are dogs after all!
Thank you to all the other stewards also, Kalyn, Kym, Brendan, Jay, Sofya, and Kathy. Your help is greatly appreciated, especially from those who were competing, as this allowed them to stay with their dogs and concentrate on their own ring and not worry about stewarding as well. This makes such a huge difference. And also a big thank you to the husbands, Bill and Phil who also helped steward. These guys are not dog handlers and have to put up with their absent wives always being out at dog training a few nights a week, we are very grateful for your help!
We received some fantastic reviews from members from other clubs and Judges who attended. There were so many compliments about the food, especially the gourmet Pulled Pork burgers and the homemade brownies, apple slice and Anzac slice. They were delicious! Thanks to Nikki, Macayla and Natalie for working so hard on the BBQ and preparing the food.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to set up rings as well as with the packing up at the end of the night. Many hands make light work!
Also, a big thank you to our Trial Secretary Jan, who organised the Judges and the smooth running of the night, her hard work behind the scenes is greatly appreciated. Jan makes it all seem so stress free, but in reality, the organising of Judges begins months in advance, involving contracts and a lot of back and forth correspondence as well as preparing a backup plan for when Judges pull out due to illness. Collating entry fees, sorting competitors into dog heights, printing catalogues and organising the night so it all finishes roughly the same time, as well as mapping out the rings the day before requires not only a lot of time, but skill and expertise that Jan has gained over the years. She also was a steward on the night, thanks Jan!
Our next Obedience Trial at our home grounds will be held at the end of the year, in November.
If you’d like to compete or help in any way, let your Instructor know you are interested. It’s a fun night out and you will get to see what you will need to do if you decide to compete as well as see some amazing dogs and handlers in action!