|Mary and Dave have had a very busy time in the last four months including the fact that they moved house - and of course Dave hasn’t stopped whinging since about paying the mortgage! They actually did not want to move but I’m sure you are all aware that areas change and what was at one time a nice, quiet desirable spot, albeit in a small house, went exactly the opposite courtesy of the local yobs and ineffective policing.
Anyway, they have now moved a couple of miles away on the very edge of a large estate overlooking hundreds of acres of open amenity land, so I don’t think Mary can quite believe her luck.
Of course it’s been very busy apart from that.
In July, Mary was invited to a very interesting day at the Royal Barracks, Chelsea - a wonderful spot just on the embankment and this was the venue for a Companion Dog Show (Exemption) in aid of Macmillan Nurses. Now you may think ‘who on earth is going to go into the centre of London to an Exemption Show?’ Well, the fact is that they were amazed at the number of people who live in the centre of London and own dogs. I have to say, they probably live in another world to us mere mortals but they had a smashing day, met some very nice people and most importantly raised over £40,000 for Macmillan Nurses.
At Rugby Agility Show in July, Mary got a Reserve Ticket with Tina. Then at Dogs in Need in August, again with Tina, she won eight first places, culminating in her winning the Mini Senior Classic. She also got various places with the other dogs.
Also in August, Mary started work on an episode of ‘Faking It’. She had been approached some time before by Channel 4 and what they wanted was for Mary assisted by others to train up a guy to compete in a Heelwork to Music competition. The only problem was that the guy chosen had never owned a dog, didn’t dance and the dog he used was an ex-rescue dog who had hardly received any training! Anyway, the results were brilliant and so very entertaining. They were told that it will be the last programme in the ‘Faking It’ series for transmission in
At Longleat in September, Kizzy had her first agility run after many months of convalescing due to a muscular injury and she arrived back in style, winning the Agility section of the Championship Class. Quincy also made it through to the final of the Championship Class at Longleat.
Also in September, at the City of Birmingham Show, Mary was in the Pedigree Mini Agility Stakes Olympia Semi Final. Not only did she win the Semi Final, she also won the Pairs event with her partner and qualified through to the finals in December.
At the end of September, Mary was in the British team that travelled to Lievin in Northern France to compete in the World Agility Championships. I think, as everyone must know by now, they had a superb result with the standard team winning the World Championships against 32 other countries - a brilliant result for Nicola, Jo and Tony. Mary was running in the Mini team with Tina and unfortunately Tina did start a little slow in the Jumping class which affected her overall position but she was so pleased to get 11th place overall in the Individual and the Mini team which she was in achieved 10th place overall. So when you consider that there were 32 teams with some of the best throughout the world competing, it was a very creditable performance.
In November, the Kennel Club held its Discover Dogs event at Earls Court - a bit like a ‘Mini Crufts’ for the Londoners and this was probably one of the best Discover Dogs to have been held so far. There was a new layout for the halls with the Main Ring once more being at the rear of the hall. Mary had been asked to do some demonstrations of Heelwork to Music in the Main Ring, obviously featuring her latest Spanish Matador routine and she was also competing in the Agility and Jumping competitions in the Main Ring. It’s a bit difficult while stopping at a central London hotel to take too many dogs, so they decided to take Quincy, Taz and Tina. The first Agility class held in the Main Ring was won by Quincy with style so Mary decided that for the remainder of the show she would just run Taz in the Agility and Jumping classes and save Quincy for Heelwork to Music. She did one demonstration of the Spanish Matador routine in the Main Ring on Saturday and two on Sunday.
Dave of course is not one to want Mary hanging around doing nothing, so he had been asked by Pedigree if he could provide a little something to liven up their stand. Therefore he arranged for Kath Hardman to do two 15 minute HTM training demonstrations on the Pedigree stand and he asked Mary to do two 15 minute spots, this time covering clicker training. To say these little demos were popular would be an understatement as you really couldn’t get near the stand while they were going on. Then, just to make sure Mary didn’t get too bored on the Saturday, she also did a demonstration for the PAL dog food stand.
In between all this, they did find time for a few days holiday in Barbados, this time accompanied by three other couples which,
if you were in British agility you would know, Gwyn and Ann Roberts, Rob and Elaine Hunter and Steve and Yvonne Croxford. They had an absolutely brilliant time but of course dogs are never far away and Mary and Dave met some of the people from Barbados Dog Club and in particular Jean Ray (no relation!) who is a lovely lady and she arranged for them to have an afternoon out on her boss’s boat which turned out to be an ocean-going motor yacht best described as the sort that you can only visit at the Boat Show by invitation. They had a brilliant time but unfortunately due to the rum punches, only Mary and Yvonne were actually sober at the end of the afternoon! Dave is just waiting for Broadband to be connected then he’s going to put some of the photos on the Picture Page along with some updated pictures of events held during the year.
So, all in all, it’s been a really busy time over the last few months and Mary has also visited the Isle of Man, Wales, Scotland, Munich, Frankfurt, Milan and Vienna for training or judging appointments. She has so many invitations for next year that I don’t think it will be possible for her to fit them all into her diary!
The main event coming up now is the Olympia Christmas Horse Show. Mary qualified Tina in the Pedigree Mini Agility Stakes Finals as previously stated and she will be running in the Pairs Relay on Friday afternoon (17 December) and in the Mini Agility Stakes Final on the same evening. Of course, it’s a particularly busy time for them at Olympia as Dave runs all the dog agility finals for Pedigree.