Well, the end of the year was a busy time as always hence I’m a little late in providing the update. I think that in future I should do this every month and stick to it.
Will Young’s video which our young Levi worked on has proved to be extremely popular, with around half a million hits on You Tube. At the beginning of October, I had a few days in Rome with my travelling friend, Roger Churchill, and we had a phenomenal time sightseeing, especially ‘Pope Town’, or perhaps I should say Vatican City (the Pope did invite us in for a cup of tea but we had to decline as we hadn’t got time!) You wouldn’t want to go sightseeing in
if you have a big appetite or are an alcoholic as it is soooooo expensive! While I was away, Mary was filming the Will Young video.
As I said on the last News item, Mary had a phenomenal end to the year; in fact she had a phenomenal year in Obedience, full stop. In mid-October, she did an evening for Thames Dog Training Club in
. If you are regular readers, you will probably get tired of me saying that it was a great night but it was a great night with a smashing audience, the dogs were on form and Mary was as well. So we had the full mix of serious training with a light-hearted tweak to it.
At the end of October, I had taken a booking for a horse show at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre. Well, I shouldn’t say ‘just’ a horse show as I think it was the opening cabaret night for this newly built and in some respects work-in-progress riding centre and showjumping arena. It looked like millions were being spent so certainly destined to be a premier venue !!, They were doing a little bit of an Olympia job with top class showjumping (I think there was £10K on offer as first prize), the Devil’s Horsemen who are probably the most professional trick riding outfit in the UK and Mary was to do a 15 minute training demonstration spot, then finish the first half of the evening show with her Crufts routine.
We know quite a few people in the horse world and were very pleased to see Mike Tucker, the world famous horse commentator was on duty, who we know very well as he commentates on the dogs at the Olympia Christmas Horse Show. Mary’s spot went great, we watched the Devil’s Horsemen and a few other items but didn’t stay until the end of the show as we were in the camper and were travelling down to the Tunbridge Wells Championship Obedience Show being held on the Saturday.
This, of course, is where a camper comes into its own and why we bought one. The one we bought is a Hobby ( German) and is a bit of a ‘big lump’ but it is very difficult to get all you want with a minimum requirement into anything. The reason I bought the one we have is that it has two single beds with wooden steps up to them to save Mary climbing up a ladder.
And of course it has to have a fixed bed because we need a garage to put the dogs in and it needs to be big enough for the dogs. Steve Tubb, whose company is ‘Doggy Cages’, put in the cages for me and I have to say that they are absolutely superb. He has a motorhome himself so knows exactly what is needed and I couldn’t recommend him highly enough if you have a motorhome and want it caged properly.
Ours was about 16 months old and I got it for an absolute bargain price BUT it did have a huge mileage in motorhome terms having covered 21,000 miles and had been used to tow two racing cars all over
to classic racing car shows. And it was very obvious that it had been used for some entertaining which didn’t affect the functionality of anything but you could see that it had been used and of course a lot of people buying a used motorhome still expect it to look brand new, hence the bargain price. Anyway, we’ve done a couple of weekends with it and the odd night and we’re really pleased with it at the moment so Mary is raring to go away again when the season starts.
In November, we were at
for the Kennel Club’s Discover Dogs Show again; a great event, I was commentating and running the Special Events Arena, Mary was doing some demonstrations in the ring and we had a small trade stand out as usual.
Towards the end of November, Mary had a Cabaret Sunday Afternoon in
, held at a sports centre hall with carpets laid on the floor and the rare luxury of tiered seating. There were around 180 in the audience and a really good afternoon was had by all. And being the afternoon it meant that we were home at a reasonable time as well.
We don’t normally take any bookings for December but this year we did take one for Cheridah Stamford at Otterton Village Hall just outside Sidmouth,
. I did suggest that we would take the camper down but she said that there was no car park at the village hall and she didn’t under-estimate that as there was just one car parking spot in the road outside.
It’s a picture postcard village with a stream and a culvert running the length of the main road and I could see why they said that it was flooded with tourist during the season. We stayed with Briony and Andrew Sharp at their lovely home just a few minutes from the venue. We’ve known Cheridah for many years in Heelwork to Music and even though she has a disability she is a lovely lady and the audience were equally nice, they looked after us really well. Mary held a Cabaret Night on the Saturday then on the Sunday was an HTM training day.
After our trip to Devon, it was just looking forward to Christmas for Mary while for me it was spending six days in
running the Kennel Club Olympia Agility Finals. As usual, Mary would love to have come down with me but it is just too difficult with all the dogs. We cannot leave her sister with all the dogs and we just cannot have so many dogs in
for five or six days which, of course, is why we never seem to get an overseas holiday together.
Best wishes for the New Year to everyone from Mary and myself and my new year resolution is to update the news on a more regular basis!
PS: For those who think I have never run a dog in agility (!!), yes it IS me even though it’s a younger version.