A funny thing
Going back to the origins of agility when the
motto of the sport was (and still is) 'Agility
is fun,' no one took it seriously - well, hardly any one. It was
just a thing to do on the weekend. Run around with your dog and have a laugh with your mates. One has to have a sense of humour to do agility, right? Here are some stories
that hope will put a smile on your face. Has anything amusing happened to you, your partner or a friend? Go on.
Make us smile. Tell all.
stories. Here are some amusing tales to start you off.
Agility Fly Past Serendipity
On Saturday, 11 June I celebrated becoming
an old age pensioner. As it happened, I was spending the weekend at Newbury Showground,
attending a major Dog Agility Competition Weekend with my wife and our dogs. Since many friends
were at the same event we organised a bit of a thrash, my birthday being a pretty good excuse.
As our guests arrived at about 7.00pm, a
sound was heard from above which materialised into a very neat formation of bright red aircraft
bearing RAF roundels. Amazingly as they came over the boundary to the Showground - or so
it seemed - the coloured smoke came on, and it went off as they left. My guests were all truly
astonished when I told them that it was arranged purely for their benefit, although some seemed
to receive this information with a degree of scepticism!!
I have now looked up the schedule for the
Reds on that day and can easily see they were extremely busy, so can you please pass on my
special thanks for providing the impromptu display.
I am looking forward to enjoying the full
display when I go to the Grand Prix at Silverstone, a pressie from my offspring for my
significant birthday. I will give the boys a special wave. You can tell them I will be wearing
a straw panama hat so they can recognise me!
Thank you for your email. I have passed it
on to the team.
As you say the team's schedule is a very
busy one and we do incorporate requested flypasts into their transits. However, if they do see a
large public event taking place when they are flying close by, they will perform an impromptu
flypast with smokes on if they have them available. This is what occurred on Saturday at
Newbury. The team will be very pleased that their efforts did not go unnoticed and were
appreciated. I hope you enjoy their full display at the forthcoming Grand Prix.
RAF Events Team
Mr Partridge -
Thank you for your kind email to June Austin
at the RAF Events Team. We did see your event from the aircraft and we were worried we had
overflown a large horse trial. Iím, therefore, glad that you were pleased to see us, and
that it was dogs, not horses! We were lining up for an official flypast at another venue, and
happened to have planned a run-in point near your event. Normally we transit in two sections
of 5 aircraft, but you saw us all together as we progressed towards the other flypast.
For future reference, you can apply for a
flypast for an event such as the dog agility event, using a form that is easily found on the
official Red Arrows web site. We canít guarantee getting there, as quite a bit of luck is
needed that we will be in your rough area on the date in question, but it's free and it's worth
a shot for the sake of filling in the form!
Squadron Leader - Red 10
Overheard in the Ring...
Just thought we'd share an amusing moment with you
all from the Cornwall show.
who was judging, gave his briefing for Intermediate agility. Mainly the usual course time
standard rules stuff, but then Tony went on to inform us all that the schedules for the FCI
World Champs were out and anyone
who's dog was vaccinated and microwaved was eligible to enter. Les Wills and I took one look at
each other to check we'd heard the same thing and then dissolved. Way to go, Tony!
Agility Dogs are Smart But...
Discovered on a show schedule which shall
Quote: 'Each dog entered in the Pairs
must have completed a signed entry form.'
Unquote: Obedience lessons with a
biro begin on Monday!
Crop Circles - The Mystery Solved
Andy Farrington & Anni
(going demented) Telford
to popular rumour and myth, crop circles are not caused by bored farmers out of their skulls on
home grown waccy baccy nor aliens making a real mess of their landing spacecraft skills.
They are caused by us, agility people.
Here are two of the best theories...
1. Crop circles are caused by hundreds and
hundreds of agility handlers walking around in circles on agility courses up and down the
country, spending dozens and dozens of hours debating if Advanced handlers should be in or out
of Intermediate classes or what type of fish (dead or alive) is best for training your dog
with... and it's puzzled people for ages. (24/07/02)
Crop circles are caused by show secretaries running around in circles and pulling their hair
out whilst they try to sort out the people who haven't put their name on their camping form,
signed their entry, forgotten their dogs KC number, not signed the cheque, whilst answering the
mobile to the people who ring up to find out if their mates have entered, why they haven't got
a camping pass, their running orders (forgot to send the 30p), the directions to the show, and
if there will be clear round rosettes in mini starters jumping 'cause there wasn't at such and
such a show. Arrrrrrgggghhhhhh! And if anyone says I have too much time on my hands I
know a man with a gun!
From Angela Lucas...
I have three stories to share about
Teams, Pairs and Games.
1. ABC Team
A group of us made a team
for a show held in Aldershot. It was a Weimaraner, Doberman, Rough Collie and my GSD.
were due to be one of the last teams and we
were all in Starters at the time.
About an hour before we were
due to run, I had gone back to the vehicle where my gannet of a GSD was and
let him off for a wee. He
disappeared and I heard my mate shouting. Charlie had gone and ransacked his weekend
There was debate about
decided to give it a go. The best score was
from a quad of intermediate superior competitors with collies. We lined up, dog no.1
- clear. Dog no. 2 clear. Dog no. 3
usually has a dodgy scale
- clear. My
dog no 4 with someone else tea in him
- clear! We won
the team event and I still have that cup!
I was entered in a pairs
class with my friend Jackie.
It was a wet day and the ground was mucky. My friend with her trusty dog Meggie went
round this jumping course and swapped with me. I set off with the Poodle (who
is a Midi competing at
Standard height). Things are going kay until the last fence. He stops. Dead.
Doesn't move. I wave him on. No effort. I shout go on. Nothing.
Refusal No 1. Jackie
starts calling him. No doesn't work. I try recalling him. Don't like the
jump, goes to walk round.
I stop him.
Judge is laughing now. Refusal
course time for two dogs, he finally makes the last jump.
I have never found out why he stopped.
He never told me.
The Game for a laugh class
Burgess goes back to the good old days when
we had to run our dogs in flippers or use hula hoops.
One year, my dear old GSD
(the gannet) and I were in the queue. All my mates, knowing his habit were literally
taking bets on the side that he would eat all the sausages lined up in front of him.
Wrong! He left those alone (what a well trained dog!)
As we crossed the finish
line, instead of slowing up, he gained speed and headed straight for the score table where the
spare supplies had just arrived. There was complete bedlam and flying sausages, tickets and
tables in danger of collapse as he shovelled
as many off the trays as he could before being caught.
Those were the days of agility!
My final note is on two
occasions while my Midi worked the standard height we did two memorable
agility rounds, only to find
were 5 seconds out of time. Those
were the worst rounds of my life, because he
couldn't have tried harder and I couldn't have made
go faster all because the
course times set. After the second one,
I never put my poodle into another standard
snippets are of interest. I
certainly found the other ones fun to read.
From Andy Farrington (PR Officer - Derbyshire DAC)
The Derby Twister: A Strange but True Tale!
Derbyshire's 1999 agility show on the 31st July and 1st
August basked in temperatures rarely seen in the UK when the thermometer touched 85 degrees (F)
on Saturday and peeked at 90 degrees (F) on Sunday, although more freak weather conditions were
to come before the end of the show.
At about 2.00pm on the Sunday afternoon, a
piece of agility history was made when the showground was hit by a tornado - this time,
it was the weather kind rather
than the Jo Rhodes and Kelbie kind. Approaching across the nearby A38, the funnel of wind which
was already carrying a pile of debris, grass and paper and then it decided to lift a garden umbrella out of
it's stand and carry it some 60 feet into the air. Clearly the tornado was reaping a vengeance
on the owner who was just taking an afternoon rest after working hard the previous day on a
The umbrella was twirled some 350 feet through the show
ground. At first some competitors were more concerned about the
stupidity of someone flying a kite over the rings at an agility show, bfore they
realised the potential
danger it represented to all the handlers and dogs. The umbrella landed briefly in Rings 3
and 2, and then it finally came to rest in Ring 1, judged by Keith Brookes who managed to stop a dog and
competitor running into the ring to judge it. After clearing several jumps, the umbrella
unfortunately missed a contact point incurring 5 faults and knocked down a couple of jumps for
a total of 15 faults which proved to be quite a lot better than some handlers on such a hot
The tornado then proceeded past the
Secretary's tent, missing it only by inches, probably
because the Show Secretary had taken out insurance for such an occasion. It
proceeded to hit a transit van next
door, partly ripping a tarpaulin from the roof and scaring the hell out of the dogs inside. It
then moved through the club camping area battering several caravans and cars in it's path
before leaving the show ground for a residential area, never to be seen again.
his umbrella intact, the owner John Gilbert admitted to seeing it flying through the air and
thinking It looked familiar and very much like his own. Thankfully John didn't get caught up
in the tornado with his umbrella to give everyone his own rendition of Mary Poppins!
After a very short and impromptu DDAC committee meeting,
Tornado Annabelle was named and the Derbyshire Show became the first agility show in the UK to
be hit by a twister and survive with no damage. Needless to say when everyone had gone home at
6 o'clock on Sunday night British weather returned, the heavens opened and torrential rain hit
the showground providing welcome relief for the dogs and those remaining behind to clear away.
At the end of the show, the Secretary was heard to say
that she had booked lots of sunshine for the show but couldn't remember putting a cross in the
boxes where it said 'Do you want a tornado or torrential rain?' Still, you can't remember
everything when you're running a show, can you?
The Very Good Dog
In the run up to our show in 1998, I received a phone call from
a gentleman from deepest Devon. He had one of those rich rolling accents.
The conversation ran a
bit like this:-
I'm just filling in this here schedule and I'm not quite sure what classes my dog's eligible
for, so can you help me sort it out?
Of course, I can. Has your dog been to a show before?
He has indeed. This will be his second show.
Right, so how did you and your dog get on at the show?
Oh, he's a very good dog, a very good dog indeed.
Did you win anything?
We did indeed, my maid.
(Taking a deep breath) Right, so if you tell me what you won, I'll be able to tell you what
classes you can enter at our show.
you. Well, we won a bottle of wine in the raffle.
The Watford Agility Show from the Perspective of
a Damp Ring Manager
From Stephanie King
Lincolnsfield Playing Fields witnessed a kind of concentrated insanity on Saturday, 24
October 1998 as agility folk demonstrated exactly to what lengths they will go to pursue their
sport of choice. We probably should have known after being an April weather casualty that the
weather gods wouldn't let it go that easily.
Friday was okay. Just the odd shower. Sunday was great,
but on the big day it rained, and it rained, and it rained. I thought we had thought of
everything, but when putting together the list of vital show equipment no one thought
hmmm...jumps, tents, ring ropes, rosettes, and oh, and don't forget the ark!
The show must go on
There was a stylish display of the latest in wet weather gear and much discussion of the merits
of the waxed jacket versus more hi-tech fabrics. Now here was an event for Barbour to sponsor!
It was notable how people's dress in the ring changed over the day. In the morning lots of
soggy overcoats were dumped in our tent while their brave owners went out in their sweatshirts
as per 'good practice'. By the afternoon no-one was foolish enough to try this stunt and
success was measured by one's ability to run in lots of soaking wet overclothing. I didn't
worry too much about treats in pockets - I would have been amazed if they had survived the
soaking. My overcoat supply was converted to porridge within an hour of arrival and covered the
schedule and other documents in there in a delightful coat of gunge.
In the Helter Skelter ring we saw some amazing displays
of courage under spray, plus a few wet dogs in the queue trying to tunnel into the tent, having
quite obviously had enough. Poor lambs! That's one thing I will say for the rain, it sorted out
the dogs from the pups. The benefits of a forward working dog were very apparent in my ring as
we feeble two-legged ones tried to stay upright in the mud. However, just in case some are
feeling smug at this point, an enormous number of these decided to take the Number Two obstacle
again and get eliminated while their handlers tried to get there in one piece.
mention here to my own ballistic Heinz 57, the lovely Oh Rosie!, for getting eliminated by
doing Number One again instead of Number Two. I am reliably informed that this was unique, and
was actually quite a difficult elimination to achieve under the circumstances.
The spray flying off the collapsible tunnel was quite
spectacular. Not a few dogs changed their mind halfway down the canvas and went into reverse
gear. Some were obviously just not having a good time in the mud and constant downpour, but
most dogs still gave it 100%, which I think says a lot about how much dogs enjoy their agility.
I don't think I will forget the poor dog which frantically circled on the table looking for a
dry bit to jump off onto. By this time, it was surrounded by a sea of mud. The dog jumped off
eventually, but I think if it could it would have closed its eyes and held its nose.
the end of the day the dog's feet had disappeared into the mud up to their ankles (do dogs have
ankles?) but the brave handlers and soggy dogs just kept coming. A lot of people left early,
and this was probably quite a wise decision - they got out before cars started getting stuck -
but many stuck it out to the bitter end. I have to give all credit (and more) to the army
cadets here. They spent the afternoon pushing, pulling, and otherwise extracting mired vehicles
from the field. I saw one overcommitted lad go down face first at one stage. Drivers of 4-wheel
drive vehicles also proved worth their weight in gold.
Behind Every Cloud
I would like to congratulate Ian Stowers, the judge in my ring, for staying smiling to
the end, and also his timekeeper. Both must have caught even more individual rain drops than I
did. In fact, everyone working on the ring was a pleasure to work with and made the best of
trying circumstances. Thank you to Reg and Audrey for getting us all into this. I know that
organising something like this can be a thankless task and you did a great job. Well done to
Alan Baxter, who eventually won the class, and thank you to all the competitors who cheerfully
kept going. You all deserved medals for fortitude and a straitjacket for actually going through
A cheering thought though... this was the last outdoor
show this year. We can all look up at a roof with a sigh of relief for the rest of the season.
To those weather gods up there - ha, ha, we did it anyway. We Watfordians don't give up easily.
A. Too much courage
B. No brains
Answers on a postcard please.
The prize? - A bucket of rainwater collected on the day.
I had one final thought as we cleared up (getting
a quart of equipment into a pint pot of trailers in the process), 'I wonder what the Council
are going to say about that field?'
Stylish rainwear by Country Mun. For a selection of good quality, British made doggie
accessories, visit http://www.k9netuk.com/commercial/countrymun.
Never Never Run Your Wife's Dog
I don't know if this is a case for congratulations,
commiserations or near divorce. On Sunday, 15th August, the day of the Honiton show, my wife
Fran is not feeling well so she stays at home with our son George. I take my dog Basil.
'Shall I take your dogs? I say.
'Yes,' says Fran. 'but don't do too
well, will you?
Basil runs well but gets five faults. Fran's young dog Bo
does very well but gets 10 faults. Fran's Briar who runs constantly well but has never got
higher than 3rd ran brilliantly.
'I'll take the scribe sheets to the score
tent,' I say taking a quick peep at Briar's time (as you do). 37.25 was that all? I thought.
'Never mind, she did run well.
I saw Angie Williams walking across to the rings later.
She said, Well done! Brilliant round.'
'Thought she was quicker,'I said.
'32.25 was quick enough to be in the lead,' she said.
'What!?#'! I said, dashing over to the
She was right. I had misread the time and Briar was in
the lead. What do I do? I know Fran said not to do too well but is winning Novice Agility doing
Fran rings to find out how we are doing.
'OK.' I say.
How did Briar do?
'Had a good round in Novice Agility,' I
said. 'Speak to you later when I find out where she came.
People keep saying, 'Have you told Fran yet?'
'No,' I say.
'Chicken,' they say.
Fran rings again (thought she was not well).
'How did Briar do?' she asks again.
Wellllll... she came First,'I said.
'Oh,' Fran said.
'I couldn't help it,' I said. 'It was
Briar's fault. She ran too well!
I think I got away with it.
'Well, don't do it again!' Fran said.
P.S. Thank the lucky stars, Briar got five in jumping.
The moral of the story is... Never run
your wife or partners dog or rather don't win. Divorce is a costly business.