Show Report Show: Axel Date: 06/05/2017 Class: Beginners, B, C Judge: Rob Summerfield
What is this madness?
Team Summerfield heading to foreign lands as a single unit? What could possibly go wrong? Strangely enough, not a lot. Arrive at Norwich airport in good time, negotiate security with an air of nonchalance as befits a seasoned traveller, board the correct aircraft, fail to slosh water over nice young man in adjacent seat. Admire the blue-ish skies coming into view over Schipol, disembark, retrieve instantly recognisable bag, trot off to train ticket purchasing machine. At this point a small but not insignificant hitch appears in the form of an impatient businessman whose sighs reach epic proportions as I stab hopefully at various buttons and poke around trying to regain possession of my credit card. Take up a suitably observant position on the platform, rather nonplussed not to see train with the right headline. Also discover that I can only email Anja, not text or phone! Finally decide on train heading to Breda with the vague recollection of it being somewhere in the vicinity of where I was aiming for. Time passes, I immerse myself in “One Minute to Midnight” (a fascinating account of the Cuban missile crisis and well worth a read), whilst a hen party is in full swing in the same carriage, complete with balloons, fairy lights, loud music and conga lines. A ticket inspector appears, I smile ingratiatingly and suggest I have possibly made a teensy cock up. He agrees. Hop off at Breda where an extremely helpful lady sorts out ticket and prints out my return journey (more of that later). Finally trundle into Middelburg and spot Anja, hurrah! A short car journey and we're back in Domburg where the sun is shining and it's several degrees warmer than the UK. Ecstatic greetings from (hopefully pregnant) Maggi and Paddington, Offa looks at me as if I was an alien intent on canine abduction. After a superb meal at a burger bar, one of many excellent dining establishments, I fall into bed at the ungodly hour of 9.30pm.
Saturday morning starts grey and cool, I prepare my judging bag by simply throwing out everything not related to judging. Job done. Then it's a quick 40 min trip to Axel and happy reunions with old friends. Axel provides yet another bespoke training and show venue, with lovely level ground, a club house and plenty of parking. The rings were sizeable to say the least and I probably took rather too much advantage of that in C, requiring binoculars to spot the handlers on occasion.... One of my criteria when judging here is to ask “would the team win or get placed in the UK?” Despite to small entry in Beginners and B I can say yes, my winning teams would have no problem , both displaying style, drive and good technical understanding combined with positive and sympathetic handling. Class C had a very good entry and again I was more than happy with the standard, the leading teams really producing the goods right across the board. I must heap thanks and praise on my stewards on the day – for C it was Sandra Pierson in the ring and Ton van Santen on score; Sandra got to grips with the round quickly and was a delight to work with, Ton made sense of my scribblings and had everything sorted by the end of play. Thanks to Hans Mergits for a great job decoying. For B I was delighted to have Ellen Reijenga in the ring and Jutta van Damme on chalks, both doing a sterling job. Thanks also to Ed Vimk for being a highly professional and unobtrusive decoy. In Beginners Greet Vink took up the ring stewarding reins very efficiently and Jutta was once again super efficient on score. Also thanks to Hans Bilius and his team for their duties in the stay ring and to Peter Van de Velde for the photography (I see you got one of me in my “Len Pearce” judging stance haha!) Finally thanks to DOS for the bonus invite this year, it's always such a pleasure to pop over and see you all, even with all the mini adventures!
On to the results:
Beginners – 6 entries, 4 ran With a low entry there is always the chance that 1st could be withheld, however today was not that day.
1st Els de Waal with XOUMA ROMANI (Briard) A beautiful round from this team, tackled the circles with drive and accuracy giving attractive flowing heelwork and produced excellent sets. Even some handler navigation problems in HF didn't detract from the overall picture. A team that would easily fight for top honours in the UK – also won Novice today. Many congratulations Els and Xouma! Lost 2 HOL, 6.5 HF, 0.25 Rec, 0.5 Ret Total 9.25
2nd Kelly Mergits with OUTLAW OF ALBION'S MARCH (BC) Wow, what a prospect! Stunning, stunning heelwork – stylish, accurate, oodles of drive and amazing handling from such a youngster. Brilliant retrieve too, but had problems with the recall and the same issue arose in stays. I really hope you can crack this Kelly, you and Law are a formidable pairing and deserve to do well. Best of luck, stars in the making I hope! Lost 1.5 HOL, 1 HF, 10 Rec, 0.5 Ret and rather a lot on stays!
3rd Brigitta van Oevelen with RED RED RED OF FREE SPIRIT (Aussie) Hmmm well yes, we know Aussies tend to make up the rules as they go along! However Spark did give us flashes of brilliance in the hw and the circles weren't far off the mark. However he does have the attention span of a gnat, but thanks to some very good handling from Brigitta the situation wasn't a total disaster! Had similar problems in the sets and stays, but keep at it, he'll come good! Lost 4.5 HOL, 8.25 HF, 10 Rec, 8 Ret and rather more in stays!
Class B - 9 entries, 9 ran Quite a few teams came to grief in stays, possibly caused by the sudden leap in temperature when the sun came out! However very pleased with my winning team, power and speed in abundance.
1st Tiny Bouchaut with RAZZLE-DAZZLE (BC) I could easily make a case for kidnapping this fabulously exuberant and happy chappy but I think Tiny would be disinclined to let him go! Dazzle has an as yet untapped tank of fuel, ready to go, ready to do as quick as you like and Tiny is slowly harnessing that power without knocking him back. Main fault in the hw was crabbing and just general sheer enjoyment of working leading to positional changes in all paces. The SA was fabulous and the retrieve just marred by a wonky bottom fore and aft. Calm handling allowed this lad to really shine today, well done Tiny and Dazzle! Lost 12.5 HW, 0.5 Ret, 1.5 Scent Total 14.5
2nd Rineke Smit with ROBBERDEBOBSKI ASCENSIONDAY PRESENT (WS) A sit stay break meant Rineke and Robby couldn't push harder for top honours today, but a really super solid round of hw with the FP being especially good, SP was affected with some drifting and loss of position through the turns. Spot on SA but anticipated the call up, excellent retrieve, quick and direct. A couple of pecks and a carry in scent but the strong wind was an issue, despite my best efforts at trying to present a hassle free exercise! Well done! Lost 10.75 HW, 2.5 SA, 0.25 Ret, 3.5 Scent, plus a sizeable amount in the sit stay
3rd Ton van Santen with CLAN OF STORK'S JAGUAR (Beardie) A steady round of hw from Ton and Troy today, some drifting in all paces and wide turns taking the majority of the points. Made a right hash of the SA and needed some input from Ton, anticipated the retrieve and then dawdled back having a good old chomp! Finished with a pretty good scent but unfortunately lost a packet in the down stay – on another day it could be totally different! Well done! Lost 13 HW, 15.25 SA, 5.5 Ret, 1.5 Scent, plus a large amount in the down stay.
4th Rineke Smit with SAMANTHA VAN BERGENTHEIM (WS) A good crack at B hw from Rineke and Sammy, just needs to consolidate her position at heel, points off for a variety of bits and bobs - little drifting, then some inverting, followed by the odd jump which lead to a little lagging, she threw everything in the mix! Super retrieve and good attempt at scent but had a wobble in SA so Rineke sensibly trained it. Also another stay victim. Good luck for the future, well done! Lost 15.5 HW, 40 SA, 0.75 Ret, 3 Scent and then some more in the sit stay!
Class C – 20 entries, 20 ran Some very good hw rounds today, but the sets were a bit of a nightmare for some!
1st Isabella van Damme with ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS BIENE (WS) Good grief, I can't believe this is your first C win Isabella! Absolutely nailed the hw today with effortless big circles in NP and FP and good solid SP, often the downfall of many dogs after being allowed to move freely in normal. DC cost 7 with a missed position and tendency to go through the sit into both the stand and the down, Speedy SA and brilliant scent at the end made sure of this popular win. Congratulations Isabella and Biene, lovely teamwork and handling! Lost 9.5 HW, 2.5 Ret, 1.5 SA, 7 DC Total 20.5
2nd Angela Kroon with ABSOLUTE GROOVY (WS) Absolutely fabulous demo of SP and FP today, genuinely couldn't fault it at all – just a real pleasure to watch and clearly Groovy had cleared his little system of glitches in the NP! SA was spot on, just slight anticipation and hesitation, DC – another missed position and then the silly twit dropped the article! A cracking dog who always tries his heart out for Angela, always a delight to judge, well done! Lost 8.25 HW, 3.5 Ret, 2 SA, 6 DC, 2.5 Scent Total 22.25
3rd Marian de Jong with BORDERS FOR JOY IT'S ME CHARLEY (BC) Don't think I've had the pleasure before but there's a lot of potential tucked away in this handsome lad. Overall the HW was committed with a nice style, just those annoying bits and bobs to iron out especially the turns which just need that extra polish. DC was excellent, less said about the retrieve and SA the better – time to get down to business Marian! Well done, loved your handling! Lost 11.25 HW, 4.5 Ret, 9 SA, 1.5 Scent Total 26.25
4th Greet Vink with KYRILL VAN BERLARE (WS) Love this big old teddy bear, now approaching his 10th birthday. Today not as committed in the hw as I've seen before and losing position in all paces. However his sets were strong and accurate, especially the DC. Well done Greet and Kyrill, always a pleasure to judge you. Lost 21 HW, 0.5 Ret, 3 SA, 3 Scent Total 27.5
5th ARO Mia Bosschaart with ABFAB YUKON (WS) Rock solid sets from Yukon today, clear SA, clear DC and just minor errors in retrieve. But my goodness he made a right meal of the ASSD and completely lost the plot in FP! In between all that he did a good impression of a yo-yo at heel. Finished with a cracking scent but ooh he is so frustrating sometimes! Well done Mia for smiling through it all! Lost 26.5 HW, 1.25 Ret, 0.75 Scent Total 28.5
6th ARO Marianne van der Ster with AMAZING YODA OF ALBION'S MARCH (BC) Not quite sure how we ended up with a r/o but hey ho! Anyway, highlight of the hw was another really powerful and accurate demo of FP, the other paces had a variety of errors, a little drifting and a tendency to chuck his bum around a bit taking most points. Confident sets carried out with speed and accuracy, if it wasn't for the scent you'd have been running off at the other end of the line up! A lovely team with plenty of potential, well done! Lost 14.75 HW, 0.25 Ret, 1 SA, 4 DC, 8.5 Scent Total 28.5
Owing to my joy at seeing such a large ring the C class took like a million years, resulting in a manic hour and half to get through the other two (thankfully small) classes. Honey I shrunk the heelwork was the motto in Class B, hw Plan A was binned in favour of Plan B, which in turn was truncated considerably in that massive ring! The day finished with presentations and speeches, and a lovely judge's gift in the form of FOOD, which as we all know is extremely beneficial especially when it involves chocolate and cookies - useful supplies to back up other previously purchased sustenance. Back in Domburg there was enough time to freshen up before heading off for a Mexican (result, stuffed to the gills) and then shoving everything back into the bag for the return journey the following morning, including a lovely little set of perfumed ablution items from Anja (they are lush!)
Now this return journey involved changing at Breda, Den Haag and Leiden. I had been upgraded to 1st class, so was anticipating a quiet, relaxing trip with the odd stop and platform change. Everything goes well to start with until the train starts to fill up with football supporters – Feyenoord supporters to be precise. Even a total footie loather like me knows Feyenoord's stadium is in Rotterdam, so at least an hour of abject misery to endure. At Breda I discover the 1st class carriages are full of the striped invaders, drinking, smoking (and not just tobacco) so resign myself to an uncomfortable time near the WC along with other unfortunates. The WC is commandeered by the little darlings, everyone else practices bladder and bowel control. Finally the train ejects the chanting hordes at Rotterdam and we can sit down for a bit. In a carriage which looks like it's a seedy pub. Nice. Good thing I wasn't travelling in the evening because I doubt if there would have been much train left – Feyenoord lost. Anyway, a simple change at Den Haag, followed by an OMFG at Leiden – that moment when you get out, see the train you need and the doors are slamming. Bring on the Suitcase Sprinting Handicap. Any carriage will do, I don't mind if I haven't got a seat...... Get to Schipol in good time and breeze though the automatic bag drop (I'm so smug about this bit now) and anticipate a nice latte and pain au chocolat. The queue for security is about 50 miles long. By the time that's dealt with, plus the whole ePassport fiasco (did anyone think about those poor unfortunates under 5ft tall? Or people whose glasses are welded to their face? I swapped queues three times...) there was barely 30 minutes before boarding so abandoned second breakfast. Once again the little KLM taxied happily across most of Holland before finally taking off, and we arrived back at Norwich in about half an hour. Thanks again to all of you for making my visit another great one, and especially to Anja for her hospitality and fab company – huge congratulations on winning A with Maggi !!!
See you all in August, when Summerfield & Connell will once again be on the road....