Page 40 - The Sample Voice 02-13

Basic HTML Version

My First Judging
By Laura Chudleigh
In March I decided it was time I started to give my bit back
to agility by starting to judge a few times a year. If we all
agreed to judge once a year, we would have plenty enough
judges and shows would not struggle. As we all know, to
judge nowadays we have to complete a theory and
practical judging course. I completed and passed my rules
and regulations (theory) day with Bill Glover and Dave
Jolly, then my practical with Graham Partridge and Chris
Huckle - all very experienced and well known judges. After
passing, I announced on my Facebook page that I could
now judge at Kennel Club Agility events
we all know
how powerful Facebook is. Within a few hours I had five
requests to judge at different shows and I was able to
accept three of them.
The first I agreed to was the WBSDS show at the end of
April. Due to high entries they were looking for extra
judges. I was in a good mood and could do with some
good karma, so I accepted. Two weeks before the show I
got told I was judging Large Grade 3 Jumping Part One and
Large Graded 6 and 7 Jumping. Perfect classes, in my
opinion for my first KC appointment; I have judged a
couple of times before at Limited and Unaffiliated shows,
but never Kennel Club.
I designed both my courses for wet conditions, but on the
day had to adjust them even more as the ground was even
more slippery than I had expected. I tried my hardest to
make sure there weren
t any harsh angles, that the dogs
and handlers could flow around the course with minimum
change of direction, with as many straight lines through
obstacles as I could. And, of course trying to keep the
course challenging enough for the grade intended!
Starting with my Grade 3 course, there were a few things I
wanted to test. Firstly, a wait would give handlers an
advantage as they could get up almost to the tunnel
(obstacle three) and recall, putting themselves on the right
side of it. Without a wait, handlers had to run on the left
side of the tunnel putting them behind for the next section
of the course. We then had a staggered snake, designed to
keep the dogs following through as much of a straight line
as possible. I then wanted the winning handler to drive
their dog into the second tunnel while they get into
position to do a front cross to pick up over jump 12,
putting them in the perfect position to send their dog at
jumps 13 and 14. Jill Holness with her lovely young dog
Zing did all that I had hoped for from my winner. Well
done Jill.
Again, due to the weather, my next course also had to be
adjusted. I have got it on paper as close as I can. Same as
the Grade 3, you ideally needed a wait. I was surprised at
the amount of Grades 6 and 7 dogs without one. Most
successful handlers left their dogs in a wait, got up to jump
number two, released, stepped forward and just popped
their dogs in the weaves. I would expect Grade 6 and
especially Grade 7 handlers to have reasonably
independent weaves and my course tested that quality, the
entry and the exit.