Changes to the Crufts Obedience and Rally Competitions

7th December 2015 - 3:40 PM

Changes to the Crufts Obedience and Rally Competitions

Inter-Regional Obedience Competition 2016

  • General - A change in the criteria for reserve dogs had been agreed.
  • General - Where jumps/hurdles were included, the construction and heights will be similar to those used in Kennel Club Rally competitions.
  • Beginner class - no changes
  • Novice class - Recall would be over a hurdle but the retrieve would revert to the standard exercise as specified in the G Regulations.
  • Class A - Placed retrieve would now be using the handler's own dumbbell.
  • Class B - No change other than the jump changes mentioned above.
  • Class C - Retrieve over hurdle removed and directed retrieve would now be using Kennel Club supplied dumbbells as per the World Cup.

Obedience and Rally Competitions from 2017

An Inter-Regional Rally competition is to be introduced to Crufts from 2017 which will replace the Obedience World Cup, running in conjunction with the popular Inter-Regional Obedience competition which has been taking place at Crufts since 1982.                    

Obedience and Rally competitors from around the UK will make up the seven regional teams: Scotland, Northern, Midlands, Western, Southern, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Obedience and Rally competitions will run separately and the days for each of these will be confirmed in the New Year. The Rally Competition will include levels 1 to 6 but the exact team makeup, number of dogs per level and in total and scoring are yet to be agreed and will be also be announced in the New Year.

Roy Page, Crufts Obedience Chief Steward, Decides to Call it a Day

Crufts 2015 saw Roy Page don the green jacket of the Crufts Chief Obedience Steward for the very final time having decided to retire from the post after 13 years. We couldn't let this momentous occasion pass without asking Roy to say a few words about his time in the role.

"After being deeply and passionately involved in Obedience since 1970, being invited to take on the role of Crufts Chief Obedience Steward (C.O.S) in 2003 was a bit like asking a kid if he'd like to be let loose in a sweet shop.  I couldn't believe it but when reality kicked in I was determined to do the job to the best of my ability.  I still had memories of my own dealings with a former C.O.S when I judged the Obedience Championships in 1990 and I knew immediately the things that I wanted to do (and also those that I absolutely didn't want to do) to make everything run as smoothly as possible for all the judges and every competitor involved.

For a couple of years prior to 2003, I had the benefit of working alongside the previous C.O.S. Maurice Cooke, who was a great help to me and taught me so much.  I am indebted to him and also to Richard Kebble, my most able and willing assistant for the last six years.  I suspect that most visitors to Crufts aren't aware of how really small the "Crufts Office" is.  Vanessa McAlpine (Crufts Show Manager) and her team, led by Cathy Gluiver, and backed up by Andrea Peters and the other team members in the office, work so hard both at the show itself and throughout the year and have been a consistent joy to work with throughout all of my 13 years.  I cannot thank all of the above people enough for all the help and advice they have given me, and I wish Richard the very best for the future as he takes over as C.O.S.  The job couldn't be in better hands."

When asked about his favourite aspect of the job, Roy responded "Standing in and around the collecting ring for 4 days and watching everything (with a bit of luck) running to plan for all the judges and all the competitors after the weeks/months of planning and preparation.  For all of them hopefully a time they will never forget." And what would you consider to be the least favourite part? "Without a doubt, the 05.00 alarm each morning.  It used to be coupled with the very late night rehearsals, sometimes going on until nearly midnight.  Fortunately the late rehearsals came to an end when we had our own dedicated Obedience Ring."

So how does Richard feel about taking on the mantle of Crufts Chief Obedience Steward?

"Roy and I have been good friends for many years now and I was delighted when, in 2009, he asked me if I would like to become his assistant in this very important role. It quickly became apparent that there is so much more to the job than that normally associated with the title, and I still can't believe that for seven years Roy did it all by himself! We work well together and Crufts will not be the same next year with Roy sitting back in the stands watching the action, but I like a challenge, and with all the knowledge that he has passed on during the last six years, I feel that I am ready to carry on where he left off. As Roy has already said the aim of the task is to have all four days at Crufts run smoothly for the judges and competitors in the obedience competitions, and if I can achieve that then I will be a happy man. I am also looking forward to working with my new assistant, Steve Rutter, and am sure we can provide the service that everyone has come to expect during Roy's term of office."

We would like to thank Roy for his dedication to the Obedience ring and know that it is no small coincidence that the ring has run so smoothly over the years under his tenure and wish Richard and Steve all the very best for 2016.

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