National Obedience Class 2015 Finals by Fran Bush Organiser

7th December 2015 - 4:20 PM

National Obedience Class 2015 Finals by Fran Bush Organiser

The second National Obedience Class Finals (NOCF) were held on the 14 November, at the Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh and it was a truly fabulous day!  A huge success, enjoyed by competitors, judges and their teams and spectators alike - even the dogs had fun!

Competitive Obedience in the UK has a structure of progressive classes from Introductory, through Pre-Beginners, Beginners, Novice, Class A, Class B, Class C and Championship class.

 The Championship C class currently have the opportunity to compete at Crufts by winning one Championship C class (ticket) but, at present, there is no corresponding recognition for anyone working any of the lower Obedience classes, so people starting out soon learn that they have to work all through the classes and then beat the best dogs and handlers in the sport in order to enjoy the accolade of competing at a Championship style final.

The NOCF aim to change that and are to be run alongside the existing class structure already in place, but with a Final for each of the classes; Introductory, Pre-Beginners, Beginners, Novice, A, B and C.  The original vision was for a show at the end of the show season that would celebrate Obedience, close the show season and provide everyone involved in competing the opportunity to qualify for and enter an event that would be like a mini Crufts for all those working in the lower classes.  Qualification is attained during the show season, by collating points accrued from places 1st- 6that all Open/Championship Obedience shows.  Once the required number of points is reached in the appropriate class, then that team is qualified to enter for that year's event.

For the inaugural event, we suggested that both competitors and judges and their teams might like to dress up, as the competitors at Crufts do and this suggestion was taken up with gusto and commitment by all concerned, such that the 2014 event was both well attended and a huge success, with lots of sparkle in evidence!                                    . 

This year, both competitors and judges seemed determined to outshine last year and the result was a truly glittering turnout with dogs of all sizes and breeds, from the tiny Pomeranian right up to and including Rottweilers , German Shepherd Dogs, Poodles, Novia Scotia Ducktolling Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and lots of different crossbreeds as well as the more usual Border Collies.  it was inspiring to see so many different types and breeds of dogs represented, all happy and enjoying the day and being with their owners, showing that any dog is capable of achieving success in competitive obedience with the correct training and that it is a great way to meet like minded people, have fun and spend quality time with your dogs.

The judges and their teams were magnificent, their rings looked stunning, as did their outfits and many had gifts or memento's for each of their competitors, they decorated their ring tables and  tried to make it very special for everyone and they more than succeeded!                                     

This year, our show sponsors were Pet Needs, long time supporters of obedience and we are delighted that they are supporting this prestigious new event.  Also, each class has its own individual sponsor, to provide gorgeous, huge rosettes and stunning crystal trophies, which are Diamante hand crafted vases, complimented by the brilliance of Swarovski crystals, each being engraved with our logo, the class and sponsor details, as each class is named after its sponsor.                       

Each competitor also takes home a personalised Certificate of participation and a stunning commemorative rosette in our event colours of purple and orange.

After a day of top class obedience competition, showcasing teams from all levels of the sport, the day culminated in the much anticipated Presentation Ceremony, hosted by the very well-known Crufts compere, Dave Ray and featuring a superb display by our very own Mary Ray with some of the top handlers in Obedience reprising their stunning routine performed at Crufts 2015, which was received with thunderous applause.  The ceremony then proceeded with the class presentations and crowning of the 6 new class champions and lots of photos many of which can be seen on the NOCF website at:               

Here are just a selection of the comments received on the NOCF Facebook page:

  • Brilliant day and atmosphere. You all work so hard for us to have a great day, Thank you all x
  • Thanks for all of your and the teams support on the day.You took so much time and thought into making it a time to remember.
  • Fab show; brilliant & supportive atmosphere with BLING, each year it will get bigger and better,  well done to everyone!
  • Thank you all for a fabulous day - you worked extremely hard and it went like clockwork. Enjoyed it all.
  • Thanks to everyone for making yesterday such a super one. You all worked so hard and it really paid off. Jane Bint, our B judge, put on a super round to work and you must have spent hours making retrieve articles, send away markers, etc. Even the scent clothes came in silver boxes!
  • There is such a friendly atmosphere at this show and I can't wait for next year!
  • Thank you for all your hard work in organising the finals. It was a fab day, and the organisation brilliant, you were all very kind to us with our nerves, much appreciated
  • Just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone for such a wonderful event!!! Wow what a fab atmosphere and such a lot of work that has gone into the decoration and outfits. What a wonderful end to a great season and hope to qualify again next year.
  • Thank you to all those who made this show possible, it was my first time and I thoroughly enjoyed it, atmosphere was great , everyone having fun with their dogs !

All photographs courtesy of Les Perry  / ObedienceUK,net  / the Kennel Club

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