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Canine Freestyle FUNDAY

December 30th 2002 - a Monday!!! At Christmas!! Could this really work? Would people want to enter a Funday?

The venue was chosen and booked, The Sports Connexion, Ryton On Dunsmore is very centrally located, ready carpeted and the site had been used for this sport by different clubs over the past seven years. But would people really want to commit themselves to entering an event over the Christmas and New Year period?

Our Dogs immediately offered their support once again to Canine Freestyle GB. They gave us a good start by printing the schedules and also provided several superb prizes for the raffle along with rosettes for all of the entrants.

By the entry closing date at the end of November, we had received applications from an unbelievable 112 people all wanting to take part on the day. The start had to be brought forward to 8:30am so that all of the routines could be accommodated.

The Sports Connexion at Ryton is used for many Dog Shows, but we set about changing the usual basic look of the Indoor Cricket Centre into a stage fit for a show. The ring perimeter had been brought all the way from Cornwall (thank you to the Cornish Prancing Paws!), there was a lit and decorated real Christmas Tree hanging from the roof netting, an arch, beautifully festooned with red, white and blue balloons and Father Christmas was there all day to walk the participants into the ring and provide every dog and handler with a Christmas memento of the day. We are in the envious position to have too many supporters to thank personally - you all know who you are so "Thanks to you ALL!"

As for attracting the media!!! For anyone who was camera shy it must have been a nightmare. There seemed to be press cameras on every side of the ring, stills for the newspapers and television cameras, with their presenters, all filming dogs, people and spectators. Interestingly, most of these people said they could only stay a few minutes, but, as is the attraction of this sport, they stayed well beyond their time limits and all left smiling and grateful that this had been their story to cover.

The classes were as follows:-

Dancing Virgins - for those who have never taken part in this type of event before. 24 "virgins" entered this Class, which was designed to give the first timers a relaxed atmosphere. And there were some fabulous routines to be seen. Because this sport is so new, lots of people are still being attracted to "have a go" and the talents of many are quite phenomenal.

Christmas Cheer - for routines of a Christmas nature. These routines were marvellous and all so happy. Even though there were 33 entrants, there is such a vast choice of Christmas Music that none of the music was repeated. The costuming of the handlers in this section was second to none.

Bah Humbug - for routines with no link to Christmas at all. 40 routines were entered into this division. This class was for those who had already worked on music not related to Christmas. As it can take months to choreograph a routine, not everyone would want to work that hard just for a Christmas Show! So after the lunch break this class was filled with a true cross section of musical tastes and stunning routines, which can be used and improved upon throughout the year.

Lucky Dip - 15 teams entered the Lucky Dip Class. These participants were offered a selection of music on tape. The tapes were well wrapped so that their actual music was a surprise until the morning of the Funday! Handlers were then given the rest of the day to put a routine together, which would hopefully reflect the music. This class was entered by both newcomers and the more advanced handlers, quite a challenge! The routines were really good and not one of the entrants was fazed by their "choice" of music!

The Biggest Dance Class in the World - join in with everyone to create a dance routine, which you would remember forever. There were sixty people and sixty dogs in the class and all in the ring together. This was a choreographed dance for all to follow easily. The dogs could be kept on the lead or allowed to be free as long as the handler was in control. The music was by Boney M and lasted over five minutes, but everyone kept the pace and had lot of fun. Each participant in this particular class received a certificate.

Christmas Fancy Dress - no routine to be performed for this one. This was a traditional Fancy Dress but what costumes!!! For me, I have to mention the Chef with her Cocker Spaniel "Turkey" complete with packet of stuffing!! The costume was so convincing it really did make everyone look twice! And a four-legged turkey is certainly something worth marketing.

This certainly is a sport for all varieties of breeds of dog. Amongst the wide selection taking part were German Spitz, Shih Tzu, Standard Poodle, German Shepherd, Papillon, Newfoundland, Lurcher, Pomeranian, Flat Coat Retriever, Labrador, BSD Tervueren, Miniature Poodle, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Swedish Vallhund, Golden Retriever, English Springer Spaniel, Brittany Spaniel, Maltese Terrier, English Pointer, Hungarian Viszla, Whippet, American Cocker Spaniel, Kelpie, Working Bearded Collie, Border Collie / Working Sheepdog and a fabulous selection of Crossbreeds.

For those who love dogs this was a splendid day.
For those who love dogs and music - what could be better?
For those who love dogs, music and a good time - this was the place to be.

Canine Freestyle GB would like to thank all participants, spectators, helpers and sponsors and supporters.

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