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Carriage Dogs Trials a runaway success!

The 2005 Carriage Dog Trials, held in Rockbourne, Hampshire on 11th June, proved to be another roaring success, with 13 dogs travelling to Hampshire to compete.

With competition at a higher level, this year’s Championships were even more deserved. Seven dogs qualified for Silver titles and two more at Bronze level, the latter this year re-designated as a novice class allowing extra commands and encourgement in the obedience exercise.

Disco owned by Kelly Evans from Wales retained her title of Road Dog Champion and Carriage Dog Champion this year was Woodie owned and handled by Alison Burgess of Sussex. Carriage Driving Judge Julie Allen and ridden judge Michele Boyes, well known on the obedience circuit and owner of Obedience Dog of the Year in 1998, agreed that both of these competitors did outstanding obedience trials to take their championship titles.

Reserve Road Dog was Lisa Jane Niemy of Surrey with Splosh, who was also Best Condition Dog and the oldest in the competition at nine years (judged by the on course vet Robin Hooper). Reserve Carriage Dog Champion was Abbie, Alison Burgess’ other dog. and best conditioned horse and turnout was Maggie Saunders' Cob Risky (judged by Pam Bench).

Best rescue dog was Zoe Jones’ Darby from Essex and Best Junior and highest scoring bronze Dog was 17 year old Charlie Rummy, also from Sussex, with Domino.

The British Dalmatian Club held a Fun Day the following day and that was another roaring success. There were about 150 people present and nearly as many dogs. Activities run by both the Carriage Dog Trial organisers and the Club combined to create non-stop interest and fun. The day started with a carriage dog display and was followed by sausage racing - the highlight of the day for the dogs participating! – line dancing with Dalmatians; fun agility; lure racing; clicker training demonstrations; fly-mouse; fancy dress and much more. There were also very busy stalls of various shapes and sizes.

Alison Burgess is the UK trials chief organiser. She has competed this year and last for both Road and Carriage Trial titles. Alison said of this year’s event: I am delighted that the friendly spirit of previous years’ events is still intact, even though competitiveness amongst competitors is increasing! As always, people make huge efforts to attend, and some of the carriage drivers don’t own Dalmatians, but came to enable other peoples’ dogs to compete."

The organisers are aiming to form a Carriage Dog Society this year. Further details of the event and photographs may be found on the www.carriagedog.org