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An historic event for the BAGSD

AD gets underway

December 3, 2005 saw a mile-stone in the history of the British Association for German Shepherd Dogs. Its first AD (Endurance Award) was run by their Washington VPG (Utility dog) Branch.

The test is part of the VPG (Utility dog) structure and is open to dogs between the age of 16 months and 6 years and is run over a 12.5 miles course.

The handler may ride a bicycle or run with the dog on a leash by his/her side. A speed of between 7.7 and 9.5 miles per hour must be maintained and there are two rest periods of 15 minutes after 5 miles and 20 minutes after a total of 9.4 miles.

On this occasion, the test was overseen by Mr. Andrew Winfrow, the BAGSD WUSV Co-ordinator and a Kennel Club Championship show judge who has only recently returned from judging in Australia – a little different from the bracing wind and drizzle of the North East of England.

Judge, entrants and support riders met for breakfast before the start of the event, at which time Andrew left participants in no doubt that the safety and welfare of the dogs is his prime importance. Despite the fact that every entrant had signed an entry form testifying to the fitness of his/her dog, he asked for confirmation.

It was a short drive to the starting point where Andrew checked micro-chips and tattoos and ascertained for himself the health of each dog.

A support vehicle followed us around the route and provided refreshment for both dogs and handlers and would have picked up any dog that was not fit to complete the test, although, thankfully, this was not needed.

The judge may ride in the support vehicle but Andrew chose a bicycle and off we went, seven dogs, three stewards, the judge and six handlers on bicycles and one handler running between wooded paths, green fields and industrial areas, a very interesting route.

The stewards rode one at the front, one in the middle and one at the end and gave assistance with two road junctions and several stiles, whilst Andrew mingled with the entrants during the test.

At each rest stop the event’s super support team provided drinks for the riders and runner and water for the dogs, although to be quite frank, none of the dogs was even breathing hard and all looked extremely comfortable throughout the whole ride. However, Andrew strolled around and checked the condition of each dog and that no dog had sore feet. Supporters were at the end to cheer us into the car-park where Andrew once more checked that all dogs were in good condition.

After an hour’s rest the dogs performed a short obedience programme, at the discretion of the judge. Andrew wanted to see heelwork and a 2ft hurdle performed by each dog.

All dogs entered in this AD test passed with flying colours and it was interesting to note that they all looked as fresh as a daisy at the end and comfortable throughout the test.

It is safe to say that all who took part in this momentous event thoroughly enjoyed the day and are looking forward to the next BAGSD VPG event.

This weekend also saw the first BAGSD work books issued. Any BAGSD member wishing to take part in VPG events must have one of these books where a record of the dogs achievements will be kept. They may be obtained from BAGSD VPG secretary, Mrs. Agnes Crawford on 01475 742903 or e mail at a cost of £5 per book.

The Washington VPG (Utility dog) Branch of the British Association for German Shepherd Dogs would like to offer their sincere thanks to Andrew Winfrow for officiating at this event and making it a special day.

Competitors were: Stuart Nye & VomHausNye Rocco (Vito), George Robinson & Jotunheim Diser (Didi), Keyala’s Dream Machine at Nytbonn (Schnupps), Eric Roberts & Callanway Lewis, Liz Roberts & Callanway Harris, Jennifer Kenyon & Callanway Iona and Danny Roberts & Haus Calden Cliff at Callanway (Rob).