I have been involved in obedience since 1970 and I have owned and trained several dogs, GSDs, Collies and a Sheltie.
The most successful of them was my first, a long coat Shepherd (Casey) and I appeared at Crufts with Casey on one occasion. He was, what could only be described as, ‘a nearly dog’! He only ever won one ticket but had quite a lot of reserves. I had to retire Casey at the age of seven due to ill health.
I then went on to own and train Collies; my first Rockin Ripper was bred by my wife, Linda, and given to me as a birthday present, as he was born on my birthday. Rip was another ‘nearly dog’ who never actually gained tickets but, again, had several reserves. Rip was a successful stud dog and he has certainly left a legacy in the obedience world today with many of his offspring competing in obedience at a high level.
In between competing, I have always done a lot of judging which I started in 1972 and have awarded several tickets over the years. My highest accolade was judging the Pro Dogs Final. I have been fortunate enough to not only judge in England but in several overseas countries as well.
Over the recent years, I been involved in the atmosphere at Crufts in the ring parties for the Championships, Juniors and the first ever World Cup with my wife, Linda, when she judged these competitions. I am now looking forward to being in the ring, in my own right as a judge, and will certainly enjoy my day.
I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Kennel Club for my appointment, and to all the teams competing, I wish you the best of luck and I will try to help you make it a day to remember.
Good luck and may the best team win.