How many sendaway markers? by Bronwyn Bartley

Created: 08/08/2012

And still this ‘summer’ of ours goes on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in all the years I have been in obedience, I have never, ever known anything like it and I’m not just talking about the rain but the number of shows which have had to be cancelled.
  Until yesterday, all bar one of the ticket shows had been rescheduled but now all of them have with Northern Alsatian and All Breeds Training Club sorting out a new date. The ticket classes are being held on August 24 at the club’s own training ground. Apparently many people think it is taking place on Wakefield’s showground but this is not the case. Please take note, the show is at Greenfields.
  So far five championship shows have been cancelled due to weather/ground conditions and all five have been rescheduled but four of these are rescheduling just the ticket classes with only Redcar putting on the whole show on October 28.
  NATS, British German Shepherd Dog, Rugby, Cwmbran and Redcar are the clubs which have rescheduled their tickets but what about all the open shows which have suffered the same fate of being cancelled, the majority which are unable to consider rescheduling. What the poor organisers must have gone through doesn’t bear thinking about, what a nightmare for them.
  However, while all this has been happening various items have come up for discussion which have made for interesting reading, one of which has been sendaways, or rather sendaway markers.
  Boy oh boy, wouldn’t my husband have just loved this discussion!
  There has never been any set rule regarding sendaway markers and in my opinion there shouldn’t be. Also we have various options regarding the set-up. Often in the past judges have put up just two markers but providing the dog is still running on once it has passed through the markers that’s okay.
  Another popular set-up a few years ago has been a ‘box’, ie four markers which form a square. Occasionally we have come across just one marker but very rarely.
  Now to the set-up which has caused the recent discussions, an elongated four marker sendaway, similar to the one which Lin Tozer set up at Crufts, not surprising as I know Lin doesn’t do back markers. Was that a problem? Not in my opinion.


Three markers

  Now we come to crunch time. What many people want these days is a three marker sendaway, ie two front markers and a back marker for dogs to run to.
  I agree that when teaching a young dog a back marker is a confidence builder but I also think that as the dog becomes more experienced it should be able to cope with various set-ups.
  Just to emphasise this I must mention a good friend of mine who, in my opinion, is the best sendaway trainer I have ever seen and this came to light with one particular dog she had who went totally deaf, Ob Ch Imperial Pye.
  Mavis (Mills) and Pye had won two tickets and obviously the situation wasn’t easy but Mavis stuck at it. She had to re-teach Pye in most exercises and she taught that dog to know the type of sendaway he was required to do and at the end of the day Pye became an obedience champion, purely because of Mavis’ dedication.
  In my opinion every judge is entitled to put up whatever type of sendaway he/she wants to set up and if it doesn’t suit your dog then you wait until next time.
  At North West Kent on Saturday we had two elongated sendaways, one in the bitch ticket and the other in an open C class. I didn’t see any major problem in either class, in fact, no more than the three marker sendaway in the dog ticket.
One thing I totally disagree with is standardisation of sendaway markers, the same as I disagree with standardising any exercise in obedience – just my opinion.
  North West Kent was given the go-ahead for its two-day show on the weekend of July 21-22 with the ticket show on the Saturday and how nice it was to have a show to look forward to.
  Campers were warned beforehand that the ground may be wet and soggy but in actual fact the conditions could hardly have been much better and on Friday afternoon people were quite happily driving on to the ground with caravans and camper vans, no trouble whatsoever and the weather over the weekend couldn’t have been much better.
The tickets were judged by Wendy Birch (dogs) and Sarah Delany (bitches).
  In the dog class the early leader was Jenny Gould with her GSD Chance (Zakanja Bitter N Twisted). This team produced a super round and came out on a total of just five-and-a-half marks lost, in fact, no other team came anywhere near but there were a number losing around nine marks. Among these were Gill Winyard and Sunny (Ob Ch Jonjosam Drunken Duncan), Geraldine Steadman and Jazz (Ob Ch Nobite Defence Of The Realm, Janet Bates and Dallas (Ob Ch Bluefizz Taika Chance On Me) and Kath Westell with Becker (Coriecollies Jetsetter for Kajo).   However, these top class teams were just battling it out for second place as Jenny and Chance completed stays and scent without a problem and went on to win their first and very well deserved ticket. I said last time, after they had just gained their second reserve in as many shows, that it wouldn’t be long before they won a ticket. Chance is definitely a champion in the making. Many congratulations to you both.
  Taking the reserve was Geraldine and Jazz.


Close contention

  On to the bitch ticket now where again the leaders were well clear of the rest of the class. Geraldine Steadman and Fern (Ob Ch Nobite Autumnal Colours) came out losing a total of six-and-a-half marks. As in the dog class there were then a number of teams on a similar mark, roundabout ten. These included Kathy Ingham with Oddi (WT/Ob Ch Ruskath Othentic Image) and Nyla (Ob Ch Ruskath Portant Image) and Kathy wasn’t all that far away with Zuri (Ruskath Mankana Image). Also in close contention was Dot Watts and Frenzi (Ob Ch Zygdann Rockin Frenzi) and Pat Watson with Flick (Ob Ch Forever Magic Its Flicker).
  Stays were completed first and proved to be the stumbling block for two bitches in contention so it was down to scent.
Of these leading contenders Nyla failed completely as did Flick while Frenzi and Oddi ended up on equal marks, so it was all down to Geraldine and Fern.
  This team had got a few marks to play with but obviously in scent it can be all or nothing. However Fern completed the test confidently which gave her and Geraldine their second ticket of the season.
  In the run-off for the reserve ticket Dot and Frenzi came out on top leaving Kathy and Oddi in third place.
But what a great day for Geraldine, a ticket, reserve ticket and an open C, with her young dog, all in one day. Many congratulations.