Dogs Do Dance

I am 29 years old and have been competing and training in agility and canine freestyle since I was 18.

In 2012 I got married to my soul mate and best friend - Mark.  We now have our crazy chick that is Macy who was born in July 2013.

2014 was a sad year as we lost Mark's shepherd at the age of 10 suddenly, then we lost Dizzy at the grand old age of 14, Cas isn't doing well so I really hope things don't come in threes!  Hate saying it but we lost Cas too in the autumn :(

Agility

Early 2008 I passed the Kennel Club's Agility Judging Seminar with 100%.

My first judging appointment at a KC show was Bromsgrove - September 2008.  Although I have judged at unaffiliated shows before then.

For 2009 I had judging appointments in May, June and July. 

I also have experience training a variety of different grades and breeds, however I do not have a venue I can hold events at.

At the end of 2009 I hung up my ditas as unfortunately had to retire Rum and Cas, I am not having any more dogs just so I can compete.  In future years, who knows but for now I am not training or competing.  I don't feel comfortable judging when I am not competing as I wouldn't feel competent enough to set courses.

2015 - Am hoping to return to competition this year with little Sweepstar, I did a couple of shows to dip my toes in during 2014 with Ember just to keep my hand in.  I am unable to do any helping or judging though as I will have my daughter with me.

HTM/Freestyle

Now there is a HTM equivalent exam for judging I wish to get involved with that as well however it is finding one locally when I don't have other commitments!

I also have experience training HTM, having trained locally as well as running workshops at The Cold Wet Nose Show and at Young Kennel Club Camp.  During 2008 I wrote a series of training articles for the national dog magazine 'Dogs Today.' 

Cas & I have also been performing displays for several years at various different events around the country including:

  • Crufts, YKC Ring
  • Discover Dogs, YKC Ring
  • Battersea Dogs Home Annual Reunion
  • Pets N People
  • Wiccaweys Autumn Fair
  • Koi Carp & Country Fair
  • The Cold Wet Nose Show

Unfortunately as Cas is now retired we are no longer performing any displays.

Other

Photography

I have always been interested in photography and in 2007 I got my first DSLR and there's been no stopping me since!  I have attended my level 1 City & Guilds and also a few other photography courses.  If you want some photos taken at a show I am going to let me know, I can then put the images on CD so you can print yourself.  For more about my photography:

http://www.ginastokes.co.uk

Videography

I have recently been involved in the filming and production of the Lee Gibson Workshop DVD, for more info see Lee's website:

http://www.leegibsontraining.co.uk

This wasn't produced in HD, but I am now able to produce HD films.

Thanks

Just a few a short thank yous:

Izzy - my mum for finally giving in to my pestering when I was 15/16 and allowing me to have a dog, that was Dizzy.  Then ferrying me about all over the country to shows.  For always being there for me and believing in me.

Lee Gibson - thanks for all your help training especially with Rum who has been to Lee since a young pup and has had a fantastic grounding and I am finally getting out of point mode and into opening up and standing still mode!  And for giving me the fantastic oppurtunity and travelling to the European Open in 2008.

Carol Disley - If it hadn't been for the fun agility and obedience Carol taught us at Wombourne several years ago we would have never discovered agility.

Fiona Hulse - helped me no end with Cas, it was never easy and still being a bit of a stroppy teenager when I started I wanted it all there and then and got very despondent at times - Fiona helped me to find ways to work her.

Chis Hickman - has helped me step outside Rum and my relationship and given me sound advice which has resulted in a happier, less stressed dog and handler!

Charlotte Harding - for lots of help with Ember and getting her last two wins to grade 6.

Okay sounds like an Oscar speech - thank you to everyone else over the years who has offered help and support.