Monday, 31 January 2011


Sunday I did my first training session back in the UK. I was down in Hereford doing two training sessions, on for 6&7 grades, and another for 3-5.

We did several exercises working on tight turns and telling the dog early to make them prepare for the correct type of turn.

At the end of each session we did a course which included elements from what we had been doing during the workshop.

Next weekend I am flying again, this time a lot shorter than the 12 hours to SA. In fact this time is less than an hour, to the Isle Of Man for a training weekend. (Depart Friday eve, return Sunday eve)

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Friday, 28 January 2011

Soccer City & Safari - My last days in SA.


Well as you all know I am back from South Africa now, but just to fill in on the last few days of my trip.

Jason & Nicki took me to see Soccer City (The world cup final stadium) on Sunday, and on the Monday I left at 3.30am with Gaby, Andy & Liz for a 6 hour drive East of Johannesburg to the lodge in a part of the Kruger Park.

The lodge itself has all the facilities of a modern house, but step outside, and you could meet ANY of the animals that roam around. We only had monkeys come visit us at the house, but Gaby told me of times they had Elephants & even Hyena’s right outside.

We saw many animals over the two days, and on the Tuesday we managed to see the Elephants and Lions. The Elephants were on an island across from us, and one in particular took exception to us and decided to cross the river just to see us off. I was driving at the time, and shall we say, confident quick reversing skills were very useful!

In the park we hardly saw anyone else. But there are rangers who keep watch and take some private tours. We had our own Land Rover and used Andy & Gaby’s knowledge of where they had seen animals before to find them.

However it was the rangers over the walky-talky on the last night who radioed in a sighting of the pride of lions near the rail tracks. We had been on the hunt for them all day, and one sighting had proved to be a wild goose chase, but we eventually found them!

There were a male, female and about 10 cubs / small lions. The pictures are not great below, but I got a fantastic video, which I will upload soon.

It was a super end to a fantastic time in South Africa. I can’t explain enough how much I enjoyed meeting everyone from Cape Town, Port Elizabeth & Johannesburg. I have made friends for life and really hope to be back soon!

My extended thanks to everyone who made the whole training events possible and the experiences I had which I will never forget. Thanks to everyone on the seminars, and well done for knuckling down and trying out the skills I did my best to help & teach you. It was my pleasure. Good luck.

For each area I have been, we are doing a group DVD order. The DVD can be ordered from or through the contact in your respective area.


Soccer City & Safari

Soccer City - Jo'burg

Craft shop on the way to Krugar

The railway runs through the area near the lodge, servicing a mine. The animals often come to the railway at night due to the warmth of the tracks from the sun.

I was driving the Land Rover!

Sun down, at one of the water holes. In fact, we had a water hole of our own!

This one Elephant (the one on the left) was in a bad mood

He crossed the river (away from his friend) just to chase us off. We were not staying around to wait and meet him though!

Lion Pics, we found a pride of lions by the railway tracks on the last night. It was fab. The pics didnt come out too well, but I have a super video of the whole pride.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

South Africa Update Jan 27th


Just an update I am back from South Africa safe and sound. I am struggling tonight to stay awake as the whole last 24hours catches up, and also I am getting used to the normal UK temperature again!

I will upload some safari pictures in the next few days.

The Safari was just amazing, and I will go into more detail soon, tonight I am just shattered!

I should have answered everyone’s email too. Apologies about the delay and short replies, but I have had just a ridiculous inbox to work through.

Speak again soon.


Sunday, 23 January 2011

South Africa Update 23rd Jan


Well it’s been a while hasnt it?! Thanks for the texts I received keeping me updated and thanks for the ones asking where/what I was at! I have internet for a day today, so here is a big catch up! Tomorrow I go to the Lodge (Safari) and then straight to the airport Wednesday, ready to return home on Thursday morning. This will be my last post before returning to the UK when il report about the Safari.

Well it’s all fine. It’s more than fine, its super. South Africa is a brilliant place with super people and stunning surroundings. I cant believe I have been here since the 4th Jan for all this time.

Since my last update before I left Cape Town:

I spent the last day in Cape Town relaxing and seeing some of the scenery before then flying early to Port Elizabeth. I was lucky that it had been arranged for me to Visit an Elephant park which was great fun. From there I went to Nelisia’s House where I was staying for the weekend and who was my contact in Port Elizabeth.

I had the same group over the weekend and & did sessions on Foundation, Contacts, Weaves, Turns & Handling, Obstacle Discrimination & Course Analysis. The training was intense but fun, by the end of it I was happy that the handlers had lots of information that they could use for a long time to come.

One factor that was hard was the wind. Port Elizabeth is known as the windy city, and it sure was. It was so windy that we had to stake most of the equipment with metal stakes.

Another strange incident was the fire. Yes we had a grass/tree fire right next to our training venue. The Electric substation literally blew up Sunday (it was painfully loud too) and caused a fire which you can see from the pictures below the fire brigade had to put out!

Sunday afternoon I watched Liverpool V Everton in a local bar, I was the only Everton supporter and went crazy when we went 2-1 up! Brilliant stuff.

Monday I flew to Johannesburg. I am staying with Jason & Nicki (who are both great) The climate here is more balanced shall we say. It is humid and hot (too humid at times!) but then it will rain also. We have had a heavy storm Thursday night. Made England’s storms look tame, this was epic!

We had seminars with different themes all week, and also private lessons. I was up at 6.30am every day and we started at 8am. The longest day was Wednesday when we had a judges course in the evening. I was lucky to be asked to give a talk/advice to SA judges. I told them about course design, judging & some of my experiences. I am sure they found it useful.

The pictures below show a little bit of the training, and also the night show which I judged Friday. It was a FCI show, registered etc. I judged Class 12&3 Jumping & Agility SML. We started at 6pm and done by 10pm. It gives you an idea of the numbers of competitors, it really isn’t that many. But i enjoyed my evening and everyone was very welcoming.

Once I had completed the week, I was done as far as agility was concerned. My seminars in SA are now all complete. Amazing really, but it has been a privilege to teach here. Saturday we went to Sun City, a huge water park a couple of hours outside Jo’burg. It was a fantastic day out, although I now have a map of Europe on my back according to Jason(!) where I missed with my sun screen!

So from now on I probably won’t have internet until I get home, although Wednesday I will possibly before the flight. Monday I leave for 2 nights in the Bush at the lodge. It should be amazing and hopefully see lots of wild animals, including the big 5!

Anyone who has sent emails and has yet to have a reply, I apologise but will most probably catch up when I am back in England. Any DVD orders outstanding will be shipped a few days after I am back. Remember that in each province we are going to ship a group order.

For now, goodbye.

Speak soon


Saturday, 22 January 2011

Pics from P E & Jo'burg

These are the pics to go with the above post! Enjoy..

Port Elizabeth Group

After the substation blew up!

But we just carried on!

The Fire department arrived

Jo'burg Training Monday

Must be making a good point about something!

Rain, when it rains here, it rains!

Jo'burg Group Pic

Judging the night show Friday

Jason & I trying (and failing) to control these dam bubbles!

Sun City

Thursday, 13 January 2011

South Africa Update 13th Jan

Hello again from Cape Town SA!

Well it is almost time for me to move on now. Early Friday (14th) morning I fly to Port Elizabeth. I will fly East along the coast pretty much.

Once there I will meet with the organisers in the evening and finalise the training plan for the weekend, although I am pretty sure what I am doing as I have the same group of people for the two days, which is good as I can work through everything with them.

On Monday (17th) I will move on to Johannesburg.

The pictures I have uploaded this time are from the Cape Town Aquarium and from the Township Tour I went on Thursday.

Townships are a massive part of SA culture. At first I was looking at them from the motor way just trying to really come to terms with what it is, who and how do they live there(?) etc.

Kath who has been my host recommended I did the tour to learn about why they exist, and that people are actually being productive in trying to achieve a better life.

The tour started with a Museum stop which cited the history about ‘District 6’ in Cape Town. I think this paragraph will help sum up taken from

“District Six was named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. Originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port. By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the history of removals and marginalisation had begun.

The first to be 'resettled' were black South Africans, forcibly displaced from the District in 1901. As the more prosperous moved away to the suburbs, the area became the neglected ward of Cape Town.

In 1966, it was declared a white area under the Group areas Act of 1950, and by 1982, the life of the community was over. 60 000 people were forcibly removed to barren outlying areas aptly known as the Cape Flats, and their houses in District Six were flattened by bulldozers.

The District Six Museum, established in December 1994, works with the memories of these experiences and with the history of forced removals more generally”

This words were from: and not my own.

The Township people who welcomed us into their homes and showed us how they live their daily life were lovely. The picture where the group is drinking from a big silver bowl, was the township pub. Where locals come to interact and socialise, and the beer is home brewed.

Also in the pictures are the streets and houses, which are crowded. One bed in a room represents a family, and there can be up to 3 beds in a small room, meaning 3 family’s live in that one room although they do have shared toilet and kitchen.

The kids were also great and interacted with us, and we supported the people buy buying crafts from the little market they had set up. It is important not to give money directly to anyone, as a begging culture is not what SA wants to encourage, but to support those who are building/working/using their skills to produce something.

The tour was excellent. I felt much more educated and comfortable being in the townships than I had before.

For now, I have 3 more sessions of agility training Thursday afternoon before leaving Friday morning. Thanks to my great hosts Kath & James.. Cape Town has been stunning. Lets see what the rest of SA has too offer...

‘See you now’ as the locals say here!

(Enjoy the pics in the post below.. all this was too big to fit all this into one post!)


Anyone wants to order my Workshop Training DVD please visit and order online, I can post when I return home.

South Africa Update 13th Jan Pics

Monday, 10 January 2011

South Africa Update 10th Jan


Hello from Cape Town. Tuesday I will have been here a week and have done so much! The weekend consisted of training seminars at a different club on Saturday, followed by a course analysis type class on Sunday.

Saturday was a early start, arriving at 7am after an hour drive into the wine region. The clowd soon burnt off and it again was very hot. We did a foundation class, a general handling course and a jumping handling class. All of which were well tackled by the handlers. Afterwards we all went for lunch.

I designed a course, the students ran it and then we trained the skills needed on each section right through the whole course, looking in detail at every part of the course. (The course plan used is in the post below this one)

As you can see from the pictures I have been busy sight seeing also, with a Cheetah encounter (which helps pay for much needed conservation work in the wild to stop numbers falling) as well as a concert at Kirstenbosch.

Today was a day spent relaxing and buying souvenirs.. as well as the aquarium in Cape Town. Tuesday I have some private lessons in the evening, but otherwise it is a less busy day.

My tan is getting better!


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sunday 9th January Training Plan from JUMP SARDA


Today we spend several hours looking in depth at a course at the JUMP SARDA club. There were about 17 dogs and handlers, and we worked in detail about technique and training, as well as some laughs along the way. Well done to everyone today. A good days work.

Here is the course plan for reference:

I will upload some more pics later.

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Friday, 7 January 2011

South Africa Update 7th Jan

Update from Cape Town SA


So I am here in the sun, and boy is it hot. +35 and above at times, even had a +38 here. I am coping okay though, no heat stroke (yet!) and I have a sun hat and lots of sun cream, so all is good. I am staying with Kath & James, they are great and looking after me well.

I arrived Tuesday after the 12 hour flight and straight away the heat hit me, was like an oven. That evening I did a couple of hour session on Contacts & Weaves, followed by a small agility talk.

Wednesday we began at 7am, (that is 5am UK time as we are 2 hours ahead) and did 3 private lessons, followed by a sightseeing trip which included an amazing mountain view over Cape Town Stadium, the stadium that played host to England v Algeria in the world cup. The afternoon consisted of some more seminars in another part of Cape Town in the afternoon. We trained Jump Grids, Contacts & General Handling (on jumping sequences).

Thursday was another 7am start for lessons, and then a walk to one of the local beaches for lunch. From there we went to see the only warm climate Penguins in the world, they looked quite funny!

The afternoon consisted of a Drive seminar, puppy training and another General jumping class. In the evening Kath & James took me up the Table Mountain Cable car, the view was amazing and it was dusk going on dark. It was so warm still up the mountain, and the atmosphere just incredible, it truly was a memorable experience. From the top you can see all around and also Robin Island, where Nelson Mandela was held captive.

Friday was the first day off. We went out of Cape Town and up to the wine yards to go wine tasting. Now some of you will know I am not really a wine drinker, but it was a good trip seeing the differences and the wine making process. In the inland valley it was 40degree’s... very hot! We ate out for lunch at one of the famous local restaurants. The food was really good.

Tomorrow we are driving to another region of Cape Town for a 7am start. I have 3 seminars tomorrow and then some more plans in the afternoon.

First impressions of the agility here seem to show a great willingness to learn and create more consistency. Some of the handlers have said to me already that timing and positioning, as well as consistency in training & shows is something they want to get better at.

I like getting the texts from home, thanks for sending even though I can’t reply. All the best & I will post again soon.


Enjoy the pics below!

Training at JUMP SARDA with Table Mountain back drop

View over Cape Town Stadium

Cable Car up Cape Mountain

Wine tasting like a pro!

Sessions on Wednesday