The NATBs were out in their normal force for the first Checkers of the season, for many this was the opener of the new year for them.
The weather set to be reasonable the team had to camp further up the hill than normal to avoid some happily fenced off sheep in the lower field. They were not an issue and caused some amusement, they were also the quietest sheep in the world, not one bleat all weekend!
Maybe that was abject fear? Who knows!
So after set up on the Friday and the normal cramming into Sally and Cliffs awning we settled reasoanble early to ensure best performances for the Saturday morning!
Saturday morning woke us all up with a clear start, slightly cold but we could tell the chance of temp increase was hovering! Sundays weather was similar, both days good for racing.
The course had been changed, making it longer and (if possible) twistier. With some new great areas added we had an extra dip to go through, tighter turns and gaps to get through, and less field to run up and down (much to some participants delight!)
The race started promptly at 8.30 both days with the bikes. In this class we had Hannah with Oki, their debut biking this course, Hannahs trepidation was matched by Okis excitment and they belted off in a blur of spinning wheels, pedals and fur!
An excellent first time attempt with a time of 16.43 the first day, all Hannah was pleased about was getting back unscathed! On the Sunday their time of 17:34 was just as good.
Emma was tackling the course with Kavik only after retiring Mya off wheels. He was surprisingly excited about going round on his own and completed the course in a respectable Mally timescale of 23:24 (not last for once!!) And Sundays time of 23:23 showed his consistency!
Cliff took to the course with Stanley, who did his best impression of an elevator dog, getting slightly distracted but still proving he can work when he wants to! Still a respectable time of 16:01. On the Sunday Cliff reverted to stealing Vinnie back off Sally who was injured so couldn't race on the Sunday, the super beagle and gained a time of 15:04 shaming Stanley into submission with those little legs!
Matt was also on a debut run with Super Frank, the gorgeous boy gave his all and for such a young dog was impressive and thoroughly enjoyed himself giving an excellent debut time of 18:31. His Sunday time of 19:08 was just as good, well done Frank! (And Matt of course!)
Gary was entered into the Scooter class, after a slightly stressful arrival the evening before he was truly delighted to manage a clean run, which boosted his mood immensely! His team put in 2 great consistent runs both days giving times of 20:38 and 20:25.
Canicross classes were also filled with NATB members.
Cliff ran on Saturday with Bailey (on loan from Matt) and the wonder beagle Gizmo, who decided he was going to run behind Cliff the whole race! Saturdays time was 23:42. On Sunday the team switched out Gizmo and replaced him with Stanley, who ran much better with Bailey, knocking the 3 minutes of their time on Saturday to 20:19
Gary also stepped up to the mark, enjoying a good run round to complete the course in 28:09 and 28:24, both great times for a fellow "non runner"! (we shared our pain stories!)
Helene and her super spaniels were their normal amazing team and on both days put in superb runs, Helenes times of 22:45 and 22:35 just show how far this team are coming.
Julie ran with the gorgeous Dutchy, who is by the looks of things starting to get the hang of this running in front lark, he always looks very disapproving but i truly believe he is secretly enjoying himself inside! Another consistent performance with times of 24:25 and 24:03.
Emily ran her fab team of black and whites both days, enjoying the course and the team connection she has with her lovely pack. Good times were gained on both days, 28:21 and 29:51 respectively.
Izzy was slightly concerned about her race days because her "engine" was unable to run due to pulling a muscle. Poor Sam had to be rested so all her hopes lay with Flo, who is known for lots of fluff and puddle diving! However, Flo decided to surprise and delight Izzy and us all by pulling and making a supreme effort not to dive in puddles! Times of 27:58 and 28:50 reflected her efforts!
Finally Emma ran her beloved Mya, now retired from wheels Mya decided to go at her normal, no pull, easy hippy pace, she knows Emma will let her get away with it! Only running her on the Saturday, with a time of 34:42 she was rested on Sunday. Emma was lent the gorgeous Tia from the Oke pack to run with on the Sunday. She decided that running without her mum Lucy was not really acceptable. She was also slightly confused by the loud male voices echoing around her in the woos so Tia and Emma plodded around in a reasonable 34:01.
The afternoons were spent whiling away the time chatting, puppy playing and swapping funny stories as normal! 4 members have new fur members, Julie has the delightful Stafford pup Rowan, she is adorable of course.
Cliff and Sally have Riley the fox hound, who is already so tall the other puppies ran underneath him!
Emma and Roy have the ginger guinea pig Kelpie pup Hera.
Emily has her squishy boy Yogi, who is battling Riley for who can be the tallest!
All the pups were very well behaved and are showing a keen interest in all the proceedings!
Matt was the club chef for the weekend, we decided cooking and eating together was the way forward, so group meals and laughs ensued. Huge thanks to Matt for his excellent cooking, Sally & Cliffy for their awning facilities, and Emma & Roy for their oven and washing up skills!
The club moral and atmosphere was great, with new racing jerseys we stood out and Roy was again a massive help to Jan and David helping at the start and marshaling.
As is becoming customary we also like to award our own rosettes for our team members, ensuring some club fun!
This weekend we had had some Personal Best rosettes, we decided that being as all of us had run the new course for the first time, we all deserved a PB rosette! Many smiles were enjoyed with this surprise!
We then awarded the Top Dog award to none other than Izzy and Flo - Flo really stepped up to the mark without her trusty companion Sam at her side. Flo has battled through many demons and overcome so many fears, she did Izzy and the club proud.
Finally we had a Best Effort rosette - we gave this one to Hannah and Oki, the fear Hannah overcame biking the course for the first time with a very fast and excited dog was amazing, truly well deserved.
All in all a successful event with laughs, fun and some good debuts! Here's to a great season all!
Cliff - 10th place
Matt - 17th place
Hannah - 8th place
Emma - 14th place
Gary - 10th place
Mens Canicross (Veteran)
Cliff - 6th place
Gary - 13th place
Emily - 11th place
Helen - 2nd place
Julie - 7th place
Izzy - 13th place
Emma - 17th place
The NATBs like to attend as many events as possible, but we all know we have to pick and chose. To help everyone in the sport with these decisions we have got together lists of events and developed our own calendar.
This can be accessed via our website: http://www.natbdogsports.com/events.html
If you know of any we have missed please let us know! We are more than happy to add any event to ensure everyone knows about them and can make informed decisions on which ones to attend throughout the season. There are so many to chose from now!
The colder weather is heading our way, the nights are drawing in again and the mornings have a wonderful chill...cant wait for them to be regular!
Hope everyone has a wonderful season - enjoy!
Some of you know that Sammy's Summer job is show jumping for dogs or Agility, as with Canicross AKA Dogging.
So friends and work mates can in public loudly say 'Are you dogging this weekend?' Some jokes you never get tired of. (Admin: So true!!)
Talking of Jokes, Sam’s Agility career is full of them. He thinks it is hilarious to run around barking, jumping whatever he likes. Or demonstrating how well he can fly, despite his lack of wings.
In 'Agility' obstacles namely A'frame, sea saw, and dog walk, require your dog to place a paw or a claw in the coloured part at the bottom (and on the up), of these obstacles otherwise you are given 5 faults for each one missed.
So for Sam, a big boy with delusions of Condor, it seems an impossible task…… Not in training however, in training he is a dream. 99% spot on. At a show 99% spot off!
So who knew after 9 years of pissing about, not only would he would jump everything in the correct order he would also fold up imaginary wings and plant a paw in the danger zone that is the 'contact'. To my very great shock he got second place. (Admin: we’re not as we knew he would do it one day!) Beaten by a much younger dog.
That was at TAG show two weeks ago.
This weekend he only went and did it again and got third place. We managed this despite my forgetting to change into my running shoes and clodhopped round in my wellies at a very wet Caerphilly Show.
Not bad for a veteran. Good boy Sam. I'm sure normal madness will return.
Admin: As always Izzy you lighten our days J
The wonderful Helene and her team of spaniels took part in an event last weekend:
I represented the NATBs in Wales this weekend. We competed on Sat in the Dysynni Trail 10k fab event, definitely worth bearing in mind for next year. Thoroughly enjoyable - mud, wind and rain what more could springer spaniels want.
I came second in the mixed category canicross and first female over all, thanks to my awesome duo of Rowan and Evie.
Seren ran with my friend Suzy who got second female.
So proud of my gang. Thanks to the fab support crew of Toffee, Maz and Pads abley assisted by Rita Benson, and Seren's lovely family Cheryl Davies, Charlotte Davies and Joan Carter and not to forget little Livvy Harrison who kept us entertained.
A lovely walk on Sunday on the beach for Toffee 's birthday which she was treated royally!
The dogs didn't want to pose for picture with their medals!
Fabulous result Helene, hugs to the Springers and all of your pack :)
On Sunday 11th June 2017 myself and my trusted Wing Man Dutchy; AKA Team "Pas Da" took to the Local Nature Reserve at Stanwick Lakes to run the 5K. It was touch and go whether to run with my trusted friend as the temperature was high but decided as there was a nice breeze we would give it a go, pulling out if i thought it was too much.
We held back at the start until we were almost the last runner to set off, allowing for the runners to create gaps between themselves. Something i didn't do the last time we ran in a normal non dog event and we unfortunately got caught up in the crowd which was a little intimidating for my boy.
With the lesson learned from before we set off on to a nice open path and before we knew it we were weaving in and out of the runners with Dutchy listening to my every word. The runners were very accommodating and allowed us to pass easily with each one smiling at Dutchy as we passed. Guessing that Stafford smile is infectious!
Despite a dog pee break and two "must scratch my shoulder" stops we manged to finish in fine style with a nice medal and to Dutchy's delight a banana waiting for us at the finish line.
Over all it was a great morning. The event was very well organised with the runners all very accommodating of the dogs running. Its an event we will definitely do again!
Our official time was 24:48 putting us:
18th out of 128 runners
4th female out of 88
3rd female in age category 25-49 out of 60
NATB note: So proud of Julie and Ducthy - Team Pas Da are an awesome team who's love for each other shines through - well done!
A brilliantly funny blog written by Matt West on behalf of the NATBs who enjoyed the Tri Dog weekend away....enjoy!!
It started off as a joke but sadly I'd agreed to follow Team Tea to Box End to the first tridog event with us all doing the duathalon.
We made our way somewhat easily on the Friday of a bank holiday weekend up the M1 to easily find the very pleasant venue of Box End that boasts a huge lake with a fantastic array of water sports and of course holding the tridog event.
The venue was a park where you like set up for us which was easy and level parking beside the lake.
We set up and Cliff and I rode what we thought was the course which turned out to be backwards confusing the hell out of us whilst dodging the various angry waterfowl inhabiting the edges of the lake! (Note from Emma: the pair of you are idiots!)
So Saturday morning after an early morning wake up hound chorus we were all at the briefing for the event and we got some instructions for directions, mainly not to follow the many arrows laid out on the course,so signed in, tridog transition bags collected we packed them and handed them in for delivery whilst we watched the triathalon start and honestly they were brave as the water looked cold on the early start.
It all ran without a hitch and was great fun watching the angry geese try their best to disrupt the Bikejor section at the start
Well soon it was our turn the weather was good and Sally, Cliff and I took our places on the bikes to start our duathalon.
I had the pleasure in going out 2nd in the line up with Bailey fully rested we set off on a flyer catching the first out before the first incline and enjoying watching Bailey giving her all over the following undulating last section of the Bikejor course.
I've never done a tri or duathalon before so when I came across the first transition I slowed up at the wrong point and went in at a snails pace but the marshals beckoned me on showing me where to stake out the dog and where my transition bag was to change into canicross to run the next section of the race.
So I'm not a runner so I was easily caught by 3 people including Cliff but the fat lad kept going with Bailey putting a shift in to the finish god it was a welcome site!!!!
Cliff and I waited for Sally and Vinnie who was seen carrying the baby beagle 3/4 of the way round but was soon on there way again to the finish pulling well.
We were joined by Sarah and Julie and we spent the rest of the day getting Julie's Dutchy better on the bike which went so well she decided to have a go on Sunday with us and also took part in the have a go swim with your dog later in the afternoon, Ductchy was not impressed and it seemed to traumatize the sensitive flower but Charlie and Lulu had a ball in his place and soaking all spectators but the weather was good and a cold cider helped.
The evening was spent in Chez Teas new awesome awning after the BBQ, I can see many an event evening in this bad boy!!!
So day 2 and we had it all to play for, today was seeded so a different start order.
Cliff went off to a flyer Stanley eating up the course with his huge stride and Bailey in hot pursuit after another rider gaining at the end of the lake into the first incline, this time I knew where the transition stopping was and seemed to take an age swapping out kit to canicross but we were soon on our way to hear Sally and Vinnie behind the trees and seeing Julie being given a great pull by Dutchy!!!!
The weather was much warmer today seeing temps up to 18 degrees we were slow and steady making our way back to the finish with no one overtaking which was a bonus but some competitors were having trouble with the temp and dunking there dogs in the river next to the course.
The finish was finally in sight and when we crossed we were presented with a surprise finish medal which I have to say was a great touch as not everyone can place, so for me and it seems many others I spoke to, it was a great touch by the organisers, the transition bags were to keep to and had a few bits in.
Julie romped in with Dutchy and Sally came in with an every eager Vinnie who welcomed a cool off in the lake.
So, award time not long after and the end of a fantastic weekend Cliff was 1st and I got 3rd in the mixed male duathalon and Sally took 3rd but most of all we really enjoyed the weekend which was very well organised and run by the tridog team and who's next event is the end of September. It would be great to get a team or two together for the triathalon.
Note from Emma: It definitely looks like we need to get more of a gang together for the next one, well done all involved :)
The NATBs are proud, and immensely pleased, to announce a new sponsor of the club.
Please welcome Paws Play & Stay.
They are based in Rushington and are run by Jo and Gary Moxon.
Both Gary and Jo are involved in the dog sports world and run the very successful business, the services they offer include:
Dog Day Care & Hotel
Dog & Puppy training
Cani Sports lessons
Canine Massage Clinic
First Aid Workshops for Dogs
Lessons on How to Massage Your Dog
Both are well respected in the animal sports world so we count ourselves very lucky they want to be a sponsor.
Huge thanks and Welcome!
To find out more about our sponsor please visit their site:
On a balmy weekend at the beginning of April a crowd of NATBs descended on the last Checkendon event of the 2016/2017 season. And what a weekend it was!
Camped together like old stylee tribesmen we formed a mad troop all there to laugh, have fun with our dogs, and try not to fall off/over!
The dogs were all happy to be in one of their favorite places, they quickly settled into their camps and soaked up the atmosphere.
Those of us with the very furry dog type knew we may not be able to race both days as high temperatures had been forecast for the weekend. Jan and David sensibly bought forward the start times but we still knew we would be battling the elements.
After the normal sportsman behaviour of helping each other to the start, mingling with all competitors and helping out where possible the NATBs crashed in a heap to enjoy the sunshine, and basically burn themselves or get sun stroke!
Emma and Helene spent some time in the woods in the afternoon capturing some amazing picture of Helens dogs Maz and Toffee in a pretend canicross pose, which was a great hour or so spent with Jason Brown who kindly took the amazing pictures, some posted below.
Sally had come up previously with a very good idea and as a club we purchased some club rosettes to present within the club as a bit of fun.
During the day on Saturday we made the decision to present 2 of the rosettes to some new potential members who came along to try our junior canicross. Alana and Evie were desperate to have a go at running with The Woos, so we begged and borrowed some junior belts for them to try. The woos managed to not look too disgusted at having to run a further 1.5k after already completing the course in the morning, and managed to trundle round much to the delight of the girls. 2 potential new members in the making we believe!
The rest of the Rosettes were handed out after the presentation and they were awarded as follows:
Matt West - Top Dog - awarded for his hard and earnest efforts at improving his fitness levels to try and match those of his dogs. All joking aside Matt is putting in a sterling effort and is secretly loving the way he feels!!
Izzy Powys - Top Dog - awarded for not only a spectacular dive off her chair the weekend before but for taking a rather grand dive as she got into the first section of the woods on Saturday, but getting up and continuing to run and complete the race - awesome work!
Danielle White - Winner - for NOT falling off all weekend, skills are improving! hee hee
Team Tea - Winner - this was presented by Emma for not only Sally gaining a PB with Vinnie round the course and completing both days (no guns shots heard!) but also for the best fall of the weekend going to Cliff, a spectacular "over the handle bars" job which resulted in an early finish to the race on Sunday and a very buckled front wheel! (Stanley was fine!)
Thanks goes again to Ma SHWA and her team for including us in the fantastic food and company for the weekend.
At the end of the weekend during the presentation the NATBs presented Jan and David with a few gifts and a card as just a thank you for all of their hard work during another fabulous season of fun and organised frolics!
There were a lot of pictures taken so please excuse the massive gallery!
Cant wait for the next one in September!!
Matt West 7th
Cliff Tarrant - Fell off on Sunday, is rubbish so no placement.....tut tut(!!!)
Emma Giles - 8th place (dog switch on Sunday from Kavik, it was too hot for him so Oki stepped in and scared the living daylights out of Emma on the way around!)
Emily Thomas - 10th place
Sally Tarrant - 11th place
Gary Oke - 4th place
Danielle White - 7th place
Canicross, Mixed Male
Gary Oke - 10th place
Julie Grham - 4th place
Hannah Giles - Only ran Saturday but great time
Emily Thomas - 7th place
Canicross Veteran Female
Helen Pettitt -2nd place
Joanne Heath - 6th place
Isobel Powys - 8th place
Emma Giles - ran Saturday only, not a great time! Must do better!
On the weekend of March 18/19th a hoard of NATBs descended onto the Checkendon Challenge arena for a weekend of fun and frolics.
It was an opportunity to catch up with friends and meet new members.
As always, and with a bit of help from Cliff, Sally, Roy and Emma the trail was looking amazing, having been leaf blown and raked the normal roots and holes were exposed to ensure any falls were easily blamed to poor eye sight!
This course is always a favourite, on private land, 5k of twists and turns single track, small obstacles and no public!
As always the NATBs camped near the wonderful Team SHWA and we once again were lucky to be included and treated to a wonderful feast of food due to our affiliation with them. Kerrie is our hero!
So who was there and what happened?
The following 16 members rocked up and put on an excellent show!
Cliff Tarrant, Sally Tarrant, Eleanor Tarrant, Matt West, Sarah Love, Isobel Powys, Emma Giles, Roy Giles, Hannah Giles, Mary Forster, Julie Graham, Danielle White, Helene Pettitt, Gary Oke, Lucy Matthews and Emily Thomas.
Covering off every discipline it was so much fun, and a tad hectic, helping everyone start, finish and recover! The bikejor classes had 45 entrants and scooter over 20 - massive classes!
With various dramas and funny moments one deserves a special mention, this being Izzys wonderful chair tumble, pulled over by the smallest dog in the field - AKA Aggie the wonder terrier x spaniel! We were treated to a tug of war content between some of our dog athletic team members, it was great to watch the tenacity of the dogs, determined to not let go of their toy!
Once again we showed our true club spirit supporting each other and having fun, we are hugely looking forward to the April event, only 2 weeks to go!!
Emily Thomas - 10th place
Lucy Teal - 17th place
Sally Tarrant - 19th place - I have to however mention here that Sally's run with Vinnie the wonder beagle (also known as Jesus) was rudely halted on Saturday due to crow scarers making extremely loud noises. On Sunday however Vinnie (AKA Jesus) put in a sterling run pulling Sally round to finish with the biggest smile of the weekend. Based on their Sunday time they would have actually finished around 12th if the Saturday race had been completed - go Sally and Vin!
Cliff Tarrant - 3rd place
Matt West - 7th place
Lee Drury - 9th place (honorary member for the weekend!!)
Emma Giles - 9th place - the woos showing that their long distance trekking is paying off, putting in a performance of hugely fast pure trek speed! Sunday time only being slightly faster due to being bribed by mini cheddars!!
Gary Oke - 5th place
Female Canicross F1
Julie Graham - 6th place
Lucy Teal - 10th place
Emily Thomas - 12th place
Hannah Giles - 13th place
Mary Forster - 15th place - Mary however was replaced by Emma last minute due to Mary being unwell.The lovely Aggie decided to sniff a lot, try and follow the other dogs under the tape and was generally having a marvelous time! It was a lot of fun and Emma and Aggie bonded!
Helene Pettitt - 2nd place
Isobel Powys - 9th place
Sarah Love - 12th place
Male V1 canicross
Gary Oke - 4th place
As most people know the Brutal 10k has been a firm favourite with many of the clubs canicrossers, however due to changes in the MOD rules they were unable to accept canicross entries for any events on their land. Which basically ruled out most of them.
However on the 25th February 2017 a Brutal was taking place on private land - so all hail the canicross entries!
Hannah Giles and Mary Forster decided to brave this event. Temple Valley is a very hilly course, not overly wet or boggy but a real tester of endurance and steel!
Mary ran the first half with Aggie her trusted terrier cross spaniel, who thrived and puled well. Hannah ran the first half with Mya, who although pulled was a little disconcerted as to not be running with her actual mum!
The girls swapped engines at 5k: Mary taking Kavik and Hannah taking Oki. To say the boys were wound up and excited would be an understatement and their enthusiasm was a joy to watch. The girls finished the event with huge smiles on their faces and very happy fur partners. How Kavik, as the largest dog, managed to be 3 times muddier than any of the others lord only knows BUT the fact the dogs were smiling too far outweighed the mud allowance!
Well done ladies, good show!!
The NATBs will be keeping you up to date on their members, their dogs and events for the 2015/2016 Season. Hope you enjoy!