We held our first Border Terrier Canada Earthdog sanction tests on Sunday, September 10 at Trenton Park in Trenton, Nova Scotia and they were a terrific success. While it was the only wet day in a two-week dry spell nothing dampened the enthusiasm of the dogs and their handlers.
It is necessary to have sanctioned tests when a club is newly formed with the Canadian Kennel Club before the Club can go on to have tests that count toward a dog's title, be it earthdog, conformation, obedience or agility. This is a way of proving that the club can organize a successful, rule-abiding event. Once a national club like BTC has successfully held a sanctioned event it is then permitted to hold formal, title earning tests anywhere in Canada.
We dug and prepared the tunnels and sites a week in advance, with the park staff's permission. Early preparation is strongly recommended whenever possible as it greatly relieves last minute stress. JE was dug into a wooded hillside and beautifully concealed by earth and leaves while IQ was on a level field and surrounded by snow fencing.
We had 20 entries: 12 in Intro to Quarry and 8 in Junior Earthdog. In addition to Borders we had Australian, Cairn and Welsh Terriers and a good turnout of Dachshunds. Anna Robaczewski was our judge for the day and she passed 5 dogs in IQ and 3 in JE. While these passes do not count toward titles in a sanction test, the participants, canine and human, were most happy and enthusiastic.
The Committee for the sanction tests was drawn from BTC members in the Maritimes as well as other earthdog enthusiasts. Anne Geall, a BTC member, offered to be the Event Secretary and did an excellent job, especially considering that it was her first time. Anna Fraser (BTC Atlantic Rep) chaired the tests while Andrea Griswold-Cooper, a BTC member and Heather Thompson, a Cairn owner, looked after all stewarding matters with help from several volunteers. Brian Graves, BTC, looked after running order lists and Graham Thompson, Heather's husband, oversaw site and tunnel maintenance. Vicky Hiscock, who has a Border Terrier, looked after the care and feeding of the judge. We had a tent with an assortment of wonderful food and beverages generously contributed by committee members. This hospitality tent was very popular with test participants and members of the public both for refreshments and shelter from the rain.
Brian and Jeanette made paper ribbons that exceeded our expectations with both the BTC and CKC logos. You can see examples on the site.
The sanction tests were held at the same time as the Pictou County Kennel Club shows and obedience trials, always popular with the local public. This meant that many members of the public and conformation exhibitors visited our part of the park to see the earthdog events. The tests served two purposes: BTC fulfilled its obligation to the CKC to hold sanctioned earthdog tests for our new club, gaining experience for the participants in the process, and we further encouraged other terrier and Dachshund folk to take part in future events.
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