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  • Mary Ray
    Christmas present for her but I don t think she s had time to read many books on it yet As soon as Christmas was over thoughts turned to Crufts of course Mary is always under a lot of pressure This year as you may be aware she has Foxy in the Bitch Championships Levi in the Dog Championships and Levi in the England team competing in the World Cup And that is pressure enough really but that s not bad what does pile the pressure on her is the Heelwork to Music routine on Best in Show Night The first problem as always is finding the music Mary always looks for some music that will choreograph correctly The easier thing would be to do what some competitors do and that is to do a lot of tricks just with music playing but we both believe in choreographing the routine to the actual music Then of course you need a theme to work to as well as to dress to And as it s Best in Show Night it has to showcase the dog to its full potential without doing anything degrading or silly So when it comes to picking music there s no pressure there at all This year Mary has chosen a band piece with a little bit of the 1940s theme and also as it s the Queen s Jubilee Year and the Olympics we have a bit of a Union Jack theme thrown in as well So having got over the music question and the theme it s putting it all together which is where the pressure really comes on She has done some magnificent routines over the years so that in itself increases the pressure on Mary because it is what s expected of her

    Original URL path: http://www.maryray.co.uk/OLD_NEWS/news_03_12.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Mary Ray
    s Horsemen who are probably the most professional trick riding outfit in the UK and Mary was to do a 15 minute training demonstration spot then finish the first half of the evening show with her Crufts routine We know quite a few people in the horse world and were very pleased to see Mike Tucker the world famous horse commentator was on duty who we know very well as he commentates on the dogs at the Olympia Christmas Horse Show Mary s spot went great we watched the Devil s Horsemen and a few other items but didn t stay until the end of the show as we were in the camper and were travelling down to the Tunbridge Wells Championship Obedience Show being held on the Saturday This of course is where a camper comes into its own and why we bought one The one we bought is a Hobby German and is a bit of a big lump but it is very difficult to get all you want with a minimum requirement into anything The reason I bought the one we have is that it has two single beds with wooden steps up to them to save Mary climbing up a ladder And of course it has to have a fixed bed because we need a garage to put the dogs in and it needs to be big enough for the dogs Steve Tubb whose company is Doggy Cages put in the cages for me and I have to say that they are absolutely superb He has a motorhome himself so knows exactly what is needed and I couldn t recommend him highly enough if you have a motorhome and want it caged properly Ours was about 16 months old and I got it for an absolute bargain price BUT it did have a huge mileage in motorhome terms having covered 21 000 miles and had been used to tow two racing cars all over Europe to classic racing car shows And it was very obvious that it had been used for some entertaining which didn t affect the functionality of anything but you could see that it had been used and of course a lot of people buying a used motorhome still expect it to look brand new hence the bargain price Anyway we ve done a couple of weekends with it and the odd night and we re really pleased with it at the moment so Mary is raring to go away again when the season starts In November we were at Earls Court for the Kennel Club s Discover Dogs Show again a great event I was commentating and running the Special Events Arena Mary was doing some demonstrations in the ring and we had a small trade stand out as usual Towards the end of November Mary had a Cabaret Sunday Afternoon in Leicester held at a sports centre hall with carpets laid on the floor and the rare luxury of tiered seating

    Original URL path: http://www.maryray.co.uk/OLD_NEWS/news_12_11.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Mary Ray
    moved to the first weekend in September I was running the KC Olympia agility semi finals at the City of Birmingham breed show for three days as usual Mary competed at Lichfield Champ Obedience show and not bad though two seconds and two firsts with Levi and Lexie As is traditional after this weekend we were off to Anglesey It is always a bit of a rush to get away from the semis and towing the caravan up to Anglesey late on the Sunday afternoon but we had a beautiful run up Not much traffic on the motorway and we came off on the A55 and had a trouble free run past Chester making for the coast and there was a beautiful sunset with the evening sun shining through the clouds even Mary got the camera out to take a photograph as it was so beautiful and it was getting latish and as we passed Rhyl and Colwyn Bay we could look out to sea and see the sunshine playing on the top of the waves then as we neared Anglesey it started to get a bit darker but now lets come back down to earth it wasn t night time it was the rainclouds and it absolutely peed down for the next three days it just didn t stop We ve been doing this course for a number of years and it is the first time that we ve had weather as bad as this It really was a good week again Rex and Maggie have got a smashing place and although it was supposed to be agility in the afternoons and HTM in the mornings a lot of the time was spent in the small training hall that they have which is super The week includes a great evening out at a local hotel There is a cabaret night for the HTMers so lots of doggy dancing We had a big meal for everyone in the barn and I believe that it is fully booked up for next year already We even had Veronique from Belgium over on the course for a week I did suggest that next year instead of being HTM and agility that the agility should be substituted for obedience so the handlers were asked what they thought I think there was an avalanche of yes votes After Anglesey the nomadic lifestyle starts again We had a really good run back from Anglesey and a quick empty of the caravan and we were on the road at 6am next morning to Thames Champ obedience show Another good result for a one day show for Mary 2 firsts 2 seconds and a fourth The following day on the 11th September Mary went off to Coventry Champ show I m sure she must be unpopular with some of the other handlers as she won novice bitch and B dog with Lexie and Ozzie respectfully We probably got the organisation dates wrong but the next day she had her regular monthly training day at the barn in Rugby and then had a few days to rest and recuperate The following two weekends were obedience shows at Birmingham Both weekends had one Champ show and one Open show and Mary had decided that she wanted the caravan taken up and she was going to stay the week there with her sister Pauline The venue was Sandwell Valley Country Park and although it is within walking distance of West Bromwich is it absolutely idyllic so much so there must have been 70 80 caravans staying the week there And of course there was a great community atmosphere with bits of training going on and some wonderful dog walks The downside for me was that Mary would have liked me to go up every other day to empty the loo and when we parked up I did tell her that she wouldn t get a picture on the satellite dish as she was parked too close to the trees but I did manage to get a freeview picture for her Unfortunately the authorities chose that week to change the channel settings and Mary didn t know how to retune the tv I won t tell you about the phone calls I had And then to make it worse we decided to buy a motorhome and I went and bought it the week she was away without seeing it which is a bit of a recipe for disaster really So on the Wednesday night in semi darkness I took it up there to show her whilst wearing a set of ear defenders and full body armour in case she didn t like it Eureka she thought it was lovely and I earned myself some brownie points More about that in another news round up Before moving on to how well Mary did over the weekends I can tell you that I am going to be advertising the caravan for sale It is a 2008 luxury twin axle Abbey Caravan with everything and when I say everything I mean everything It s got all the optional extras such as leather seating power touch mover tyron bands top of the range self seeking satellite dish sky box etc etc As far as competition over these two weekends goes it was a eureka moment for Mary with 5 first places 2 seconds 2 thirds a fourth a fifth and a sixth and the highlight was Levi won the Champ dog class and qualified for Crufts So Mary now has Foxy and Levi in the Championship classes at Crufts and Levi in the England team in the world cup What a great week she had After all the reserves and places in Open C it was a great relief for Mary to get the win The following week we had an evening for Dima s Dog School at Barnet in Hertfordshire just a small hall with about 90 in the audience it was destined to be

    Original URL path: http://www.maryray.co.uk/OLD_NEWS/news_10_11.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Mary Ray
    quandary at the moment whether to put it on two discs or have it on one disc that will be won t far off 3 hours long I suppose I could put it into separate chapters on the long DVD The intention was to edit it down but it all looks to be good stuff so it was too difficult to do The big happening for Mary in June was her weeks course which was very busy for her this year It started on the afternoon of 19th June and finished on the afternoon of the 24th We had Jill Houston over from Australia as a spectator for the week she stayed locally in a Bed Breakfast for a week I would like to say that she had flown over especially for Mary s course but she was her on a months holiday She is a very well known and skilled dog trainer most highly successful in the UK before she emigrated to Australia a few years ago Looks like she may be representing Australia in the Crufts International HTM Freestyle event at Crufts 2012 with a certain little Sheltie called Ozzie I did tell her it was at her own risk Anyway I did a big meal 3 course meal on the Sunday night as usual Homemade soup Chicken in sauce with fresh vegetables and strawberries and cream It was a triumph but then I am biased The weather during the week wasn t as good as last year but it didn t matter because Kath had a couple of barns come vacant so there was plenty of room indoors Not only did the course cover agility and obedience this year there was also Rally O obedience there was a DVD night on the big screen showing the rather hilarious HTM night from last year there was obviously the HTM night for this year which was equally hilarious we had a night up the pub and on the final night with a little help from my friend Kath we had another meal We found a local butcher who cooks his own ham so I bought a whole ham and carved it myself which was absolutely superb with organic new potatoes salad etc just superb yes I am biased Everyone had a great time Mary thanks all those who have written and also to Mindy for the disc and I ve already got a waiting list started before this years for next year Mary has done quite well at the obedience shows but she just can t get a ticket with Levi At Grimsby she had reserve 2nd in both Championship classes with both Foxy and Levi but something always seems to happen and Levi just can t seem to get the winning place in the Championship what do they say Always the bridesmaid and never the bride We had a good weekend at Grimsby lovely place to caravan for the weekend and we got a spot right by the

    Original URL path: http://www.maryray.co.uk/OLD_NEWS/news_07_11.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Mary Ray
    shame really as I m sure it would have been good fun On the 15th April Mary was booked for an evening at the Corn Exchange Witney in Oxfordshire It was a bit like a Town Hall with a big stage and tiered seating for 200 people It was a fund raiser for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People We got caught in Friday evening traffic and obviously didn t allow enough time so it was all a bit of a panic when we got there They laid some carpet on the stage where Mary was to perform she had to take a little care so the dogs didn t fall off the edge but the downside was there just wasn t enough room for Mary to perform her Crufts routine which was a big disappointment for the audience The upside was I don t know why but I took my projector and screen with me and we managed to find the switches to turn the lights off and we did show them the version that was filmed live in the main ring at Crufts It must sound boring when I keep saying it but it was a really good night and we had lots and lots of emails over the following few days from folks telling us how much they enjoyed the evening The other major thing we did whilst we were there was that I had the whole evening professionally filmed The good news is that the sound and the picture look absolutely excellent the bad news is that I have got nearly 3 hours of footage and I m supposed to be editing that down to about 90 minutes and I don t think I can It could be that we re going to put 2 DVD s out The existing Evening with Mary DVD is a little dated now so watch this space a new Cabaret night DVD showing all the latest tricks of the trade will be coming out in the next few months The next big event for us was the obedience shows over Easter We went away in the caravan a huge distance all the way to Measham in Leicestershire and it took us all of 45 minutes to get there but it is a nice spot to stay in the caravan Mary had a great weekend competing Midland Border Collie Championship Show Champ C Bitch 5th place with Foxy Open C Dog 2nd place with Levi B Dog 3rd place with Ozzie Champ C Dog 4th place with Levi Midland Border Collie Club Open Show Open C Dog 1st place with Levi Open C Bitch 2nd place with Foxy Ashfield Open Obedience Show B Dog 3rd place with Ozzie Open C Dog 2nd place with Levi Open C Bitch 3rd place with Foxy We followed this up by the Rugby Championship show the following weekend but as usual Mary is too busy being Show Secretary to really concentrate working her own dogs but

    Original URL path: http://www.maryray.co.uk/OLD_NEWS/news_05_11.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Mary Ray
    been running for the last few weeks on a Saturday evening on ITV1 It is a very very popular show where two families compete against each other for money and has one competition on the show each week where a member of each family competes in a challenge that they have to train for Previously they ve had dancing on ice kicking penalties on the Wembley pitch horse racing at Newbury and this one was to be completing a dog agility course at Crufts On the day before Crufts started in Rugby we had the full film crew at the Rugby DTC dog barn with Ant and Dec spending most of the day there as well We had Dillian competing for the Simpson family and Lee competing for the Cassidy family I did keep it a bit of a secret as we didn t want spectators there because it was a deadly serious operation Anyone who was under the impression that these things are fixed couldn t be further away from the truth We couldn t tell one how the other had got on what they had been doing or how successful they were they were kept apart the whole time when they were under instruction In fact the only time they came together was when they were needed for joint filming and we were not allowed to tell one what had happened with the other one then First job in the morning was to decide which dogs they were going to borrow The dogs belonged to Mary Jan Morse Julie Skipp and Yvonne Croxford There are lots of great agility dogs around but of course choice is severely limited as of course they have to be happy to work for a stranger They ran two dogs each and the producers decided to leave the choice to them Lee chose our Levi and Dillion chose Jan s Kia And the rest of the day was spent training in sessions I had suggested at an early stage that due to the pressure involved in this on the judge that a completely separate judge was invited and not one with commitments at Crufts already And I further suggested that it should be Arthur Rodgers Arthur supplied our first training course which was a fairly straight forward 16 obstacle course and indeed he arrived at the barn just after we started They mastered that quite well with Mary doing all the training and the two handlers coming into the barn individually For the afternoon training session the level of difficulty was ramped up with Mary and Arthur planning the courses between them and I have to say considering Leigh had owned a dog but not for the last five years and Dillion who had never owned a dog and was very apprehensive about dogs they both did extremely well in fact it was quite amazing how they responded to the training At the completion of the training day they were whisked away not

    Original URL path: http://www.maryray.co.uk/OLD_NEWS/news_03_11.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Mary Ray
    Rainbow Bridge The following week Mary held a Cabaret Night for Janet Butler in the Gloucester area It was a full house in a school assembly hall and had a great atmosphere Janet is a lovely person and both she and her husband are so enthusiastic about dog training We also had a lovely audience and Mary was on top form so it was not only informative but also highly entertaining as well In early November Mary was once again asked to do a guest spot at an Irish dancing entertainment and fund raising evening at Willenhall Club Coventry This was to raise funds for the Irish Dancing World Championships and the evening was held by the Coventry Irish Dancing Club run by Roisin Gibbons again another great night as apart from Mary s lovely routine with the girls who were in the main ring with her at Crufts in 2009 the whole evening was just wonderful Top of the bill was a performance by the leading girl dancer from Michael Flatley s latest stage show I am due to get some photographs of this and will put them on later Mary was going to start putting together her 2011 Crufts routine in November and December but as always with best intentions that didn t seem to happen and her first session on this didn t take place until just after Christmas She wanted to start early this year as she s off on a cruise in February as a guest speaker so she s lost at least two weeks of rehearsal time there I think she s going to be quite busy in the run up to Crufts as she not only has her routine to put together with Levi and Ozzie but she also has Levi in the

    Original URL path: http://www.maryray.co.uk/OLD_NEWS/news_01_11.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Mary Ray
    South London Championship Obedience Show and qualified Taz for the Crufts Championships 2011 In fact she s had quite a good year so far in Obedience only spoilt by a bit of aftermath from the flash camera at Crufts which has left a legacy of uncertainty on the sendaway for Taz but he does seem to be getting over it now Levi has had a few near misses in Championship classes but has done rather well in Open C s winning three so far this year It s amazing really that Levi can fail part of an exercise in Championship class or indeed work just not quite well enough in one of the exercises then on the same day he can go into Open C and win it and it s basically the same exercises as the Championships I often wonder if he s saying to himself well I m not going to do well in the important class but I ll do well in the not so important class to stop me qualifying for Crufts Also Ozzy the Sheltie has had a second place in A The big event for us at the end of June is Mary s week s camp This is held at Kath Dark s near Daventry and is just a fabulous venue This year we changed the camping and agility areas around a little so had a lovely agility ring a nice compact little area for camping Kath s training hall all week although due to the weather we didn t need to use it for training just for eating drinking and making merry and a great outdoor paddock for obedience The most important thing of all was that Kath had provided glorious weather I didn t stay on site because of the other dogs but felt like I was there most of the time and it was one of the best camps we ve had to date Everyone arrived on the Sunday evening for a barbecue which I cooked with chicken sausages and burgers Jersey royal potatoes and salad followed by strawberries grapes and whipped cream and it was fabulous though I say it myself For the whole week we had agility in the morning and obedience training in the afternoon Monday evening was the night off for a rest Tuesday evening 23 people went to the local pub The Countryman for a meal which was a gentle walk up from Kath s and very pleasant as each evening was very warm On Wednesday we had a DVD evening I have a big dropdown screen and a projector linked to a DVD player and the quality really is superb so the highlight of the night was watching DVDs of last year s camp that had been put together by Clare Russell I think a couple of other DVDs were also played Thursday evening was another meal albeit a bit on the early side Now you might wonder why I m going into details

    Original URL path: http://www.maryray.co.uk/OLD_NEWS/news_06_10.html (2016-02-08)
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