Lightening Strikes – Maidstone 12 February 2017


Teamies together
Merlyn, Mark, Marley and Ellen

Another lovely day down south.  Thanks to Lightning Strikesteam for another great day.  It was weird having a lunch break and finishing at 4:30… hope all KC affected teams are on the mend soon!

This was the first proper outing for some of our teams this year, seeing us seeded low down in all our divisions, but who cares, great experience and all the teams starting to gel nicely.

Canines:  Millie Bailey Jack  9"
Catapults: Reeva Ruby Layla Bryn Tally  9" & 10"
Cannons: Merlyn Frank Poppy Wiz Amber Marley 8"
Crossbows: Mikey Oscar Charly Sam Winnie 10"


Div 1 saw the Canines going NFC as Lexey is in season, but gave us the chance to have Jack in the ring and he didn’t put a paw wrong all day, as well as some work for Millie and Bailey in a crazy environment.

Div 2 saw our new Catapults line-up, minus Copper who is being assessed prior to returning to training, bottom seed of the division…. and our only team to bring home a rosette today, with a great time of 19.34 and a 3rd place. This team definitely has a lot more to give and I’m looking forward to seeing them over the coming months.

Merlyn n Mark
Merlyn and Mark, cheering the team on!

Div 3 saw the Cannons racing, with just one simple aim, get Merlyn his last 100 points, so racing clean was the aim of the game!  Well, they managed that in the first race, lol, so the rest of the day was spent gelling this team and re-introducing Frank to the lanes.

Div 4 was for the Crossbows, again a new line-up for this year, particularly with Paul taking over racing Oscar, for which he did a sterling job! Charly is still regaining confidence from an early change resulting in a slight jump crash at the champs last August but Becca and Sam have worked wonders with him over many weeks, which culminated in putting an early in today, which Charly didn’t react to at all.

Think we may be about to hit issues with Cannons and Crossbows racing head to head with Cannons posting a 21.11 and Crossbows a 21.34 today…. so long as they are in different divisions at our next tournament…..!

Canines: 17.57 Division 1/Seed 3 5th (FT 16.84) (NFC)
Catapults: 19.10 Division2/Seed 5 3rd (FT 19.34)
Cannons: 20.27 Division 3/Seed 4 4th (FT 21.11)
Crossbows: 20.01 Division 4/Seed 3 4th (FT 21.34)

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our winter racing at Maidstone and we look forward to returning next year.  Thanks to Lightning Strikes!


Lights Failure
What we get up to when the lights crash!


Lightening Strikes – Maidstone 15/01/2017

Well the New Year started in January for Cambridgeshire Canines taking 2 teams to Maidstone, visiting Lightening Strikes, the hosting team.

Due to always being oversubscribed Cambridgeshire saw themselves with two out of the four teams gaining entry and two on the reserve list, giving us the hard task of deciding who goes.   After a club discussion it was decided that the top team (Canines) and a mix up team would go.  The mix up team was made to help our founder dog (Merlyn) who is virtually retired, gain a few more points to his next big award.

Canines      Millie      Bailey      Lexey      Tally                     9”

Coyotes      Merlyn    Poppy      Sam        Ruby     Bryn       8”

The running order was issued and saw Jan down for measuring at 7.30am so an overnight stop at the Premier Inn was made! Second division saw us doing some ring party, third division (Division 5) Coyotes were racing.  We then had a nice little break before Ellen was Judging with some ring party help and last division (Division 1) saw Canines racing.

Coyotes were the first team to race.  They had an interesting first leg of the day, where our height dog decided to go for a wander around the boxes at the back of the ring.  We found this highly amusing that the team we were racing ran all of their dogs and we had only just caught our height dog… ( have you guessed, yes it was a Jack Russell!!))

Racing only got better for this team and all the dogs went from strength to strength, Ruby was on fire putting in some very good times.  Bryn one of our younger dogs was certainly enjoying himself and putting in some of his quickest times yet!

This team went unbeaten all day coming home with a 1st place rosette and lots of points for Merlyn, who now only needs 90 points, for his Pearl Award.

Canines were back again in Division 1, raring to go, gaining more experience for the youngsters and some team gelling.  Seeded 5th in this division Canines were there for a bit of fun and some good old racing.

We didn’t expect to come anywhere in the division knowing the teams we were up against  and we had a few early crosses throughout the day!  Tina got a few rollers and some good start times in the morning, but by the afternoon had lost the plot and was struggling to get the 0.0…. times we all like to see.

Having said all of that, we did put the fastest time in first race of the afternoon that these dogs have seen 17.57!! and we still had room!!

We were all proud of the dogs racing, something seem to click and we won 3 out of the 5 races in the division, we don’t know how we did it but we thought we had come third in the division…  What a surprise we had in presentation when third place was called and it wasn’t Canines, we thought they had forgotten us but oh no!  We had only gone and come 2nd in our division!!  Whoop whoop!!

The whole team were on cloud 9 for at least the week after racing!

We would all like to thank Lightening Strikes for hosting this tournament and can’t wait to see everyone again in February for some more fantastic racing.

Harry Potter Team Outing

Saturday 5th November

This was the day that saw a proportion of the club and family members taking a trip to the wonderful Harry Potter Studios.


We all met up just outside the doors, collected the tickets and started to queue to get in.  The first step of queuing was having your bags searched for dangerous items and a body scan!!  I felt like I was at the airport!! We all made it though in one piece, then on to the next queue to actually get into our allotted tour time.

We all gathered in a greeting room and were given a wonderful welcome to the studios, with a few fun and games…  Whilst in this room we were given a brief video of how Harry Potter came about… (I’m not going to give all the secrets away in this blog… I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t been yet!)

After this we wegreat-hallre all invited to take a seat and watch cinema clips from some of the scenes made throughout the Harry Potter films, this was before the grand opening into the great hall!!!  Nicole Webster was one of the lucky ones to open the door as a celebration of her birthday..


After this we were pretty much left to our own devices wandering the great scenes of Harry Potter.  Some of us were lucky enough to ride a broomstick! While others took part in creating their own reactions to the special effects on the


Going around together in a large group was very difficult as everyone wanted to spend longer seeing different things, so people split up and met up again later then disappeared off to see something else.  Some of us had lunch together and talked about what we had seen, before moving on to the final part of the tour.

At the end you came across a massive model of Hogwarts, this was absolutely amazing – the amount of time that had gone in to creating just the model.  The whole tour really does make you realise how much time and effort went into making all of the films.hogwarts

As we didn’t all go around in one big group some of the club had already left for the day, by the time the final person came out of the studios.  Some of us had gathered in the café and were having a drink and chatting about the day.  We decided to have a photograph outside of the members who were left.


Unfortunately this has left the Harry Potter bug inside of me and I am now desperate to watch all the films.  I would also love to go back to the Studio Tour and revisit because I’m 100% positive I didn’t get to see everything that was there…


Until our next little outing….






Lightening Strikes – Maidstone 09/10/16

This week saw 4 of our teams travelling to Maidstone, to take part in the first of Lightning Strikes indoor block tournaments.  After a rather early start we all arrived a bit bleary eyed ready to start the days racing by ring part duties assisting the judge (a very gentlemanly Darren Dent!!).  We then moved swiftly into racing.


Lexey Millie Bailey Tally Layla 9"


Merlyn Jack Poppy Wiz Reeva Marley 8"


Copper Mikey Jazz Ruby Amber 9"


Bryn Charly Sam Winnie Charlie P 10"

3rd Place Rosettes for Crossbows and Cannons

Crossbows were first in.  We had a few teething problems this week, what with Charly H still tentative taking crossovers after his crash from the Champs, Bryn wanting to say hello to his team mates at the gate and Charlie P not liking the noise so we had to change the team line up.  We managed to win three races out of the four and ended up in a two way tie for third place, luckily having beaten the other team, we came home with a lovely 3rd place rosette.

Cannons were in next, with a slight change in line up from the Waggy Tails tournament.  Merlyn sharing starts with Jack again this week, giving Jack the ring experience.  Jack was raring to go for morning racing although we do believe he forgot his box turn this week!  Merlyn, Poppy and Wiz were all on form, with Mark Peck putting in some nice start times, including a couple of rolling starts.  Reeva once again was flying, putting in some lovely 4.6s times.  Reeva had a few teething problems this week but with a little guidance in the warm ups we managed to correct her.  Cannons won two out of their four races this week, bring home a 3rd place rosette.

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Coyote team line up

Coyotes were in the 4th division of the day, although they only won one out of their four races of the day, all the dogs were running well.  Copper (handler Sharon Tuffnell) was on lights putting in some lovely times of 4.3s (including a (4.1s pb), with Sharon having five rolling starts throughout the day.  It was really lovely to see Ruby (handler Jan Schofield) back in the team after a lovely long holiday!! The team were seeded 5th in their division and came home with a respectable 4th place.


Canines were in the last division of the day (Division 1) seeded 4th,  we had a slight change in team line up this week, with Layla (handler Nicole Webster) joining us instead of Copper from last week.  The team were out for gaining experience again for the two youngsters – Lexey and Millie sharing starts.  There were certainly a few rolling starts between handlers Mark Peck and Tina Hatcher.  Mark beating Tina hands down with 4 to Tina’s 2.   All the dogs raced really well, Bailey was doing his infamous bum sliding into the box, so more work to be had in training and we learnt that Millie clocks the dogs in the blue lane whilst racing in the red, more than the other way around, so a bit of work in training needed there too.  The team won two out of their five races of the day, bringing them home a 5th place.

Presentations saw Layla (handler Nicole Webster) receiving her Silver award, Copper (handler Sharon Tuffnell) receiving his gold award and Gypsy (handler Ellen Schofield) receiving her Platinum Award.



17.56 Division 1/Seed 4 5th (FT = 18.00)


20.10 Division 4/Seed 5 4th (FT = 20.32)


21.10 Division 5/Seed 4 3rd (FT = 20.63)


21.50 Division 6/Seed 3 3rd (FT = 21.01)

All in all another great days racing and team work had by all.  Watch this space for next months edition, where we are back to Maidstone, enjoying Lightning Strikes 2nd indoor hosted tournament.

I had to put this final picture in of everyone helping pack away.  I do believe the duck tape got stuck to the floor, leaving a sticky mess!! maidstone

Waggy Tails – Greenacre Academy Chatham 02/10/16

This Sunday saw the club travelling to Chatham, taking three teams to Waggy Tails’ first hosted tournament and what a tournament it was!

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Crossbows Divisional Win Rossette

Canines – Lexey, Millie, Bailey, Copper, Tally                                 9″

Crossbows – Oscar Y, Bryn, Charly, Sam, Winnie, Charlie P     10″

Cannons – Merlyn, Jack, Poppy, Reeva, Frank, Gyp                    8″

First team up were Crossbows.  We started off with a fantastic first race, winning 3 straight legs.  The second race saw Bryn doing all the hard work for us after the start dog in the other lane took a shine to him!!  The day only got better for this team,  ending in Crossbows coming home with a divisional win, having been seeded third in their division.

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Cannons line up, Mark and Merlyn having a cheeky 5 mins in the background!

Cannons were up next, this team had two of our baby dogs (Jack and Reeva) making their debut in their first open tournament.  Jack (handler Julia Hatcher) started the first leg of each race, teaching him to focus on getting a four footed box turn, as he does have a lazy backside!  The starts were rather interesting with a few false starts and a rather late one, where Jack unfortunately got his tail trapped behind Julia’s knee.  Julia apologised to Mark Peck for passing the false starts over to him and promised him a few beers at the pub!  Reeva (handler Becca Christon) was on fire all day hitting some brilliant times – on average 4.90s.  She certainly loved watching Merlyn coming back, but with some encouragement from Tina Hatcher on the sideline we got her facing forwards ready for her crosses into Poppy – and what tight crosses Becca was putting in – certainly giving Ellen heart palpitations on the line.  The team saw some wins and losses.  They were seeded 6th in the division, but worked their way up to a respectable 4th place.


Last up saw Canines competing in Division 1, with a new team line up.  The team’s aim for the day was all about gaining experience for the two youngsters, Lexey (Handler Mark Peck) and Millie (Tina Hatcher), Millie and Lexey were to share starts.  This was Millie’s first time in open competition, she had an excellant day’s racing ending up gaining her FD award in the three races she participated in.  She took some amazing crosses from Bailey (well done Pamela Parish) and even did a wide cross into Tally on a re-run.  Canines were seeded 5th in their division working well together and ending up with a respectable 4th place.




Canines                  17.56s   Division 1/Seed 5                         4th (FT = 17.78)

Cannons                21.10s   Division 4/Seed 6                        4th (FT = 21.33)

Crossbows            21.50s   Division 5/Seed 3                         1st (FT = 21.40)

As well as all the wonderful racing, some of the handlers took part in other aspects of the days racing.  Ellen Schofield and Mark Peck’s day started earlier than the rest of the club with Ellen measuring and Mark having the honour of being head judge for the day.  Tina Hatcher judged division 2 with her ring party, Ellen Schofield, Becca Christon, Paul Young in the morning and Julia Hatcher, Helen Young, Des Christon in the afternoon.  The club would like to express their thanks to all the members for their help throughout the day, especially to those who came and did not race a dog.

All in all a fantastic day was had by all.  We cannot thank Waggy Tails enough for hosting a fabulous tournament.


British Flyball Championships 2016

Thursday the 18th August saw the Club departing from their various homes and making their way to the British Championships, held at Catton Hall in Birmingham.  After a rocky start we all gathered and made camp in field B, ready for racing throughout the weekend.

Canines                Bailey Oscar Ice Tally Millie                                           10”

Catapults             Caspian Copper Ruby Layla Bryn                                  9”

Crossbows          Lexey Charly Mikey Winnie Jazz Charlie P                  10”

Canons                 Merlyn Dizzy Poppy Marley Frank Freya                    8”

Crusaders            Oscar Sam Amber Wiz Kai Gypsy                                  9”

Friday saw two of our teams racing, Cambridgeshire Cannons and Crusaders.

Merlyn (Cannons) and Gypsy (Crusaders)

First up were Cannons who were seeded 1st in Division 32.  Racing went really well for this team, we had an interference with one of our more timid dogs, we didn’t let it beat us though, we gave her a run on her own and she completed with no glitches.  Cannons didn’t quite manage to hit their seed time, but they did finish in 3rd place bringing home a lovely rosette.  This was a definite celebration for Merlyn (handler Mark Peck) who retired at his last British Championships.

Crusaders also competed on Friday, they were seeded 3rd in Division 36 and all the dogs performed as we expected.  Helen’s starts with Oscar (O’ Scary) were awesome, I do believe we had a couple of rolling starts!!  Crusaders only just missed out on maintaining their seeded place and came home with a brilliant 4th place.   Again we saw another celebration for Gypsy (handler Ellen Schofield) who retired at her last British Championships.

Crusaders Line up = Mr O’Scary raring to go for his rolling start!!

Saturday saw our next two teams competing Cambridgeshire Crossbows and Catapults.

Crossbows were first up to compete.  Racing started well, but ended up with Charly H (handler Tina Hatcher) one of the 10” height dogs going lame. Jazz (handler Nicole Webster) our second 10” height dog stood up to the mark and Crossbows made a wonderful recovery, winning 3 out of their 5 races throughout the day, bringing them home a respectable 3rd place.   I cannot leave this team to move onto the next one, without giving a special recommendation to Charlie P (handler Mark Peck) who competed in his first British Championships, after being in starters for 5 years.  We have been working really hard with Charlie P in training and other open competitions, building up his confidence in the ring. I do believe all the hard work paid off.  Well done Charlie P.

Catapults competed in the fourth division of the day, racing went really well and all the dogs performed as we expected.  Bryn (handler Pamela Parish) had his first British Championships this year running in multiple positions, although he still needs help in training on his ‘lane hogging’!!  Catapults matched their Seeding and came home with 5th place of their division.


Last but not least, saw Canines competing on Sunday, seeded 5th in Division 6.  Bailey Oscar Ice and Tally really gelled within their team and had some close races, they managed to climb up their division coming home with a fantastic 3rd place.   Millie (handler Tina Hatcher) one of our baby dogs joined this team for a bit of ring experience.  Millie proved she was not phased by the size of the British Championships, she did 3 wonderful run backs although her handler was in the wrong place on the first two!!  On her last encounter in the ring, she was given the opportunity in the warm up to practice her box turns and managed to do 3 awesome turns before she did her final run back.  She would like to thank her team mates for this opportunity and was a very enthusiastic member of the team at the back of the ring.

Canines                17.56s   Division 6/Seed 5                             3rd (FT = 17.89)

Catapults             18.79s   Division 16/Seed 5                           5th (FT = 19.35)

Crossbows          20.48s   Division 31/Seed 1                           3rd (FT = 21.23)

Canons                20.58s   Division 32/Seed 1                          3rd (FT = 20.98)

Crusaders            21.19s   Division 36/Seed 3                          4th (FT = 21.71)

Unfortunately this year we did not come home with any divisional wins,but we all enjoyed the camaraderie within the club and had lots of celebrations, as our dogs competed so well.  We ended the weekend with a Hatcher special barbeque, we would like to thank Julia and Chris for taking the time on Sunday to go out shopping, cooking and putting on a wonderful spread.

EFC2016 – What an amazing experience!

efc2016-no-dateThis weekend saw us hosting the 2016 European Flyball Championships at Trinity Park in Ipswich.  We welcomed over 150 teams from Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Isle of Man, Poland, Scotland and Wales, as well as a special guest, Liesel Twyman, from South Africa.

As well as hosting the tournament we had 5 teams running – Canines, Continentals, Crusaders, Cosmopolitans & Creche (NFC).  Speed trials were held all day Friday and into Saturday morning to allow teams to post times that would see all 156 teams ranked into 20 divisions for the double elimination to determine the European Champions.  All 5 of our teams were drawn to race on the Friday, with Creche, Crusaders & Cosmopolitans racing Friday morning followed by Continentals & Canines on Friday afternoon.

Canines Bailey Oscar Copper Ruby Layla 10"
Continentals Merlyn Dizzy Poppy Ice Frank Marley 8"
Crusaders Oscar Bryn Sam Amber Wiz Kai 9"
Cosmopolitans Lexey Jazz Charly Mikey Winnie Charlie 10"
Creche Millie Eno Reeva Jack Remus Asha 9"

So Friday morning saw us racing 3 teams – Cosmopolitans, Creche and the Crusaders – pretty poor planning on the behalf of the tournament organiser if you ask us ;). Oh yes, and we were running the tournament as well. Friday afternoon was the turn of the Continentals and the Canines.  All dogs in all 5 teams ran foot perfect, especially our baby dogs in the NFC Creche team.  All teams posted nice times ready to take them through to the double elimination round on Saturday or Sunday. The Creche ended up bottom seed of the whole tournament (as an NFC this wasn’t surprising!) and were drawn to race again Saturday morning in division 20, which they did and were knocked out after 2 races. Crusaders, Cosmopolitans & Continentals were all drawn to race Saturday afternoon which was a tad stressful, especially when we had a ring clash…. But we managed because that’s what we do :).  Crusaders were first to be knocked out in the afternoon giving them =7th place in their division.

CONTINENTALS – Merlyn Poppy Ice Marley
After a slight hiccup when the JRT forgot which lane she was in and a mis-communication (BAD TEAM CAPTAIN!!!) meant a dog was sent in the wrong order and freaked Merlyn out, the Continentals pulled it together for some great racing, reaching the final of division 13, loosing to Be Quickstep!  Cosmopolitans put in some great racing, particularly from some of our younger dogs at their “first” Championships – Lexey, Charlie, Jazz – (alright, Lexey did one leg at EFC 2015!) – getting through to the semi finals in division 16. So first day of DEs done and 2 teams on the podium. It was all down to the Canines on Sunday to pull off a divisional win, could they do it?

CANINES – Bailey Oscar Ruby Layla

Sunday dawned as yet another glorious day (we were seriously spoil with that weather!).  A fairly easy morning for the team really with nobody running (haha, oh yes, we just had a major tournament to run instead…!). Sunday afternoon and it was the turn of our top team for the weekend. This canines line up with realistically an amalgamation of our normal top 2 two BFA teams so some newish crossovers for handlers to manage, but they all came up trumps, especially Pauline and Oscar, those were tight! Yet again the team ran amazingly, coping with the heat and format well. The managed to break their fastest time from Friday clocking a sub-18s time (not sure where that came from TBH!). They had some great, tight racing just getting knocked out by Relentless in the semi finals again, so another podium place but a divisional win escaped all out teams…. never mind, we will try harder next year 😀

CANINES 18.25s Division 7 / Seed 5 3rd (FT=17.95)
CONTINENTALS 20.12s Division 13 / Seed 6 2nd (FT=19.61)
COSMOPOLITANS 20.77s Division 16 / Seed 1 3rd (FT=20.65)
CRUSADERS 21.68s Division 17 / Seed 8 7th (FT=21.41)
CRECHE 27.62s Division 20 / Seed 8 NFC