Wow, what an amazing weekend, where do I start...
I suppose I never really expected to gather big crowds at our retrieving demonstrations at the SSAA Shot Expo on weekend, like our VIC and NSW counterparts had done at theirs down south. And being outside the building, when all the other exhibitors were inside (along with the threat of rain), I really felt that we may not get very many watching....how wrong I was!
We gathered at the RNA grounds (hi-vis vests inhand) to set up in the dark on Friday night, our fingers crossed that the weather would hold for us, at least for the weekend, so that we could show visitors what retrieving trials in QLD were all about. The gods were with us, and when Saturday arrived, we were blessed with glorious sunshine.
The amount of visitors that filled the plaza on Saturday morning, waiting for the doors to open was amazing, so we took the opportunity to take the dogs out for a pat amongst the crowd. At 11am and 2pm we held our demonstrations, and gathered crowds 4 deep on all three sides of our fenced area. The crowd loved the dogs, whether they were doing what they were suppose to, or mucking up (as in Franklin's case), and we were blessed with lots of claps, cheers and laughter.
Saturday saw great Open demonstrations from Gunner and Tessa, Advanced work from Blondie and Chevy, and Intermediate work from Grady, Jacko, Ruby and Franklin. Jacko and Grady even took a dip in the mini duck ponds that were part of the display!
On Sunday, Elley, Errol and Nyah helped out with Open runs, Tikka with Advanced, and Asali, Ruby and Franklin for Intermediate.
Alas we could not show the audience the precision and skills the dogs possess in the field, but we did the best we could on pavers, with both dogs and handlers alike doing an amazing job under the circumstances.
The weekend seemed effortless, with so many wonderful members offering their assistance, which just goes to show how special our club really is. It is truly amazing when people are prepared to give up their weekends to help out at a stand, with nothing in return apart from great company!
Of course I'd be amiss not to mention our sponsors for the weekend. Without these guys, the stand would not have been anywhere near as good as it was...
Gina was wonderful to work with, supplying us with banners, windflags, showbags, prizes and more for our stand.
The support we receive from SSAA constantly amazes me. Michael and the team at SSAA Qld kept us hydrated and covered all weekend.
Therese and Peter from GreenGrove (Indoor Plant Hire) answered my call for trees for our display, and they looked great! They were extremely generous and a joy to work with.
And a big thankyou to Michael, Michael (yes there are two of them) and the Exhibitions Group for having us along.
Last but not least, I'd like to thank our members for their amazing effort on the weekend. Whether it be blowing up balloons and putting them on stick for the kids, working their dogs for the demos, babysitting, manning a thrower, public speaking, setting up, packing up, or just helping out in general. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. The weekend would not have been anywhere near as great without you!
Jim & Linda Jeffrey, and Ruby
Rad, Teharna & Capri Mirramon-Jeffrey, and Chevy
Judy & Robert Price, and Blondie
Byran & Sally Pritchard, and Gunner
Edwena Adcock, Grady and Jacko
Denis & Kylie Bullimore, Tessa and Asha
Ron & Cathie Jackson
Lauren & Quinn Wallace, and Nyah
Ian & Sue Wallace, and Asali
Sam & Elaine Haigh, Elley and Errol
Colin & Christine Robinson
Nev Bawden and Tikka
Kai & Sebastian Jeffrey
VICE PRESIDENT - PUBLICITY AND PROMOTIONS