International HTM & Freestyle

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JAPAN - JUDGING AND TRAINING   17th to 20th November 2023   Kath Hardman

A whirlwind journey to Japan - my 4th visit there - Left UK Tuesday 14th and arrived home 21st after completing HTM/Freestyle Training and 2 days judging.



I had a fabulous time in the shadow of Mount Fuji - such a very special, magical Mountain at the foot of which is the fabulous venue for dog training and competitions.   At 48 metres x 48 metres with a green, dog friendly floor and terraced seating on two sides, this makes for one of the very best dog training venues.

The training day Friday, consisted of 12 Handlers and 16 Spectators all very eager to learn more.
The morning started with everyone wanting to work on focus.  We worked all together using each other as distractions and also individually to see what their specific problems were.
After a short lunch break I worked with each individual handler and dog covering anything they wanted.  This included: play and rewards, Heelwork, linking moves and quite a number requiring advice and help with the dog moving backwards.
Lots for the spectators to watch and the handlers too!

The Competition started on Saturday with a full day of Freestyle. I was the only judge and whilst this is strange for HTM/Freestyle, it is the only discipline for which most countries and competitions have 2 or 3 judges.  (I have actually travelled somewhere that had 10 judges for each class – none of whom had competed in HTM!!)    The idea of 2 or 3 judges originated from the UK along with many of our rules taken on board by other countries – something we should be proud of! 
Sitting with my interpreter (if needed) I had a full day to judge at my own speed, although all running orders were allocated a time slot which I felt easy to accommodate.


Freestyle on Saturday consisted of 57 handler/dog teams across all levels.

Novice = 17 entries   

Beginners = 3 entries

Starters = 8 entries   (The Starters Class were allowed motivators and verbal feedback was given – no scores)
Intermediate = 13 entries 
Freestyle Fun Class = 16 entries   No scores needed but verbal feedback had to be given.
The last Class of the day was Retry Freestyle Beginner and Starters where these dog handler teams could take advantage of the competition layout and have another try at their routines. No scoring or feedback required
HTM on Sunday consisted of 39 Handler/dog teams - again all levels.
Novice = 9 entries
Beginners = 3 entries
Starters = 6 entries (Again the Starters were allowed motivators and I had to give verbal feedback)
Fun Class = 7 entries
Intermediate = 14 entries
Retry HTM Class Beginners as Starters = 8 entries  No scoring or feedback required

Handlers in Japan can select which class to enter in the Japan Kennel Club Competitions.  This competition did not schedule an Advanced Level so anyone who was at the Advanced level could enter the Intermediate Class.
Likewise – if your dog works Intermediate or Advanced and is getting a little older – you may drop to Novice with less expected of the dog.


The routines were quite innovative and very interesting to watch and judge.   The costumes were amazing and a variety of dogs including: BC, Goldies, Pugs, Corgis, all sizes of Poodles, all types of Dachshunds, Shiba Inus, Westies, JR & Yorkshire Terriers, Bichon Frise, Chihuahua, NSDTR, French Bulldog, Poms, Spaniels, Maltese, Schnauzer, Sheltie, Rough Collie, Labrador plus mix breeds.

We finished with a short Training Session on Monday for all the Competition Staff who had not been able to take part on the Friday Training.

Thank you, Asako for inviting me and organising the days so well. 

I loved every minute of each day and meeting old friends as well as making new friends!




HTM and Freestyle Training in Germany July 2023    Kath Hardman

Being invited to train at the Hotel Wolf complex in Oberammergau, Germany is always an honour and this was to be my 5th visit.   Oberammergau is based in the Bavarian Alps and is well known for its once-a-decade performance of the Passion Play in the Passion Play Theatre. 



The dog training venue is superb – this year a brand new AstroTurf had been laid in the huge halls A, B and C, each hall measuring 450m² .   There are usually three disciplines being taught at Hundesporthotel Wolf and spectators are allowed to wander between the halls.

For my class for the week – yes, intense HTM and Freestyle training Monday to Friday – I had 10 participants who had travelled from their homes in Germany and Switzerland.

Training for so many days does show problems very clearly – not like a one day session – these people return the following day and it becomes a very close training session helping them achieve all that they want.

I worked on what they wanted as a group and then gave each person the individual time they needed to ensure they could keep progressing with their dogs.
We worked on particular moves, Heel Work and also full routines.  A lovely mix of abilities and all very eager to learn each day.









Team GB 2023


October 2023  - Saw Team GB off on their travels again - this time to Italy, the team members were:

Heelwork to Music

Lucy Heath

Irene Holt

Lucy Creek

Nicci Hindson


Lucy Heath

Lucy Creek

Nicci Hindson

Lorna Syrett


They had a fantastic time with them taking the Silver Team Medal in the Heelwork and Gold in the Freestyle - what a great achievement. We are proud of you all.



May 2023 Congratulation to the whole team who did a fantastic job representing GB at the competition - see a report form team manager Kath Hardman below.



Kath Hardman – HTM TEAM GB Manager
Huge thanks once again to everyone for supporting HTM TEAM GB on their travels to Denmark to compete in the FCI World Dog Dancing Championships held 18th to 21stMay 2023.

As HTM TEAM GB Manager, I am very happy to report the Team worked really well and in competition we had the following results:

Heelwork to Music – 4th place for the Great Britain Team  out of 14 countries competing
Nicci Hindson and her dog Elsa also achieved a place in the Top Ten Individual Final reaching  7th place out of 46 competitors


Freestyle  - a wonderful 2nd place for Great Britain Team – again 16 countries competed
Nicci Hindson and her dog Elsa also achieved a wonderful 2nd place in the individual top ten final and Lucy Creek with her dog Jingle also achieved a 7th place against 52 competitors.

The Team arrived safely back home and recovered from a long 10 days away, with 5 full days driving to and from the venue in Denmark.

1st The Czech Republic   4th Great Britain

HTM Individual
1st Jessica Karlgen with Storm (Norway)   7th Nicci Hindson with Elsa  GB

1st The Czech Republic        2nd GREAT BRITAIN
1st Lizette Olausson  & Lotus    (Sweden)   2nd Nicci Hindson with  Elsa  6th Lucy Creek with Jingle





FCI World Championships


The FCI Dog Dance World Championships are being held in Messecenter, Herning, Vardevej 1, 7400 Herning, Denmark from 18-21 May 2023.

HTM TEAM GB Manager   Kath Hardman says we have an extremely strong team this year and are looking forward to taking part in the FCI Dog Dance World Championships, the first time Team GB has been represented since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.   We wish all the team members safe travels to a very exciting competition.   Good Luck.

Heelwork to Music Team

Lucy Creek with Deltamadog Pobyddion Cae 
Lucy Creek with JK’s Amazing Xante 
Nicci Hindson with Comebyanaway What A Feeling 
Nicci Hindson with Comebyanaway Wildest Dream 

Reserve: Kristine Hodgson with Astra Sieva

Freestyle Team

Kim Lyddon with Elmleas Dance Out Loud 
Kristine Hodgson with Astra Sieva 
Lucy Creek with JK’s Amazing Xante 
Nicci Hindson with Comebyanaway Wildest Dream 

Reserve: Lucy Creek with Deltamadog Pobyddion Cae 


HTM TEAM GB is a self funded team of handlers and dogs which are selected annually and have been competing since the FCI World Dog Dance Championships in 2010 in Denmark.  The Team is immensely grateful for the sponsors named above who have helped the Team make its way to Denmark once agai
















When possible, The Kennel Club sends selected competitors to the World Championships or the European Open Championships or the Open European Championships  to represent Great Britain as a TEAM.

Since overseas Championships have been held, HTM TEAM GB has proved to be a much respected and successful team.

Each Country’s Leading National Canine Association   i.e. The Kennel Club in GB, are allowed to apply to submit an official team when entries open.

Teams are compiled of 4 dog/handler teams in HTM and in Freestyle – with one reserve dog/handler allowed for each section.

The Rules are slightly different to our Kennel Club L Regulations but it is simple enough to adapt a routine to fit.

Kath Hardman has been HTM TEAM GB Manager since 2011. 

If you would like more details about getting involved with the tem – to compete or support – please contact her:
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