Kath Hardman

I have been involved with Heelwork to Music since its start in 1996, but for the first two years just as a spectator – I started competing as soon as I could in 1999.

I am a judge and I probably judge as much as I compete.   I started judging in 2000, and I have been honoured to have been invited to judge at Crufts in 2005, 2012 and 2020. I have judged at most competitions in the UK and of course it helps as I can still compete at these competitions even when a judge.   I have also judged the sport overseas judging at the FCI World Show in Finland 2014 and at the Open European Championship in The Czech Republic 2012. As well as judging Championship Competitions throughout Europe (Russia, Denmark, Belgium, etc. ) I have had the pleasure to judge in Australia and Japan.  

In addition to being a Kennel Club member of the Heelwork To Music Working Party since its inception, I am the Heelwork to Music representative on the Kennel Club Judges’ Sub Group.   We meet twice a year and a third time when we meet with all the Canine Activities KC Accredited Trainers.

The Kennel Club keeps me very busy but I thoroughly enjoy being involved in the Rules and Regulations and the organising of two, KC Licensed Heelwork to Music Competitions each year for the past 15 years.   In Heelwork to Music, I have had Working Sheepdogs, but now have a cross breed, two Border Collies and young Hungarian Pumi.   I am very proud that my first five “Heelwork to Music Dogs” have competed successfully in the Advanced Class in both Heelwork to Music and Freestyle.
My Crossbreed Spice, won the Crufts Freestyle Final in 2008 and we went on to represent England in the Crufts International Freestyle in that year, which again we were delighted to win.
My eldest Border Collie Amber is still the youngest dog to compete at Crufts at 23 months. Together with Amber, we won the Inaugural FCI World Dog Show Heelwork to Music Championship in 2010, making her the first official World Champion in Heelwork to Music and we won a second Gold Medal at the same event as part of the Heelwork to Music Team GB in the team event.
In 2017, as a competing member in the HTM and Freestyle team, Team GB won Gold in both divisions which was a first in the sport.
I have been part of Team GB every year that a Team has been selected competing in both Heelwork to Music and Freestyle and on one occasion I had 3 dogs competing in the Team. I have also had the honour to be Team GB Manager on five occasions.

Other than taking part in Heelwork to Music, I have returned to Kennel Club Obedience after a long break. It has been good for me and my dogs to compete regularly at both Heelwork to Music and Obedience. The disciplines are similar but also very different!

My main passion is Heelwork to Music and Freestyle because although I find it the most work, I love the relationship it brings to me and my dogs.