David Skinner and Ellie Beals with Gyro and Fracas
Looking back, 2014 was definitely a year of firsts…and seconds for these top-notch Obedience competitors who split their time between urban Ottawa and rural Quebec. Incredibly, 18-year CKC member Ellie Beals and husband David Skinner have completed the year as number one and number two respectively for our overall All Breed Obedience rankings.
Along with their Golden Retrievers Taygold’s Brawlroom Dancer (Fracas) and Taygold’s Gyro Scope It Out (Gyro), Ellie and David are enjoying what may be the rarest of achievements for Obedience competitors in Canada, and perhaps anywhere in the world.
It was 1998 when the couple first decided to try their hands at competitive Obedience training. Fast-forward to 2014, and Ellie and David enjoyed a year full of excitement and fun in which they achieved the objectives they had set for themselves, and much, much more. Initially they had hoped to have David and Gyro win their GMOTCh, while carefully working to ensure that Gyro and Fracas did not fall prey to competition fatigue.
Anyone looking at the statistics for Obedience rankings in recent years would not be surprised by the dogs’ impressive 2014 results, as Fracas (born 2007) and Gyro (born 2010) have been steadily climbing up the rankings year after year. Both dogs are also multi-year competitors in the HIT of HITs, with Fracas taking the first place prize as overall competitor in 2012 and first in the utility class in 2014.
“Our placements in the national obedience rankings at year-end are particularly gratifying because achieving top places in the Obedience Top 10 was not an objective, but instead has been a by-product of successfully meeting our real objectives,” said Ellie. She added, “while we enjoy competing, we don’t allow it to deprive either our dogs or us, of time in which we enjoy the fields, woods and water around our log cabin in Quebec.”
Now the happy couple is celebrating 35 years together and continuing to enjoy what has always been a feature of their marriage: working together happily and effectively on whatever project they choose to undertake. “Working with the dogs, coaching one another, and together coaching our small group of students has been far more fun and more meaningful than it would have been if either of us undertook these activities solo,” said Ellie.
Obviously the couple shares a winning attitude, a winning perspective and now an achievement that’s likely to endure for many, many years to come. Congratulations to Ellie, David, Fracas and Gyro.