We owe so much to South Yorkshire Springer Spaniel Rescue, not only do they help hundreds of dogs each year but they gave us a reason to create 'Springers'
Back in 1995 the Holmfirth branch of English Springer Spaniel Rescue Society was in desperate need of Funds. They had a small field and a limited amount of agility equipment but they did not have anyone with enough time to organize any training. So they approached Ben and Tina with the idea that an agility club would be an ideal way to raise funds for the rescue society.
From this 'Springer's' was born!!.... From our little windy field on the tops of Holmfirth which we shared with two goats and some chickens, we moved indoors for the winter to Woodnook arena at Honley. Thanks to Peter and Gillian Mellor who have been invaluable in their support over the years, we still train at Woodnook in the winter and use their arena as our venue for our annual show.
As the club grew we found that we needed more space, so moved to an outdoor venue, based at Crosland Moor in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire where we currently train. Get directions.
From our modest beginnings of six pieces of equipment and as many members, we are now comparatively well equipped, and have 60 or so full-time members. We continue to grow and make an annual donation to the English Springer Spaniel Rescue to commemorate our formation and in support of their work.
We originally formed the club for any dog and owner to enjoy the sports of Agility and Flyball, the idea being that any pet dog owner can come to Springer's and experience training in other disciplines. We later expanded the club activities to include a limited amount of heelwork to music - indeed, we were the first club in the Huddersfield area to incorporate heelwork to music in a display! We do agility and flyball displays and offer "have-a-go" sessions at many of our local shows and galas to enable those attending the show to get a taste of the sport. The main shows we attend are Honley Show and Mottram Show - renowned agricultural shows in the area.
We also have a very active social life within the club including camping, walking, charity fundraising and partying. One of our favorite haunts is Thurston House at Coniston in the lake district. We are able to book the whole house (7 flats) and always have a few days there in January, because the owners are dog friendly. Usually about 20 of us and a few more dogs, we enjoy the walking and the social activies in the evening. The owners look after us extremely well and we would thoroughly recommend a stay at this house if you have dogs - you can access the info at www.thurstonhouseconiston.co.uk.
All of the dogs at our club are pet dogs; the majority are rescue dogs and so have come from many different backgrounds with a tale to tell. Many are very nervous when they come to us, and their owners are a great credit to them having put in hours of time and patience with their pals.
More recently a number of our members have entered the competitive world of Flyball and Agility and have gained many successes. At the 2007 Crufts event, we had teams in the YKC finals of the Agility team competition and the Flyball competition, gaining 7th and 4th place respectively. This was no mean accomplishment when looking at our teams of cross bred & rescue dogs competing against a Myriad of collies!
Now we look forward to building on our successes and carrying on with our policy of enjoying what we do as individual members of the club, but without losing sight of our original aims and the fact that we are a club and that we are indeed STILL DOING IT FOR FUN!!