A potted history of Tenterden & District Dog Training Club.

Having first met Elaine Brammer at the Hastings & St Leonards Obedience classes we spotted on their notice board one night an advert for agility which we thought might be interesting!

We arranged to attend the classes & there met with Barbara & Alan Pointer. At that time Barbara was doing more obedience training than agility. Alan did more of the agility training. Tenterden had originally been an obedience training club run by Barbara & was started in Tenterden hence the Club name.

But, when we joined them around 1982 they were training in an Olympic sized indoor riding school at Great Nineveh which no longer exists, and was nearer to Benenden.

Jump heights were 2’6” with no concession initially for small or medium sized dogs. The A-frame was over 6’ high (6’1” or 6’2”), the tyre which has seen many changes was originally a proper car/tractor tyre with its bottom half filled in with a bit of wood & then suspended on metal chains or rope in a metal frame! The long jump was higher & even the weave poles! A lot of the running was done with the dog on the left hand side of the handler & our dogs went over full sized agility equipment from the start! On a lead if necessary!! Home-made & very basic equipment was used … I distinctly remember jumps with no wings where planks slid into the upright sides, that couldn’t fall unless the whole thing fell! Painted yellow or black & white! We also used a brush jump & a water jump!!

Gradually as the agility caught on new equipment was purchased & we started to enter shows.

With Barbara & Alan we used to have great parties, both at Christmas & at other times, with both members & their dogs all done up in fancy dress!

We had an occasional hilarious incident including one poor lady who tripped whilst her dog was going over the A-frame & as she fell forward her teeth flew out & into the dirt, whereupon in her embarrassment she just grabbed them up & just stuffed them back in – to the horror of the rest of the class, collective ‘eeks’ & then calls for an encore!

We had training days by the (at the time) well known Tony Veal, who’s pet hate, was anyone running in wellies, yes, wellies – (… no names mentioned …. !) Oh & flapping coats (definitely not needed, either do up or get rid of!).

Our first agility show that Pete, Elaine & I entered was at Chilham Country Fair – Pete & I had Rough Collies & Elaine, her beautiful black & white collie Todd – One ring only & the judge was Les Robinson, a lovely man once you knew him but a stickler for the rules as they were then & we were terrified!

Pete’s dog was an older RC who went round a course at a walk or trot & he took so long in the tunnel that Les thought he’d stopped to cock a leg & stopped Pete to say to him that’s what he thought & he’d have to leave the ring & whist they had the conversation with Pete saying “he didn’t think so, he’s just slow” – Spur went back & cocked his leg & they were dispatched from the ring!! Luckily it didn’t put Pete off agility long term but just maybe at that show! Courses seemed bigger in those days & Spur once completed a course in 80 seconds, clear, managing a parallel spread (no longer allowed) from a standstill, with everyone including the judge shouting encouragement!

After personal tragedy struck Alan & Barbara, the Club passed onto me, Pete, Elaine (as Treasurer), Jacqui (Secretary) & a Committee including Les & Maureen Sadler & our Committee meetings were the best ever! Maureen would always lay on an absolute feast for us & we always looked forward to those evenings. As far as memory allows the Committee to begin with consisted of Alan & Barbara, Sally Jay, Helen & Caroline Mordaunt (Aunt & Niece), Tina French, Sharon Williams, & Katie Giddings. Then it gradually evolved to include myself, Pete Catt, then Elaine & Jacqui..

The Club at one point had about 50 members with around 80 dogs!

Our Club Shows which had started in Barbara & Alan’s time were held at Blue Barn, Great Chart, nr Ashford with all the paperwork being done by Committee & helpers (no computers or companies to do it in those days!). We also held shows in Bodiam – on the farm above the railway line & then on the field behind The Castle Pub where the Shows grew from one to two days.

Map from 1986, showing Great Nineveh

When the land that Great Nineveh riding school stood on was sold for building houses, we then moved to Silverlands nr Bodiam & now to Beauport in Hastings.

Barbara with Monty at Stanmer Park (above)

Alan running with Rosie at Stanmer Park (below)

Various photos – a couple showing what the tyre used to be like.

Examples below of the different types of jumps we’d encounter:


Note the different types of jumps & the height of the dog walk!

And again ..


You can see how high the A-frame used to be, as you can see the judge clearly behind it!

Shows a wall, the height of the long jump & the old metal framed tyre!

L to R: Lisa – Frances Elliott, Tess – Mary Baker, Frizby & Todd – Elaine Brammer, Chase, Cookie & Spur – Pete Catt, Mikah & Monty – Liz Catt, spaniel whose name eludes me at the mo – owned by Frances Elliott.

Pictures of Barbara and Alan Pointer


Pictures of the Type of equipment used for agility in the past