Canines on show
This year’s Horowhenua AP & I Show will be a bit different.
Due to Mycoplasma bovis there will be no cattle at the show, but New Zealand’s Got Talent finalist Chelsea Marriner and her crew of 16 border collies, the Ultimate Canines, will more than make up for that.
As many as five Ultimate Canines are set to perform at the show on Saturday as well as Sunday, doing two or three halfhour shows each day.
Chelsea and her dogs have been in Levin before for the AP & I Show, something they thoroughly enjoyed. “It is a superb show and the more the audience laughs at the dogs performing the cheekier they get,” Chelsea said.
“Kids love seeing the dogs perform and they love showing off.”
The team from Rotorua will be doing an agility contest in Tokoroa that weekend, so a show for Horowhenua audiences will be a welcome change for them all.
“The dogs are super energetic and seem to get more into it as the show goes on.”
The plan is to perform the same show each time, but dogs being dogs one never really knows what will happen, she said.
One of the dogs has a “looking after the baby” routine, others can play dead, stack bowls and play with coins, to give an example of some of the things they do.
Chelsea has been performing since she was seven years old, but her appearances on TV for New Zealand’s Got Talent set her and her team on the path of performing as a part-time occupation.
“I also do dog training and the odd bit of farm work,” Chelsea said.
“It is pretty cool thing to do and the whole family goes on tour together, though only a few will be performing.”
She has a ute and a dog trailer available for travels around the country.
She said her oldest dog is 16 years old. “I also have young dogs, trick dogs, agility dogs as well as a few retired ones.”
Chelsea said training a dog takes time. “They’re individuals, just like people. Some dogs pick up simple tricks right away while more complicated ones take them some time. Others really take to the tough ones quickly.
“You get out of dog training what you put into it and time and patience are important, but all dogs are trainable to some extent.”
Chelsea’s dogs are keen performers and expect a lot from Horowhenua audiences.
The dogs are all trained using positive reinforcement techniques and have a great love of showing off their skills and going through their paces.
Other attractions at the AP & I Show include Barry Woods, aka Billy Black, who will perform on Saturday, and the lack of live cattle will be made up for with a display on beef cattle.
The AP & I Show is on Saturday and Sunday, January 19 and 20, at the AP & I Showgrounds on Victoria St in Levin.
‘The dogs are super energetic and seem to get more into it as the show goes on.
Chelsea Marriner with her dogs Chrome, Sprint, Dirt and Rip.
Rip and Chelsea in action.