From Ballerinas En Pointe to Pointers On Point!!          - 25/6/2013      <--Prev : Next-->

The Bulawayo Community never fails to astound us. There is always so much going on and always so much to look forward to. Last week alone we were treated to a veritable feast of dance and colour when The Dance Academy produced a magnificent show 'A Festival of Colour'. This spectacular show used the mediums of classical ballet, contemporary, freestyle modern and hip hop dance to portray all aspects of the color spectrum. Exciting lighting, as well as beautiful costumes, well-known music and even classical music, combined to provide a feast for the senses.

The Dance Academy students, who range from three years of age to very talented senior students delighted us with their heartfelt performances. It was most professional and all the dancers from the always delightful and unpredictable "babies", to the senior corps-de-ballet, were just entrancing.

Luckily I managed to drag HeeHoo there by virtue of the fact that the SA vs England cricket was so dismal on telly, but he thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle and the cheese and wine party beforehand was a magical production in itself! Sponsored by a well-known and most generous Bulawayo company "Irvines" the Bulawayo ballet and dance fraternity certainly produced a spectacular gala evening.

From "Ballerinas en pointe" we then joined fifty or so "Pointers on point" at Turk Mine where the Gun Dog Club of Zimbabwe met for their annual Gun Dog Trials. It was a three day event and brilliantly run and definitely an exhilarating sport.

HeeHoo used to run pointers many years ago when he was a "Shifty" with his hallowed friend Chris Hallamore. In fact Chris's name is the first on the coveted Gun Dog Championship trophy with his fabled pointer Sally aka "Rose of Sabi."

The trials were centered at the lovely Entokisweni Lodge in Turk Mine, home of famous Zimbabwe cricketing family Dennis and Heath Streak. The setting for the lodge is really beautiful, set above a peaceful dam, in the shade of enormous indigenous lucky bean trees, with game browsing at the edge of the dam.

The first day of trials was for the novices and that was such fun to watch. Dozens of exuberant "baby" pointers showing their talents in working the fields with all manner of game birds. Some of the babies, in their excitement, ran after all sorts of creatures including butterflies and bunnies, but the majority were beautifully behaved..

The trials resemble, as closely as possible, a day's shooting but of course nothing is actually shot, a most eco friendly day of showing the incredible ability and senses of gun dogs.

Many of our best-loved breeds were traditionally developed to help man in hunting. Labrador Retrievers gathered game in the field; Cocker Spaniels flushed and retrieved game; Pointers and Setters ranged over the fields helping us seek out birds and rabbits for the table. A great many still help us in shooting and hunting today. Field trials are very popular, attracting hundreds of competitors and are still very much part of our countryside sports. If you have a love and understanding of the countryside and like to see dogs working as they were intended to, this friendly and relaxed sport is exhilarating.

Judges and competitors came from Harare, Masvingo and from South Africa and Botswana, and it was indeed a delightful, if energetic way, to spend a weekend. The majority of the dogs at this meet were pointers and their excitement and exuberance was infectious to the handlers and the gallery as well. We townies were fair worn out at the end of it all as the mere humans covered many kilometers while those four footed, covered literally hundreds of kilometers at top speed, as only that special brand of dog - the Pointer, can do. There were dozens of these delightfully gentle dogs from the liver and white, lemon and white, orange and white or black and white. HeeHoo has always kept pointers but as he "pointed" out sadly, this is the first time in his life he has never had a dog of any sort. Our motley bunch, including a lovely pointer called Phoebe, have all recently died of old age!!

A Gun Dog trial is certainly a science and the pointer is employed to find upland gamebirds. To see a gun dog "on point" is electrifying and to watch it "work" the bush is indeed a treat. Undoubtedly a sport for gentlemen, we were invited to end the morning with that most special family in the district Eugene and Sippy Halsted where a dignified gin and tonic was sipped, but not before the stars of the show, the celebrated Pointers, were give their doggy refreshments too!!