INTRODUCTION: A West Germany army instructor and his German Shepherd dog, Virgo have won the first international canine biathlon staged by the British Army Veterinary Corps at its base in West Germany.The competition, drew competitors from the armies and police forces of six countries, Great Britain, West Germany, Belgium, Holland, Australia and even a deputy sheriff from the United States.
LV PAN Number 2 starts.
GV Competitor (No.6) through river crossing and countryside.
TV PAN Another competitor over obstacle and through woods.
SV & PAN Lady competitor through river.
SV Other competitors crossing stream. (2 SHOTS)
SCU Officer watching through binoculars as competitor ties up dog and walks off to shooting range. (No.11)
CU Number 11 shooting.
CU Hand indicating holes in target.
CU Lady competitor shooting, No.11 leaving firing range. (2 SHOTS)
GV Competitor and dog through sand.
SV PAN Dog races to attack 'intruder' at end of course.
CU Lady competitor congratulating after finish.
CU PAN Winning German competitor receive trophies.
SV & CU Soldiers applaud as English gets trophy.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A West Germany army instructor and his German Shepherd dog, Virgo have won the first international canine biathlon staged by the British Army Veterinary Corps at its base in West Germany.The competition, drew competitors from the armies and police forces of six countries, Great Britain, West Germany, Belgium, Holland, Australia and even a deputy sheriff from the United States.
SYNOPSIS: A biathlon for humans is a gruelling endurance event of cross-country skiing snd rifle shooting designed originally as tough raining for alpine troops.A canine biathlon is designed to bring out the same sort of qualities in a dog team, toughness, the ability to work under fire and at the end of it, for the dog to perform one of its main functions, attack and immobilise an enemy intruder.
These competitors, 37 teams in all, had a tough five and a half kilometres (3) miles cross-country obstacle course which included a machine-gun firing test and a dog arrest.
The only woman competitor was from the British Army's Veterinary Corps, Captain Julia Kneale and her German Shepherd, Lazor.She ended up finishing sixth.
The event was first held by the British Unit for its own members last year but it was decided to open it up this year to other NATO rations with bases in West Germany to mark the centenary of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.
One of the most demanding sections in the biathlon is the fire test.The dog has to be tied away from its handler and remain still and quiet while its master fires a light sub-machine gun.Marks are awarded for the dog's ability to remain quiet and for its master's accuracy.Added to the normal difficulties of marksmanship is the tiredness of covering the obstacle course and the dogs appear to be less worn out by the exercise than their handlers.
This sand trap and the two river crossings are the obstacle that most quickly turn legs and paws to rubber.
The final test and the dogs still have the energy to run full pace and arrest their man, heavily padded to ensure there's no injury.
After its all over, dog and handler have time to congratulate each other on a job well done.
The winner was Hans Gunther Remy an instructor at the West German dog training school in Koblenz with his dog, Virgo.
The runner-up was Sergeant Major Alan Bowen from the British Army, and his dog, Wain.