Working Trial Reports
Avon WTS 23
A History of The North West Working Trials Society.
The Introduction of working trials into the North West was brought about by Eric Roberts who had recently returned from Dubai where he had been training the Arabian police to handle dogs rather than eat them!
On his return Eric planned to take up dog training on full time basis and he held two Working Trials introductory courses at Burtonwood which were well attended especially by dog handlers who had been doing competitive obedience for a number of years as that was all there was at that time. The agility competitions were in their infancy and flyball and ‘heelwork to music’ competitions were not in place for some years afterwards.
Although Working Trials date back to 1924 when ASPADS held their first event, it was not until 1961 that the Working Trail formula as we know it today was put in place. Nevertheless, the message did not appear to reach the North West for almost another 21 years!! Handlers attending Eric’s courses were fired up with enthusiasm and started talking about forming some sort of a group. Everyone was excited about the new venture of forming a Working Trials group in the North West.
On 31st January 1980 Eric booked a room at the Carr Hotel, Whiston for a “get-together” and it was decided to form a society. The North West Working Trials Society was born! It was given the Kennel Club seal of approval on the 14th April 1981.
The first trial was held at Tatton Park, then the Teg Nose Country Park. Next the North West settled into a number of happy years with the land owners at Siddington before moving to the next door village of Lower Withington where we have continued to be able to run friendly and successful trials with the valued cooperation of the village hall committee and local land owners.