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Championship Trial
Venue: Oxford
Trial Held: 16 February 2008

Trials Manager’s report

Back in 1988 Brian Letherby was the Oxford trial manager but because of personal problems, Le and I helped with the managing and running of this trial. Shortly afterwards Keith Lake (chairman ASPADS) asked if we would take over. As I had been track laying at Oxford for a number of years before, mostly with Ben Plant as trials manager, I felt confident enough to give it a go.

We took over with the base at Garsington, but the facilities were not very good so with help from Tut and John Jennings, we were accepted back at the original base, Horspath.

The landowners are now personal friends, visiting takes some time with invitations to stop for teas and meals.

We have made a lot of very good friends over the years but I’m sure we have also been taken off a few Christmas card lists!!

The only people still helping us today are Yon Fearon, Linda Bowden, and Tut and John Jennings. As I said at the presentation, quite a few have gone to greener pastures. Keith was my mentor and helped me greatly in the early years.

It has been our pleasure working with some very good judges, tracklayers, stewards and helpers and one not too good a judge!!

We used to hire Tut and John’s bungalow for the week to house judges and tracklayers. Such great fun and stories it could tell!

We have given back to ASPADS over £5.500 in profit, hopefully with good management, Le serving over 1000 evening meals, Mother making 140 cakes and a lot of people giving their time and expenses free. This now will be one of many new concerns facing judges, helpers etc as well as competitors as fuel costs keep going up.

This was the first year of sponsorship from Royal Canin, we gave each winner a large bag and all places a small bag of dog food, at a value in the region of £200. We gave a small gift, as this was our 20th year to all tracklayers and stewards and special rosettes were made for all places and judges.

I thank the judges for all their help before and during the trial, tracklayers, stewards, escorts, kitchen staff, Tut and John Jennings and my wife for all their work over the 7 days.

This was one of a few years when laying out all the articles for the trial you could see a difference in the size between the stakes!!

  We thought the weather was good last year, but this time a whole week without any rain, fantastic! We housed most of the judges this year, what an experience having nearly every room and caravan booked. Le organised a rota for the morning toilets and showers, which worked a dream allowing us plenty of time to walk our dogs before the competitors arrived. (As long as Jean could ‘wee’ in 3 minutes!)

The Kennel Club had a stand for two days, which was a very good idea and many a discussion took place. The main being the one-day trial. My personal view is that I will not be a part of this type of trial either entering or trial manager. This is a backward step. It has been tried before. Yes, fuel is expensive, but no one has to enter every trial and how a judge can be consistent over a week of tracking and control beats me. The biggest loss to our sport will be on control day. No build up of expectation, no mass gathering of TD qualifiers and the possibility of the Ticket winner not being there for the presentation having worked earlier in the week.

We would like to thank those people that have sent us letters and cards also to Anne Shepherd for her thanks for the 20 years at the presentation. At the presentation it was obvious that it got to me, these years have been very special to us and remembering a lot of friends who have died or left our hobby over 20 years, I found very emotional.

Without Le’s catering work, this trial would have major financial issues and possibly not run. The future? Well we will see.

Le and Len Newman 


Stake: CD


Steward: Jennifer Speake

Thanks to ASPADS for inviting me to judge the CD stake.  It was Le and Len’s 20th year for managing this trial, and, as usual, it was extremely well run.  Thanks to Le and her helpers for the excellent refreshments, which were much appreciated as the weather was bitterly cold.

Many thanks to Jennifer for being an excellent steward.  Everything ran like clockwork – as we had 12 dogs per day, we didn’t want to waste any time.

I saw some lovely dogs, several different breeds, which was very nice.  Unfortunately, quite a few went out on jumps and stays.

1st Ann Clarke and QUINCEY, Lab, D.  A very nice round.  Just lost the odd marks on control.  Very well done.  95, Q CDEx.

2nd Sue Lawrie and MAC, WSD, D.  Another very good round – again lost marks on control.  Well done.  90.5, Q CDEx.

3rd Maggie Moran and TODD, BC, D.  Excellent control, losing just 1 mark on the sendaway.  The third article in the square cost you a higher place today.  Well done.  89.5, Q CDEx.

4th Lindsey Poole and TIA, GSD, B.  Lovely control, 2 out of the square, but kept us on our toes with the scale!  Well done.  86, Q CDEx.

Also Qualified CDEx:

June Raymond with CODY, BC, D, 84

Ruth Cahill with BUD, GSD, D, 81.5

Qualified CD:

Barry Gilbert and FREDDIE, Std Poodle, 79.

Thank you all for making my weekend so pleasurable.  Congratulations to the qualifiers – to those who didn’t, keep the training going, you’ll soon be there.


UD Stake

Judge: Marney Wells

Steward: Lynne Liney

Tracklayers: Arthur Jeal (3 days). Chris Gregory, Jane Webb and Mark Richards (1 day each)

Thanks to Len and Le Newman and ASPADS for the invitation to judge at this most enjoyable trial.

I have always thought that Len had influence in high places, and now realise that I must upgrade my opinion further as he even organised dry weather for the whole three days I was there. On the third day, we were even basking in the sunshine! Le is a tireless miracle worker in the kitchen and produced wonderful meals in the evenings as well as excellent supplies for us in the fields. Thank you both – and for the extremely entertaining bed and breakfast! Even when we had seven people and eleven dogs to organise between 5.30 and 6.00am, Le’s rota never let us down. Mind you, she did not allow much margin for error – any longer than three minutes a wee and our timetable was wrecked.

Lynne was a brilliant steward, laid the squares as requested, stewarded the control rounds and did not let me talk too much to the competitors (a real challenge!) as we needed to keep moving with eleven dogs one day and nine on the other two. Thanks for your help and your company, Lynne.

My tracklayers could not have been better. Arthur kept everyone moving (good thing in that cold wind) and made sure the other tracklayers had the hilly bits! Chris, Jane and Mark were good company and good tracklayers – perfect!

Last but by no means least, thanks to the competitors who entered under me. They were a great bunch and I was lucky to see some really good dogs working over the three days.

I had planned a test that would allow the dogs to succeed, and give me something to mark. With that in mind, my track articles were a piece of carpet 2"x3" and a piece of green rubber flooring 5/8" thick and 1.75"x4". Believe it or not, some dogs (and handlers) managed to miss these. In the square, there was a cartridge case, a teaspoon, a 4.5" stick off our Bramley apple tree and a piece of rubber backed door mat 1.25"x5". Again, not all of these were retrieved.

1st.  Vana Moody with GLENALPINE SHEP CDEX. BC.D. 192 QX. Ziga worked exactly as I wanted to see a dog work. Bags of enthusiasm well controlled by Vana. Fast track with both articles followed by a lovely square, fast but focused and no mouthing. Very happy control round, perfect sendaway, accurate and controlled at the hedge. He appeared to enjoy all of the exercises and was well controlled between them. Well done, Vana.

The next three dogs were on equal marks. As none of them were present on Saturday, I decided the final order on nosework marks.

2nd. Janette Hickson with ROSEMARINUS RAINBEAU. BC.D. 184 QX. Roy was another keen dog on the track, with both articles. In the square he was fast and managed to do it with very little mouthing. I have seen him a lot more focused in the control round, but overall, he gave a very good performance. Again, Janette kept him well controlled between exercises. Well done on this qualification and his successes at WKC the week before.

3rd. Sue Lawrie with LAZARUS MARSH MEDLAR. WSD.D. 184 QX. Well, what a lovely trial for you, Sue. UDex and CDex in one go. Well done. Mac’s track was a joy to watch. I have noted ‘lovely corners’ on my mark sheet. He did lose some on the straights, but in rape with loads of scent and wild life about the dogs had plenty to interest them. Good control round with only little bits to tidy up. The jumps were amazing for a dog of his age, what a fit and athletic chap he is.

4th. Janet Parker with NEDLO TOP OF THE POPS. BC.D.184 QX. And Best Track Trophy. Echo worked a very keen track gaining 88.5 with both articles. Three out of the square but any loss of marks here was made up by a very good control round, with full marks in everything but the heelwork. Well done, Janet, he was lovely to watch.

Also qualifying were:-

Lindsey Poole with MORROW BILBY UDEX.  GSD.B. 183 QX. Well done on the CDex as well!

Eleanor Mestraud with WOLFHART CASEY CDEX. GSD.B. 178 QX.

Joyce Tibbetts with OAKENHEART PHANTOM DCEX. GSD.B. 168 QX.


Betty Briley (No. 67!!) with JETRIL MUSTANG CDEX. GSD.D. 165 QX.


Stake: TD


Tracklayers: Steve Liney, 6 Days; Ruth Cahill, 4 Days; Linda Bowden, 3 Days; Tony Orchard, 3 Days; Mark Richards, 1 Day

Search Steward: Jodie Phillips

Control Steward: Ruth Cahill

I would like to thank ASPADS for inviting me to judge the Ticket at Oxford.  I had a very enjoyable week without a drop of RAIN.  In fact, for the first few days it was so warm we were in tee shirts!  Thanks to all the farmers for allowing us to use the land, for without their help and cooperation we would not be able to run trials.  My thanks to all my tracklayers, especially Steve who laid all the earlies for 6 days.  Thanks to Jodie for giving up a week’s leave to lay the squares. You did a really good job and laid them exactly as I had asked, and you were good company.  Thanks to Ruth for stewarding the C/A on Saturday - you were a brilliant steward.  Thanks also to all the stay stewards.

Thanks to Len and Le for the accommodation and precision rota for the bathroom in the mornings!  Len as trials manager had everything running smoothly and Le, as usual, cooked all the lovely meals, not forgetting the lovely meal we had at Tut and Johns on the Monday evening. Well done to Len and Le for running Oxford Trial for the last 20 years (they need a long service medal).  Last but not least my thanks to Arthur who, as well as tracklaying, looked after Jed for me all week.

My thanks to all the competitors for entering under me and for accepting my decisions. Tracking was on a reasonable length of crop and although a lot of dogs didn’t find the tracking easy, most of them worked really hard and completed some good tracks. We also had some good squares. There were 62 entries, 57 dogs worked, 27 dogs were qualifying after the nosework, and I ended up with 16 Qualifiers.

1st Gary Atkins and WTCh CAFCOLL RON, winning the Ticket. Well done, Gary, a good track and search square followed by a very nice control round and full marks on the jumps.  A well deserved win.  206/220

2nd Julie Atkins and WTCh OUR DUG.  Another good track and search square followed by a lovely control round.  Well done, Julie, on getting the Reserve Ticket. 205/220

3rd Judith Owens-Poole, WTCh FIRCROFT DOON.  You had to work hard on the track but persevered and recovered all 3 articles.  A very good square and a good control round.  Well done, Judith.  204/220

4th Maeve Weselby, STYPERSON MILLIE.  A very nice track and search, recovering all articles.  A good control round.  Well done, Maeve.  203.5/220

Also Qual TDEx:

Gary Martin, TYTRI ROY 199.5/220


Tony Lockyer, DOUBLE TOP AT HARTSHILL, 197/220

Anne Fowler, WTCh WAGGERLAND FLOSS, 197/220

Jane Webb, INSTINCTIVELY PIPPA, 193.5/220

June Reed, LITTLE JODE, 191/220

Barry Harvey, FITZERS HAZEL, 190/220

Jill Carruthers, JASUETER RED GARNET, 189.5/220

Christine Stewart, BELDORM DUNCAN, 187.5/220

Sue Redshaw, MEADOWMILL TRAVIS, 187.5/220

Sally Berg-Roose, TOILERS TIMO AT SARSWAY, 186.5/220

Paula Harvey, ELECAMPANE SPRUCE, 186.5/220

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