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Open Trial
Venue: Scarborough
Trial Held: 13 May 2012

TRIALS MANAGER’S REPORT

STAKES: TD, WD, UD AND INTRO

As you may or not be aware this was the first time I wore the Trials Manager’s hat.  Fortunately I escaped the baptism of fire, but did face one or two challenges along the way, which were mainly caused the amount of rain we had before and during the trial.

Although the trial has my name on the top of the sheet as Trials Manager, this trial, in common with other trials, is actually put on by a team of helpers who "Volunteer" their time to the required tasks.  So I would like to thank a few people specifically for their help and advice on putting on the trial.

Starting off with Barry and Linda Gilbert, who have been running the trial for the past few years and helped processing the entries - rather more than they originally anticipated as due to a slight ASPADS administrative error they ended up receiving almost half the entries by mistake - and for Barry’s advice whilst at the trial.

Also all the people who helped set up the trial, setting out fields, putting up jumps and setting up the base and kitchen - Tom and Jan Derby, Eric and Yvonne Carpenter, Arthur Jeal, Jean Howells, Pat Hodgkins and Suzanne Plumb.

A big thanks also to the people who helped during the trial; Jan Derby and Mary Hardacre for running the base so smoothly, keeping us all organised (especially me!) ensuring that all the competitors knew when and how to get were they needed to be, and Mary for writing out the certificates so beautifully.

Thanks also go the kitchen staff, Pat Parkinson, Liz Stewart and Teresa Musgrave, for keeping us all fed and watered.

Thanks also to Ray Lea for helping me push the second of two Volvos that got "stuck" in the control field on the first day after every body else had successfully left.  (We parked on the road subsequent days, especially after more overnight rain!).   

I would like to thank my team of judges, who have been a pleasure to work with and lightened my load, Mark Lewindon TD, Sandra Lewindon WD and Gary Tait UD and Intro.  Also all the people out there with them in the fields who, like I said earlier, had to put up with some "damp", cold and misty weather for the first couple of days.  I’ll leave it to the judges to thank them individually.  And to all the people who offered to help - it is much appreciated.  If I didn’t take you up on it this year, don’t be deterred as I may need you another year!

A big thank you to the farmers; without their co-operation and consent the trial wouldn’t exist.  Thank you for the competitors for coming; I hope you enjoyed the trial.

And last but not least, even bigger thanks to my wifey Liz, for helping in lots of the previously mentioned categories and especially for putting up with Mr Grumpy!!.  

TOM MILLS

 

STAKE: INTRO

Judge: GARY TAIT

Stewards: Bill Mackie, Dave Stewart

Search Square: Bill Mackie, Dave Stewart

Thanks to ASPADS for inviting me to judge the Intro stake at Scarborough; this was my first time I had ever judged this stake and enjoyed every minute.  The standard of C/A was much higher than the UD from the previous two days.

I would like to thank Tom Mills, Trials Manager, who did a sterling job – not always an easy job!  Thanks also to everyone who helped at the trial and within the kitchen.  A big thank you to Bill (who stepped in to help me as Roy Drummer had to withdraw) for stewarding and doing search squares and C/A,  and thanks to Dave Stewart for all his help - I look forward to working with you soon.  Thanks must also go to the farmers for very kindly allowing us the use of their land.

There were 7 entries and 7 ran.  The weather was very windy but dry, but the wind did not put the dogs off, all worked very well in these poor conditions.

1st Ms Jessica Stam with RIG THE PIG, 95.5, Q.  An excellent C/A - who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  All the best in the future.

2nd Mrs Emily Arch with JASPER THE CRUSADER, 93, Q.  An excellent C/A; well done to you both.

3rd Miss Shelly Sanderford with BEETROOT BOY, 88, Q.  A great round, the only exercise that really let you down was the jumps.

4th Mrs Heather Shaw with DESERT PRINCE, 84.5, Q.  Another great round, the main exercise that let you down was the sendaway.  All the best in the future to you both.

Thanks to all competitors for entering and accepting my decisions on the day.

 

STAKE: UD

Judge: GARY TAIT

Steward / Search Square: Bill Mackie

Tracklayers: Steve Banfather and Arthur Jeal

Thanks to ASPADS for inviting me to judge the UD stake at Scarborough and to Tom Mills, Trials Manager, who did a sterling job - and all the best for the future.  I would like to thank my tracklayers, Steve and Arthur, for all their hard work over the two days, more so out in all that rain on the Friday.  Thanks also to everyone that helped at the trial and within the kitchen.  A big thank you to Bill (who stepped in to help me as Roy Drummer had to withdraw) for stewarding and doing search squares and C/A over the three days, and gave me nothing but cheek - according to Steve we bicker like a married couple (Steve - we are now divorced!).  Thanks must also go to the farmers for very kindly allowing us to use their land; without them trials would not exist.

There were 17 entries and 13 ran.  The weather was very changeable over the 3 days - rain, sun and wind - however the ground was great for tracking on and I saw some excellent nosework over all.

1st Miss Samantha Rawson with RYANS DAUGHTER (NAF), 196, Q.  What an excellent round; dropped one mark on the track and full marks in the search square.

2nd Mrs Deborah Meade with HAWK, 187, Q.  Another excellent round, also won best Control and Agility trophy.

3rd Mrs Jackie Hilton with GOOSECREEK CHINOOK, 151.5, NQ.  The both of you are so close to getting a qualification - hopefully the next time.

4th Mrs Vicky Hunter with XANDOA SPOT, 182, NQ.  Another nice round; only dropped one mark on the track but what let them down was the jumps.

Thanks to all competitors for entering and accepting my decisions on the day.

 

STAKE: WD

Judge: SANDRA LEWINDON

Tracklayers: Richard Musgrave and Len Newman

Search Steward: Pat Hodgkins

C/A Steward: Rita Banfather

C/A Scribe: Heather Shaw

Mark and I both love Scarborough Trials, so when offered the privilege of judging the WD stake I jumped at it.  Thank you ASPADS for extending me this privilege, I had an absolutely super time.

Tracking was on lush grass, in all the fields kindly provided by farmers - our thanks to them for allowing us to use the land; without their good will we would not have a sport.  First article was a piece of green rubber mesh ground sheet, approximately 2.5 by 1.75 inches, the end article a piece of yellow rope, approximately 7 inches long.  Weather on the first day was sunny, dry with a light wind; unhappily a very strong wind on the second day did make it harder work for the dogs working on that day.

I was fortunate enough to be provided with two very experienced track layers, Richard Musgrave and Len "moonface" Newman (you can ask Len about the Moonfaced Tiger in the woods, I’m sure he will delight in telling you all about it!).  Len kindly stepped in as track layer when Dave Craven was unhappily forced to withdraw his track laying skills due to Wendy being poorly.  Wendy, we wish you a speedy recovery.  Thank you, gentlemen, for all your hard work and being such good fun in the field.

Squares were professionally laid by Pat Hodgkins, whose diligence meant that nearly all competitors recovered all the articles.   Pat was not only extremely proficient at laying the square as I had asked, it was a treat for me to spend time with her in the field.  Thank you Pat for your time and expertise, it was much appreciated.  Articles were: three quarters of a pencil, half a beer mat, a piece of black rubber approximately 1 by 3 inches and half a kitchen scourer/sponge.

The gun test was at the end of the nosework section, with handlers sent to one of the square poles while I positioned myself at the other.  As the test was completed the handlers were kind enough to bring back the poles.  Having done quite a bit of stewarding myself, I thought I would save Pat’s legs a bit.

Control started with retrieve, followed by heelwork taking you to the sendaway point.  I deliberately spread out the exercises around the field to stop dogs being distracted and give them the best opportunity to qualify.  Sendaway was 90 yards to crossed pink (yes, pink) poles in the boundary fence.  This was the boundary that is adjacent to the footpath and two of the dogs had short waits while walkers transited the path. Most dogs found this easy, with only a couple not achieving the full 10 marks.

Jumps were quite spread out, again, to try and give dogs best opportunity to complete without distractions.   I gave the handlers the choice of long or scale after they had done the clear, most opted for the long jump.

Stays were with the dogs facing the field entry gate, in an angled line across the corner of the field, handlers going out the gate to a conveniently placed tree.   Stay stewards were Rita and Heather; on day one two dogs broke, day two, one.

My control steward was Rita Banfather, a role she enjoys, (being a bit bossy!) - just joking Rita, I truly appreciate you coming all the way from Bedfordshire to help, thank you.  I was also fortunate enough to have a second helper, Heather Shaw, who is new to trials and wanted some experience on the field.  Heather took the role of my scribe; I’ve never used a scribe before, but it made my job a lot easier. Thank you, Heather.

Thanks to all those that helped, before, during and after this trial.  Special mention must be made of Tom Mills.  This was Tom’s first time managing a trial and he was superb.  When we were told Tom had taken up this role, we knew he would make an excellent manager.  Tom is very particular about details and this showed during the trial. Everything had been thought of and planned for and from a judge’s perspective I was given all the information I needed and more.  However, behind every successful man is a worn out woman and thanks must also go to Liz Mills for all her behind the scenes work as well as helping out in the kitchen and base during the trial.  I also know that Barry Gilbert was there behind the scenes giving Tom support and advice - thank you Barry.

The ladies in the kitchen did a splendid job; thank you Pat Parkinson, Liz Stewart and Teresa Musgrave, providing a plentiful bounty, served with a smile!  Thanks too to Jan Darby and Mary Hardacre for base stewarding, not only being able to read my writing, check my competitors numbers, check my sums but topping it all off with Mary writing beautiful certificates for those who qualified.

My final thanks must go to the competitors for entering under me; I saw some cracking dogs and those that completed the track did it to a very high standard.  Poor Abbie Peart, having done about three quarters of the track following a very busy Merlin, was unfortunate enough to have a mouse put in an appearance on one of the corners, a distraction from which she was not able to recover.  Unlucky, Abbie, better luck next time.

15 entered and 14 ran.

1st BATTERSEA’S BEST TO PELE, WSD, D, 199.5, Q, owned and handled by Samantha Rawson.  Samantha travelled from Eire to compete.  With a dog that works as well as Pele, it was obviously worth the journey.  This was an absolutely super round, a team working in harmony together, so obviously in tune with each other.  Very well done on such a near perfect performance, I’m sure the WDEx will be very quick to follow this qualification.

2nd MILLIE MOONBEAM, Cross, B, 195.5, Q, owned and handled by Anne Shepherd.  This is the second time I’ve had the honour of judging this lovely girl; she impressed me before and she’s impressed me again.  Super team, with Anne getting the best out of this sensitive dog.  I’m so pleased that Millie’s getting over the nasty shock she had in sendaway last year and is getting her confidence back.  Well done, Anne.

3rd LAURINCO RED RYDER, Lab, D, 193, Q, owned and handled by Bernardo Martens.  Super team to watch on the field.  Rex is a very stylish dog and if I could have given extra style marks for the square I would have, this was so well handled, Bernardo making it look so casual but so effective.  Very well done qualifying.  Good luck in champ.

4th LITTLE SMOKEY, Cross, D, 187.5, Q, owned and handled by Fran Mitchell.  Smokey had to work hard on his track due a very strong wind and Fran was rightly pleased with him.  Unfortunately he missed the first article on the track, but a beautiful full mark control round put him in the places.  Well done, Fran.

Also qualifying:

LUCY THE LAWLESS OF LANCS, WSD, B, 180.5, owned and handled by Martin Willcock.  Lucy also had a hard job tracking in strong wind, followed by a close call on the jumps.  Well done for qualifying today and the best of luck in champ. I’m sure it won’t be long before Murphy joins Lucy in champ.

 

STAKE: TD

Judge: MARK LEWINDON

Tracklayers: Tom Darby, Eric Carpenter and Barry Gilbert

Square Steward: Yvonne Carpenter

Control Steward: Suzanne Plumb

43 Entered, 35 ran

Sandra and I love the North Yorkshire Moors and, had we not been invited to judge, we would definitely have been at the trial competing and helping in any way that we could.  It was a great privilege to be invited to judge and I thoroughly enjoyed the 4 days. This was Tom Mills’ first outing as trials manager, having been well groomed (in a non inappropriate sense) by Barry Gilbert, and I know that everyone will agree he did a great job. 

I decided to set a test that demonstrated the dog’s ability to carry out the exercises required to compete in TD, without demanding the exactitude necessary to compete at championship level.  Handlers started with control in a large grass field on the cliff top at Ravenscar (that will be very familiar to those who regularly compete at Scarborough).  The first exercise was the speak, conducted with dogs on a lead secured to the ground, with the handler seven paces away from the dog with the judge.  Dogs were required to bark 7 times and then cease.  This was followed by heelwork, starting with normal pace, between long jump and scale, with a series of turns and changes of pace, ending at the sendaway point that was marked by a pole in the middle of the field.  The Sendaway was executed from the pole, 110 paces to a point in the wall that ran alongside the lane indicated by a brown nappy sack tied to the wire above the wall.  Re-direct was 80 paces right along the wall to a second nappy sack, also tied to the wire that ran along the wall, just above a black animal feed bin.  For the outrun, dogs had to go over a small ridge; but this didn’t seem to cause too many problems as the handlers were in view of the dogs at all points during the execution of the exercise.  I then moved the teams from the sendaway point back to the jumps using normal pace heelwork.  Jumps were then completed with the sun behind the dogs (on one day at least) back out into the control field in the order of clear, long and finally the scale.  Stays took place in the same field after all of the dogs had completed the control with handlers going out of sight behind a car.

Tracking was on fields of quite lush grass but that were boggy in places.  There were 14 legs to the track pattern with the articles being a length of green pipe cleaner, a piece of green muck boot material about 1.5 inches square and the end article, a piece of green carpet also 1.5 inches square.  Square articles were chosen to be not small, but of textures demonstrating dogs ability to recover different types of material.  They were a metal hinge placed seven paces in from the base line facing the wind, recovered by most dogs with a few just not being able to pick it up.  The second article, a piece of wood three quarters of inch in diameter and approximately 1.5 inches long, was placed in the middle of the square.  The other articles, a third of a beer mat and a piece of plastic gutter mesh about 2.5 inches square, were each placed seven paces from the poles on the far side of the square. 

The Gun exercise was conducted with dogs 10 paces away, with the handler standing with the judge when the gun was fired.

The trial could be considered to have been of four weather systems.  The first day was miserable but not too wet with four teams qualifying.  Weather was atrocious on the second day with mist, drizzle, driving rain and wind.  I was wet through and frozen within an hour!  The first dog of the day negotiated the control round with a strong sea fret hanging over the field.  Despite difficulty seeing the outrun and re-direct points, Steph McBride with Gunner achieved the first full mark sendaway and produced a very good control round, only losing half points on the heelwork and scale.  She was followed by Janette Sayer who, apart from a hiccup on the scale, made the test look easy, eventually winning the stake.  It was on the second day that Julz Findeisen, when told that she would be negotiating the jumps from the far side, looked quizzically at the steward.  When I explained that the jumps had been set up so that the sun was behind the dogs, Julz gave me a look of faint recollection about the concept of sun in the area.  She also produced a competent control round with Carole’s Diva and qualified.  Tracking on that day was really challenging with driving rain and cold wind.  The 3 dogs that qualified thoroughly deserved their qualifications.  Some very good dogs did not attain sufficient marks in the nosework and I am sure that was greatly due to the conditions.

On Saturday the sun came out and it was a beautiful day, with 3 very good dogs achieving sufficient marks to qualify.  On Sunday the wind returned with a vengeance and, whilst it did not rain, it clearly made the tracking very difficult.  Whilst the control rounds were generally very good, only Fran Mitchell managed to qualify, achieving 2nd place.

My thanks go to the committee of ASPADS for the invitation to judge and Tom Mills and his team for running a fantastic trial.  Behind every successful trials manager is an exhausted partner and I know that Liz did a lot of work in the background.  Tom and Liz both remained upbeat and great company throughout the trial.  I was very fortunate to have an experienced team around me; Suzanne Plumb stewarded the C/A, perfectly putting competitors at ease and giving clear commands even in the awful weather.  Mary Hardacre joined us to help steward the stays, and ran scores between the control field and base.  On the tracking land Tom Darby laid the early tracks, Eric Carpenter the second set with Barry Gilbert providing any other tracks required and the spare.  Yvonne Carpenter was my square steward and as usual did a great job.  They were all great company and worked hard to put the competitors at ease.  I would like to thank Jan Darby and Mary Hardacre for running the base, making sure competitors were in the right places at the right times, recording scores and Mary producing some beautifully written certificates for the 11 qualifiers.  My thanks also to Pat Parkinson, Liz Stewart and Theresa Musgrave for their hard work in the kitchen, and to the farmers, without whose cooperation our sport just could not go on.  Finally, I would like to thank the competitors for entering and allowing me to witness some super dogs working.

1st Janette Sayer with Taz - TAZ of HOLLOWGATE, CDEx – WDEx, WSD.  A well deserved win in the awful conditions, qualifying with 212.

2nd Fran Mitchell with Louis - BARAK BALDERMAR, CDEx – WDEx, WSD.  Worked on Sunday when the wind defeated many of the teams, achieving 94.5 on the track by sheer perseverance and qualifying on 210.5. 

3rd Joan Snowden with Jes - GLENALPINE JES, CDEx -  UDEx, BC.  I know that Joan was delighted with this well deserved qualification.  Her handling during the nose-work was a pleasure to watch, achieving 98.5 track with all three articles and a 34 square, qualifying on 210.

4th Steph McBride with Gunner - DELFLEET ODIN, CDEx – WDEx, Lab.  Also worked on Friday producing an impressive control round and 97.5 track, but leaving the piece of wood in the square proved costly; qualified with  207.5.

Also Qualified:

Jean Howells with Archie - GLENALPINE ARCHIE, CDEx – WDEx, BC.  Worked on the first day achieving 96.5 on the track recovering all three articles and 33 for the square; qualifying on 206.5.

Bill Richardson with Eck - KENOCTO OCTOBERS DELIGHT, CDEx – WDEx, BSD (Mali).  Worked on the Saturday and demonstrated his experience with this very strong dog, qualifying on 205.5.

Arthur Jeal with AJ - HARWOOD FARM BOY, CDEx – WDEx, WSD.  Produced the best sendaway on the first day and a typically professional round, thoroughly deserving his qualification on 204.5.

Ray Lea with Ruby - ANMEETUE COLOURFUL LADY, CDEx – WDEx, WSD.  I know that Ray was very pleased with the full mark jumps and we watched with fascination as Ruby negotiated the track with a very poorly ewe in the corner of the field with her two lambs, not far off the track.  Qualified on 202 - well done Ray.

Julz Findeison with Carole Hall’s Diva - GUNNISWENS ARRIVA-LA-DIVA, GSD.  Julz also worked on the Friday in atrocious weather and doggedly took on the test, achieving a 97 track mark with all three articles, but leaving the piece of wood in the square; qualifying on 197.5.

Pat Hodgkins with Sadie - MERE MAGIC, CDEx – WDEx, X-Breed.  Worked on the first day producing a good round, but unfortunately missing the first article on the track, and qualifying on 197.

Alan Bexon with Fly - FLY BY NIGHT MAN, CDEx – WDEx, WSD.  Alan worked well with Fly to negotiate the track, achieving a score of 89 with three articles, but Fly was not keen on recovering the hinge in the square.  Qualified on 195.5.

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