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Open Trial
Venue: Scarborough
Trial Held: 08 May 2011



Steward and Scribe: Pat Hodgkins

Many thanks to the ASPADS committee for the invitation to judge the Introductory Stake at their Open Trial held at Staintondale, Scarborough.  My square steward and scribe for the day was Pat Hodgkins; needless to say Pat was most diligent, conscientious and excellent company.  Thank you, Pat.

Everything ran very smoothly and efficiently due to the Trials Manager, Barry Gilbert, and his very competent and experienced "team" at the base.  Thank you one and all.

The weather first thing was very wet with low sea mist clearing around midday for when we were due to start.  The rest of the afternoon was dry and sunny with what I thought would be a helpful breeze for the squares.  Unfortunately this was not the case as sheep droppings proved to be far more enticing to all of the dogs than my square articles.  However, they all did manage to recover two each, just!  But style marks took their toll.

After a draw for running order at the base we started with a briefing for everyone to try and put some of the nerves at ease and give a breakdown of order for the day.  We started with individual sit stay, search square and retrieve the dumbbell.  We then moved onto the control round which was heel on lead, sendaway (30 yards to cross poles at a wall), heel free and recall.  The agility followed, clear, long and scale with second attempts on all, and finally we finished with the down stay.

This was the first outing for all three dogs and an apt introduction for the competitors into Working Trials.  Although we were without a qualification today they all finished the day better for the experience and an appreciation of the required standard.

1st HUNDWITH DUTIFUL, Weim, D, handled by Ms S Toynbee, 72/100.  Well done Sally. Nice sendaway and retrieve, qualified on the jumps, but Merry missed the control section by half a mark.

2nd RIG THE PIG, X-breed, D, handled by Ms J Stam, 68/100.  A dog with a lot of character, best heelwork marks, qualified in control and nosework.

3rd VELVET MAJOR, Lab, D, handled by Mrs. E Mills, 58/100.  Blue found the search square just too tasty.  Good sendaway.

Thank you to everyone; I thoroughly enjoyed my day and I trust that you did too.  Don’t be disheartened, persevere with your training, qualifications won’t be too far away.  Remember, every trial you go to you will always hear someone say "he’s never done that before" and "if only".




Tracklayers: Tom Mills and Steve Banfather

Square / Control Steward: Pat Parkinson

Thank you to ASPADS and to Barry and Linda for the invitation to judge and for the smooth running of the trial.  Thank you also to Tom and Steve for laying tracks and organising the land.  Special thanks to Pat who housed me, worked hard to help competitors through the test as I had planned it and kept me on the straight and narrow throughout.    I was also well supported by the team at the base, Liz, Pat, Rita and Sandra, for great food and Jan and Mary for efficient and quick processing of marks and writing of certificates.   You were all great company and made my job so much easier.  I really had such a nice time.

Conditions were warm, breezy and sunny on the Saturday which provided some great tracks.  On the Sunday conditions were more problematic - steady rain for the control in the morning and strong breeze and sun in the afternoon which created some difficulties for the tracking.  Out of 20 entries, 15 dogs ran, four dogs gained their COM on Saturday and one on Sunday.

I saw some excellent work from the five qualifiers and much promise from the ones who did not quite make it this time.  Thank you to all for taking part.


1st Dave Salisbury and PADDY OF THE NORTH, GSD, D, 195, COM.  An experienced handler returning to the fold after 35 years!  You certainly haven’t lost the touch; you and Zelk were a pleasure to watch. 

2nd Carol Hall’s GUNNISWENS ARRIVA-LA DIVA, GSD, B, handled by Jules Findeison,  191, COM.  Carol and Jules’ team approach to training certainly seems to work.  Good consistent handling from Jules enabled Diva to produce a lovely willing round.  She really looked as if she enjoyed every minute.    

3rd Chris McRae and TRACELYN LADY IN BLACK, GSD, B, 190, COM.  You and Fizz seemed to have a really good rapport, just the long jump and some dropping of the square articles to be tidied up.  Well done.  

4th Sharon Dunn and TOLBERG PHOENIX, GSD, D, 188, COM.  A lovely keen worker producing a full point track on the Saturday.  Need to watch the enthusiastic barking in the control!  

Also gaining COM and the only qualifier on the Sunday

David Hope and FIREFOXY SASHA, Lab, B, 187.5




Tracklayers: Barry Gilbert, Eric Carpenter, Arthur Jeal

Steward: Suzanne Plumb

My thanks to the society for the invitation to judge the WD Stake, to Barry and Linda Gilbert for a well run trial, Jan Darby and Mary Hardacre for running the base; thanks also go to the tracklayers, Barry Gilbert (first day), Eric Carpenter (all three days) and Arthur Jeal  (two days) - they did an excellent job.  Also many thanks to Suzanne Plumb for stewarding the full stake for all three days.  Not forgetting the ladies in the kitchen (Pat Parkinson, Pat Hodgkins, Liz Mills, Sandra Lewindon and Rita Banfather) who all did a fabulous job - thank you.

We were very lucky with the weather, windy and cool but only having one morning of rain; that was on the last day.

1st Mark Lewindon with MANPOL SPIRIT AT BRACOKELI, GSD, D, 185.5, Q.  Very well done, handled sensitively by Mark, a worthy winner.

2nd Bill Richardson with KENOCTO OCTOBERS DELIGHT, MAL, D, 184.5, Q.  Bill did well as the rabbit runs were all along the first leg of the track, but they managed to work it out well.

3rd Jain Douglas with TRACELYN ROXY, GSD, B, 177, Q.  This lovely young GSD was well handled by Jain.

4th Pat Hodgkins with MERE MAGIC, X-Breed, B, 175.5, Q.  Again lots of rabbit runs on the second leg of this track; you did well, Pat, to work it out!

Also qualified:

Mick Cammidge with BROWN JACK, WSD, D, 175

Polly Thomas with POLLGINA ROSEBANK ROSE, Lab, B, 160.5

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the competitors for entering this stake and allowing me to judge them.




Tracklayers: Jeff (you can jump over that fence) Margreaves, Tom (have you seen my compass?) Darby

Square and C/A Steward: Yvonne Carpenter

Trials Manager: Barry Gilbert

Gate Steward: Mary Hardacre

Catering: Pat Parkinson, Sandra Lewindon, Liz Mills, Rita Banfather, Pat Hodgkins

Many thanks to: the society for inviting me to judge, Barry Gilbert for organising my super B & B, (and cooking the latter for two of the days for both Linda and myself) and the evening meals; the "ladies who lunch" for the victuals out on the field; Jan Darby and Mary Hardacre, for the score sheets and certificates; Jeff and Tom for laying the tracks with superb accuracy and Yvonne for always being in the right place at the right time and all for being such good company, especially Yvonne whose back was causing her a lot of pain.  Finally, appreciation to the competitors who entered under me and accepted my decisions with good humour.

The weather changed from cool and dry, to muggy, hot and then wind and showers on the Sunday which did appear to have the effect of making tracking extremely difficult on the last day.  We saw a range of wildlife including deer, hare and some fledgling skylarks (the latter unfortunately despatched by one dog in the square)!  As a ground nesting bird and one of "the big Five" in the Yorkshire Dales, it is a pity that this occurred when it could have been avoided.

26 entered, 19 ran.  Breeds: GSD, WSD/BC, Labrador, and X breeds.  4 qualified the nosework, 1 qualified overall.

Track pattern was 15 legs, 930 yards long; the first article was a soft covered plant tie, the second was half a wood peg and the third a piece of green mesh.  Square articles were: a green shotgun cartridge, a square of green spontex, a piece of green upholstery fabric and a green pipe cleaner.

The control round commenced with fast pace, followed by the speak and then the sendaway, which was 90 yards out to a stone wall with a 120 yard redirect right along it.  Medium and slow pace heelwork took the handlers to the jumps where second attempts were allowed at each and finished with the down stay.

1st Glenys Page handling her granddaughter’s WSD dog, BILKO’S GLORY, 206.5.  An inexperienced dog handled with the skill you would expect from Glenys, with 3 off the track and a full mark square plus a solid control round.  Many congratulations.

2nd Anne Fowler with her BC bitch, GLENALPINE MAISEY, 206, NQ.  Another young dog in expert hands, a really beautiful track, again with 3 off the track, a full mark square and a solid control round; just short on the jumps!  Good luck with her Anne, she is lovely.

3rd Julie Paul with her GSD dog, KENMILLIX I’M YOUR MAN, 186, NQ,   The last to work on the last day, a very slow track with a lot of casts but still with 3 and 4; well done. (Just try to remember your left from your right and tell him not to speak with his mouth full)!

4th Vic Snook with his GSD dog, WOOLSHAN INKSPOT, 179.5, NQ.  The second best track of the trial but unfortunately only one article!  Not the fault of the dog however!  Also had the best control round and full mark jumps.  Only your first attempt at TD and lots to be pleased with.

Despite one of my dogs having to be left behind due to breaking a toe, and the other having a rather unfortunate episode of the squits in my car, (thanks Arthur and Jean for the paper towels), I really enjoyed myself and I hope you all enjoyed my test.  Enjoy your dogs!

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