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AVON Venues: Trowbridge
Trial Held: 22 February 2009

TM, UD Stake


I have stewarded, tracklaid, judged, competed, secretaried and escorted at trial before. This was my first go at managing a trial and all I can say is thank you to Felicity, whose computer skills and cooking are second to none; Vicky, who judged magnificently; Allyson, Marney and Janette, who tracklaid and stewarded to perfection (and had a laugh); Chris who filled in wherever she was needed – you were all brilliant.

The weather, well, what can I say. Janette was sunburnt after the first day, a week before it had been knee deep in snow.

Our farmers, Francis and Rosemary Banfield could not have been more accommodating if they tried. All fields 3-4 inches growth of grass, no livestock having been on it since before Christmas, absolutely perfect conditions, which was reflected in the tracking marks. The village hall was excellent and the villagers all wanted to know how everyone was getting on and were really interested, combined with the fact that Keevil wins prettiest village competitions. If I have left you with a picture of a rural idyll bathed in sunshine, then I have succeeded. The trial really did go well, despite my misgivings and ‘I’ll never do this again’ at least twice a day, the team around me really were superb and there is absolutely no way the trial would have happened without them.

Thank you one and all.





Trials Manager/Secretary: Pippa Bentham

Tracklayers: Marney Wells and Allyson Tohme

Steward: Janette Hickson

After all the winter snow only two weeks before, which turned out to be good enough for skiing and tobogganing, somehow we were thankfully blessed with wonderful weather. I was supported and assisted over the three days by what I can only describe as “The Dream Team” – truly terrific tracklayers Allyson and Marney, and super-star steward Janette.

Pippa Bentham and Felicity Veazey, with Chris Young, did an amazing job of running the base and organizing the trial. Everyone gave freely of their time and knowledge to guide me through what was my first judging appointment. I think though, there has to be another mention for Felicity - not only did she cook and make the yummy cakes and food, but she also cooked excellent bacon butties for us all – and she is a vegetarian so deserves an extra star!

Competitors, I was honoured that you put pen to paper and entered yourselves and your dogs in a trial where you probably didn’t have a clue who the judge was! Thank you all for making the three days such a pleasure and reminding me why working trials are so special.

20 entered – 15 dogs and handlers worked.

Working conditions on all three days were virtually the same. The going underfoot was good, the soil moist with some give and occasional soft and/or wet areas. The top of the grass was generally dry with a tiny amount of new growth beginning to show. There was a good deal of sunshine, which felt warm when in a sheltered spot. The wind was mainly light to light/moderate, slightly variable, and could feel cool when a cloud blocked the sun. The square articles were a piece of soft black leather, 4cm x 12cm, a wooden spatula, 2 cm x 15cm, a piece of green scouring pad, 4cm x 7cm, a knotted bundle of red wool, 16cm long. The track articles were half a red beer mat, 9cm x 4.5cm, a knotted piece of red fabric, 7cm x 20cm.

1st Kevin Hill and VEKKA LADY, GSD, B, 22 months, 196.75, Q. Dog working and handler focused and calm, just a joy to watch. Well deserved first place for this pair new to trials. Vekka is a lovely dog with a super attitude to work. I think the rest of us are going to have to watch out for these two!! Nosework 144, C/A 52.75. Also won the Best Nosework Trophy.

2nd Margaret Tarvit and VEREKER NUN NICER, Hungarian Vizsla, B, 7 yrs, 192, Q. Lost just one mark in the C/A. Zazz worked in a calm, smooth and natural manner. Lovely. Just what I wanted to see. Excellent! Nosework 138, C/A 54

3rd Rosemary Turner and Danny Turner’s MALTESER MARY, CDEx, Lab Retriever, B, 2.5 yrs, 186.75, Q. Nyla is not Rosemary’s dog, she lives with her son and I believe preparation for the trial hadn’t been easy. So pleased it all came together and you qualified. Excellent retrieve, can still picture it now. Well done. Nosework 135, C/A 51.75

4th John West and Mr and Mrs J West’s SHEPALIAN TOFFEE CRISP, ASD, D, 5.5 yrs, 184.25, Q. Toffee is a very strong character and he gave us some hold your breath moments! Anyway you did it! Well done! Nosework 139, C/A 45.25

Also qualified:

Heather Donnelly and MOBELLA CARELESS WHISPER FOR WOOLRAM, CDEx, BC, B, 4 yrs, 179.

Full marks on the search square and a super sendaway. Puds is a lovely little dog. Very nicely handled. Nosework 129, C/A 50.

Felicity Veazey and Mr R and Mrs F J Veazey’s VANISTICA RAINBOW SEEKER, Greonendael, B, 5.5 yrs, 160. Inka had a sticky start to the track but then finished in good style. Just managed to achieve enough marks to qualify. Well done! Nosework 112, C/A 48

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