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AVON Venues: Keevil
Trial Held: 26 January 2014




Tracklayers: Pippa Bentham, Allyson Tohme,

Search Stewards: Adele Cole, Craig Lively

 Although the weather wasn’t exactly kind to us at least we succeeded in running our trial this year. I would like to thank our committee for offering me my first judging appointment for 22 years - was it something I said? I would also like to congratulate the club on braving the storm and running a special WD stake with reduced jumps and no gun test. I hope there will be more of these in the future. As a token of my support for this I asked for our UD trophy dedicated to our own small dog, Flickety Sue, UDEx, to be transferred to the WD stake and replaced the UD shield with one dedicated to my very first Groenendael, Viroflay Jennet, TDEx.

Now to business! Firstly many thanks go to those who were prepared to spend 2 days out in all kinds of weather with me, my track layers Pippa and Allyson and search stewards Adele and Craig. Pippa also acted as my control steward, keeping both me and the dogs happy and in order. Avon is a small club and those who help with the trial have to work so hard to keep it happening. Lesley managed the trial most efficiently and Craig, Rick, Kate, Anni and Adele between them kept us supplied with food and competitors. If I have left anyone out please forgive me, my brain is probably still waterlogged.

I tried to set a simple straightforward test; UD open is the true introduction to "proper" trials and needs to be a comfortable one. Owing to the terrible condition of the ground, together with a forecast of more rain to come, we made the difficult decision to put the jumps on an agility surface rather than on the control field. Trials jumps are quite difficult enough without the addition of risking dogs slipping in mud. This wasn’t to everyone’s taste but overall I think the dogs jumped very well on the surface and I saw fewer struggling on the scale than I have seen at many trials.

Of our 16 entries, 6 cancelled before the trial (and thank you so much for letting us know) 6 worked on the Saturday in the better weather and 4 braved the conditions on the Sunday. Surprisingly, overall, the tracking and sendaways were better on the Sunday.

 1st Mike Williams with TADMARTON ELEANOR, Labrador retriever, 195, Q. Worked in horrid weather on the Sunday. I’ve written "brilliant" by Tara’s nosework sheet, a bit of mouthing but so happy and fast. Control just as good and as for her jumping - I’m sure she has wings but I couldn’t see them. Also won the Shardees Shield for best nosework.

2nd Susanne Jaffa with DITSY DOT, 189.5, Q, crossbreed. Just pipped Mike on the control but only 3 from the square. Wonderful to watch Susanne getting the best out of Dot.

3rd Jean Pierre Felicien with VONLUCIENHAN ARMAGEDDON, Malinois. 185, Q. One article down and a blip on the long jump but another very good round from Junior.

4th Craig Lively with KHAMYSKER KARNIVAL DANNY, GSD. 156, NQ. No down stay meant no qualification, but a little more control and Craig and Danny will be up with the rest of them very soon.




Tracklayers: Marney Wells and Susanne Jaffa,

Nosework Steward: Craig Lively

Control and Agility Steward: Anni Martin.

 Firstly thank you to Avon Committee for agreeing to run this special stake, originally for dogs under 17 inches, with jumps reduced in accordance with existing regulations for CD and UD. As it was a bit of a last minute decision, only 2 dogs under 17 inches entered, so once the closing date had passed, it was opened up to club members to have the opportunity to work their dogs in a trial situation but with reduced jumps.

The weather was actually very kind to us in that it did not rain, however the land was very wet. Despite this I saw some excellent tracking and searching. The control field was similarly "damp", but fortunately Avon has access to an all-weather agility surface so the jumps were on a much safer surface; unfortunately for the handlers it did mean quite a lot of heelwork to get them from one field to another.

My thanks to Marney and Susanne for laying the tracks, Craig for laying the squares, Anni for C/A stewarding and generally running around, and of course Lesley, our first time trials manager, who, with Flis to assist, kept everyone fed and score sheets in order. To the Banfield family, who own Westwood farm and put up with our invasions, thank you - we could not do this without you.

Ann Ferens brought her dog out of retirement to support the stake and Ann Trodd entered just to register her support - thank you both so much. Hopefully in October Avon will be running another "special" - details to be finalised later - so get training those small dogs so you too can have a go.

 1st Ann Ferens and CLOVERHAYES MAISIE MOUSE, UDEx, Spaniel-X, our only eligible competing dog. She tried her very best, her sendaway was brilliant.

2nd Meg O’Kelly and STARDELL NAOS, BC. The best square in a very fast time.

3rd Maurice Millington and GLENALPINE JUDD, BC. Excellent track, just lost 1 point in the square for mouthing.

4th Maurice Millington and GLENALPINE PERDI, BC. Lovely square, but needed a snorkel on her track.

 Thank you to everyone involved; this was a really nice day and well worth putting on. Also thank you to Marney Wells who sponsored the rosettes, and has worked so hard on behalf of Working Trials over the years.



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