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AVON Venues: Keevil
Trial Held: 22 January 2012

TRIALS MANAGER’S REPORT

I keep saying "I’m not doing this again next year", but no one takes me seriously, and with such a willing band of helpers both old hands and new to trials it’s difficult to say "No".

Our farmers, Francis and Rosemary Banfield and son Paul, could not be more accommodating if they tried, Rosemary personally seeing off walkers who’d strayed from the footpaths (I think she rather enjoyed it!).  As ever, the fields were in superb condition, with a good growth of grass undisturbed since last November; had the wind dropped a little more, conditions for nosework would have been almost perfect.

The team behind the scene: - Kate, Rick and Sharni, kitchen, early shift and gophers extraordinaire.  Chris, kitchen late shift, assisted by Leslie.  Escorts Janette for 2 days, Mark and Adele one day each, walked miles taking people personally to their tracks.  Felicity, trials secretary and tracklayer, Susanne tracklayer, Allyson tracklayer, and last but by no means least Marney, our judge, who did an excellent job - thank you one and all, trials would not happen without people like you.

Finally to the competitors, thank you for entering, and I hope enjoyed your day.

PIPPA BENTHAM

 

STAKE: UD

Judge: MARNEY WELLS

Tracklayers: Felicity Veazey and Allyson Tohme (2 days), Susanne Jaffa and Pippa Bentham (1 day).

Steward: Celia Bourne.

Thank you to Pippa and the Avon club for asking me to judge at this lovely trial. Avon is made up of a very friendly bunch of people who all help out at the trial, which makes for a very happy and relaxed atmosphere. Special thanks to Pippa for running the trial (and tracklaying – there is no end to her skills!), to the workers in the kitchen for producing much needed sustenance, to Rick (the club muscle!) for moving jumps around and to Jeanette for escorting competitors to their tracks.

Even more special thanks to my team in the fields – Pippa, as I mentioned before, also Susanne, Allyson and Felicity who all did a brilliant job of laying the tracks and, last but by no means least, to Celia – excellent steward and entertaining company – what more could I ask?

The weather was very windy and cold both days but at least it didn’t rain.  I have to say, that to see relatively inexperienced dogs working so well in such challenging conditions was a real treat.  The dogs that did the track did it very well.

1st Mark Gowler with GOTTHEFIDGETS, CDEx, WSD, D, 193.5, Q.  Mark was our first competitor on Saturday morning, which was a lovely positive way to start the trial as he and Fidget worked a very good track.  Fidget had to work quite hard in the windy conditions but Mark handled him really well and gave him the time to work it out for himself without any obvious signs of panic when things got a bit sticky!  A good square with only a little mouthing and one of the best control rounds of the trial.  Mark was our only qualifier on Saturday.

2nd Judith Owen with BRENTMOOR JAY, BC, D, 185.5, Q.  Jay worked another very good track.  The square was well handled by Judith, making sure that Jay had covered the whole area.  He did lose marks for mouthing and being a tad possessive with the articles!!  But his attitude and enthusiasm were great to see.  Another good control round.

3rd Jo Magness with LIZLINE MANDOLIN, GSD, D, 183, Q.  Jack’s track was a treat to watch – keen and accurate!  He had a very hard time on one corner where there was a strong following wind, but Jo handled it to perfection (as I would expect!) and they carried on to complete the track with style.  Jack also worked his square well, covering the area without any time wasting.  A good control round with most of his faults being caused by his over enthusiasm.

4th Judy Meekings with LAURINCO RED SKY AT WINDLEBROOK, CDEx, Lab Ret, D, 176, Q.  Wow!  What a power house!  Very enthusiastic track with Judy following at an angle of 45 degrees for most of it!  Skye certainly enjoys his work.  Lovely to see a dog having this much fun at a trial.  Lost his concentration a bit in the control round where he obviously considered things were going too slowly, then (much to my surprise) did a really relaxed stay.  (He’d possibly worn himself out by this time – but somehow I doubt it).

Other moments to remember – Sue Yarrow’s GSD doing the most fantastic clear jump - I’m sure that dog could fly!: John Simpson with his crossbreed showing excellent definition of paces in the heelwork and Rosie Lane’s Dobermann doing the best track I have ever seen her do.

Generally, most dogs lost marks for mouthing and dropping articles in the square and this carried over to the retrieve as well.  The other thing I found disappointing, was the exaggerated extra commands in the control round which I am sure, most of the dogs did not need.  It would be a good idea for newer triallists to go to watch some of the more experienced handlers work their dogs in nosework and the C/A as you can pick up a lot of handling tips that way, without having to pay your trainer!  Also, I am sorry that none of the dogs liked my sendaway!  85 paces to the only tree in the hedge and where did they all go – 20 paces to the left to a gap in the hedge!!  Sorry, dogs, I’ll try harder next time!

Altogether, I had a most enjoyable two days judging and must thank all of the happy band of competitors for letting me watch their dogs work.  There was a lovely mix of breeds, which goes to show that more different breeds should be encouraged to compete in trials – they all love it!

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