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Venue: Devizes
Trial Held: 23 February 2008

Trials Manager’s Report

This is the last time I will be writing a report as trials manager.  The first trial I ran here was in 1998 and, I have to say, it does not seem that long ago (time definitely goes faster as one ages!).  This year, the low entries meant that we only ran for one day and the weather was not too bad, so it all went off pretty smoothly.

Throughout the time I have run this trial, I have always had wonderful cooperation from my local land owners and they have to put up with me the rest of the year as well.  They are such stars!  Most of my helpers have also been with me for every trial and their importance cannot be over stated.  So thanks to everyone who has helped in any way at the Devizes trials.  This year’s team were no exception and to know that they can be given a job and will do it just as it should be done is fantastic.  Huge thanks to Ruth Cahill, Lindsey Poole, Linda Bowden, Barry Cook (a track layer with a wife who bakes cakes – perfect! Thanks, Nessa), Ann Bracegirdle and Jenny Butters for tracklaying and stewarding.  Also thanks to judges, Pippa Bentham (UD) and John Hinds (WD).  All of you did a super job.

The food (and what food!) was laid on by Vicky Wilford, again.  She really does do an amazing selection of lovely homemade goodies!  Thanks, Vicky.

As BAGSD is not a local club, running a trial here means that the rest of the committee are not actually available to help on the day but, the back-up and support from them is great.  Particularly, Sheila Tannert, who deals with the Kennel Club side of things, and David Waite, who is fantastically organised when it comes to supplying everything from guns to rosettes and score sheets.  Thank you very much for all your help at every trial.

Last, but by no means least, thanks to all the competitors who have entered the Devizes trials.  Some of them have had to be very hardy as the weather here can be pretty testing!

I hope I have not left anyone out – there are so many people involved in running successful trials.  Thanks.

Marney Wells


Stake: UD


Tracklayers: Linda Bowden, Barry Cook

Steward: Ann Bracegirdle

My thanks to the Society for the invitation to judge the UD stake.  Linda and Barry did an excellent job laying the tracks exactly as requested, and Ann was a very efficient steward.  My thanks to all three of you for giving up your day.  Vicky in the kitchen did a fantastic day’s work, with homemade soup, pizzas, garlic bread and cakes, as well as sandwiches, teas, etc, etc…  Marney, as ever, made the trials manager’s job look easy and effortless, even organising the weather, which for Devizes was almost balmy.

Lastly, my thanks to the competitors for entering and accepting my decisions with a smile.  Unfortunately, I managed to end up with only 1 qualifier, with the stays taking their usual toll.

1st Gill Lawrence and TOFFEE, BC, 164.  Well done, Gill and Toffee on a well deserved qualification, despite the slight hiccup on the track.

2nd Jodie Phillips and RIP, BC, 179.  Well done Jodie and Rip, a really excellent track; once you’ve conquered your nerves and Rip’s stays, you’ll do well.

3rd Di Assheton-Bowtle and SMOKIE, GSD.  Unfortunately not your day, but Smokie showed a lot of potential.  Good luck for the future.

Stake: WD


Tracklayers: Ruth Cahill and Lindsey Poole

Steward.: Jenny Butters

Firstly I would like to thank Marney Wells and BAGSD for honouring me with the invitation to judge the WD Stake at this, the last Working Trial to be staged and managed at Devizes by the irrepressible and ever efficient Marney.  I found it a very enjoyable and rewarding experience, meeting some very nice competitors with their dogs.

I also extend a very big thank you to my steward Jenny Batters, not only for the excellent manner in which she laid the squares and performed the control steward’s role, but also for the caring friendly manner in which she treated the competitors.  This was Jenny’s first attempt at stewarding and other than being a fiery tempered ‘GING’!! !!!!!! she carried out the task brilliantly. I extend a very big thank you to my tracklayers Ruth Cahill and Lindsey Poole.  I couldn’t have had a more efficient and experienced team of tracklayers, and true to form they were both excellent.  I sincerely thank them for their efforts.  My thanks are also extended to Vicky Wilford for keeping us all well fed and watered throughout the trial.

The tracking took place on dry dusty ground containing winter wheat. The weather was cold, dry and breezy; these conditions must have assisted dogs working the square because only two dogs out of the nine competing failed to achieve a qualifying standard in this section.  Unfortunately the weather conditions didn’t assist the competitors on the track, as only one competitor out of the nine competing successfully completed the track and handed two articles back to me, although two competitors did qualify in the nose work group.

In total out of the nine dogs entering the stake only two of the dogs finally qualified; the remaining competitors, other than one who also failed the stays, were unsuccessful by not completing the track.

Finally I would like to thank all the competitors for accepting my judgment and comments in a positive and friendly manner, without question or argument.  I did find it an enjoyable task to spend time with some nice people and judge their lovely dogs, from all of which it was evident that they enjoyed the work and endeavoured to please their handlers.

For those who qualified I extend my congratulations, and to the others I wish you every success next time.

1st Elizabeth Hickman with WOLFHART TOUCH OF GOLD, GSD, B. Liz and Jay worked all the groups as an efficient and well trained team which lost only three marks in the Control and Agility groups and seven marks in the nose work group. Congratulations to you both and best wishes for the future.   190, CoM.

2nd Mrs Judy Meekings with STYPERSON BRIG AT WINDLEBROOK, Lab, D.  Judy and Brig only missed out on a higher placing due to this young dog’s inexperience and immaturity, losing marks by missing out the last leg of the track and the article. The team only lost two marks in the Control and Agility groups and only one mark for mouthing an article in the square.  If Judy and this keen young dog continue to develop and perform in similar fashion, in the future they will develop into a very effective competitive team which should go far.  Well done and good luck in the future.   167, CoM.

3rd Mrs. Juliet Ward with WOLFHART WHAT A CRACKER, CDEx,  GSD, B.  Juliet and Tanya had an ‘If Only’ day.  If only they had completed the track and their sendaway had been better, they would have qualified, because everything else that they did was good.  A disappointing day for them both, but I wish you good luck next time.  85.5, NQ.

4th Clive Griffith with WAGGERLAND CHILE, WSD, B.  With a little more work on the stay, scale and track this team will be flying amongst the trophies. Best Wishes and good luck to you both for the future.  75, NQ.

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