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Open Trial
Venue: Oxspring
Trial Held: 30 August 2010


My thanks once again to Carol and Arthur Rivers for the use of their lovely land and base for this trial.  The farmers in this area are second to none, letting us roam free over their land to get the best possible tracking land for the competitors, and this paid off by the results in both tracking stakes - our grateful thanks to them.  The weather was also overall kind to us, if not a bit windy, but it is quite high up, so it is to be expected, but certainly the last day, Monday, was very nice.

Our judges this year were Gary Martin, PD, along with his wife, Caroline, UD, and Karon Tiffany, CD.  All did a great job and were very good company.  The entries for each judge were PD - 13, UD - 23, and CD - 4.  I will let each of the judges thank their helpers in their own reports.  My thanks also go to Sheila Margreaves for her hard work in the base, welcoming the competitors, calculating all the marks as they came in, and writing all the certificates out etc.  Lastly I would like to thank Glenys for all her help and hard work getting this trial to run smoothly, before the trial, during, and all the admin etc. after the trial has finished.





Tracklayers: Graham Reaney, Jeff Margreaves, John Atkins and Richard Musgrave

Stewards: Gary Martin and Laura Bardwell

Stay Stewards: Gary Martin, John Atkins and Laura Bardwell

Thank you very much to BAGSD for inviting me to judge the UD stake at their Open trial.  The base was at Rivos Kennels and the control field was on site, with spectacular views for competitors to take in whilst waiting to work the dogs.   Carol and Arthur at the kennels made us feel very welcome and their hospitality was very much appreciated.  Brian’s work as Trials Manager must be mentioned as he made sure everything ran smoothly.  Carol and Karon did a fantastic job keeping us fed and watered, thank you both.  Many thanks also to the Tracklayers, Stewards and helpers who so generously gave their time and expertise.

The sendaway was straightforward and most dogs went straight out with enthusiasm.  The ones that didn’t were a bit distracted and need to focus.  Keeping the dogs focussed can be a challenge but so important.  There was no set pattern to the heelwork which seemed to throw some handlers.  I just asked to see the required paces and turns in any order.  I hoped the handlers would seize the opportunity to show their dogs’ strengths and maybe minimise any weaknesses.  

Tracking was on grass and I saw some excellent tracks and also saw handlers who did not really believe their dogs.

1st Mrs S McBride with DELFLEET ODIN, Labrador Retriever, Q, 197.  Gunner and Steph did a fantastic round in appalling weather conditions.  Real troopers.  Well done.

2nd Mrs G Page with LITTLETHORN MORGAN, Border Collie, Q, 196.  Morgan’s enthusiasm was a joy to see, although we were a bit concerned when he used Glenys as a skittle when recalling from the send away.  Faultless square.

3rd Mr M. Williams with MARINA BEN’S PAL, Crossbreed, Q, 196.  I really enjoyed watching this team work and  admired Marina’s agility.  I have never seen the clear jump "cleared" quite so well.  Excellent nosework.

4th Ms K Peyton with JEDI KNIGHT, Border Collie, Q, 177.   Jed’s heelwork was very polished and his agility fantastic.

Well done to all of the competitors and good luck at your next trials




Tracklayers: Graham Reaney, Jeff Margreaves

Search and C/A Steward: Glenys Page

Patrol Steward: Graham Reaney

Criminals: Tom, Vic and Justin

Many thanks to BAGSD for the invitation to judge at this well run and friendly trial.  This is such a gorgeous part of the country and the base is in a truly idyllic setting.  The trials manager, Brian, with his trademark efficiency, could not have done more to ensure that the trial ran well.  His attention to detail and easy going manner, for me made this event a real pleasure to attend, and the competitors just had to get on and compete, with no hiccups that even the best event can fall victim to. Thanks Brian and Glenys for all your help and your company over the weekend.

Our hosts were Carol and Arthur at ‘Rivos’ Kennels.  We were made so welcome and were very well catered for throughout the weekend.  Thank you both so much; you are all that is good in trials people and we all owe you a big thank you.

In the kitchen Carol and Karon did a sterling job - Karon even found time to do a bit of judging!  Thanks ladies, I really appreciated your excellent refreshments and your company

My tracklayers were outstanding and did everything I asked and made sure every competitor had the very best chance of success.  What I particularly appreciated was their help and advice as to how the track had been laid.  We have all laid tracks in a field where the ground suddenly throws something up at you, be it deep tractor marks, poor growth etc.  Both Graham and Geoff knew exactly where all such terrain was on each track and had made every effort to ensure the competitors were able to negotiate it.  Thank you both so much for your attention to detail, excellent track laying and your company.

Glenys stewarded the squares, C/A and scribed the Patrol round.  She did so in her trademark efficiency and I am thankful to you for all your help and excellent company.

Graham stewarded the patrol round and was such an asset, ensuring the round ran smoothly and just as I wanted it too.  To be able to have a steward of this experience and ability was an absolute godsend.  His attention to detail, relaxed and easy going manner, and excellent company made my job so much easier.  I owe you a great deal of thanks, as do the competitors.

My criminals were Tom, Vic and Justin. They were outstanding and were all I could have asked for. Each test was exactly as I wanted it and the same for each competitor.  Many thanks to you for your help over the weekend.

Nosework was on lovely pasture that had a decent growth on it; the weather was a bit blustery but sunny.  I set a track pattern that would offer a reasonable test.  The articles were a 2 inch piece of turned wood, about half an inch in diameter, and a piece of 2.5 inch green hose as the end article.  Most teams retrieved both articles but a couple managed to step over the wood!

The square articles were (i) a 2 inch piece if brown rope, (ii) a green milk bottle cap, (iii) a green plastic tent peg and (iv) a 1.5 inch piece of 40mm dowel.  All four articles were placed 15 paces across the square from the baseline, 5 paces apart.  Only one team got all four articles.  This could be explained in part by the blustery conditions.

The C/A round started with heelwork to a point in the middle of the field for the speak.  I asked the handler to leave the dog in any position and walk with Glenys and me 10 paces away.  With their back to the dog I looked for 10 barks, a 3 second quiet and then 5 more barks.  Next was the sendaway, which was 80 yards diagonally to a telegraph pole on the boundary and then 120 yard re-direct onto and across the top boundary.  I split the marking 4 and 6 respectively.  Most dogs coped easily with this test.  Jumps were clear, long and scale in that order.

The patrol round took place in a large open field with no natural features with which to conceal decoys so I used hides.  The round started with a chase to enable the teams to get into the test and settle some nerves.  Tom walked from the crowd into the middle of the field and engaged the handler.  When he reached a pole he turned and ran; at this point the handlers were told to send their dogs.  The chase was about 80 yards in total and was generally well executed.  Next was the quarter.  I asked for the handlers to send their dogs onto the boundary and quarter to a windbreak in a corner and then along to a hide where a criminal was located.  This person and the hide were to be searched.  The criminals would be co-operative when asked.  The dog was then to be sent onto a further hide where yet another criminal was located.  This caused a few teams problems as the dogs were concerned about the ‘ruffian’ who was just behind mum or dad!  It took a bit of persuasion for a couple of the dogs to move onto the next hide; this may have been due in part to where the criminal was positioned by the handler.  At the next hide the criminal was to be searched and the first criminal was to be controlled; a hammer was concealed within the hide.  This gave the handlers a bit to think about, testing them as well as the dogs.  There were some really nice displays in this section.

These two rather unsavoury characters were then to be escorted and an attack on handler took place.  The escort concluded at the location where the chase started and from where we went into the re-call.  This was an exact replica of the chase and as such I wanted the handlers to set their dogs up in exactly the same way.  I didn’t want any dog to be cued, i.e. whistles coming out just for this exercise, nudging the dog during the challenge etc etc.  During the briefing handlers were told any such conduct would result in a drastic reduction in marks.  I wanted each dog to pursue as it did on the chase; if not, again marks would be deducted.  However all competitors entered into the spirit of the test and conducted themselves impeccably.  I personally do not like to see the chase and recall being treated as different exercises during the set up, as it defeats the object the test.

The last exercise was the test of courage and this consisted of two rough looking ‘Herberts’ in the middle of the field engaging the handler about 40 yards away and then running at the dogs whilst shouting blood curdling oaths!!  The dogs could be sent when the handler felt it was justified.

1st Linda Newbold with COLLIEWOOD DANCING BRAVE, WSD, dog, 295, Q COM.  Linda and Dylan proved to be worthy winners and really produced the goods in all sections.  They have a lovely rapport between them and Linda knows how to get the very best from this superb dog.  Nosework was well executed and the C/ A was a pleasure to watch.  However, it was in the Patrol round that Linda’s experience came to the fore.  Dylan has such energy and drive it would be very easy for him to start taking over the round.  But Linda knows just how to get the best out of him and looked totally composed and relaxed.  They both executed a very nice round, losing just 12 marks on minor bits that will all fall into place with Linda’s attention to detail and experienced eye.  Well done, you were the top team and fully deserve your win.  I will be watching Dylan’s progress with interest.

2nd Lee Payne with LITTLE ROUGH RHINESTONE, X-breed dog, 290, Q COM.  Lee has produced yet another good trials dog in the form of Diesel.  Nosework was workman like, C/ A was a joy to watch, losing just a half.  Patrol round just as polished as you would expect from this experienced and knowledgeable handler.  Lee knows what he wants from his dog and then trains it.  Diesel is a really good prospect and has all the attributes to go all the way.  Well done and best of luck in the future with him; I shall be watching with interest.

3rd Lynne Davies with MISTER MISFIT MONGREL, X-Breed, dog, 278, Q COM.  Another very good round Lynne, it really can’t be too long before that championship qualification; you just need that little bit of luck and you’ll rightly be there.   Zeke will always give his best and whilst he can never be described as the easiest dog to work he always tries to please.  His consistency in all sections means it’ll only be a matter of time before he gets his PDEx.  Good luck and well done again.

4th Julz Findeisen with TOLBERG JUMPING JACK, GSD, dog, 275.5, Q COM.  You were rightly delighted with your qualification, Julz.  Zico was really on form in the nosework and C/A rounds.  He has it all there in the Patrol but needs a bit of refinement, but his commitment and drive is there.  Just get those bits sorted and with a bit of experience for Zico you’ll be on track to PDEx.  Lovely rapport between you and a nice honest dog; good luck and well done on your qualification

Also qualified COM

Heather Donnelly with MOBELLA CARELESS WHISPER FOR WOOLRAM, BC, bitch, 272.  Really nice throughout, Puds has such zest for her work.  Nosework and C/A were very nice.  Puds did enough to get you through the Patrol, but a bit of work is needed.  Mind you, she did upend the test of courage decoy!!  Nobody mentioned it though!  Nice quarter with any points lost down to mum.  Keep at it, Heather, and good luck in the future with her - she is a little treasure. 

Quick mention of Hayley Phillipson and her Great Dane ‘Boris’.  What a fantastic relationship you have with him, Hayley, he is a super dog and you have turned him into a very nice capable worker.  His entry onto the patrol field was eagerly anticipated by all.  He is such a character, he took it all in his stride. T otal commitment throughout, with just the quarter causing him some confusion.  Boris didn`t see the point in a recall when there was a villain to apprehend!  The test of courage was absolutely superb, although the ‘leave’ was a bit hit and miss, as whenever Hayley said ‘Leave’ Boris shook the decoy around and he was in no mood to argue!!  You were rightly proud of him, Hayley, and good luck with him in the future.

Thanks to all the competitors for entering under me, I hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as I did.  All of you entered into the spirit of the test and I know with a bit of luck you will all make it into ticket.  For those already in ticket – beware, there is some stiff competition on its way through.

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