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Championship Trial
Venue: Flintham
Trial Held: 10 April 2011



Tracklayers: Chris Bell, Barrie James

Steward: Dave Waite

Criminals: Tom, Steve, Vick, Jordan, Anthony

I would like to thank BAGSD for the invitation to judge at this trial and to Liz and John for their hospitality.  As always the meals and food bags were delicious, provided by Jacqui, Diane and Linda.  Sheila - thank you for trying to keep me out of trouble and to you and your committee for a really great trial.  The base had a warm welcome for everyone with Jan booking them in.

Tracking was on well grown winter wheat and had 16 legs.  My articles were a fake fur tail, 0.5" x 5" and a short piece of tree branch 3"x 1", and I enjoyed watching some cracking tracks.  In the square were a plastic bucket (which only one dog treated as an article, with the others bringing it back on command), a 4" metal bolt, a thin length of 3" sisal and a 3" x 0.5" piece of plastic.  Out of the 15 entries, 11 teams worked.  We lost two on the tracking, two on the square and one on the control field, leaving six teams in contention.

Heather Cook and Dave Marchant did the run-through for the PD test and gave the competitors an excellent insight into the test - thanks a lot.  It was a new field for PD, L-shaped and in a valley, so hopefully spectators had a good view.  I started with the test of courage, which was three men, two with dustbin lids.  The man without a dustbin lid went forward and challenged then ran back between the lids, the dog was sent and they closed ranks and did their best to keep the dog out.  All the dogs showed excellent commitment and did very well.  Handlers were then asked to remove the dog’s collar for the rest of the round.

Next was the quarter, which was a dog leg.  Tents were placed at the side, corner and external corner of the field with the last leg going away and out of sight of the handler, to a man sitting on a chair reading a newspaper.  Four dogs quartered to the man and barked, one stayed with him.  The other three barked long enough for the handlers to be asked to join them but started returning to their handlers, maybe on realising they were out of sight of them.

There were now four dogs qualifying going into the recall, which was set up exactly the same as the chase.  The handler challenged a man walking across the field who gave verbal reply.  As the man disappeared from sight, the dog was sent.  The recall signal was given with the criminal in clear sight of the dog and in full pursuit, so it was a bit of a cliff hanger for the handler and three dogs recalled.  On the chase, two dogs appeared to anticipate another recall and did not chase, one was successful and one dropped off and returned to the handler.  The chase criminal was searched and escorted back toward the crowd and turned to attack the handler whenever he saw a chance of success.  I don’t think a handler had the chance to command the dog to bite and if the dog did not react immediately, it was too late.

This left one team who had completed all aspects of the test but sadly did not have enough points to qualify overall in the PD section.  On looking back at my test, it tested the dogs more than the handlers and I thought this gave an equal chance to the competitors, as there was little to be gained from watching previous rounds.  Thanks to my steward, Dave, who did a great job and to the tracklayers and criminals who were excellent and presented my test just as I envisaged it.

1st Dave Olley, LITTLE RAYMOND, TDEx, X-Breed, dog, 253,NQ.  An exciting dog to watch with lots of drive.  His enthusiasm cost him the marks today but certainly a Ticket winning team for the future.

2nd Manda McLellan, ASTRA STORM, TDEx, PDEx, BC, dog, 229.5, NQ.  That’s trials for you, just when you think you’ve cracked it something unexpected happens.

3rd Andy Baker, WTCh SID THE LEMON SQUEEZER, TDEx, PDEx, BC, dog, 217, NQ.  Another team so close to the ticket.  I am sure Andy will squeeze many more tickets out of Sid in trials to come.

4th Dave Olley, STARDELL ALULA, TDEx, PDEx, BC, bitch, 215.5, NQ.  I love watching collie bitches with attitude and trials are about the challenge of training.  So close to the ticket as well.  Great achievement to have 2 dogs competing.

To all the competitors - thank you for entering.  I enjoyed watching all your dogs and saw some excellent handling, especially where the dogs were put before the qualification so they had a positive experience to build on for the future.  Good luck for your next trials.

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