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Open Trial
Venue: Long Compton
Trial Held: 23 October 2010

TRIALS MANAGER’S REPORT

34 entries in TD (5 scratches), 24 in UD (4 scratches),  CD zero entries. 

Should have been easy this year, pretty good weather, plenty of consistent land for all - until……  On Saturday we lost the last three TD tracks to the beagle pack and then, on the basis that if anything else could go wrong it will, the farmer couldn’t confirm that he wouldn’t be taking advantage of the good weather that was forecast for Sunday and doing some spraying.  So better safe than sorry I moved TD onto UD and UD onto new fields.  I didn’t finalise the decision re UD until shortly before the first competitors reported, so it is thanks to Annie Thorpe that the start of UD was only delayed 30 mins.  I showed her the fields and she took over – wonderful!  The value of experience should never be underestimated.  Congratulations too to John Simpson - what an introduction to competition track laying - well done John you coped wonderfully.  

Apologies to the TD competitors for the delay on Sunday but we had a  competitor to slot in from the previous day and also it wasn’t sensible to lay tracks in the dark on new land.  TD had David Barker, Len Newman, Ann Shepherd (who also prepared all the food for the TD team) and Jennifer Speake.   Gill Cooke was square steward and Shirley Simpson stepped in when Gill worked her dog in UD.  All excellent but a special mention for David who laid the earlies, walked the fields beforehand,  provided  and helped put up the jumps, collected poles and still had the time to be moaned at by me!  David, you made my job so much easier than it could have been - thank you!  The base was manned by Chris Wilson and Sue Lawrie, who also did escort duties helped by Rita Tongue.  The judges, Sue Jones C/A, Heather Donnelly TD, and Gary Haim UD, were wonderful, all setting sensible tests and giving me absolutely no hassle at all.  Many thanks to you all.

CHRIS GREGORY 

 

STAKE: UD NOSEWORK

Judge: GARY HAIM

Square Steward: Sandra Haim

Tracklayers: Anne Thorpe, John Simpson

24 entered, 18 ran.

My thanks to the society for the invitation to judge the UD nosework, to Chris Gregory and all her team for running the trial and to Pete for keeping us fed and watered.  Special thanks to Anne and John for laying the tracks and to Sandra for laying the squares.

The tracks on day one were laid on stubble with a good growth coming through, then due to the local beagle pack deciding to play on the TD land and some last minute crop spraying we moved on day two to some winter wheat which had a good growth.  On both days we saw some very good tracks and squares, with most competitors completing the track and everyone qualifying in the square.

1st Ms Sue Russell, GLENALPINE DANNY, CDEx, BC, D, 197, Q.  An almost perfect track followed by a full mark square.  What more could you ask for?  Very well handled, Sue.  Well Done.

2nd Mrs A Fowler, GLENALPINE MAISEY, BC, B, 197, Q.  Another excellent track and square from Anne - litter mate to the above dog.  Another dog destined for the top in Anne’s experienced hands.

3rd Mrs L Johnston, RAVEN HILL RORY, X-Breed, D, 195, Q.  This dog produced a lovely steady track followed by a very impressive square much to the delight of his owner.  Well Done.

4th Mr Mark Lewindon, MANPOL SPIRIT AT BRACOKELI, CDEx, GSD, D, 192, Q.  This lovely young shepherd did a very nice track.  The square was only spoilt by some mouthing, which proved to be a bit costly.  Mark’s calm handling helped to keep this young dog focused on the job in hand.  Very well done.

Also gaining COM:

Mrs J Henton, BLACKBERRY FEN, CDEx, Lab, D, 188.

Mr B James, CORRIEDHU CESAN, CDEx, BC, D, 184.5

 

STAKES: TD/UD CONTROL AND AGILITY

Judge: SUE JONES

Steward: Pete Jones

Many thanks to BAGSD for asking me to judge the C/A.  Chris Gregory was a super Trials Manager, overcoming many problems with the tracking land over the 3 days; only people who are involved with running trials understand what a nightmare it can be when you have to change fields every day to work round the farmers’ commitments and other country activities.  I was pleased to say that I was able to use the same field for every day of the trial; it was a super field and I was able to set a straight forward and flowing test for the two stakes, which hopefully competitors enjoyed.

The TD sendaway was 100 yards straight to the boundary hedge and 120 yards redirect right.  The average mark was 8.5; it was nice to see dogs making a good attempt at the exercise.

Heelwork was very well performed, except that Pete did have trouble trying to keep everyone on course, with handlers looking down at the ground or at their dogs and not where they should be heading for.  Pete also had a problem in UD with the handlers being told that he wanted the retrieve article to be thrown at least beyond where he was standing - a few could not throw very straight and some came very close to hitting him.

It was nice to see competitors coming forward early to work and keeping a steady flow so we were not kept waiting around.

Thanks to all the help at base and to Pete Gregory for the lunch time snap box, and lastly appreciation to Pete for stewarding - he might get the job again?

UD STAKE:

1st Sue Russell, GLENALPINE DANNY, BC, D, 197.  Lost 1 on control and 1 on jumps.  Well done.

2nd Ann Fowler, GLENALPINE MAISIE, BC, B, 197.  Casual foul on long jump losing 0.5 mark.

3rd L Johnston, RAVEN HILL RORY, XB, D, 195.  Only lost 2 marks on sendaway.

4th Mark Lewindon, MANPOL SPIRIT AT BRACOKELI, GSD, D, 192.  Just losing 1 mark on retrieve.

Also qualifying:

Jenny Henton. BLACKBERRY FEN, Lab, D, 188

Barrie James, CORRIEDHU CESAN, BC, D, 184.5

TD STAKE:

1st Kevin Hill, VEKKA LADY, WDEx, GSD, B, 205.5.  Only lost 0.5 mark on C/A - Vekka was a joy to watch.

2nd Maeve Weselby, STYPERSON GILLIE, Lab, D, 198.5.  Also only losing 0.5 mark on C/A, with a full mark sendaway.

3rd Margaret Robinson, JUST FRANKIE AT TRENTVALLEY, WSD, D, 198.  Frankie didn’t get the redirect, otherwise full marks.

4th June Reed, SHADOWQUEST LEGACY, GSD, D, 198.  Buddy just managed the jumps but everything else was good.

Also qualifying:

Ian Brown, TRI ONE JETRIL, BC, B, 190.5.  Did not get the down stay but still qualified.

 

STAKE: TD NOSEWORK

Judge: Heather Donnelly

Tracklayers: David Barker, Len Newman, Anne Shepherd, Jennifer Speake

Stewards: Gill Thomas, Shirley Simpson

My thanks to Chris Gregory and her band of helpers for ably running this trial.  This year’s trial could have been seen as a Trials Manager’s nightmare.  On the Saturday we lost 3 TD tracks, when the Beagle hunt decided to use the same land as us. This resulted in having to lay an additional track to be run at 5pm.  The nightmare continued when we returned to do the track as someone, either a dog walker or the farmer, had taken the poles!  Then later that evening Chris got the dreaded phone call from one of the farmers to say he wanted to spray the TD fields tomorrow.  I can only say full credit to Chris for keeping an extremely cool head during all of this, with most of the competitors not even realising what problems had occurred during the three days.

Thank you to my four tracklayers, David Barker, for doing all the early ones plus staying behind and doing the spare late track on Saturday night, Len Newman for the middle block on all three days and Anne Shepherd for doing Friday and Saturday and the Jennifer Speake for the Sunday.  I did feel for all three tracklayers on the first and second days, as it quickly became evident that the conditions were tough and hardly anyone was going to do the track.  Unfortunately all three had the thankless task of retrieving most of the articles off the track.  However, as we moved to some different fields on the last day things improved and we managed to see most of the dogs doing the track.

My square steward on the first two days was Gill Thomas, who did exactly what I wanted, resulting in all but one dog getting 4 out of the square.  Shirley Simpson assisted on the Sunday and was her usual jolly self.  Both ladies were excellent company.

I make no apologies for marking the squares hard as although the articles were a generous size, they were all chosen for their "chewability", and most dogs obliged.  However there were two dogs, Kate Wykes with Meg and Maurice Millington and Purdi, with full mark squares and June Reed and Buddy only lost 2.

The fields on the first two days seemed harder for most of the dogs, with most doing just a couple of legs and then going off on an imaginary diagonal.  However handling and know-how saved the day for Kate Wykes with Meg, and I can only describe watching their track as awesome.  Although some teams remarked on things not ‘feeling quite right’, Kate actually acted on this knowledge, completed the track and rightly gained the ‘Best Track’ award.

1st Kevin Hill and VEKKA LADY, GSD, 205.5, Q.  So pleased this team got the ‘red one’ as they tracked on the fields which seemed so much harder.  They had a scary moment when starting to head towards a couple of field marker cross poles but recovered and finished the track with all 3 articles to boot.

2nd Maeve Weselby and STYPERSON GILLIE, Labrador, 198.5, Q.  Along with the other qualifiers tracked on the Sunday which seemed to be the easier fields.  Gillie seemed a very enthusiastic tracking boy, showing a slightly different tracking style.  However he appears to love finding the articles, collecting all 3 from the track, and further illustrated this in the square with some perfect retrieving.

3rd Margaret Robinson and JUST FRANKIE AT TRENTVALLEY, WSD, 198, Q.  This little fella tracked showing us near perfect corners and at one time I didn’t think I would be able to steal any marks off him.  Just tiny bits of mouthing in the square which dropped him a couple of marks but leaving the 4th article would have made all the difference.  A lovely little chap.

4th Mr and Mrs Williams’ SHADOWQUEST LEGACY, GSD, handled by June Reed, 198, Q.  A very methodical track by this big lad.  Had a little trouble on one of the top legs but recovered well.  Missed the middle article, so both dog and handler were determined to get the last one, which they did.  Good square with three perfect retrieves giving them 33 marks in this section.

Also qualifying:

Nathan Wilson and SPECIAL GIFT, Weim, 196.  Made full use of the better tracking land on the top of the hill, and the first of this group to get 3 from the track.  Unfortunately preferred to eat one of the search articles rather than giving it to Nathan.

Ian Brown and TRI ONE JETRIL, WSD.  Very nice neat corners from this little bitch, who didn’t ever appear to have any real problems with the track.  Started off well in the square and then lost a bit of gusto. Did enough though.

Other memorable moments were:

Adrian Quick with Oz for sheer perseverance in trying to locate the 4th leg of the track.  Adrian did everything he could but Oz just didn’t want to go that way.  Pity

Maurice Millington and Purdi illustrating a full mark square, just what I was looking for.

Janette Hickson and Roy on sheer sportsmanship - determined to enjoy their day what ever happened.

Mary Prentice and Kilty; I loved the way Mary asked her dog for confirmation before she followed.  Superb teamwork.

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