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Open Trial
Venue : Hinton in the Hedges
Trial Held: 14 April 2013


It did not seem like 25 years ago that we ran our first Open Trial at Great Tew.  We moved it to Hinton in the Hedges 3 years later, which was a great decision as the farmers are all so friendly and helpful and the Cricket Club is very picturesque, which makes up for there being no electricity in the building.  We have to import our Calor Gaz and bring our own generator but you would never know it as our catering team, led by Steph Gordon, Lynn Bricknell and Sue Lawrie produces all day breakfasts and wonderful toasted sandwiches without a hitch.

Shirley Simpson created a ‘History of the Banbury Trial’ a few years ago, which has all the TM and Judges’ reports from the very beginning, which makes for very interesting reading.  One of the major changes in the last few years at our trial is the change in the length of the crop.  I remember feeling embarrassed asking the landowners if we could still go on the crop in the middle of April, as it was always so lush, but they always said yes.  I also remember that retrieving the track and search articles was very difficult as the crop was often more than ankle deep.  However, in the last 6 or so years the crop has been what one of the farmers called it, very ‘stressed’, but this year I thought it was going to be totally barren, until it started to rain a few days before the trial.  This made the crop come up just enough to make it possible for the young dogs to do their UD tracks.

With the high number of trials cancelled during January and some in March, I expected a very high entry, especially in the TD stake, but only 24 entered, the same number as in the UD stake, so we ran another 2 day trial like last year.  Our first 23 trials always ran over 3 and sometimes 4 days.  This could be another change, as I know it is the same for other trials and hopefully just a recession phenomenon, and not a sign of the sport of Working Trials being in decline.

So this trial was one of celebration and Michelle Jones made us a wonderful 25th Anniversary cake, which nobody wanted to cut at the end as it seemed too beautiful to eat.  However, John Simpson did not appear to have any problems slaughtering this beautiful dog clambering up the scale and managed to do it whilst telling us a joke from his distant past.  Who says men can’t multitask!!

So a huge THANK YOU to the Banbury Team for making this trial one of the most relaxing to run; everybody just got on with whatever job they had been allocated and we only had a few minor hiccups like, "Who’s got the food bag?"  And these fields are bigger or smaller than I thought!

John and Shirley Simpson helped again with all the advance preparations and entries,  Lynn Griffiths ran the base again in her calm and friendly manner and made sure we were able to do the presentation shortly after the last competitors had completed their tests.  Jane Webb laid the early morning TD tracks again (special thank you, Jane) and Clive Griffiths (UD) and John Turtill (TD) not only tracklaid on both days, they also helped stake out the very large fields the day before the trial, which involved putting in a total of around 50 poles, so they ended up doing the most mileage of anybody in very muddy conditions!

Must not forget all the cake makers!  We had some beautiful cakes on offer at the base and I don’t think we had to buy any this year, so thank you all very much.  There were none left at the end!

Thank you also to our judges: Roger Shrimpton (TD) who judged the WD stake at our very first trial, Jill Carruthers (UD), Judy Meekings (C/A) and Christine Brooks (CD and Intro), who were very cheerful company and set sensible tests.  We ended up with 5 TD and 6 UD as well as 2 Intro qualifiers, which compares well to the national average of 25% of total competing.  Congratulations to the winners: Joyce Tibbetts (TD), Brenda Nevard (UD), Hazell Burton (CD) and Jackie Pywell (Intro).

Thank you to all the competitors for supporting our trial and to the Banbury Dog Club for my beautiful surprise gift at the end of the Trial.  I have enjoyed running the first 25 years and will be happy to support any Trials Manager who would like to run the trial for the next 25 years!





Steward: Judith Owen

I was honoured to be invited to judge at your 25th Anniversary Trial – thank you, Banbury, for asking me.  Also thank you to Judith for her sympathetic stewarding of handlers new to trials. As is often the case, the competitors had both admirable and problematical moments!  The nosework was good with excellent retrieves, and the biggest problem in both stakes was dropping the articles en route to the handler.  In the C/A, those in the Introductory Stake should have made more use of their option to reassure/encourage their dogs to work.


1st Ms J Pywell and CHELVESTON KHIZZ WHIZZ, 98, Q.  A happy enthusiastic cocker with full mark nosework, bringing the articles out in about 30 seconds!  Khizzie’s C/A was also excellent, only losing two marks overall.  Congratulations.

2nd Mrs J A Paul and DIANDIE SUMMER STORM, 89.5, Q.  A GSD with full mark agility and sendaway, who just needed to tidy up his heelwork, and hold the articles more firmly.

3rd Ms R Carroll and GLAN RHYD SERAPHIM, 81, NQ.  Another Cocker who showed great enthusiasm for the nosework, only losing a single mark, but Marley laid down in the sit, which was expensive.

4th Ms R Carroll and ROYCHAMP DIVING SURPRISE, 77, NQ.  A Rottweiler with some really stylish heelwork, plus full mark nosework and sendaway.  Sort out Jorge’s agility and he could be an exciting prospect. 


1st Mrs H Burton and HAZTONS QUEST, BC, 82.5, NQ.  Full mark agility and only half a mark lost on the nosework but laid down in the sit.  Better luck next time.

2nd Ms R Carroll and GLAN RHYD SERAPHIM, Cocker, 77, NQ.  Did the sit (which he didn’t do in the Introductory Stake), but failed to do the agility.  Good luck for all sections right next time!

3rd Mrs P Davies’ MEADLE BLACKBERRY JACK, GSD, handled by Pete Ross, 75.5, NQ.  Good all-round level of performance – just not qualifying on the agility today.

4th Miss G Baird and LAUCOTT KAISER ST LOYS, ESS, 68.5, NQ.  Kai did excellent nosework and qualified on the control despite not liking the sendaway, but sadly had a problem with the agility.  





Steward: Shirley Simpson

Many thanks to Banbury and District DTS for inviting me to judge at this special 25th anniversary trial.  Congratulations to all involved in 25 years of successful and enjoyable trials, and especially to Carla for her dedicated management over the years.

As usual, the organisation was excellent, with nothing left to chance.  The catering, provided by Steph, Sue, Lynn and numerous others, was fantastic – thank you, ladies.  And base stewards, Lynne and Jane, kept everybody under control in the nicest possible way.  And thanks also to all the unsung heroes who set out jumps, cleared them away at the end, and did all the other unseen jobs, before, during and after, that made the trial go without a hitch.

My steward, Shirley, was great company over the two days, and stewarded all competitors expertly and in a friendly manner, putting nervous participants at ease.  Many thanks, Shirley. 

The competitors were, without exception, cheerful and sympathetic handlers of their dogs, and this helped to get the very best performances that the dogs were capable of. 


1st Brenda Nevard with I SPYDA SPIDER, WSD, B, 193.5, Q.  Spider worked an almost perfect round, only losing half a mark on her heelwork, and full mark jumps.  A worthy winner – the best of luck with her in the future, I’m sure it’s going to be a very successful one.

2nd Peter Dyer and CARMELITA ELITE OF KIRKVIEW, GSD, B, 187.5, Q.  Jez was another promising young dog working a very nice round, with just a little mouthing on the retrieve.

3rd Lauren Marlow with JOTUNHEIM ELI, Mali, D, 185.5, Q.  Like Spider, Aka only lost half a mark on his heelwork.  He is a striking looking dog who surely has a very promising future.

4th Bill Hardaway with VIKKAS CRUISE OF BURNAWAY, GSD, D, 183, Q.  A bit of work needed on the heelwork, Bill!  But the rest of Brendan’s work was impressive, and in Bill’s capable hands he should progress quickly up the stakes.

Also qualified:

Hilary Wilson and HOLLOWAY HOT CHOCOLATE, WSD, B, 172.5.  Bronte worked beautifully, with an almost perfect control round and full mark jumps.

Sue McCrilly and LITTLETHORNE ZODIAC, BC, D, 167.5.  A few wobbles on the heelwork and no return over the scale prevented a higher place, but Womble worked with a lovely attitude.


1st Joyce Tibbetts and VONHAUSWOLF MAUD, GSD, B, 198.5, Q.  Joyce and Kari were awarded first place with a higher nosework mark than Tony in second place.  Apart from an uncharacteristic failure to return over the scale, Kari produced a very impressive round, with excellent marks in all exercises.  She is a very promising young dog who, I’m sure, will go far.

2nd Tony Lockyer and TRIPLE TOP AT HARTSHILL, WSD, D, 198.5, Q.  Bob was the first to work, and the only dog to get a full mark sendaway.  An excellent round, as I would expect from Tony!

3rd Les Theobald with TYTRI ROMAN JACK, BC, D, 189.5, Q.  I’ve seen better heelwork, Les!  But the rest of Jack’s work was well up to standard.

4th Chris Theobald with XANDOA ABBYLON AT TYTRI, BC, B, 188.5, Q.  An excellent round from Abbey, with a very nice sendaway.

Also qualified:

Anne Shepherd with MILLIE MOONBEAM, Cross, B, 186.  Full mark speak, heelwork and jumps for Millie, but no re-direct today.  Lovely, happy partnership.

Well done to all the qualifiers, and the best of luck to in the higher stakes.   But every competitor, whatever their end result, was able to go away with at least one exercise to be proud of, and all the dogs showed that they are capable of progressing further up the stakes in the future.




Tracklayers: Jane Webb, Penny Bellis, John Turtill, Len Newman

Search Stewards: Judith Perrin and Heather Donnelly

Thanks to Banbury and District Dog Training Society for the invitation to judge the TD Nosework on the 25th anniversary of their first open trial.  Trials Manager, Carla Nieuwenhuizen, does a wonderful job organising and running what must be one of the friendliest of trials.  Carla was trials manager at the club’s first trial 25 years ago and has been ever since.  There are club members that were at that trial that are still active members today - that is something very special.

The catering side of Banbury’s trials is traditionally superb, and the display of homemade cakes would be the envy of any Women’s Institute display.  The lovely ladies running this side of the trial are a pleasure, and always ready with a smiley face and a warm welcome.  Thanks to you all

Search Stewards, Judith Perrin on Saturday and Heather Donnelly on Sunday, both did a great job and were a pleasure to be with.  Tracklayers, Jane Webb, Penny Bellis, John Turtill, and Len Newman were a very good team and had it quite hard, especially on Saturday when at times the weather was grim.  You were all a credit to your club.  On behalf of the competitors and myself, thank you all once again.

Tracking was on winter wheat.  The fields were all the same, flat with just enough growth coming through to give a shade of green.  The long dry spell we had coming up to the trial made the ground very hard so it looked as if tracking would be very difficult, but on Thursday and Friday before the trial it rained, so the sandy type soil was giving quite a good footprint, which I am sure was quite a relief to some competitors, but made it hard work for the tracklayers.  The strong winds and rain on Saturday equalled things out a bit.  In spite of this there were some very good tracks and six of the seven dogs that got round the track worked on Saturday.  The search squares were a little disappointing, but with the dogs having to work so hard on the track it was not surprising.

Of the 24 entries 18 took part in the nosework.  Track articles were:- rubber 1.5" square, wood 0.5" x 2.5", carpet 1.5" square. Search articles were:- a wooden clothes peg, cloth 1.5" square, rubber 3/8" diameter x 2.5" long, leather 1.5" square.

1st Joyce Tibbetts with VONHAUSWOLF MAUD, GSD, 198.5, Q.  This team tracked in the worst of the weather on Saturday and hardly put a foot wrong.  Super track but missed the last article, then got four out of the square in no time.  You made it look all so easy.  On this performance your future in trials looks very good.  Also awarded the best nosework trophy. Well done.

2nd Tony Lockyer with TRIPLE TOP AT HARTSHILL, WSD, 198.5, Q.  A lovely steady track by this young dog; he had to work hard in strong winds but was very well handled, as we have come to expect from Tony.  He found the search square a challenge after working so hard on the track.  A very good result none the less.  Winner of the best track rosette.  Well done.

3rd Les Theobald with TYTRI ROMAN JACK, BC, 189.5, Q.  Tracked in high winds just as it started to rain.  Worked hard and quite quickly and never looked in any trouble.  A real team effort and nice to watch; well done and good luck for the future.

4th Chris Theobald with XANDOA ABBYLON AT TYTRI, BC, 188.5, Q.  Seemed to find it quite hard at the start of the track; again, it was very windy but once she got going did very well - you allowed her to sort it out.  Getting all three articles, very well handled.  Well done

Also qualifying:

Ann Shepherd with MILLIE MOONBEAM, X-Breed, 186.  Winner of the best X-Breed and best member’s cup.

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