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Many thanks to our judges, Lindsey Poole (TD), Gary Martin (PD), Margo Brothwell (WD), Diane Ling (UD) and Mike Wood (Intro). Thank you to the Speakmans, who once again allowed us to use their land. Due to the wet weather in November Richard and Sally offered us the use of their sheep barns, which are on hard standing. Wouldn’t you know it? The sun shone for the four days we were there and not a bit of mud was around - think that’s called "Sods Law"!

Congratulations to all those who qualified, commiserations to those who didn’t. Thank you to everyone who helped at the trial in whatever capacity - it’s very much appreciated and without your help we couldn’t run the trial. I will leave it to the judges to thank all their helpers – but I must give a special thanks to the usual gang of helpers who are there at the start of the trial putting everything in place, and there again at the end of the trial putting it all away.

Hope to see you all in November at our Championship trial.





Tracklayers: Amanda Pollard and Penny Bellis (Friday); Amanda and Winston Cadogan (Saturday)

Search Square Steward and C/A Steward: Christine Wostenholne (Friday); Teresa Palmer (Saturday)

Stay Steward: Jan Vallack

 Many thanks to Penny and the committee for the invitation to judge at this very friendly trial and for looking after me so well. Thanks must also go to the farmers for the use of their land and farmyard for the base.

We were given fantastic tracking land; lush, well grown winter wheat. The weather varied between thick fog and no wind through to cloudy, windy, chilly and finally bright and breezy. Thank you to my cheerful team of tracklayers, I appreciate your hard work and accuracy. Christine and Teresa were stewarding for the first time and they both made a fine job of it.

 We saw some impressive tracking teams on both days; we had several first-timers and you would never have known it, judging by the nosework standard. Control and agility took its toll on a few teams, but again good C/A work was seen from some promising teams. It won’t be long before you all qualify.

 1st KAEFFER KAL, CDEx, WSD, B, handled by Sheren Perez, 196 Q. Kalli was quietly and competently handled by Sheren and did not do much wrong! A worthy winner, congratulations.

2nd MEADOWDALE SPIDER CDEx, ESS, D, handled by Jill Kevis, 185.5, Q. Jill did a good job in focusing Ollie’s spaniel ‘busy-ness’ into a good all-round performance, well done.

3rd DRAC AT CARFELD, BC, D, handled by Yvonne Carpenter, 181.5, Q. A good workman-like performance from Drac, who would have placed higher if it were not for a lost track article and the long jump. Good luck in the higher stakes.

4th CARISHILL OBSIDIAN, GR, D, handled by Rebecca Keattch, 190, NQ. Rebecca nervously told me that it was Arrow’s first UD. You would never have known it, he tracked like an old hand, his control round was so lovely to watch and it was only the jumps that let him down. Another good working Carishill, Arrow will soon qualify out of this stake.

A special mention to Sue and Flook, Vana and Risa, Di and Finn, Juliette and Dream who all had near perfect nosework but came to grief in the C/A. Your time will come!




Tracklayers: Nick Boyce, Dave Self, Caroline Martin and Jane Grey

Stewards: Carol Burgess, Richard Lee and Jan Vallack

 11 entries, 9 ran

My thanks to Penny Bann and the Essex 2000 Committee for inviting me to judge. This is one of my favourite trial venues, it is a real treat to be allowed access to such a well farmed farm.

Thanks also to track layers Nick Boyce, Dave Self, Caroline Martin and Jane Grey, to square and/or control stewards Carol Burgess, Richard Lee and Jan Vallack, who all did a grand job and were good company. Last, but by no means least, thanks to the catering ladies for their sterling efforts.

The overall standard of the dog work on display was good; the nosework particularly impressed me with 6 of the 9 runners successfully completing the track in fine style.


1st Margaret Robinson with WSD, JUST ARRAN OF TRENTVALLEY, CDEx, 194, Q CoM. Very proficient in all areas, lovely to see. Well done, Margaret and Arran.

2nd Peter Dyer with GSD, CARMELITA ELITE OF KIRKVIEW, CDEx - UDEx, 186.5, Q CoM. Very good nosework – this shepherd knows her job. A bit inattentive on heelwork today and a "nil point" long jump, but the rest was really nice.

3rd Sheila Tannert with Lab, TARNEDGE WISP, 186, Q CoM. Young Inca has all the makings of another "good ‘un" for Sheila. Just a hiccup on the long jump today.

4th Frances Ball handling Colin’s Lab, GARRETHALL REBUS, CDEx - UDEx, scoring 182.5, Q CoM. Gave a very good account of themselves throughout and was the only team to achieve a full point sendaway.


COM also to Ann Ketteringham with X-Breed, PADDYDEPAWS AT COALWAY, CDEx - UDEx, scoring 179.5.


Thank you to all the competitors for entering and accepting my decisions with good grace. See you around the trials.




Tracklayers: Belinda Spensley and Gary Martin

Stewards: Doreen Hook

 My thanks to the Society for the invitation to judge TD Open and to Penny Bann for organising and running such a lovely trial. Thanks to everyone in the catering department for keeping us all well fed and watered, to my other Mum (Jan Vallack) for looking after the base and everyone who escorted competitors up to the tracking ground.

My thanks to Belinda and Gary for laying the tracks on both days. Tracking was on rape, which varied in height as we went deeper into the field. The best tracks were done in the deeper crop – up to 30" deep in places. To Doreen for stewarding both days and her first time of doing TD C/A – many thanks. You were all great company and gave each competitor the best chance of completing the exercises.


1st Graham Blake with TOBIAS COLLIER, a 3.5 yr old WSD, 184.5, CoM. Nosework, 90/30/16; C/A, 29/19.5. The only part of the test that Toby struggled with was the square, the rest of his work was lovely. Well done, both.

2nd Sharon Carter and QUADET DANSA AT IVYMOOR, a 4yr old Weimaraner, 180, NQ. 98.5/30/11; 20.5/20. Emma only found 1 article in the square and then struggled a bit with the C/A – no speak, no redirect and very messy heelwork. If nothing else, Sharon, you should be really pleased with her tracking – it wasn’t easy out there.

3rd Michael Loughran and GARRETHALL QUADRILLE, a 6yr old Labrador, 162, NQ. 75/10/31.5; 26/19.5. Meri went wrong two legs from home, which was such a shame, and having missed the 2nd article meant she couldn’t qualify. The rest of her work was lovely – well done.

4th Deb Williams and ASTRA TZIAKA, a 4yr old BC, 135.5, NQ. 87/20/0; 16.5/12. Tziaka went wrong three legs from home having missed the first article and then for whatever reason, he didn’t work the square. There were definitely glimpses of his potential but it was just one of those days!

 Thanks to all the competitors for entering under me. Hope you enjoyed my test as much as I enjoyed watching your dogs working it.




Tracklayers: Belinda Spensley and Paul Morling

Steward: Caroline Martin

Patrol Helpers: Paul Morling, Winston Cadogan, Alan Sword.

Patrol Steward: Belinda Spensley


Thanks to Essex 2000 for the invitation to judge at this friendly and well-run trial, all of which is down to Penny Bann and her industrious gang of helpers. Nothing is left to chance and all is laid on so that both judge and competitors can get on with their sport. Thanks, Penny, for all your continued hard work - the society and the sport owe you a big thank you. To Jan Vallack, who was here, there and everywhere doing all manner of jobs, a big thank you, although rounding the barn next to the control field to see Jan and Mike Woods nodding off in the brilliant sunshine reminded me so much of Last of the Summer Wine!! Woodsy was definitely Compo!! Anyway, thanks Jan for all your help.

Belinda does so much behind the scenes that goes unnoticed to the casual observer. But she is – together with her hubby Martin, a vital cog in the Essex 2000 machinery, shifting stuff around (I don’t mean willy nilly!) helping out here, there and everywhere – thanks, Belinda, for all your help. The ladies in the kitchen, Rebecca, Wendy and Angela, were superb as always. Thanks for putting up with me, ladies!

The landowners, Mr and Mrs Speakman, came up trumps again. They really are such good people to allow us all over their land. We were able to use a different field for the C/A and patrol which was massive, although I resisted the temptation to use every square inch of it!

Paul and Belinda laid the tracks to their usual trademark high standard so thanks very much to you both. Caroline laid the squares and stewarded the C/A with her usual attention to detail and efficiency. Thanks very much, wife!

My patrol round helpers were Paul, Winston and Alan, all of whom willingly volunteered to help out, for which I am very grateful. It is always difficult to get good `crims` and these three are certainly good. Thanks fellas, for helping set out the test and running the round. Belinda stewarded the round for me – amongst all her other jobs- and was great. Every competitor knew exactly what was required and given the best opportunity to qualify.

Nosework was on 5" winter wheat. The track consisted of 12 legs; articles were 3" x 1" camouflaged cloth and piece of leather the same size. Square articles were (i) 1.5" x 1" piece of leather, (ii) 1" square of green neoprene, (iii) 1.5" square of thick canvas, (iv) 3" stick. Speak and gun were conducted on the nosework field, in that order.

C/A – heelwork followed by sendaway, which was a 100 yards to a telegraph pole on the boundary and re-direct right 50 yards to a gate. Jumps followed next.

Patrol commenced with the chase. Winston emerged onto the field at a walk and when he reached a pole he turned and ran. As soon as he ran the dog could be sent. Once the dog had detained Winston and as the handler approached, Paul appeared and verbally abused the handler – no change there then! He took off, which necessitated the handler to get the dog off and send it onto the foul mouthed Paul. Once the dog was off Paul it was the end of the exercise. Escort and attack on handler was next with Paul attacking and Winston walking off unless he was told otherwise.

Quarter followed with Alan lurking in the hedge – something he seems to make a habit of! And to be honest he is rather good at it! Dogs were sent from centre field onto the hedge and then right 100 yds to Alan. I was looking for a confident spontaneous bark. Recall was almost a carbon copy of the chase but with only one decoy involved.

Test of courage saw all three helpers lined up facing the dog and handler. Each had either a stick or plastic streamers. There was a low level conversation between handler and Paul, during which Paul tapped the stick gently against his leg. The dog was sent and when it was at a given point about 5 paces from the crims, they erupted with noise and ran at the dog. As soon as the dog was on the sleeve the exercise concluded.

I briefed the competitors in the company of the spectators so that everyone knew what was going on. I set the round to be run directly in front of the spectators as far as possible, who are an integral part of the sport to me. I felt this was a relatively straight forward test appropriate to an open stake and one which a committed dog with control would be successful in. We had four entries, of which three ran.

1st Les Theobald with TYTRI ROMAN JACK, BC, dog, NQ. Track proved Jack’s undoing today. Nice square and C/A. Patrol needs a bit of attention but Les is aware of the areas. Glimpses of the potential that is there and something to build on. Good luck with him in the future.

2nd Eleanor Mestraud with WOLFHART CRY HAVOC, GSD, bitch, NQ. Super track that Purdy seemed to cruise around. Only one out of the square unfortunately. Nice C/A. Patrol round proved a bit confusing for Purdy but bits and bobs were quite nice and hopefully gives Eleanor something to work with.

 Thanks for entering and I hope you all enjoyed the test. Good luck to all of you in the future.


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