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Thank you to our judges Mick Tustain (TD), Belinda Spensley (WD), Dave Self (UD and Intro), Linda Newbold (C/A) and Lauren Marlow (PD), who all set fair tests for their competitors.

Firstly, I must thank Belinda, who two weeks before the trial changed jobs with me; she moved from being the Trials Manager to the WD Judge as I could no longer judge the stake due to knee surgery.

Thanks to everyone who helped at the trial - the girls in the kitchen who waft the bacon butties around so enticingly, Belinda and Dave (who had to do all the lifting and shifting on their own as I couldn’t carry anything!!), plus all the rest of the crew who help out each year in various capacities.

As usual our farmers excelled themselves with the land available for our use.  Mrs Speakman (the base farm) enjoys her ritual bacon butty and always comes out to watch the Patrol rounds with her family – it certainly makes my life as trials manager easier if they enjoy watching the dogs too.

Well done to those who qualified and good luck to everyone in their next trial





Tracklayers: Caroline Martin and Jane Gray

Steward: Jan Vallack

Thank you to Essex for the invitation to judge the UD Nosework and Introductory Stakes at their Open Trial.   Penny Bann, Trials Manager, ensured everything ran smoothly as usual and many thanks to everyone involved in organising this trial.

Special thanks to Wendy Siggers and Angela Clarke in the kitchen for keeping me well supplied with bacon and egg rolls (we all have to take a holiday from maintaining cholesterol levels occasionally).

Not only did I have a thoroughly enjoyable time judging, I also had ample opportunities to play with my Land Rover!


What a nice feeling it is to find that you have such experienced tracklayers and steward to look after you.  Thanks to Caroline and Jane for laying the tracks perfectly and thanks to Jan for her usual precision in laying the squares - you are all such good company.

10 dogs entered and 7 ran (which resulted in 7 different breeds participating).  Tracking was on wheat with good growth and the weather stayed kind to us.  Track articles: dolly peg placed on second leg and end article 4" x 2" green mesh.  Search articles: 5.5" green plastic tree tie, 3" x 2" brown fur fabric, 3" x 2" green scourer and 3" x 2" black rubber.

1st Les Theobald and TYTRI ROMAN JACK, BC, D, 193, Q.  An almost perfect track combined with an almost perfect square from Jack and his experienced handler.  Congratulations, Les.

2nd Nick Brunner and P. Royle’s TESTRIO CINNAMON, Lab Ret, B, 187, Q.  Another experienced handler with a young dog.  Inca gave us a faultless square and another almost perfect track.  Well done, Nick.

3rd Paul Morling and THORNEFLEET PAPRIKA, CS, B, 182.5, Q.  Oonie is a lovely little cocker who just wants to work.  A lovely track but unfortunately missed one article in the square.  Well done, Paul.

4th Richard Lee and C’EST LA FOLIE, Mali, B, 169.5, Q.  Folly unfortunately left one in the square (literally) but had previously shown great determination resulting in a successful track.  Well done, Richard.

Thank you to all the competitors for entering under me and good luck in the future.



Thank you again, Jan, for being extremely good company as well as putting the competitors at ease - for the majority of them this was their first trial.  6 dogs entered and 4 ran (which also resulted in 4 different breeds participating).

We started with individual sit stays followed by the control and agility.  For the nosework and retrieve we moved to a field with a good growth of grass, ending with all competitors together for the 5 minute out of sight down stay.  Search articles were 5" green hose, 4" x 3" light brown carpet, 4" x 3" yellow scourer and 4" x 3" green mesh; sendaway was 30 paces to crossed white poles in the fence.

1st Jill Kevis and MEADOWDALE SPIDER, ESS, D, 98, Q.  Ollie was the only dog to complete the down stay; he just ignored everything else that was going on around him.  If he unfortunately hadn’t misjudged his takeoff on his first attempt at the scale, he would have had a near perfect score.  Congratulations, Jill, on a well deserved win.

2nd Elaine Mills and WILLOWRISE HONEY, Lab Ret, B, NQ.  Beautiful nosework from Poppy in the search square but lost marks by dropping a couple of the articles.  Consistently good throughout the stake but didn’t like the idea of Elaine going away through the gate on the down stay and sat up.

3rd Avril Dongworth and LINDELLA’S BABS, GSD, B, NQ.  Another dog that searched well but dropped a couple of the articles.  Mescha decided that she wasn’t going to do the sendaway today and she also wasn’t happy with Avril going out of sight on the down stay.  She started to go to look for her but then settled down and behaved impeccably awaiting Avril’s return.

4th Julie Saunders and JEOLD RUBY ROYALE, Weim, B, NQ.  Molly started off doing a full mark sit stay followed by a perfect formal recall.  She then decided that that was enough control for one day and it was time to do her own thing.  She may have let you down a bit, Julie, but she enjoyed herself.

I hope all four teams went home having enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to entering future Trials.




Tracklayers: Dave Self, Paula Jacques, Vana Moody, Jane Gray

Steward: Jan Vallack

I thoroughly enjoyed judging the WD Nosework at Essex 2000 and I thank Penny Bann for doing all the preparation, as she was supposed to judge and I was asked to step in at the last minute.  It is a privilege to be asked to judge, and I thank the committee and the competitors for asking me and for accepting my decisions.

The winter wheat was well grown, plenty of land, ample parking and fabulous weather.  I can’t imagine what could be more satisfying than to watch happy dogs and handlers do their thing! 

On behalf of the competitors and myself I would like to thank Dave, Vana, Paula and Jane for tracklaying and to Jan for laying the squares. It goes without saying that without the helpers…there would be no trials.

I am happy to say that competitors usually show their appreciation by thanking the judge, tracklayers and square stewards and certainly at this trial they did it without exception. It is much appreciated – thank you.

Essex is a well organised and happy trial thanks to the committee and club members, so thank you to Doreen, Helen, Wendy and Angela, who are there providing support, information, hot food, drinks and refreshments to all on demand.

Our farmer must be one of the most helpful and accommodating land owners in the country!  He allows us to keep our equipment in his yard, will move sheep and even delay spraying the crop to assist in the smooth running of the trial.

Most dog and handler teams completed the track and searching was to a good standard.  Probably just as well they didn’t know of the wildlife, tales of hares and pheasants running through the newly laid tracks - just for a joke it would appear! Amazing how it doesn’t really affect them; these dogs are clever you know!

1st Gary Martin and MAGIC DARK SHADOW, Lab, Track 94, Square 34, Q.  Fell on his feet did Bracken, and he’s clearly enjoying his new life with you, Gary - well done

2nd Penny Bellis and SHILLINGTON JASMINE, CDEx, X-Breed, 92, 28, Q.  Jazz is a delightful enthusiastic girl and with you, Penny, she will go to the top

3rd Caroline Martin and CARRISHILL FREYA, CDEx – UDEx, G Ret, 92, 25, Q.  Gypsy worked in her usual bouncy, happy fashion - a good day for the Martins

4th Helen Brown and MANPOL SAPPHIRE, UDEx, GSD, 86, 35, NQ.  Freya worked beautifully in this phase and just a glitch in the control meant it wasn’t her day; however, you must be delighted with her and the best of luck in the future.




Tracklayers: Andy Baker, Belinda Spensley, Jane Gray, Gary Martin

Steward: Lauren Marlow

Thank you to Essex 2000 for Lauren and my judging appointments.  Thank you to Penny Bann, Trials Manager, who worked so hard before and during the trial, and a special thank you to Dave Self, who we had to call upon to drag us out of our camp site when we got bogged down.

The tracking land was superb - thank you to the farmers who allowed us to use it, and thanks to Angela and Wendy in the kitchen.  Lastly thanks to the tracklayers, stewards, and PD helpers, many of whom were wearing more than one hat at the Trial.

Tracking on the Friday, when the weather was fine, was excellent, with only 1 dog failing the track, and 1 failing the square. Saturday was a different story - it rained for much of the day, and only 2 dogs completed the track.  The long crop caused problems with the search square, with many dogs not used to getting their noses down into it.

21 entered, 17 ran.

1st Alan Sword with MANPOL SPECIAL EDITION, CDEx, GSD, D, 204, Q.  It was a real pleasure watching this dog track - one of the two to get round on Saturday.  Congratulations.

2nd Keith Rowley with WISCOMBE JAZZ, Lab, B, 201, Q.  A superb track, losing only 1.5, with all 3 articles and 2 from the square.  Well done.

3rd Janette Sayer with TAZ OF HOLLOWGATE, WSD, D, 199.5, Q.  Exactly the same nosework marks as above, another super track, well done.

4th Jim Sewell with STARDELL TYL, CDEx - WDEx, BC, D, 199, Q.  Lost 6.5 on the track, but gained all 3 articles, and another 3 from the square.  Well done.

Also qualifying:

Angela Porter with TILLIE BY MOONLIGHT, CDEx – WDEx, BSD, B, 191


Heather Donnelly with WOOLRAM LOTHARIO, BC, D, 178




Tracklayers: Belinda Spensley, Stan Ford

Stewards: squares and PD, Mick Tustain; Control, Belinda Spensley

PD Helpers: Gary Martin, Dave Clark, Andy Baker, Belinda Spensley

7 entered, 5 ran.

Nosework consisted of a 12 leg track; the pattern was a T-shape within a box, and all competitors qualified on nosework.  One team went out on the control round, and four dogs failed the PD round; there were no qualifiers overall.  The main problem on the PD field was a general lack of control.

I tried to set a PD round that flowed, and that could be seen by spectators.  It started with a recall, after which the dog was in place (in theory) for the quarter.  I provided a windbreak for handlers to hold dogs behind so they could not see the helpers go into the hide, but they seemed to know anyway, and tended to ignore commands to quarter the marked area, which contained another windbreak to aim for, and cut the quarter short.  After the quarter and search and escort finished, the dogs were sent on the test of courage - Gary and Dave vigorously flapping a crackly silver sheet up and down between them.  Finally, from this point, the round finished on a straight chase.  Both chase and recall started with the helper walking toward the team before turning and running, which was the point at which the dogs were sent.

1st Paul Merritt with VONGRAF MELCHI, CDEx – WDEx  GSD, D.  Excellent  nosework and good C/A from this very lively GSD; attitude all there for PD - just the control lacking.

2nd Diane Ling with DEBEN LITTLE TOM, CDEx -,TDEx, X-Breed.  Very nearly there on PD - and he’s still a very young dog.  I hope you enjoyed your first PD.

3rd Chris Gregory with CASSOP DANNY, CDEx,-,WDEx, GSD, D.  Winning the Best PD round trophy - without a recall; sadly went out on control.

4th Mark Lewindon with MANPOL SPIRIT AT BRACOKELI CDEx - WDEx, GSD, D.  Again, worked well on nosework and C/A.  I know he’s a "Work in Progress"; you’ll get your second PD soon.

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