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Steward/Scribe: Jan Vallack both days

Thank you to Essex Working Trial Society for the invitation to judge C/A at their trial at this fabulous venue.  The hospitality tent is run by Doreen, Angela and Wendy, providing all sort of goodies and they are willing to experiment.  Jan Vallack made a fantastic array of cakes, and I felt compelled to sample each variety!  Thanks to Penny Ban for her hard work before, during and after the trial, also for letting Darcy and me share her home - we certainly had a very comfortable bed (Jan).

Jan is a very experienced trials lady with a wealth of knowledge of dogs - thank you, Jan, you’re a star.  I hope you weren’t too shattered after all the walking and training.


1st JESSZAKS RICCOCHET RIK with Emma Baker, 184.5.  This is the first time out for Emma and Rick.  Congratulations on this win, keep up the good work

2nd VONGRAF NUTZ with Craig Ogilvie, 183.  What a lovely keen dog.  You managed to keep him and yourself as calm as possible, Craig

3rd TAIHAPE KIWI with Katherine Herbert, 169.  Super control, Katherine, just a hitch with the long jump; I’m sure it will be sorted soon.

4th  CLASOLA DASKA with Sally Baker, NQ.  Vita will be over the scale in no time Sally


1st TILLIE BY MOONLIGHT with Angela Porter, 190.5.  Tilly only lost 0.5 on the control.  Poor Angela was not feeling well, so look out folks once she is fit.

2nd KIPCROFT ETERNAL FLAME AT BRYBOURNE with Paul Bryan, 179.  Wispa worked well for you, Paul, just a blip on the scale but I know you will sort it out.

3rd DELFLEET ODIN with Stephanie McBride, 174.5.  Just lost 1.5 on the control, and with full jumps a super round, Stephanie.

4th DRAMBORO JEDI with Teresa Palmer, 167.5.  Another very good round of C/A by Jed.

5th GARRETHALL QUADRILLE with Mick Loughran, 166.  Meri did the agility with such ease, fantastic to see.


1st JUST FRANKIE AT TRENTVALLEY with Margaret Robinson, 210.  Frankie lost only 3 marks on the control, with full agility.

2nd MARINA BEN’S PAL with Mike Williams, 203.5.  Marina only lost 4.5 on control, with full agility.

3rd STARDELL SPICA with Paul Beasley, 199.  A very solid C/A round.

4th THE GODWIT with Marie Dixon, 188.5.  S/A saved the day.

5th STONECROSS TOMMY with John Reynolds, 188.  Fantastic S/A, 10.

6th STARDELL SUBRA with Diane Turner, 178.  Lovely S/A, 9.5.

I must mention Nick Brunner and his Cocker Spaniel dog, Ruben.  He worked TD, gaining full marks on each exercise in control, flew the clear and long jumps by a mile, but he was unable to get over the scale; this little dog has the heart of a lion, 209, NQ, without the scale.  Nick has a wonderful bond with Ruben, all that were watching his round must have had a tear in their eye




Steward: Dave Self

Tracklayers: Belinda Spensley and Jane Gray

It was my pleasure to accept this judging appointment so my first thanks go to the Essex 2000 committee for inviting me.

As always, trials manager Penny Bann had everything well organised so the trial was a great success and I would like to thank Penny for looking after us and supporting us all so well.

I hold Wendy Siggers and Angela Clarke in the kitchen totally responsible for my new addiction to egg and bacon rolls.  They were just too delicious.  The good thing is that Jan Vallack’s cakes did help me to combat the cravings. 

Many thanks also to tracklayers, Belinda and Jane, and steward, Dave, who so generously gave their time and expertise and were such good company.

The fields at Danbury couldn’t have been better, on well grown winter wheat.  The first article was a 3" piece of green hose placed on the 2nd leg and the last article a 4" strip of leather.  The square articles were a piece of bamboo cane, a knotted piece of green string, rubber and a piece of draught excluder.

1st E. Baker with JESSZAKS RICOCHET RIK, BC, 184.5, Q. Age and inexperience certainly didn’t stand in the way of this youngster.  Good handling kept him working through any distractions and an excellent start for this team.  Well done.

2nd C. Ogilvie with VONGRAF NUTZ, GSD, 183, Q.  Credit to Bennie and Craig for keeping cool when they lost their way a bit on the track, but they made a fantastic recovery and finished the track in style.  Brilliant.

3rd K. Herbert with TAIHAPE KIWI, BC, 169, Q.  This was a superb track and it was a real pleasure to watch this dog and handler.

Special mention to Sally Baker and CLASOLA DASKA (Vita) as I believe this is the first time I have given full marks for a track.  Well done to all of the competitors and good luck at your next trials




Tracklayers: Belinda, Caroline and Lady Jane

Steward: Helen

Firstly, many thanks to Essex 2000 for inviting me to judge the WD nosework, and of course the many people involved in organising this trial.  My one dread is that I’m going to inadvertently miss somebody out of the list of helpers, and if I do, please accept my sincere apologies.  To Penny Bann for managing the trial and making it run like a well oiled machine; to Wendy and Doreen in the kitchen, for keeping me fed and watered; to my superb track layers, Belinda, Caroline and Lady Jane - all tracks done exactly as they should be; to my super search steward, Helen; thank you all for giving up your time, and for being great company.  Also thank you to the C/A judge, Jill Carruthers, for a nice control round, which enabled us to end up with 5 qualifers.  The final thank you goes to all the competitors, and their dogs, for coming along with the right attitude, which made for a very enjoyable day for all concerned. 

We were very fortunate to have worked on the Saturday, and the weather was kind to us, bright, mild and spring like.  The tracking land was quite lush, and not too wet.  For the competitors who didn’t find success this time, keep going, and it won’t be long.  I set a very uncomplicated test, with a 12 leg track, with a piece of astro-turf as the last article, and half a clothes peg about one third of the way round.  The search square articles were a champagne cork, a 2" square of green plastic mesh, a 3" stick and a silver teaspoon.  2 teams found both track articles and 4 from the square.

1st Angela Porter with TILLIE BY MOONLIGHT (Tilly), long coat Mali, 190.5, Q.  Lovely steady young bitch, losing only 2 marks on the track.  3 articles from the square.  Experience showed in this performance.  Very well done.  Track 88, 20 for the 2 articles and 28 for the square.

2nd Paul Bryan with KIPCROFT ETERNAL FLAME AT BRYBOURNE, (Wispa), BC, 179, Q.  Another impressive performance, making the track look really easy.  Good team effort - Paul found the first article and Wispa found the second.  4 out of the square in 2minutes and 15 seconds.  Good luck in championship.  88, 15, 33.

3rd Stephanie McBride with DELFLEET ODIN, (Gunner), fox red Lab, 174.5, Q.  Another experienced handler and a super young dog.  Going really well, then decided to miss out a part of the track towards the end, but found both articles, and pulled it back with a good square.  68, 20, 33. 

4th Teresa Palmer with DRAMBORO JEDI, (Jed), BC, 167.5, Q.  Very handsome dog, lost some marks on the track, but found both articles.  2 out of the square, but lost some marks for handler error.  Good luck for the future.  82, 20, 16.

5th Mick Loughran with GARRETHALL QUADRILLE, (Meri), Lab, 166, Q.  Really happy team, but very difficult to read, as Meri is such a busy dog.  Bad luck missing the first article, but got all the way round the track, got 3 out of the square.  80, 10, 26 .

Well done everyone.  It was a pleasure to watch all of you work.





Tracklayers: Andy Baker and Gary Martin

Square Steward: Kate Wykes

Thank you to the Society for asking me to judge; I had a good time and was well looked after.  Thank you to Andy and Gary for laying the tracks, and thank you to Angela and Wendy for looking after all my catering needs. 

The weather was warm, sunny and dry.  The dogs were tracking on winter wheat that was about 4" grown. 

1st Mrs Margaret Robinson with JUST FRANKIE AT TRENTVALLEY, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, BC, D), 210, Q.

2nd Mr Mike Williams with MARINA BEN’S PAL, X, B, 203.5, Q

3rd Mr Paul Beasley with STARDELL SPICA, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, BC, D, 199, Q

4th Marie Dixon with THE GODWIT, X, B, 188.5, Q

Also qualifying:

Mr John Reynolds with STONECROSS TOMMY, WSD, D, 188

Diane Turner with STARDELL SUBRA, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, BC, B, 178.5

A special mention must go to Nick Brunner and Easter Prince (Working Cocker).  Unfortunately, they didn’t qualify on the C/A but this little dog did a fabulous track and square.  He’s got such a great working attitude.

Thank you to all the competitors for entering under me and for accepting all my decisions.  To those who qualified - well done; to those who didn’t, better luck next time.




Tracklayers: Andy Baker and Belinda Spensley

Steward:  Caroline Martin

PD helpers: Andy Baker, Emma Baker, Craig Ogilvie, Tall Stuart

Patrol Steward: Karen Warner

Thank you to Essex 2000 for the invitation to judge the PD stake at this very friendly and well run trial.  We had a great time in the company of lovely people who make this trial one of my favourites on the trials calendar.  Everything you need is within a stone’s throw of the base.  The tracking land is good and the control field gives a judge as many options as one could wish for.  All this is due to the sterling efforts of Penny Bann and her excellent gang of helpers, including Belinda (who seemed to be everywhere, doing any number of jobs), Jan the cakes, Dave, Doreen, and the ladies in the kitchen, Wendy and Angela.  You run a great event and everyone does a sterling job.  Thanks for your hospitality and great company.

The farmer is Mrs Speakman and she really is one in a million.  She cannot do enough for the society, delaying her afternoon walk with her dogs so as not to interfere with the trial or in the morning goes out very early so as not to get in the way.  We owe her a debt of gratitude and our thanks.

My team in the field were first class and did everything just as I wanted.  All tracks and squares were laid to perfection.  My ‘criminals’ were superb in all aspects of the round and helped the test go very smoothly and ensure it was the same for each dog.  They helped me set up and run through the round on Friday and Saturday, so that on Sunday we just turned up and got on with it.  Fantastic people.  Andy put Sid through his paces to get the timings and distances right and did the run through on the day.  John Wykes even brought Jaff out for a canter around the field during the set up and he loved it!  Emma particularly did an excellent job out on the far boundary, on her own for the whole round dressed in a gillie suit, and sat motionless in the hedge.  Karen did her usual professional job stewarding the round, and she played a huge part in ensuring the smooth running of the test.  Thanks, Karen.

I had 6 entries and 5 ran.  Nosework was first, with tracking on winter wheat about 5 inches high.  Track articles were a 3 inch piece of bamboo and a 2.5 inch strip of leather.  Square consisted of (i) half a gun cartridge (ii) 1.5 inch strip of leather (iii) 1.5 inch strip of rubber (iv) 1 inch piece of wood dowel.  All dogs except one qualified in this section.

C/A next and started with a speak and then into heelwork to the sendaway.  The run out was 120 yards to a hedge, then recall and re-direct 130 yards right to a hedge.  I loaded the marks 4 and 6 respectively.  Heelwork to the jumps, which were undertaken clear, long and scale.  This was followed by stays.  We had two qualifiers after this section.

Patrol section was as follows:- I started with a chase to get the dogs into the swing of things.  Craig appeared from a tree and without talking walked 20 yards, and then ran another 20 yards to a pole at which point the dogs could be sent.  The handler then joined the dog and took control of the situation.  This led onto the quarter; the dog was sent onto the boundary about 70 yards away where Emma was sat in a gillie suit, with a camouflage sheet over her legs and remaining motionless.  This threw a few dogs, although most just took it in their stride.  Emma was an innocent person and she remained in situ whilst the rest of the test continued.  The dogs were then sent to quarter the remainder of the field.  I had instructed handlers that I was more interested in the dogs hunting for the hidden person than a series of deliberate sendaways and re-directs, and for the most part this is what they did.  Stuart was hidden in a hide in a wood pile; he had a firearm on him and there was a hammer and revolver in the hide.  He was to be searched, as was the hide.  The handlers then escorted him about 60 yards when Andy attacked the teams from behind them.

The recall came next and the handlers were told that the set up must be as per the chase - no cueing!  There was a run out point during both tests; however, it was not needed.

Test of courage was last - three helpers stood 30 paces away from the teams.  There were some threats issued towards the handler and the dogs were sent after the challenge.  When the dog was 10 paces away - indicated by a pole - the helpers each threw two bags half filled with straw toward the dog, but not at it.  They continued with some noise until the dog was on the sleeve.  The test then ended with the dog being called off.

1st Margo Brothwell with TANGHAM LITTLE RYAN, X-breed, dog, 298.5, Q.  Very nice round by Ryan; we know he’s a quality nosework dog and his C/A was lovely, losing just 1.5.  His Patrol round was good, with a nice full bite on the chase and attack.  Quarter a bit scrappy in the mid section but he recovered and performed two nice locates.  Full marks recall and TOC.  Well done, Margo, and good luck in Ticket.

2nd Chris Gregory with CASSOP DANNY, GSD, dog, NQ, but winner of Best Patrol Round.  Freddie was unfortunate not to qualify today, going out on the jumps but he has it all there, Chris, in abundance.  Very impressive, with small bits here and there on the patrol round.  Escort and attack on handler were spot on, lovely control and total commitment on the attack.   Full mark recall and TOC.  Good luck in the future with him.

3rd Paul Morling with VONGRAF KAGUL, GSD, dog, NQ.  Jumps proved to be Nappy’s undoing today, but boy, did he pull out a quality Patrol round, which you were rightly pleased with, Paul.  He is fully committed to his work, and just needs that scale sorted and you’ll be there.  Well handled, as you’d expect.

4th Heather Donnelly with MOBELLA CARELESS WHISPER FOR WOOLRAM, NQ.  Quality nosework and C/A from Putz, but in the Patrol it wasn’t her day.  Total enthusiasm throughout but this round just wasn’t for her.  Nice handling throughout.

Thanks for entering under me; it was a pleasure to judge your dogs, and good luck with them in the future.  

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