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Trials Manager is a strange job to volunteer for….. self induced stress, what if this, what if that, sleepless nights and engaging in wily coercion of farmers!  To those of you who do it regularly I can only say - I take my hat off to you!!

Essex 2000’s Trials are usually run by Penny Bann, who has embraced this responsibility wholeheartedly since we started the society ten years ago.  This time she decided to celebrate her special birthday on a Caribbean Cruise instead of doing the trial…can’t think why?

At Essex we are fortunate; most of our tracking land is situated around the base with none being further than a short drive.  The parking and C/A takes place in fields next to the base, which is convenient for all.  Two days prior to the trial, on checking the land I found all the base, parking and control fields were full of sheep.  It had been very wet and I was aware that to move all 500 sheep necessitated the farmer walking them across the fragile crop fields to another location.  Having located him by Wednesday evening, I reminded him of the trial; he calmly asked me to give him a call the following day to remind him and he would ‘see what he could do….’.  Thankfully he moved them that night.  What would we do without their help and co-operation??

I would like to thank whoever is in charge of the weather, the judges and competitors who all appeared good spirited and happy.

I know the judges will do their thank you’s, but I would like to specifically say thanks to Wendy Siggers, who ran the kitchen, and Angela Clarke who came along all day Saturday and Sunday to help Wendy.  Also to Dave Self, Jane Gray and Theresa and John Palmer who, despite living in Cambridgeshire, came back on Sunday specifically to help.


P.S. Sorry for forgetting to put up the directions to the toilet Friday morning!




Steward: Helen Brown

Thanks to the society for the invitation to judge the CD stake at their 10th anniversary trial.  Thanks also to Helen, my steward and companion.  Brill job, Helen, as always.  You are brilliant company. 

The weather was cold and foggy on Friday and colder but clear on Saturday.

I felt nearly all the dogs made hard work of the search square with only two dogs retrieving all 3 articles.  The squares were on grass, and the articles were a 3.5 inch round plastic coffee lid, 3.5 inch long piece of wood, 3.5 inch long piece of green felt.

The send away was generally well done, but the jumps and stays took their usual toll.  A few dogs stood out and if they didn’t qualify this weekend they certainly will soon.

1st  Craig Ogilvie with VONGRAF NUTZ, 90, Q.  A superb performance by a promising team.  You handled him very well, Craig, and you can only go from strength to strength.  Well done.

2nd Mike Williams with MARINA BEN’S PAL, 87, Q.  Another good performance.  Very well done.

3rd J.Snook and XANOVA ENCOR NUIT, 86.5, NQ.  Another lovely round only let down by the retrieve.  Almost faultless heelwork and full mark send away.  Very well done; your qualification can’t be far off.

4th Martin  Bearryman with BOSCOPH DARK STAR, 83.5, NQ.  What a super girl Wilma is.  So full of promise; another  dog let down by the retrieve, but beautiful sendaway and jumps.  Keep up the good work; your qualification too is not far off.




Tracklayers: Dave, Caroline, Emma and Andy

Square and C/A Steward: Pete

Thanks to Essex-2000 Working Trials Society for the judging invitation at this first class venue.  Well done to Belinda and her super team of helpers for all the hard work that they put in before, during and after the trial.  Special appreciation to all my tracklayers and to Pete for stewarding for me

I had 10 entries and 8 worked, with 7 gaining UDEx and 1 UD.  Tracking was on very good growth winter wheat and all bar one completed the track with 2 articles.  Squares were very good with Pete only having to retrieve 3 articles.

I thought the standard of the C/A was excellent and all dogs achieved a full mark sendaway, which was 90 yards out in the open field to a very large tree, but as this was the only tree we could see on Friday, the first day, because of the fog, which hung around all day, it was the only choice.  All dogs achieved pass marks on the jumps and one dog failed stays but full marks in all the other elements so qualified.

1st Les Allen, GARRETNALL QUENYA,  Lab, B, 196.5

2nd Janette Sayer, TAZ OF HOLLOWGATE, WSD, D, 196

3rd Sue Hough, SARDELL ALYA,  BC, B, 196

4th Mike Williams, MARINA BEN’S PAL, X-Breed, B, 190.5

Also qualified UDEx:

Chris Theobald, XANDOA ABBYLON AT TYTRI, BC, B, 187

Vic Snook, WOLSHAM INKSPOT, GSD, D, 186 (Best GSD Trophy)

Teresa Palmer, DRAMBORO JEDI, BC, D, 181.5

Qualified UD:

Vicky Sole, ALEYNE DAISY, X-Breed, B, 157.5

Well done to everyone, it was my pleasure to have watched your dogs work.




Tracklayers: Caroline Martin, Vana Moody, Lee Kane, Gary Martin, Alan Sword

Steward: Vana Moody

Thank you to the committee of Essex 2000 for the invitation to judge the WD stake.  Thanks to Belinda and Martin, and Penny Bann for their warm hospitality.  The weather on Friday was cold and foggy, Saturday cold and clear; the tracking conditions were super, hence some stunning nosework.  Thanks to the tracklayers and steward.  The control round for some wasn’t so good.

17 entries, 14 ran

1st M Robinson with JUST FRANKIE AT TRENT VALLEY, WSD, D, 198.5, WDEx.  Track 89 + 20, Sq 35, Control 34.5, Jumps 20.  Well deserved win for Margaret and Frankie - as the marks show they hardly put a paw wrong.  Congratulations

2nd P Merritt with VONGRAF MELCHI, GSD, D, 195.5, WDEx.  89 + 20, 35, 31.5, 20.  Nice work, Paul, with your lively handsome GSD; well done and have faith in your boy

3rd S Carter with IVYMOOR SOLID GOLD, Weim, D, 191.5, WDEx.  89 + 20, 35, 33.5, 14.  Well done Sharon with Zeus, lovely nosework and sendaway, just made it on the jumps (phew!)

4th S Perez with MY BOY KAI, WSD, D, 190.5, WDEx.  90 + 20, 35, 31, 14.5.  Brilliant nosework resulted in this place, well done

Also qualifying WDEx:

P Golding with ST. PETES JETTA, Lab, D, 189.  85 + 20, 35, 34, 15.  Well done, Pat.

J Reynolds with STONECROSS TOMMY, WSD, D, 199.  Keep going, John, well done.

Just a final thank you - to all the helpers on the field for your hard work and making both days a pleasure to judge; to the competitors for the privilege of judging your dogs; to Wendy and the ladies in the kitchen, doing what must be the most unappreciated job in trials, thanks. 

If you didn’t succeed today, I’m sure you will in the near future.  Best wishes and good luck in 2011.




Steward: Doreen Hook

Tracklayers: Jane Grey, Mick Head and Nicky Boyce

Patrol Steward: Paula Jaques

Patrol helpers (criminals): Dave Clark, Karen Warner, Tom Davies, Vic Snook, Anthony Snook and Ben Bridge.

Thanks to the society for the invitation to judge the PD stake, and to Belinda for all her excellent organisation.  Thanks also to Doreen, who stewarded nosework and C/A, and scribed the patrol round.  Good company and a super job.  Thanks to all my tracklayers, especially Jane, who laid the earlies in the fog.  Excellent job, everyone.  Thanks.

Thanks to all the criminals, who came from far and wide, and did their usual faultless job, especially Ben, who lay hidden under a hedge for 4 hours and survived being dragged out and jumped on.  A lovely introduction to trials, Ben!!!!!

Tracking conditions were perfect and we lost only one team.  Control and agility was generally well done, with everyone qualifying, making Sunday’s patrol section an open field.

9 out of 10 dogs worked the patrol round, which I designed to be a straightforward old fashioned PD test.  The round started with a straightforward chase by Tom, which then led onto the test of courage, which was Dave standing in a taped off ring with a large golfing umbrella. The dog was sent and, once having gained entry to the ring, Dave shouted and opened and closed the umbrella repeatedly, with the sleeve always in full view of the dog.  This was followed by a straightforward quarter round the perimeter of the field.  On one side Ben was concealed under camouflage netting under a hedge; only a small percentage of the dogs located him and barked.

The second hide was two people (Karen and Vic) sitting at a table selling tennis balls.  A weapon was concealed in a box of tennis balls - not all competitors found it.  This was followed by the escort and attack on handler.  The final exercise was the recall, perfectly executed every time by Anthony.

My thanks to my wife, Paula, for her usual excellent job of stewarding, leaving me free to judge, and putting all the competitors at ease.

1st Lee Payne with LITTLE ROUGH RHINESTONE, 298.5, Q, and best Patrol Round.  Diesel’s first PD champ; he worked all sections very well, expertly and calmly handled by Lee.  A well deserved ticket.  Well done.

2nd Gary Martin and WTCh TYTRI ROY, 281, Q.  Another competently handled dog and good all round.  Well deserved reserve.  Well done.

3rd Dave Marchant with WTCh WAGGERLAND MURPHY, 277, Q.  Very good overall performance.  Well done.

4th Lynn Davies with MISTER MISFIT MONGREL, 271, Q.  Congratulations on gaining PDEx.

Also qualifying PDEx:

Heather Cook with THAMESPOL ISSIE.  Well done.

Lauren Marlow with JOTUNHEIM KID.  Well done.

Manda McLellan with ASTRA STORM.  Well Done.




Tracklayers: Jane Gray, Dave Self

Squares: Jane Gray, Dave Self

Thank you very much to Essex 2000 for inviting me to judge the Veteran stake at their Championship Trial.  The farm is a fantastic trials base and the land is always good and seems to be very lucky for a lot of competitors!  Thank you to the landowners for allowing its continued use.

Belinda’s work as Trials Manager must be applauded as she made sure everything ran smoothly with minimum fuss.  I’m sure she would want me to say that she has a good team and it was such a good atmosphere, a really good advert for the sport, especially when there were several people new to the sport there to watch their first trial.  All were enthused and raring to go!

Wendy and Angela did a fantastic job keeping us fed and watered, thank you both. P.S. I do apologise for my husband’s constant heckling!

The test included heelwork and a sendaway as well as a track and square and many thanks to Jane and Dave for laying tracks and squares and sorry the articles filled your pockets!

I wanted above all for the dogs and handlers to enjoy working their dogs and bonus marks were given for the handlers that made their dogs tails wag!  So...... the track had 4 articles on it, and the square had 6 articles.  All of the dogs got all of the articles.  Only 4 were needed out of the square but I stated if the dog is enjoying itself and the clock was still ticking you are welcome to try for the 6.  All of the dogs got 6 articles within the 5 minutes and would have kept going had there been more to find.  The heelwork included opportunities to praise the dog which they loved and the sendaway was to a nice comfy bed which none of them fancied getting in, although all dogs did very good sendaways.

1st L. Davies with KANE SYRUS, Cross breed, Scored 159.  "Unbelievable", is all I can say about a 16 year old dog that not only can still do the exercises, and so well, but to see both dog and handler having such a good time was a real pleasure.

2nd S. Perez with KAY LAREN, Working Sheepdog, Scored 157.5.  Absolutely superb track and lovely to see the dog getting her much deserved rewards for the square.  She works so beautifully.  I really thought Kayla was going to get in the bed but not quite.

3rd S. Banfather with STARCO MYGUY OF BANNERSWAY, GSD, Scored 152.  Handled by Ross McCarthy who did exceptionally well, especially when during the control round this ex-PD dog was sparked by the Patrol rounds that were going on in the next field!  It’s not easy handling someone else’s dog, especially at your first trial.  Really well done, Ross.

4th S Hough with TRICK OR TREAT, Border Collie, Scored 151.5.  Gus worked hard on his track and I think he appreciated having a play with the end article.  The control exercises were a real pleasure to watch. Very well done.

The Veteran Stake is such a wonderful chance to once again compete with the dogs that have enriched our lives and it was an enormous pleasure for me to spend time with you all.  Thank you.

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