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Trials Manager’s Report

My first time as trials manager and I’m really relieved that I survived the week. I really could not have done the job without the assistance of the club committee and particularly Penny Bann. She really is an organiser of the first order and, in all honesty, ran everything. All I had to do was stand about trying not to look too confused!!

The venue is excellent and I would like to thank the family for letting us take over the farm again. When I first visited the TD land, about a month before the trial, I was pleased that all the tracks would be on the same land and could all be seen from one spot. Everyone would have the same chance. It had been planted and all we needed was a bit of rain in August for it to have been ideal. Unfortunately the rain wasn’t forthcoming so, as in many things, my optimism was completely unfounded. The tracking was on virtually bare plough, drilled for the TD and unplanted for the other stakes.

In addition to the land, there were numerous other challenges in preparing for the trial. The spectre of foot and mouth disease had descended upon the south of England. Fortunately, our farm was purely arable with no livestock on surrounding farms and the farmer had no concerns. That said, we took a pragmatic approach, trying to avoid cross contamination. Several competitors who lived or travelled within the threatened zones offered or agreed not to attend. During the trial another pitfall emerged when the impact of my previous life as an Egyptian stone mason struck, impacting upon the report times that I sent out. Some of the competitors were not able to understand simple hieroglyphics and started to turn up at odd times. Some frantic telephone calls emphasising competitors’ report times enabled us to keep things on track.    

The judges, Dave Clark, Nigel Hines, Norma Ansell and Lynne Baker did their best to set tests which gave the competitors a chance. Unfortunately, at the end we had very few qualifiers in the lower stakes, none in WD and five nose-work qualifiers in the TD.  

My thanks go to the teams who did the tracklaying and stewarding, who I am sure will be individually thanked by the judges. Particular thanks go to Wendy Siggers, Val Ridge and Pam Stare who kept everyone fed, and Helen Brown who did lots of work in the background like ferrying and generally fixing problems. I would also like to thank everyone who generously donated prizes for the tombola and raffle enabling us to raise important funds for the 2009 KCs. Lastly, I would like to thank the competitors who were kind enough to make positive comments about the trial despite the land and my organisational skills.

Congratulations go to Sheila Tannert who won the ticket and best wishes for the KCCs. Most importantly, many thanks go to Penny for her assistance and support, and best wishes in running Essex 2000 trials for the foreseeable future.

Mark Lewindon


Stake: UD

Judge: Nigel Hines

Tracklayers: Margaret Robinson, Dave and Jan Vallack

Steward: June Hines.  

Thank you to Essex 2000 Committee for the invitation to judge the UD stake. It was an appointment that I was looking forward to and I was not disappointed. Mark Lewindon was the Trials Manager for the first time and did a brilliant job; looks like you’ve got it permanently, Mark. Well done.

Penny Bann managed the base and everything was taken care of and ran on time. Thanks, Penny. The kitchen staff made sure we were well fed and watered. My tracklayers did an excellent job although they were disappointed at having to recover so many articles when the going got tough for the teams that were working.

The tracking was on fresh rolled land with no growth but a bit of give underfoot. We saw some good tracks and well done to those who did make it round. The control was in a large fenced field, which was ideal. Most dogs applied themselves reasonably well but I ended up with just one qualifier.

1st     JOTENHEIM KID, Malinois, D, handled by Lauren Marlow, 194.5 marks, Q UDEx. Well done, Lauren. This was a brilliant round, both on the track and on control. Dennis was a worthy winner; he is a credit to your training and handling.

2nd   JAQ IN A BOX, BC, D, handled by Ron Jaques, 177 marks, NQ. Hard luck, Ron. An excellent nosework round, only losing 3 marks followed by a good control round, only to be let down by the jumps on this occasion.

3rd   COLLIEWOOD DANCING BRAVE, BC, D, handled by Linda Newbold, 169.5 marks, NQ. Another hard luck story with the jumps for Linda and Dylan after good nosework and control.

4th    LAZARUS MARSH MEDLAR, WSD, D, handled by S Lawrie, 158 marks, NQ. Another dog qualifying on the nosework and control, but the stays let this team down.


Stake; WD

Judge: Norma Ansell

Tracklayers: Paula Harvey, Nicky Boyce, Joan Bunce, Lee Kane

Steward: Sandra Lewindon

Thanks to the Society for the invitation to judge WD at their well run trial, with first time Trials Manager Mark Lewindon doing a good job. A lovely venue was let down by the tracking land. WD and UD were within walking distance from the base, but the lack of growth made conditions extremely difficult. We saw some dogs out there working really hard, but to no avail. Sadly we only had 2 track articles recovered by dogs, so special thanks to my hard working tracklayers – now very experienced at finding articles. Special thanks to Sandra for her excellent stewarding of searches and control.

1st           Sue Hough, TRICK OR TREAT, UDEx, BC, 154, NQ. The only dog to get to the end of the track, missing the first article but recovering the last – congratulations. This young dog rather went to pieces on the control field, and only Sue’s excellent handling kept things together, but sadly sat up in the down stay.

2nd         Anne Shepherd, LITTLE MISS LOTTIE, UDEx, Cross, 141, NQ. This little dog made the first half of the track look easy, then inexplicably turned right when the track went left! Lovely control round, and well handled.

3rd         Penny Bann, JENNALINES MUCKING FUDDLE, UDEx, GSP, 122, NQ. Another track casualty, but recovered the first article – Penny recovered the last!

4th          Hilary Mercer, STARDELL INDI, UDEx, BC, 107.5, NQ. Full point jumps and a super control round, a really nice partnership. Good luck in the future.


Stake: TD


Tracklayers: Gary Martin, Brian Martin and Barry Harvey

Stewards: Jan Rex and Val Ridge

My thanks to Essex 2000 for the invitation to judge the TD stake at their trial and to Mark Lewindon for taking on the position of Trials Manager, which he always said he would not do because he preferred to be out in the fields tracklaying. Well Mark, you did a great job. Well done you. To the landowners I give my thanks, as without them there would be no trial, and to all the helpers in whatever capacity behind the scenes. Thanks to the kitchen staff who kept my team well fed and watered throughout. Thanks must also go to Helen Brown, who escorted everybody to their tracks on time and was very considerate to the people who were following her. She didn’t lose anyone. Thanks also for getting the yogurt for Kaz, who unfortunately, had an upset stomach.

And now to my team. My tracklayers, Gary Martin, Brian Martin and Barry Harvey, thank you all for giving up your time to lay tracks. You were all great company and laid the tracks to perfection. Special thanks to Gary who laid the earlies every day and carried all the bags etc - what a gentleman. Thanks Gary. Thanks to Jan Rex, who laid squares for 3 days, and to Val Ridge, who laid squares on the Friday whilst Jan worked her dog - thank you both. Jan was also the Control and Agility steward. You did a really great job for your first time of stewarding this section. Well done.

One extra thanks, which goes to Sandra Lewindon for unravelling my napkin every night at the pub. I made an awful mess of it the first time because I couldn’t get it undone, so thanks, Sandra, for making sure my napkin was still useable after opening.

The land unfortunately was very difficult. Although in places there was a small amount of growth it was so dry, it didn’t give the dogs much to go on. The weather was dry but pretty windy every day except Saturday, making it even harder for the dogs. Every dog really tried. Not one dog just gave up. They were a credit to you all. Well done.

We ended up with five dogs qualifying after the nosework and all qualified in the control and agility section. Well done.

1st     Sheila Tannert and WTCh STYPERSON BRIAR, 204.5. A beautiful nosework round. The only dog to get 3 and 4, Briar worked her little socks off and got round the track with all 3 articles and then went on to do a super square with all 4 out in 48 seconds. An absolute pleasure to watch. She also put on a good control and agility round. Very well done to you both. Well deserved win.

2nd   Rosie Jones and DREAGANTA DOUBLE DISTINCTION, 196. A good nosework round on one of the windy days, with 3 off the track and 3 out of the square. Piper is a lovely dog who loves his cuddles with his mum. His control round was very good but his sendaway was to die for. Absolutely brilliant. Gaining and deserving 10 marks for his sendaway and redirect. Well done, Piper and Rosie.

3rd   Anne Fowler and WTCh WAGGERLAND FLOSS, 195. A very fast track with Anne hanging on. Her enthusiasm shines. She then went on to do a good control and agility round. Well done, Anne and Floss.

4th    Pat Herbert and WTCh JOLLY JILL, 180. Lovely track on one of the harder pieces of land, but Jill worked it out. She put her heart and soul into it - lovely to watch. Nice control round, just a shame that the sun was in the wrong place for Jill to be able to take the redirection from you. Well done, Pat, on not pushing your little dog when you knew the sun was causing Jill a problem. Well done, Jill and Pat.

Also qualifying:

Eric Nichols and TYTRI NIKKI, 176.

Track Articles: 4” grey speaker wire, 4” green garden cane and Rizla papers.

Square: half a cork, 4” brown wire, 1” x 0.5”green scourer, 3” x 0.25” rope.

Thanks to the competitors for entering and I hope you enjoyed my test as much as I enjoyed judging you. Good luck at future trials

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