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Trials Manager’s Report

This was the first time we have ran SIX stakes at our trial; with 124 entries, the largest entry we have ever had across the stakes.  In any normal year this wouldn’t be a problem, as we normally have plenty of land to use – except this year we didn’t!!!  Belinda and I went to check the huge field where we normally run the TD and PD tracking, which holds up to 25 tracks, and to our horror it had been ploughed up due to the crop failing from the lack of rain!!!  So, I had to frantically move stakes around the land available and use fields we don’t normally have to use.  Thankfully, there didn’t seem to be any problems with the land, just me panicking unnecessarily.

Many thanks to our judges, Sharon Carter (TD), Tracey Park (PD), Mike Williams (WD), Nigel Hines (UD), Jean Howells (CD) and Rita Banfather (Special Stake).  Jean also acted as base steward and without her I would have floundered, as there must have been around 40 people in the base on the Friday morning waiting to book in – Jean, you are a star, thank you very much.  I must also thank Richard and Sally Speakman, who once again handed over their farm to us so we could use it as a base, and also allowed the judges and helpers to keep their caravans under cover in a barn.

Once again, we ran a dual Ticket trial, and congratulations go to Emma Baker and Rik on winning the PD ticket (on her birthday) and also the Reserve TD Ticket on the Sunday, and to Andy Baker and Sid (who is 10.5) for winning the TD Ticket.  To all those that qualified - well done, commiserations to those that 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 people 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 March at our Open trial.


PENNY BANN, Trials Manager



Special Stake 


Tracklayers: Dave Self and Steve Banfather

Stewards: Jill Kevis and Sam McGrath


Firstly, I would like to sincerely thank Essex 2000 for asking me to judge the special stake at their very busy Championship trial.  It was the first time that they have done anything like this and so therefore left it up to me to decide on what exercises would be included.  I felt it important that it should be to both encourage beginners and allow those with young dogs a good experience. I decided that there would be none of the agility exercises or the gun test, but that a track would be included. 

I was delighted that the entry was much higher than I had expected, with eleven entering and ten of those competing over the two days.

Each morning, I gave a briefing to explain the stake and what I was expecting to see from the dogs and handlers. We started with a track of 800 yards (a box in a box) which was marked out of 85.  Ten marks were awarded for each one of the four articles that were found.  Following on from the track was a search square (25 x 25), with four articles therein.  Each article returned was awarded a mark of 5.  I really only wanted to see the dog willingly go in and retrieve the articles; I was not looking for a perfect hold, most importantly for me was to see happy dogs and a good rapport between handler and dog.

Once the nosework exercises were complete, I asked each handler to choose one of the retrieved articles to keep and to use in the control round to reward their dog.  The control round contained heelwork of normal pace on lead and fast paced heelwork in a straight line for 5 marks, with the off-lead heelwork being awarded 10 marks.  The dumbbell retrieve was also worth 10 marks, with the recall having 5 available marks. 

The sendaway was thirty yards to a water trough (with 2 cross poles in front), with 10 marks available.  I allowed a second attempt for this exercise.  Some dogs needed it, although some went straight out.  Interestingly, only a few dogs went to the poles. Finally, the down stay, which was for five minutes duration, with the handlers standing ten paces away from their dogs, sideways on. 

All handlers took advantage of their play article, using it to the best advantage for rewarding their dog, which was lovely to see.

Over the two days, the tracks were expertly laid on grass by Dave Self and my husband, Steve, and the search squares were ably laid by Jill Kevis on the Saturday and Sam McGrath on the Sunday.  I wholeheartedly thank all involved for doing such a great job.


Those that worked their dogs:

Margaret Adams with Annie (FOXFOLD PATIENCE), German Shepherd Dog

Les Allen with Luca (SARK LUCA), Labrador

Betty Briley with Tetley (JETRIL JAE), German Shepherd Dog

Carol Burgess with Typ (STARDELL CHARA AT CAROBILLS) CDEx, Border Collie 

Yvonne Carpenter with Dev (DEV AT CARFELD), Border Collie

Pauline Dory-Moore with Izzy (KALIAZAR DAKOTA), Border Collie

Val Isherwood with Hieke (TIPPERARY ROISIN REGAN), Border Collie

Elenor Mestraud with Kindi (WOLFHART KINDRED SPIRIT), German Shepherd Dog

Judith Owen with Scoot (TAZAEOS ECALYPTUS), Border Collie

Pam Stare with Tazer (SAMSTAG URI), German Shepherd Dog


Stake: CD

Steward: Caroline Martin

Many thanks to Essex for inviting me to judge the CD Strake. Well done to Penny for running a very good, busy trial ably assisted by Belinda. Well done to Doreen Wendy and Pauline for their hard work in the kitchen keeping everyone fed and watered. Many thanks to Mr and Mrs Speakman for allowing us to use their fields.
I really enjoyed judging the CD and had a lovely group of competitors. What a beautiful day it was, too; we couldn’t have had better weather. My thanks to Caroline for laying all the squares and also stewarding all the control rounds - you did a great job.
All the competitors qualified on the nosework and they also all qualified the sit stay. Well done to all who qualified. To the rest of you - keep trying, it won’t be long before you qualify.
13 entered, 11 ran, 5 qualified CDEx, 1 Q CD

1st Hannah Hyslop with BONVIVANT INSPIRE, Mali, 06/09/14, 88.5, Q CDEx. Well done, Hannah, a very nice round. Lovely heelwork and good control.
2nd Shirley Simpson with FERROUS A TOUCH OF BEAUTY, BC, 21/03/14, 87.5, Q CDEx. A good round, Shirley, but long jump was costly today. Had a run off for second and third place and won the run off. Well done
3rd Pam Clarke with SMYLIE MYLIE, WSD, 01/12/12, 87.5, Q CDEx. Another good round. Again, the long jump was costly. Well done
4th Sarah Burroughs with TARNEDGE HOBBY, Lab, 29/03/15, 87, Q CDEx. A good round, Sarah, just the jumps that were costly today.

Also qualifying CDEx:
Tim Cooper with GLOSTER NIGHTHAWK, Lab, 01/03/14, 83
Qualifying CD:
Sam McGrath with TRACELYN TOKEN, GSD, 12/06/14, 77


UD Stake

Judge: Nigel Hines
Tracklayers: Steve Banfather, Rita Banfather, Andy Baker, Jane Clarke
Steward: June Hines

Many thanks to the Essex 2000 Committee for the invitation to judge UD at their trial. This is a well organised and friendly trial with Penny as Trials Manager and her second-in-command, Belinda. There is always a good atmosphere and nothing is too much trouble for them. They do have an exceptional farmer who not only seems to let them take over the farm but provides the use of a barn for the helpers with caravans – he is one in a million!
Thanks to the competitors for entering. Tracking was on winter wheat that looked ideal and we saw some nice tracks and searches. I was a little disappointed with some of the control – heelwork especially seemed challenging on this occasion – but the sendaways were actually very well done.
Thank you to my band of helpers – Rita and Steve laid tracks on the first day and Andy and Jane on the second. June laid squares and stewarded the control.
Well done to the qualifiers and good luck for next time to those who weren’t successful. Keep working on that heelwork!

1st Sheila Tannert with Tarnedge Leia Lab B 188 marks Q Ex
Well done, Sheila, a well-deserved win.

2nd Kate Wykes with Dreaganta Xary’s Star of Tarnforce CDEx – UDEx BC B 177.5 marks Q Ex
Once again, a steady and competent round from Kate and Star

3rd Liz Hickman with Wolfhart Tamarisk CDEx GSD B 161 marks NQ

4th K Herbert with Barran Caltums Mac McQ BC D 148 marks NQ


Stake WD 

Judge: Mike Williams


[Friday] Caroline Martin Sue Ashby Dave Self

[Saturday] Malc Snowden Sue Ashby Eric Carpenter

[Sunday] Nigel Hines Eric Carpenter Len Newman

Square Steward, Stay Steward and Scribe: Lee Newman

24 entries, 22 ran, 11qualified nose-work, 7 qualified overall.

Many thanks to Essex 2000 for the invitation to judge the WD stake at this very well run Trial, the largest overall entry we have had this year. Penny Bann the Trials Manager ably  assisted by her good friend Belinda, has a very efficient, experienced and friendly ‘team’ in place. Everything ran perfectly. Well done Penny.

Jean Howles on reception, ran the base without a hitch with every competitor arriving in the right place at the right time.

Tracking was on sparse winter wheat with little growth. The weather for all three days was ideal, sunny with a light breeze if a little chilly at times. 

All tracks were laid precisely and accurately by a very conscientious team of Caroline, Sue, Dave, Malc, Eric, Nigel and Len. [reads a bit like “creme de la creme” of tracklaying]. Many thanks to you all, I thoroughly enjoyed your company over the three days and fully appreciated the trouble you all went to to ensure every competitor had a fair  and equal chance at the test. Thank You.

A very special thank you to Lee Newman who proficiently laid all of the squares, scribed for the control and stewarded the stays. Again, excellent company.

1st Bill Richardson with Xandoas Isa CDEx-WDEx [Isa] GSD 190.5Q.  [83.5, 20, 34, 33.5,19.5] First track first day Isa was very steady and accurate throughout the nose-work section and very attentive for C/A in the afternoon, a well deserved win.

2nd Sandra Lewindon with Little Miss Jynx at Bracokeli CDEx-WDEx [Jynx] WSD 180.5Q  [83.5, 20, 31, 26.5,19.5] Once you eventually believed Little Miss Jynx on the second corner you hardly put a foot wrong. Nice “bling” harness!

3rd Andrew LLoyd with Stardell Tarazed CDEx-WDEx [Fly] BC 179.5Q.  [83.5, 20, 27, 30.5,18.5] Fly worked steadily in all groups, lovely sendaway.

4th Claire Norton with Dreganta Kainaat CDEx-WDEx [Kainaat] BC 174.5Q.  [80, 10, 33, 31.5, 20] Parts of the track proved quite testing for Kainaat but he stuck to it, worked hard and eventually got you round, another lovely sendaway. Only qualifier with full marks for agility.

Also qualifying,

John Phillips with Hundeschafer Caden CDEx-WDEx [Kraker] GSD 172.5Q   [80, 20, 32, 25.5, 15]

Ruth Payton with Kaliazar Chaos CDEx-WDEx [Dot] BC 170.5Q  [83.5, 10, 34, 29, 14]

Steve Bell with Stesueca Ricki CDEx-WDEx [Storm] 165Q  [83, 10, 23, 29.5, 19.5]

Unfortunately we had a few ‘hard luck’ stories!  For those of you not so lucky this time persevere, you’ll make it in the future. Congratulations to the qualifiers and thank you to all of the competitors for entering, accepting my decisions and making it such an enjoyable weekend for me.


Stake: TD 


Tracklayers: Gary Martin (earlies all week), Len Newman, Belinda Spensley, Yvonne Carpenter, Joan Snowden.

Searches and Control Steward: Margo Brothwell, Penny Bann (squares first day) 

Without doubt, the first thank you must go to the farmers, Mr and Mrs Speakman and family, who allow so much access to their farm.  No farm, no trial.

I was flattered to be asked to judge the TD Stake when the Committee of Essex WTS contacted me and I thank them all for putting my name forward.  Penny and Belinda are the main organizers of this trial and they have accumulated a wonderful hardworking team around them.  Belinda and Martin provided 5-star accommodation in their lovely home - thank you for looking after me.  The catering department, namely Wendy and Pauline, supplied us all with some smashing food that kept us going.

The tracklayers and Margo, as steward, were all very experienced and did their best to ensure each competitor had an equal attempt at my test.  You were all great company too – thank you all so much for your help.

It was a privilege to judge so many of my fellow trialists and their talented dogs - thank you all for your entries.  You enabled me to do what I really enjoy –  watching dogs working.

We were very lucky with the weather, being sandwiched in between Storm Angus the previous week and freezing conditions the following week.  The tracking was on winter wheat, with a couple of the fields having margins of grass.  The soil held the scent well, particularly the field nearest the base, which had the least growth - some of the more inexperienced dogs picked up the previous day’s tracks.

The weather, of course, had an impact on the nosework.  Tuesday’s weather was the tail end of the storm, so the windiest day; two dogs out of seven completed the track.  Wednesday and Thursday were more settled, but still some wind; six out of eight teams got round on Wednesday and seven out of ten on Thursday.  Friday was calm to start, with wind increasing, and three out of nine dogs went round the whole track.  Saturday was by far the best day weather-wise.  A cloudless blue autumn sky, no wind and heavy dew for the morning tracks.  Eleven dogs out of twelve went round the tracks, but the lack of wind affected the squares, with some articles being left behind.

As you will see from the pattern, the track consisted of 18 legs and was 960 yards long.  The articles were 4” brown cord, 2” square brown carpet and a tealight at the end.  (I did suggest the tracklayers could light it as a welcome for the competitors, but that was declined!)  Sheren Perez gained the highest track mark of 99.  The search square articles were all placed in a line 5 yards from the top leg and consisted of a spark plug, 6” yellow baling twine, a cotton bud and 3” x 1” green scourer.

Control and Agility started at 09.30, with stays, dogs in any order.  Control was then in ascending nosework order.

Heelwork was used as a method to transport handler and dog between exercises, whilst incorporating all three paces and turns.

The sendaway was 80 yards up the field to an orange pole, 20 yards parallel to the hedge; redirection was 160 yards at a right angle across the field to a new pedestrian metal gate.  The handler then had to recall the dog and stop it by a blue pole 50 yards from the start pole.  I allowed the handlers to work their dogs, within reason, but I did not want the dogs just following the fence line around the field because the ground dipped away and the dogs were then out of sight.  I apportioned the marks 3:6:1.   The highest mark was gained by Gary Atkins, achieving 9.5 - no one was awarded full marks.

The jumps were placed parallel with the bottom fence to bring the teams back to the gate, in order of clear, scale then long.  On completion of the jumps, the dog was then put in any position at the back element of the long jump for the speak.  The handler then joined the steward in front of the jump with their back to the dog.  I required 12 barks, quiet, then a further 6 barks.

53 entries, 29 completed the track, 19 qualified.


1st           Andy Baker and WTCh SID THE LEMON SQUEEZER, CDEx – TDEx, BC, D, 214/220 and the CC.  The only marks lost were 3.5 on the track and 2.5 on the sendaway, all the other exercises gained full marks.  A quiet handler who I much admire - a good dog and horse man.  Sid is 10.5 years old and the experience showed in the depth of his work.  It will be interesting to see if he is able to compete in next year’s KCC’s, also at Essex  – that would be something!  Well done for a wonderful all round performance.  I was pleased that the Ticket and Reserve were won on the nosework marks.

After a three-way run off:

2nd         Emma Baker and WTCh JESSZAKS RICCOCHET RIK, CDEx – TDEx (subject to KC confirmation), BC, D, 212/220 and Res CC.  What a week for this pair, winning the PD Stake as well!  I think Rik is fit now after a year off due to injury.  Congratulations, a privilege to watch this team work.  At 8 years old the experience showed through.

3rd          Sheila Tannert and TARNEDGE WISP, CDEx – TDEx, Lab, B. 212/220.  Just 6.5 lost on the track and 1.5 on the sendaway.  A youngster at 4 years old, but plenty of quality about her work.

4th          Pat Herbert and GLENALPINE FEN, CDEx-TDEx, BC, B, 212/220.  The baby at just under 3 years old, she has a promising future ahead of her. 


Also qualified TDEx:

Margaret Robinson and JUST ARRAN AT TRENTVALLEY, CDEx – TDEx, WSD, D, 211.5

Julie Atkins and GLENALPINE PEG, CDEx – TDEx, BC, B, 210

Charlie Taylor and GLENALPINE NIKKI, CDEx – TDEx, BC, B, 209

Gary Atkins and WTCh GLENALPINE PETE, CDEx – TDEx, BC, D, 208

Barry Gilbert and WTCh GLENALPINE COSWORTH, CDEx – TDEx, BC, D, 205

Diane Ling and WTCh DEBEN LITTLE TOM, CDEx – TDEx, PDEx, X-Breed, 203

Sheren Perez and KAEFFER KAL, CDEx – TDEx, WSD, B, 200.5

Vic Snook and LITTLE MICA, CDEx – TDEx, X-Breed, B, 197

Tony Lockyer and ABBI BLACK AT HARTSHILL, CDEx – TDEx, GSD, B, 194

Pat Parkinson and WAGGERLAND MY SHADOW, CDEx – TDEx, WSD, D, 193

John Wykes and DREAGANTA RED RORY OF TARNFORCE, CDEx – WDEx, BC, D, 189 (first TDEx)

Malcolm Snowden and STARDELL SIRIUS, CDEx – TDEx, BC, D, 188.5

Alan Sword and MANPOL SPECIAL EDITION, CDEx – WDEx, GSD, D, 187 (first TDEx)

Lauren Marlow and JOTUNHEIM ELI, CDEx – TDEx, PDEx, Mali, D, 180 (Also gained their first PDEx at this trial)

Sue Hough and STARDELL ALYA, CDEx – TDEx, BC, B, 177


Stake: PD


Tracklayers: Eric and Yvonne Carpenter and Joan Snowdon

Steward: Charlie Taylor

PD helpers (NOT STEWARDS)!! Gary M, Karen H, Winston C, Bob C, Martin S, Malc S

Many thanks to Essex 2000 for the invitation to judge at this wonderful trial, giving me a chance to see where we are for next year’s KCC’s.  Grateful thanks to Penny Bann and her fab team for all they did, before, during and after the trial, thanks to my 3 fab tracklayers, my PD helpers and my steward, Charlie, all of whom gave me their best and made my job easy.

We had 11 entries with 10 running.  Tracking was on winter corn, which no team seemed to find particularly easy for some reason.  We lost 3 on the nosework section. 

Control started with a speak, with dog tied up and handler out of sight (15 barks .... I think!!)  Then on to normal pace and fast pace heelwork to the clear jump.  Clear jump, then sendaway straight out to a telegraph pole on the boundary, 154 paces away, then call back approx half way, halt and a left re-direct 154 paces to a metal trough on the boundary.   Long jump, then scale and finishing with slow pace heelwork back to the start pole.  Stays were last.  On the whole, the C/A was performed well throughout.

Essex PD track pattern

Manwork started with a huge boundary quarter to location of all PD helpers, who were hiding behind the scale covered in camouflage netting (which incidentally was also the starting point for the quarter); upon location, a search of everyone and the hide took place, then the escort, with the attack on handler done in various places for everyone.  Chase was next, with the helper on one side of line of poles with red n white tape tied on, and handler on other side.  A walking challenge took place before the dog was sent.  Next was a TOC, with a long run down for the dog, and finally the recall, which was as per the chase.  We finished up with 6 qualifying with PDEx and 1 qualifying PD.  I hope everyone enjoyed the test as much as I enjoyed judging all the dogs.

1st           Emma Baker and Rik, JESSZAKS RICOCHET RIK, 306.5, Q and winning CC.  Rik was a little star and so deserved to win his 2nd Ticket, making him, subject to KC confirmation, a WTCh.  Well done to you both, Emma, a birthday you won't ever forget.

2nd         Diane Ling and Tom, WTCh DEBEN LITTLE TOM, 296, Q and Reserve CC. Tom is a joy to watch work and gets more and more excited as the tests go on.  Well done, Diane, and I hope you win a PD ticket to get to next year’s KCC’s.

3rd          Vic Snook and Mica, LITTLE MICA, 282, Q.  Always up there, Vic; Mica has come a long way in the last couple of years.  Keep at it, mate, she has it in her to win!!

4th          Kevin Hill and Stanley, JOYFUL JENSON, 281, Q.  Well done on your PDEx, Stanley worked really well for you.  Good luck for the future.

Also qualified PDEx:

Alan Bexon and WTCh FLY BY NIGHT LAD, 277.5

Lauren Marlow and JOTUNHEIM ELI, 266.5

Qualified PD:

Les Theobald and TYTRI ROMAN JACK, 235


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