The Traveller’s Rest, Wickham. Open Trial
- Venue: North Boarhunt
Judge: PIPPA BENTHAM
Tracklayers: Vana Moody, Arthur Jeal
Steward: Jodie Phillips
Thank you to the Society for the invitation to judge the UD stake, to Arthur and Jean for letting me stay in their beautiful home (Molly and Kerri really loved their morning and evening walks). The sandwich production line of Sally, Lyn, Vana and Jean was an impressive sight. And thank you to the competitors for their patience and accepting my decisions with a smile. My last thank you is reserved for my steward, Jodie, who was absolutely brilliant; she organised me, kept me supplied with tea and sandwiches, laid the squares to perfection and organised the C/A and competitors, as well as being great company for the three days; and for my tracklayers, Arthur and Vana, who did a great job, and only had to recover five articles between them.
The tracking was on grass which was relatively well grown, with only 5 dogs out of the 18 that worked failing to complete the track; all the dogs tried their best, and their handlers should be proud of them.
1st Wendy Donaldson and HEBE, ASD, 191. Calm and confident handling brought out the best in this lovely little dog.
2nd Joyce Tibbetts and QUIN, GSD, 190. A very enthusiastic, bouncy dog who worked well.
3rd Liz Hickman and JAY, GSD, 186.5. A very happy lady with a very happy dog, well done.
4th Lynne Baker and KAZ, Lab, 185.5. Kaz worked well despite wearing his sister’s harness.
Lee Kane and LINCOLN, Rott, 181.
Judy Meekings and BRIG, Lab, 170.
Ruth Kuszek and OTTO, SBT, 161.5.
Judge: Ruth Cahill
Tracklayers: Lynne Watkins, Melvin Drewitt and Lindsey Poole
Steward: Lindsey Poole
Thanks to Hampshire for the invitation and to Jean Howells for the hospitality and Arthur for the introduction to the local dog walks.
The Society works its tracklayers hard and they also laid the squares and fired the gun. Big thanks Lynne Watkins, Melvin Drewitt and Lindsey Poole who was also the C&A steward. Before the Trial when I pointed out that two corners of the track were dead in line with the poles for ease of laying - Melvin said “Fat chance of that” then proceeded to lay very accurate tracks! Thanks all of you for your great company.
16 entries over two days worked on fairly good (but not lush) clean pasture land. All dogs tried hard in the very gusty wind and it was a happy reflection of their training that they were so keen to battle the elements. The qualifiers should be especially proud of their dogs’ accuracy in the wind.
1st Gary Haim & WAGGERLAND DILEMMA CDEx. WSD. Track 88. Full mark square, S/A, and jumps plus being pretty good allround meant Flynn finished on a very impressive mark.197.25
2nd Margaret Jones & RUSKATH ONESTEP AHEAD. WSD. Track 88. Another with very neat work, full mark S/A and jumps, could easily have been my winner but Dan just went a bit OTT on the retrieve.195.5
3rd Chris Daubney & COLLIEWOOD LA BELLE. WSD. Best track with 88.5. Dizzy saved marks by standing still and sniffing out the track the instant she lost it in the wind and her steady style paid off in the most exposed field. Having seen good dogs fail there Lindsey was delighted when you succeeded.194.25
4th Rosemary Turner & KHAMYSKER KWIK KRACKER CDEx. GSD. Track 86. Despite your intelligent square handling she missed an article. Stylish heelwork. Clear jumps but didn’t understand my S/A.179.75
These were the only qualifiers but Chris Brooks’ Jake was nearly there with not enough marks overall but qualifying every section and Chris Young’s Mali worked well but went out on the jumps.
Judge: SALLY BERGH-ROOSE
Tracklayers and Search Stewards: Barry and Paula Harvey, Mary Drewitt.
Control Steward: Mary Drewitt
I should like to thank the society for the invitation to judge this stake. My thanks also go to Jean Howells for letting me stay with her and making me feel most welcome. To Barry, Paula and Mary, it was my pleasure to work with you; I enjoyed your company.
Tracking was on well-grown winter wheat on the side of a hill. The first day it was snowing when the early tracks were laid and was a generally damp cold day, but there was moisture in the ground. The next two days the ground was very dry, bitterly cold with gusting winds, making conditions very difficult. As the trials manager said when she bought one of the competitors up, “It’s like the north face of the Eiger up here.”
Unfortunately we did not have any qualifiers.
1st Lynne Watkins with STARSHOT DOLGOS WITH SZIKRAS, WHV. Bracken worked on the first day and made the nosework look very easy. Unfortunately, she decided she had gone far enough on the sendaway so ended up a little short on the control marks.
2nd Marjorie Lee with LOKI MISCHIEF MAKER, WSD. This little dog worked his heart out, tracking on the third day. He got around the track, losing only 5 marks, but only found one article. With a second track article, he would have ended the day qualifying.
3rd Jenny Jefferson with BEKKIS VITUOSO, BC. A repeat performance of the second placed dog. Woody also worked on the third day and lost just 8 marks on the track, but again recovered only one article. A superb control round followed.
4th Prof Mike Robinson with FLINT OF GLEN MEL, BC. Tracking on the first day, Flint did stop on the first article (half a wooden peg), the handler could not see it and decided the dog must have swallowed it! A costly mistake as they then tracked over the end article. Another that would have qualified with a second track article.
Conditions were the main reason for the lack of qualifiers; these four dogs are more than capable of qualifying at this level. To end, I must say what a privilege it was to watch Loki and Woody tracking in gale force winds - their handlers have every right to be proud of them.