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I should like to thank all the judges and helpers at Iceni for turning out last weekend in the most dreadful cold and snow to help at our Open trial.  I was able to get through to several helpers to prevent them from travelling, but many still had to come and did so without complaint.

Thank you judges Len Newman, Sandra Lewindon and Colin Ball (thrown out in a blizzard to judge TD Nosework when Sheila Tannert couldn’t make it from Derbyshire) and all at TEAM ICENI! You are the best!!






Scribe: Lé Newman

Thanks to Iceni for the invitation to judge, but I was not aware of the survival test which took place with the weather!!  With an experienced team, problems are only challenges, with this time Frances Ball at the head.  Thanks to the ladies and Les in the kitchen for our warming food, Lé for scribing (just thawing out) and Sandra for the certificate.  The heavy gang who completed the erection and dismantling of the jumps should enter the Royal Tattoo competition, also off road tests.  The conditions on the control field were challenging but quite workable.  Lastly, thank you to the competitors who worked their dogs in the adverse weather, all of you deserve an outward bound badge, also accepting my interpretation of the "I" Regs.


1st Jill Kevis, MEADOWDALE SPIDER, ESS, 95, Q

2nd Barry Sheppard, MEGAN SHERINGHAM, XB, NQ

3rd Elaine Mills, WILLOWRISE HONEY, Lab, NQ

4th Henrietta Chidgey, BLACK KNIGHT OF ARDLEIGH, XB, NQ

5th Julie Saunders, JEOLD RUBY ROYAL, Weim, NQ

I have placed all dogs that worked, as we had so many scratches, five due mainly to the adverse weather.  I was so impressed with all the dogs working in three inches of snow.  The searches were very good the way the handlers worked their dogs.  The down stay was the worst exercise with only 1 dog completing the down, the rest completing two sit stays.


1st Alan Wright, WHISPER IN THE GLEN, handled by Sandra Greenwood, WSD, 168.5, NQ.  Sadly, the only dog to work.  It is very hard to work somebody else’s dog, still the sendaway was good.


Due to all the scratches no dogs worked.  The Nosework judge’s presentation at the prize giving was excellent!!


1st Chris Theobald, XANDOA ABBYLON AT TYTRI, BC, 180.5, NQ, Best Track.

2nd Les Theobald, TYTRI ROMAN JACK, BC, 178.5, NQ

3rd Mike Loughran, GARRETHALL QUADRILLE, Lab, 174, NQ


We only worked four dogs, again due to the scratches.  Up to stays we had two dogs qualifying but then the two then sat, the other two went clear!  In the challenging conditions all dogs qualified the agility section - well done.





Tracklayer: Nick Brunner

Steward: Chris Theobald

I was more than surprised to receive a call from Frances Ball, on behalf of Iceni, inviting me to judge the UD and WD nosework at their March Open Trial.  I know that Iceni are very particular about their judges, so to be asked was an honour.  Thank you.

Iceni always encourage their members to become involved helping at trials, indeed, they got me involved, out of the kitchen and into the field, something for which I shall be eternally grateful.  My thanks to Frances and Colin Ball, Chrissie and Les Theobald for all having faith in me and Colin who gave me my initial tracklaying training.

Frances managed this trial with her usual proficiency, despite the many challenges that the poor weather conditions threw at her; I know that she worked hard before the trial and will still be working hard after, no doubt assisted by Colin.  Thanks must also go to the many helpers that make this trial possible, preparing jumps, escorting competitors, Elaine in the kitchen on Saturday and Les and Chris in the kitchen on Sunday.


Unhappily, the weather was too much for the competitors and all scratched bar one.  My thanks to the team field, Chrissie Theobald for stewarding as well as running the kitchen on Sunday and Nick Brunner for laying the only track.  Mark Lewindon was due to be the second track layer, but was not needed.  I had previously offered him the pattern to practice, he declined and muttered something about laying ticket tracks and my little UD wouldn’t be a problem.  Ok, he didn’t mutter, he swore!

Tracking was on sparse winter wheat with growth of approximately 8", with some snow.  Weather was a strong, harsh, cold wind with frozen ice particles.  Track articles were green ground sheet mesh approximately 3.5" x 2.5" and a small pink hippo soft toy approximately 3" square for the end article.   Square articles were a dolly peg, a 7" length of thick orange flex, carpet 4" x 3" and a 7" length of yellow rope.

1st WHISPER IN THE GLEN, WSD, 168.5, NQ, owned by Alan Wright and handled by Sandra Greenwood.  Glen made the conditions look very easy, losing only half a mark on the track.  This was followed by a very competent square.  This dog was also awarded the best nosework trophy by default.  However, it was a very good nosework round and I am sure that even with other competitors this dog would have obtained this trophy.  Well done.  I know that Glen failed the jumps today, better luck next time Sandra and Alan.


Unhappily all entries scratched, the extreme weather making a big impact on this trial.  Thanks must go to the team who were prepared to help, Kathrine for being prepared to steward, Jane Clark and Dave Self for being prepared to track lay.




Tracklayers: Nick Brunner and Mark Lewindon

Steward: Henrietta Chidgey

Thank you to Iceni for the invitation to judge the TD nosework.  I went to the trial as odd-job man but was asked to stand in for Sheila when she was unable to travel down from Derbyshire, due to the state of the weather up north.

The tracklayers, Nick and Mark, (who laid all the tracks in driving snow and bitter wind), already had Sheila’s track pattern and articles and I had brought some search articles – just in case (Frances had seen the weather forecast)!!  Thank you, Nick and Mark, for laying the tracks, not an easy job in these conditions and also to Henrietta for laying the search squares, still in the wind and snow.  Quite an initiation to helping at a trial!

Of the four tracks worked, three were done really well.  Chris went first and Abbie really enjoyed working in the snow, just missing the first article on the track and recovering three from the search.  Les then followed with Jack who dragged him through the snow and wind but missed the second article on the track, then recovered two from the square.

Alan followed on but Ziggy didn’t like the conditions, having a bit of an ‘off day’ then Mick and his lab Meri managed to complete the track, although finding it quite hard, recovering, between them, all the track articles (one for Meri and two for Mick) and three search articles.

1st Mrs Chris Theobald’s BC, XANDOA ABBYLON AT TYTRI, CDEx-WDEx, 180.5/220, NQ.  Well done, looking forward to seeing you in Ticket.

2nd Mr Les Theobald’s BC, TYTRI ROMAN JACK, 178.5/220, NQ.  Lovely track, good to watch.  You’ll soon be in Ticket.

3rd Mr Michael Loughran’s Labrador Retriever, GARRETHALL QUADRILLE, 174/220, NQ.  Meri worked well in difficult conditions.

4th Alan Sword’s GSD MANPOL SPECIAL EDITION.  Conditions were just too much for Ziggy today, but I’m sure all will come right at the next trial.

Thank you to Elaine in the kitchen supplying everyone with hot food, just what we needed after a cold time out in the field. Thank you, Frances, for all your work prior to, during and after the trials.  Although the roads were clear our end of the country, after reading and seeing the news, Sheila made a wise decision.  Hope you have cleared the snow away now.

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