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25 - 27 January 2013



If you ever get the opportunity to Judge in Ireland, it’s a must do.  The Irish Working Trials people are the most sociable, friendly and hospitable group of enthusiasts you could ever wish to meet.  Most of them are involved in other activities/ disciplines, which means that the standard of work is good to excellent in most sections of Working Trials stakes.

Since there are only a small number of trials, and trials people, in Ireland, they all support each other’s events, which helps Trials (almost) break even, and they will enter a stake "not for competition", or to give their dogs experience of competing, even if they know their dog may not yet be ready for a qualifying certificate.  Also, everyone helps in the stakes they are not entered in, so your WD tracklayer may be competing in UD tomorrow.  The two exceptions are Steve Fearon  and Riona Kilbride.  I remember Steve as a good tracklayer from those years I ran ASPADS Oxford Trial in the 70’s and 80’s, and he has lost nothing of his expertise - every TD track was laid accurately - and Riona stewarded all stakes searches, and C/A.  Not content with reading  instructions, Riona memorises every pattern and article and every different control round.  That is some feat when we were chopping and changing from one stake to another to fit in with all competitors’ availability etc.

Thank you both for all your work and good company over the three days, particularly as the weather was so awful at times.

I stayed with Judith and Jeff in their lovely home; Jeff was Trials Manager, cooked our breakfast every morning, laid tracks and worked his dogs: Judith was Trials Secretary, cooked everyone’s lunch, and our evening meals, laid tracks, worked her dog and did all the scores and certificates.  Their kitchen doubled as base, and they shared the day to day chores as well as exercising and feeding their own and three visiting boarding dogs.  Talk about a busy life!!!  Thank you both for your hospitality, and all the work you both did to ensure everything ran smoothly.

The only thing we couldn’t organise was the weather.   We had no snow, but strong winds and driving rain persisted most of the weekend, with just a little respite now and again.

It was good to see all the competitors enjoying working their dogs, and watching everyone else work and giving moral support.  Nosework was of a good standard as were most exercises in control.  To the newcomers, I would suggest you watch those in TD handling their dogs, and take your time setting your dogs up for the exercises, particularly the sendaway and jumps.  Thank you all for entering and accepting my decisions, and for making the trial so enjoyable.


Tracklayer: Steve Fearon

Steward Riona Kilbride

In TD there is a more competitive edge, as a Green Star is at stake, and there are some very experienced teams vying for the accolade.

Ist and Green Star  Judith Owens-Poole and ShCh and CIB FIRCROFT BELISIMA, Portuguese Water Dog.  Jorja worked in very strong wind, and Judith  displayed some excellent handling  - 93/30/31.5.   Good C/A, heart in mouth with no long jump, but Jorja was sound in every other exercise.  Congratulations on making her into Ir WTCh, the first Porti ever!  202/220

2nd Jenny Hickey and Ch and Int Ch HAPENNY KINGFISHER, BC.  Best track and good handling gave Guinness 161 for nosework.  Jenny had decided to retire him at this trial, and they both went out and had fun on the C/A, as Jenny knew the jumps were too much for this 10 year old.  A very creditable round.

3rd Sam Rawson and BATTERSEA’S BEST TO PELE, WSD.  Good nosework, but some confusion on the sendaway today. 

4th Caroline Woods and PARAVEL ILLUSION, GSD.  Again, a successful nosework round, but in C/A Lyra was not a ‘happy bunny.’


Tracklayer: Judith Owens Poole

Steward: Riona Kilbride

1st Jeff Poole and FIRCROFT DOMINI, BC, 184.5.  Excellent nosework, and a very creditable C/A round ensured the qualification.  Ziva was awarded best track.    Well done.

2nd Dennis Conlon and REGANS BOY, GSD, 168.5. Good nosework from this inexperienced team, followed by a good control round; Dennis needs to improve his line handling and sendaway, and Harley will be a winner.  Well done

3rd Sam Rawson and RYAN’S DAUGHTER, Collie X.  Unfortunately Sassy didn’t complete the track today, but she is just 2 yrs old, and I’m sure has a bright future.


Tracklayer: Jeff Poole

Steward: Riona Kilbride

7 entries, 3 ran.

1st Ed Dunne and FALK VON KONGISHOF, GSD, 175, NQ.  New to trials, Alfie completed an excellent nosework round and was awarded best track.  Ed handled him very well, but no sendaway. Again, I’m sure this team will have a bright future.


Only one entry worked, Cliona OToole and TIME TO TANGO, BC.  Another newcomer, Tango is a very enthusiastic collie, and with a bit of experience will go far.  Tango hurt her paw earlier in the day, and didn’t jump, but most of the other work was sound.  Continue enjoying her, Cliona - best of luck .

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