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Tracklayers: UD – Diana Collie, Samantha Rawson; WD – Diana Collie, Anne Collen, Vicky Dixon; TD – Diana Collie

Stewards: CD – Anne Collen; UD and WD – Sandra Meenan, Vicky Dixon; TD – Neil Lowndes

Many thanks to Fingal Dog Club for the invitation to judge at their January trial, and for your hospitality, especially Anne Collen and Diana Collie for looking after me so well.  I had a most enjoyable time with you all.

Although the entries for this trial were very low, it was made up for by the amazing enthusiasm of all concerned; everybody was involved in helping in some form or another.

Judging in Ireland is a unique experience and it did seem strange that competitors are allowed to enter and just do the nosework if for any reason they do not want to do the control and agility.  But at least they are getting involved, which has to be good long term for the sport.  I was most impressed by the general high standard of both dogs and handlers – all very professional.

The trial base was the back of a horse trailer, and Angela Higgins in, charge of catering, did a wonderful job.  I don’t know what she puts in it, but her soup was very special and most welcome.  Many thanks again, Angela.  Many thanks also to all my tracklayers and stewards named above, you did a wonderful job and were a credit to your club.

Out of a total of fifteen entries, thirteen took part, one in CD, five in UD, four in WD and three in TD.  The weather was very cold, with frost first thing and a breeze that strengthened during the day on most days, but most importantly IT DID NOT RAIN!!  Tracking was on a tufty type of grass about three inches long that didn’t leave a footprint, so handlers really had to believe their dogs.  The standard of search squares and tracking was very high indeed, and all but one competitor qualified in the nosework.  All of those who took part in the control qualified in this section, with some very good retrieves and sendaways.  Unfortunately, one or two dogs found the agility section a challenge.

Special mention for Neil Lowndes.  This young man and his dog, Coco, compete internationally at Agility, and just did the nosework in UD, but it was very plain that this pair was special; the bond between them was something to see.  I wish them all the very best for the future.


1st Edwina Dunne with FALK VAN KONGISHOF, GSD, 78.5, Qual CD.  Edwina and Alfie worked very well together, with a lovely attitude.  Their work generally was of a very high standard, with very good heelwork and a full mark sendaway, but breaking the down stay and no return over the scale meant that their Ex qualification was out of reach – only a temporary setback, I’m sure.  You certainly deserved better; good luck for the future.


1st Edwina Dunne with FALK VAN KONGISHOF, GSD, NQ.  Edwina and Alfie completed all sections, but it just wasn’t their day today.  Nothing seemed to go right; a day best forgotten, I think.  I’m sure it will all come together soon - as a team you certainly have the potential.  Best of luck.

Best UD track went to Anne Collen with ShCh ACHOUFFE FANTOME, Slovakian Wire-haired Pointer.


1st Samantha Rawson with BATTERSEA’S BEST TO PELE, WSD, 184, Q.  Track 86.5, arts 10, search 34.5, control 33, agility 20.  Samantha and Pele made the whole test seem easy.  A very confident team with lots of ability, they worked very well together, and apart from missing a track article, put on a very good all-round performance indeed.  Well done and good luck for the future.

2nd Caroline Woods with PARAVEL ILLUSION, GSD, 176.5, Q.  85, 20, 24, 28, 19.5.  Caroline and Lyra both worked hard on the track but never looked in trouble; a little untidy in the search square, other than that very good nosework.  Heelwork was their only problem in the control, and no problems with the agility.  Overall a very good all round performance.  You make a good team – well done.

Best WD track went to Marjorie Briggs with Ir ShCh TRILITE PRIVATE RYAN, Weim.


1st Miriam Lyons with KALIYON CAOIBHE, BC, 210.5, Q.  Track 95, articles 30, search 34, control 32, agility 19.5.  Just minor casts on the track, apart from that a very good nosework round indeed by this very experienced handler and her young dog – a pleasure to judge.  Their C/A round was very impressive with a super sendaway.  A really good all round performance, a great future for Miriam and Keva, that’s for sure.  Well done.

2nd Angela Higgins with LAETARE SWEET CHARIOT, BC, 190.5, Q.  94, 20, 33.5, 28, 15.  A few problems for the first legs of the track, but once Libby got into it she flew round.  Very well handled, you made a good team, followed by a very positive search square, and no real problems with the C/A.  Another good all round performance – you did well.  Best of luck for the future.

Best TD track went to Miriam Lyons with WTCh TAMERRYE MARANELLO, BC.

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