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My thanks to the WT Club of Ireland for the invitation to judge at their February trial.  Despite my fears, the ferry over was very calm - more than can be said for the return journey, with storm force winds around.

Special thanks to Nigel Tate, trials manager, for all the help and allowing his home to be taken over as the base. Also thanks to Caroline Woods, jack of all trades - tracklaying, escorting, co-ordinating everyone as well as working her own dogs - wow!

Trials in Ireland are slightly different (slightly!) from trials in England, with all four stakes judged by the same judge. With quite a mixture of stakes (nosework and control) on the same day, it felt at times as if my brain was scrambled.  Special thanks to Maurice Cooke (my other half), who did a bit of tracklaying, a lot of stewarding and even more dogs bodying for me!  Thanks again.

To all the other tracklayers and stewards - Miriam Lyons, UD Tracks, Anne Collen, UD and WD squares, and Dianna Collie, WD tracks – thank you.

The weather was WET!  That is all I can say.

Now to the important bit, the competitors.  I had a real mix again of some experienced people and some newbies, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and all got something positive to take home and perfect their performance.

CD Stake:

1st               Caroline Woods with PARAVEL JUNIPER, GSD, NQ.  So near, Caroline.  You must be pleased with her; if it hadn’t been for the torrential downpour during the 10 min down stay!  She endured it for over 5 min then said enough is enough. 

Special award for fastest CD square went to Caroline Walsh with POLLY ROO WALSH, Lab - really applied herself to the job.

UD Stake:

Tracking was on grass.  Sadly, no qualifiers here, with most opting to withdraw from the stays due to the weather, and some maximising the opportunity to train their dogs.

1st               B Sharkey with GO BALLISTIC, 168.5, NQ.  Very nice track, 86 and both articles; handler found one of them, well spotted.

2nd             Diana Collie with WAGGERLAND TIP TOP, BC, 167.5, NQ.  Nice little bitch, well handled, just lacking some confidence in places.

Best Track:  P Kealy with KACEY’S ADVENTURE, Lab/Setter cross.  Lovely track, 87, both articles and 3 out of the square.

WD Stake:

No awards – the tracking, on stubble combined with the rain, made conditions very difficult.

TD Stake:

Tracking was on grass.  Three competitors in TD stake made a really good job of the track.  Sadly, Miriam Lyons had only one article and withdrew from the control.  Our hearts went out to Anne Collen’s Purdy; a Slovakian rough haired pointer with no coat at all, she shivered her way around the track in the most appalling conditions (we were finding it difficult to actually see her) and even managed to get two out of the square.  Also withdrew from the control because of the weather.

1st               Samantha Rawson with RYANS DAUGHTER, CDEx, TDEx, 207, Q.  A worthy winner, with 96 for the track and all the articles, full point square.  Nearly gave up after failing the long jump but full on the other jumps saw her through.  Well done and congratulations.


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