2014 Kennel Club Championships
Kennel Club Working Trial Championships
WESSEX WORKING TRIALS CLUB
16th – 18th October 2014
Wow, what a fantastic weekend! We were so lucky with the weather - it was mostly dry with only a couple of very light showers on Thursday and Friday, and Saturday was dry all day but was quite cold and windy. Many thanks to our farmers for the use of their fields; the tracking conditions were second to none. Also thanks to Lloyd Stevens for allowing us the use of the air strip for parking on Saturday. Thanks to our sponsors, The Kennel Club, Arden Grange and many more, who donated and gave us their time to raise funds. Also a huge vote of thanks to Working Trials Monthly for producing and donating the Catalogues.
I would like to thank the two judges, Tony Lockyer and Paul Morling, along with their stewards, Maureen Regan and Karen Warner, for TD and PD respectively.
On behalf of everyone who attended I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Robin, Diane, Tom and all their staff at the Lordleaze Hotel for looking after us so well - nothing was too much trouble. The evening functions were well attended. On Thursday we enjoyed a hot buffet followed by an enjoyable quiz, presented by John West. Friday evening was a Hog Roast followed by a 60’s Disco, which again was enjoyed by all. The Presentation Dinner on Saturday was attended by eighty guests, including the Kennel Club Chairman and four other department Representatives.
Now, to the tracklayers - thank you all for your time and expertise. The TD tracks were laid by Tom Darby and John West and PD by Lindsey Poole and Andy Lloyd, and Vana Moody was on standby as reserve everything.
There are so many people to thank for helping to stage such an event as this that I am in fear of forgetting someone. However it is time to thank the protected stewards, Vick and Anthony Snook, Charlie Taylor, Gary Martin, Nigel Hines and Malcolm Snowden - you all did a great job. And I must now thank the track watchers, Jean Cooke, Sheila Jack, Nicky Prescott, Ruth Cahill and Sue Main; you were all great, and reported no problems. Catering was again headed by Jacquie West, ably assisted by Margery Lee, Sharon Parry, Anni Martin, Irene Nicholls, Mary Fellows and many more - thanks to you all. Liz Hickman was on hand as escort - many thanks for a job well done.
I would like to continue my thanks and take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Mary Hansell for keeping the finances in order and for doing the score boards, and to Lindsey Poole for writing the Tickets and prize cards. Then on to Margery Lee - what a fantastic amount of work for one person to do! She started by producing all the pre-trial cards and welcome packs, then the booking forms, invoices, certificates, score sheets, fun bus and menu cards. Not forgetting to say that she also made the dog coats, which were presented to the winner of each stake.
My final thank you must belong to Barbara, for not only being our Liaison Officer throughout the trial, catering for every one’s wishes and enquires, but she also gave me great support and help in the weeks leading up to the actual event. Lastly, on behalf of us all at Wessex, I would like to congratulate Dave Olley and WTCh LITTLE RAYMOND on winning both PD and TD Stakes. A fantastic achievement which has never been done before. Well done and good luck for the future.
Tracking Dog STAKE
Judge: TONY LOCKYER
Tracklayers: Tom Darby and John West
Square and C/A Steward: Maureen Regan
My thanks to Brian and all the team at Wessex for a fantastically well organised weekend - being on the committee of the club I know how hard they all worked. Margery in particular was busy at her computer for weeks getting the fun posters and score boards ready, as well as making the coats for the winners, then at the trial doing all the certificates as well as helping Jackie and Irene in the kitchen. My thanks to them also for the lunches on the tracking days, they were very welcome.
To John and Tom, many thanks for laying the tracks as I wanted, and to Maureen, it is always good from a judging point of view if you know your instructions are being carried out without you having to watch, and this was done in exemplary fashion whilst I concentrated on the tracking - thank you.
The Lordleaze Hotel must be one of the best venues in the country for accommodation on an occasion like this, with the open field right outside the door for dog exercising, and fantastic food for every function that we had, and speaking personally, my room and bed was very comfortable.
Thanks to the farmers for the use of their land; the tracking areas were virtually identical for all the dogs and the weather was even for both days with only one team having a drop of rain whilst tracking.
The test I set was designed to find if the dogs really understood the changes from one exercise to another rather than assuming what was coming next. The track was nineteen legs and 945 paces long and laid so that the first article was downwind as the dog was tracking. My immense thanks to John and Tom for laying them exactly as I wanted. The teams coped well with this exercise, with ten of the teams getting three articles, though three of them with the help of their handlers on the first article.
The track articles were: first, half a standard wooden clothes peg, second, 1” x 2.75” scouring pad, last, 1.5” x 3.5” piece of green carpet tile.
The search square was set to determine whether the dogs could switch from tracking mode to finding articles by the scent coming from the article.
The square was a full 25 yards and the articles were; 3.5” plastic tie, 0.25” x 3.5” willow twig, 0.75” x 2” red nylon tape and 1” x 2” rubber matting.
Maureen was instructed to place all articles 1.5 paces downwind of any track scent, and to only foil the top area above the line of three articles. The foiling of the lower part of the square was done by the handlers and their dogs, as the square was laid across the third leg of the track. This apparently caused more problems than I had anticipated, with several of the dogs seemingly being unwilling to cover the top section of the square where most of the articles were. Two teams retrieved four articles, one team three articles and two teams two articles, thus we had five teams on qualifying marks at the end of the nosework.
The control started with heelwork, ending up at the sendaway pole, which was to a yellow stake quite visible to the handlers, set at 180 paces in a line directly towards the fence line, which was 40 paces further on. The redirect was left to another yellow stake also at 180 paces.
The fence line seemed to be the distracting factor with several dogs not wanting to stop at the pole or not wanting to redirect unless they were near the fence. I do allow handlers to work their dogs, but I do expect them to end up close to my markers in order to gain points.
This was then followed by the clear and long jumps, before then taking the handlers and dogs under control to come to a halt just outside the nine foot markers at the face of the scale for the speak exercise, which was with the dog beside the handler, again to determine if the dogs were listening to the commands given, so marks were lost for movement at this exercise. This was followed by the scale to finish the control and agility. The down stay was the last exercise
At the end of the C/A we had lost one qualifier so the placings were as follows.
1st and CC Dave Olley with WTCh LITTLE RAYMOND,
211.5. A combination that attacked the test from beginning to end, and a very worthy winner.
159.5 nosework, with four from the square, 32 for control and full jumps.
Very well done and many congratulations on the double!!
2nd and Res CC Barry Gilbert with WTCh GLENALPINE COSWORTH,
206.5. The other square article could have reversed these positions, 154 nosework, 32.5 control and full jumps. Well done
3rd Gary Haim with WTCh WAGGERLAND DILEMMA,
200. The only partnership of the qualifiers to track on the second day, and Flynn did quite a lot of checking.
The second dog to get all four from the square. This was Flynn’s retirement trial and I think Gary was very pleased with his performance.
151 nosework, 29 control and full jumps.
4th Gary Atkins with WTCh GLENALPINE PETE,
188. Litter brother to the reserve Ticket winner; well done on the qualification. 142.5 nosework, 26 control and 19.5 jumps.
I am sorry that so many dogs appeared to find my test difficult, but from where I was standing I do feel the nerves and tensions from the handlers, had a great deal to do with the overall performances.
Patrol Dog STAKE
Judge: PAUL MORLING
Tracklayers: Andy Lloyd and Lindsey Poole
Square steward: Karen Warner
Control and Agility Steward: Karen Warner
Steward and First Hide: Karen Warner
Protected Stewards: Vic and Anthony Snook (chase, recall, test of courage, escort and defence of handler), Malc Snowdon and Nigel Hines (last hide and search), Charlie Taylor (short chase, test of courage, jogger), Gary Martin (far hide in camouflage suit)
Thank you to Brian and Barbara, the committee and members of Wessex for organising these terrific KCC’s - running trials is never easy, let alone the KCC’s! Thanks a lot and also for looking after me so well. It was also great to meet the Chairman of the Kennel Club and his group of representatives. I hope you all had an interesting and enjoyable weekend......
My tracks were laid just as I envisaged them, I could not have asked for more, my thanks to you both. The tracking was on lush grass approx 6 inches long. I tried to set a track that was a little challenging under these great conditions; the first article was a plastic leg from a miniature human skeleton as sold in Tesco for Halloween, the last being a 4 inch square of denim.
I really enjoyed watching all the teams and I saw some excellent handling and tracking.
Karen walked the square while the dogs were tracking and laid the articles once the track was finished and the handler was talking to me.
Article 1 was a polystyrene cup - delicate article.
Article 2 was 3 links of two and a half inch chain - metal (awkward)
Article 3 was half a wooden clothes peg - scent holding
Article 4 was three and half inch piece of thin, blue plastic string with knot in middle - hard to find.
There were varying degrees of success in the square.
The control field was a very large flat grass field with no obvious boundaries. My test started with the heelwork. This started with a figure of eight around the clear and long jumps, then out into the field to the vicinity of the sendaway. The sendaway was at an angle to the right across the field to two car tyres stacked flat on top of each other and the redirect was to two more leaning against each other that were straight out from the handler, where the normal outrun would be.
Next was the agility - my jumps were set out so the clear and long were parallel to each other, the long being ahead of the clear and the scale a good distance in front of the clear. There were no second attempts allowed.
The speak took place on the tracking field, when the handler reported to me and I was taking their details. I allowed for 10 barks then asked them to cease. The gun took place as the last exercise on the tracking field. The handler was asked to walk his dog away from me, dog at their side, I fired the gun and then ended the exercise.
The stays took place in the control field with handlers going out of sight behind the burger van.
A draw was made by the Trials Manager to establish the running order for the control and patrol rounds. My round was designed as a total lock out; handlers and spouses were asked to wait out of site with a steward until it was their turn to work. None of the handlers came onto the patrol field with any prior knowledge of the test.
The patrol field had no natural hides so a 10 ft square gazebo was set up in the middle to provide a break in the line of sight for some exercises and cover for helpers in others. Around the field were five tents acting as hides. When the handlers came onto the field they were told that they would not be told which exercise was the chase or the recall until after the dog had been sent; if they were told to recall it was a recall, if not it was a chase. If they used a whistle it had to be around their neck from the start. My intention was to see every dog flat out on each exercise.
The test started with the recall. The handler stood at the start pole and was told to get his dog under control and ready for the test to start, when they were happy the test began. Two helpers had been placed about 15 paces either side of the handler and started walking into the field challenging each other and being challenged by the handler. They came together and ran around the right hand side of the gazebo; as they went out of sight, the dog was sent and as the dog went out of sight it was recalled. Watching these dogs running flat out, then being recalled was spine tingling!
On recalling the dog, the handler was told to get his dog under control for the next exercise; this was a short chase. I was standing near where I had called the recall, when a helper left the gazebo and started abusing me, gave me a push and ran. The handler was then told to send his dog to detain the man, which they all did; they also ended up next to the first hide. On joining their dogs and gaining control they were told to hold the dog by the collar for the next exercise.
The short chase criminal then started walking away towards the gazebo, challenging as he went; on nearing the gazebo he sprinted towards it and the dog was sent. As he ran into the gazebo, two helpers ran out and attacked the dog in the test of courage with plastic bottles on ropes. All dogs were very committed and hardly broke stride.
I then took over as steward as the handler joined his dog on the test of courage. While he was dealing with the situation, Karen, the PD steward, had disappeared into the first hide, unseen by the handler.
The quarter was next. The dog was first sent back to the first hide where Karen had disappeared; all dogs located Karen with very strong speaks (no search). Karen then took charge of the quarter again. Unknown to the handlers, a helper was in the third and furthest hide on the quarter, on the floor in a camouflage sniper suit (again, no search). It became apparent that it did not occur to some handlers that there may be someone in this hide and were surprised when their dog indicated someone. The quarter continued and as the dog approached the last hide, the handler was brought across the field so he could not see his dog or the hide and had to wait for his dog to be speaking before being allowed to join them. On the handler joining their dog at the last hide they were told to do a full search of helpers and hide. The weapon was a small stainless steel penknife secured to the silver coloured ridge pole with silver tape just above the entrance to the tent. When the handler had finished searching the helpers and had just started searching the hide, a helper appeared jogging by and made himself a pain in the butt but didn’t attack anyone. Five of the six dogs ended up detaining him for one reason or another. After this, if the handler went back to the hide to continue searching it, it was their decision, or they declared they had found nothing.
On the finish of the search, the helpers were put back in the hide out of the way as the handler prepared for the next test. This was the chase. A helper came from either side of the gazebo and walked towards the handler keeping the same distance between them; when they came within twenty feet of the handler they turned, running together, back past the right hand side of the gazebo. As they disappeared out of sight, the dog was sent. When the dog had stopped one of the men, the handler was allowed to join them and take control of the situation.
From here the escort started back towards the crowd; at a given point one of the helpers ran forward, as the other turned and attacked the handler. And here ended my test.
Firstly, I would like to thank Karen for being my steward throughout the KCC’s and doing such a great job. Her experience of stewarding for me in the past and her knowledge of PD were invaluable, - cheers, mate.
To my protected stewards - what can I say? Without you this PD test could not have happened, your input was greatly appreciated, enabling my test to be what I envisaged. I thought you put on a great show, thanks so much. Also, my thanks to all the helpers who run throughout the year, and who enable the qualifiers to compete at this event.
Competitors, wow! I thought you were awesome and a credit to Working Trials. I hope you enjoyed my test as much as I enjoyed watching you; it was an honour to be asked to judge you. My judging criterion was the same as always - if you do it, you get points, if you don’t, you don’t get points.
Thank you for taking my decisions in the sporting manner you did. Also, thank you for your integrity in the lockout, enabling the test to be an even playing field.
1st Dave Olley with WTCh LITTLE RAYMOND,
X-breed, 293.5, Q. Consistent, controlled, focused and driven are some of the qualities that I think make a KCC’s winning team; I think anyone who watched these two in action this weekend will agree. Dave said to me “I’ve never qualified under you before.” What a way to start! Congratulations on your weekend that can never be bettered, only ever equalled.
2nd Alan Bexon with WTCh FLY BY NIGHT LAD,
WSD, 284.5, Q. Another great performance from this very successful team, what a year you have had and reserve at the KCC’s as well!
3rd Wendy Beasley with WTCh STARDELL LUNAR,
Border Collie, 284, Q. Lunar was certainly a star today, not much to choose between any of these teams. Well done, Wendy.
4th Lee Payne with WTCh LITTLE ROUGH RHINESTONE,
X-breed, 274.5, Q. As always a team to fear, perfect track, great to watch.
5th Diane Ling with WTCh DEBEN LITTLE TOM,
X-breed, 271, Q. Another brilliant team, so close. Well done, Diane.
6th Jo Magness with LIZLINE MANDOLINE,
GSD, 222, NQ. What a dog, always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Good luck in the future, Jo.