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As a complete innocent with limited trials experience I agreed to a request some time ago to officiate as Trials Manager Leamington DTC Championship Trials.  I was the blind poised precariously leading a pack of varied breeding, with vast experience, superb eyesight, cracking nose-work, stamina, brilliantly trained and mostly well behaved in every exercise, apart from the odd "speak"! 

Well not to overdo the analogy, I had very little to do as a large group of volunteers from Leamington Club and the working trials world all worked hard to undertake the vast range and complexity of tasks needed to jigsaw together to make it all work.   I was particularly impressed by the sheer amount of time people were willing to give to us in return for a few days away and expenses.

The weather could have been a bit kinder earlier in the week but I understand it makes for more interesting competition………..

Our thanks go to the landowners for their continued support in allowing us to use interesting and challenging terrain.  Many thanks to the judges Tony Lockyer, Anne Shepherd, Maureen Reagan, Yvonne Carpenter and Dot Levin for their commitment to putting on great tests and their endurance and patience.  We enjoyed your company and valued your expertise.

Many thanks to all the other helpers including control stewards, tracklayers, square layers, land and helper finders, entry sorters, catalogue compilers, running order arrangers, booker-inners, kitchen caterers, trophy collectors, rosette and card orderers, equipment checkers and carriers, treasurers, tombola contributors, accommodation providers.  Every contribution was valued.

And most of all thanks to the competitors who came with good sportsmanship and no complaints that got as far as me, and no-one who challenged any rules so made my job much easier.  I now know too much about what could go wrong so appreciate even more that it didn’t.

The Tombola raised £127.00 for Leamington DTC’s charity this year, Cancer and Bio Detection Dogs.  Many thanks.





Steward: Gary Atkins

Thanks to Leamington for the invitation to judge, and to Jane, Sue, Kate W, and the other Leamington committee and members - well done for their hard work and on running another successful trial.  Thanks to Jan and Kate P for sorting the scores and qualifiers for me at the base.

The weather was quite good for Leamington - we managed to stay mostly dry.  Squares were on rape and the control on grass.  I seemed to run through stewards before the trial started - Eric (other duties), Julie (other duties) and finally Gary Atkins.  Julie tells people that John Reynolds said Gary was the best steward in the country and that Gary agreed.  Well, there’s three of us now - thanks, Gary.  He did a brilliant job, setting people at their ease and doing everything he could to make sure they qualified.

The standard was very mixed, with most of the dogs poorly motivated on retrieve and control.  The dogs seemed to find the articles easily but the marks lost on style and control and retrieve meant that only 12 of the 19 dogs qualified on the Nosework Section.  Recalls were very good, sendaways were either very good or quite poor, and heelwork for the most part was quite poor.  The jumps and stays also took a toll.

1st CLOVER HAYES MAISIE MOUSE, Spaniel, and Ann Ferens, 92, CDEx.  Excellent nosework (19.5 and 10), very good control round and full on the jumps.  Maisie’s tail never stopped wagging and she never stopped working.  Well done, Ann - Maisie was a pleasure to judge.

2nd MARINA BEN’S PAL, Lab X, and Mike Williams, 91, CDEx.  Marina worked the square fast and enthusiastically, was just unlucky not to get the third article.  Excellent retrieve and control round, full marks on the jumps.  Well done.

3rd VANQUISH ULTIMATE EDITION, Lab, and Stevi Boyall, 90.5, CDEx.  Brilliant nosework and retrieve from Aston (20 and10), excellent calm handling from Stevi, full jumps, excellent sendaway and recall - just the heelwork letting them down.  Well done.

4th KIPCROFT RED KYLE OF TARNFORCE, BC, and John Wykes, 85, CDEx.  Excellent retrieve and good square from Kyle, with only John losing marks on style!  Again, excellent sendaway and recall, just the heelwork being very costly.

Qualifying CD

TWEED SUITED AT HELIDALE, X-breed, and Pam Wadsworth, 76.  Leaving an article in the square proved costly for Tweed and Pam, and bits and pieces added up in the control section.    




Track Layers: David Barker, John Turtill.

Search Stewards: Julie Skip, Val Isherwood, Pat Herbert.

Control Stewards: Julie Skip, Pat Herbert.

Thank you to Leamington for inviting me to judge, and to Jane Sutherland for taking up the helm of Trials Manager and doing a very good job too.  Thanks to Di, Dot, and Kate in the kitchen, and thanks, Kate, for taking the time and trouble to arrange with the pub a menu that would not just feed me, but feed me well.  Thanks to Jan Darby for holding fort at the base, and looking after my articles for me.  Thank you to David and John for tracklaying - you both did super jobs; we saw some very impressive tracks, such a joy to work and judge.  I was also privileged to have very experienced search stewards.  Thank you, you were very conscientious and obvious held the scent well, with the majority of the dogs getting at least 3 out of the square. Julie and Pat also stewarded the C/A - that was their turn to keep me in order!  Yes Ma’am!  Thank you very much, you were such good company.  Pat really did work hard this week; not only did she Steward for me, she then worked her dog in Ticket, getting the reserve ticket no less, and she acted as host to me for the week.  Thank you, Pat (and Moo and Jill), for making me so welcome in your lovely home, it was so relaxing.  THE OVEN WORKS!  To every one behind the scenes who help to make the trial run as smoothly as it did, many thanks.  To Julie and Gary, thanks for the Chinese and great company on the Thursday.  It was lovely.

Tracking was on rape, and in most areas very thick and deep, hence the generous sized articles.  We did see some superb tracking and good searches.  The agility and stays took their toll with young inexperienced dogs, but the standard of the sendaway was very high.  Thank you to the competitors for accepting my decisions and I wish you good luck for your future trials.

1st Glenys Page with LITTLETHORN MORGAN, CDEx, BC, 193.5, Q UDEx.  What a super track and square then topped it off with a very credible C/A.  He is a lovely dog, Glenys.  Good luck and well done.

2nd Stevi Boyle with VANQUISH ULTIMATE EDITION, Lab Ret, 192, Q UDEx.  Aston also did a superb track and all 4 out of the square.  Well done and good luck.

3rd June Coutts with CRADBRIDGE BILL, Lab Ret, 188, Q UDEx.  Only lost one on the track and 1 in the square.  Oh so nice, then held it together in the C/A.  Well done.  A lovely round.  Good Luck.

4th Stephanie McBride with DELFLEET ODIN, Lab Ret, 184, Q UDEx.   Another good track, finding both articles and 3 in the square.  Well done and good luck for your future trials.

Also qualified UDEx:

Mike Williams with MARINA BEN’S PAL, Cross-Breed, 181


Jenny Millar with FOXFOLD UNEXPECTED EDITION, OW, CDEx, UDEx, Cross-Breed,170

Norma Ansell with Gefni Caught On Camera CDex.  GSD. 169.5

Qualifying UD:


Fred Welham with SELDOMSEEN DONNA OF WELLAVILLE, CDEx, WSD, 156.5.  Fred, where do you get your energy from?




Tracklayers: Sue Ashby, Roger Shrimpton, Jacqui Gibney

Steward: Jane Webb

Many thanks to Leamington DTS for inviting me to judge the WD Stake at this trial.  Also, many thanks to Jane for managing your first trial, and to all the people in the kitchen for looking after us so well, especially for the bacon butties and tea handed to us as we walked in the door first thing in the morning.  This Society does a brilliant job, as it’s no mean feat running all the stakes, including Veteran.  Very well done to you all.

Jan, at the base - you’re a star!  I don’t know how you coped with all those people, sending them to their various places and then adding up all the scores later on.  I don’t know what we would do without people like you.

My tracklayers, Sue, Roger and Jacqui, did exactly as I asked them to do, and Jane, as usual, was an excellent steward.  Thank you to you all for making the four days very pleasurable.

I started with the C/A; retrieve first, then the sendaway, which was about 120 yards to some bushes.  This, on the whole, was very well done.  Next were the jumps, followed by the stays; several competitors failed the jumps, which I find a bit unusual at this level, and a couple failed the stays.

Then we did the nosework, which was on winter wheat.  It looked very reasonable, but I think the weather conditions played a big part.  The first three competitors  went round with no problems whatsoever, but after that it was a different scenario.

1st Julie Skipp with ZAK OF SKIPAWAY, WSD, D, 186.5, Q.  A very steady track on one of the worst days, followed by three out of the square, then a brilliant control and agility round.  Well done, Julie and Zak.

2nd Paul Adams with SHERINGHEM GLYNN, BC, D, 182.5, Q.  Another excellent track, and three out of the square.  You controlled Glynn very well, Paul, just losing a few marks on the C/A.  Well done.

3rd Pat Golding with ST PETES JETTA, Lab, 179, Q.  Worked first and set a very good standard.  Another excellent track, with Pat getting the last article; also three out of the square, and a brilliant control round.  Well done, Pat.

4th John Phillips with WEST MIDS WANDERER, GSD, B, 178, Q.  Excellent track, and three out of the square, but lost marks for dropping and mouthing; the control and agility was really good.  Well done, John.

5th Joe Craft with PEPNICK LIVEWIRE, GSD, B, 173, Q.  Indi hadn’t lost a point on the track until she went straight on instead of going right on the last but one leg.  She went on to get all four articles out of the square in 1.5 minutes, one of the very few dogs to get all four.  She lost the odd marks for sheer enthusiasm in the C/A.  Well done, Joe.

Thank you to all the competitors who entered under me; it was my pleasure.  Thanks also to Leamington DTS for my presents, both very useful.




Tracklayers: Tom Darby, Mark Lewindon

Stewards: Kate Peyton, Clare Lush

Many thanks to Leamington Dog Training Club for the invitation to judge the Ticket stake at this Trial; it was at least three, if not four years ago that I first said "Yes" to Sue Ashby’s initial invitation.

The membership at Leamington work tirelessly to get things right and all deserve applause for the behind the scenes efforts, even to the judges’ presents, and mine was fantastic - getting it before the Trial started and being able to sit on it whilst judging the nosework saved my knees no end.  Thank you.

Jane Sutherland was Trials Manager for the first (and I am sure not the last) time and did a great job, even to marshalling us to the pub in the evenings for dinner.

The base was run by Jan Darby with her usual efficiency, and anything I needed to know was immediately to hand and always with a smile.  To Di, Chris, Kate and Dot in the kitchen - thank you all, the food and drink was there in abundance all week.

Tom Darby laid all the early tracks and Mark Lewindon the second set, Eric Carpenter was scheduled to lay the third set, but we had so many scratches that his efforts were not needed; he did finally get to lay some on Sunday for run-off tracks and then they were not needed either (but he said I had to give him a mention!!)  Thank you, they were all perfectly laid and gave every competitor an even chance.

Kate Peyton search stewarded for two days and Clare Lush took over for three days - thank you both for a superb job and being terrific company.  Clare is a comparative newcomer to Trials and had not laid competition squares before, but she followed my instructions to the letter and the changeover was seamless.  Zoe Finlay scribed for me on the Sunday and also laid the run-off squares for fourth place, again all perfectly executed; thank you.

When I arrived on Monday afternoon and went to see the land I thought it would track very well and we would have many qualifiers, then that night the wind arrived, so much so that I had a sleepless night wondering if the last article I had chosen would even stay on the ground.  It did but very few managed to get that far all week.  Of the thirty eight teams that worked we had eleven nosework qualifiers, and two who had good track marks but were short of articles and one who ran out of time.

1st and CC Kath Ingham and ObCh RUSKATH OTHENTIC IMAGE.    Congratulations, Kath.  Just made it on control, and full jumps making all the difference.  N/w 153, Control 25, Agility 20, Total 198.

2nd and Res CC Pat Herbert and GLENALPINE MOO.  First nosework qualifier, but lost a few marks on S/A, and then failed the long jump.  N/W 155, Control 28, Agility 14, Total 197.  Well Done.

3rd  Linda Newbold and COLLIEWOOD DANCING BRAVE.  Good solid nose-work with Linda keeping her wits on the last article.  N/W 145.5, Control 27, Agility 19, Total 191.5

4th Gary Haim and WTCh WAGGERLAND DILEMMA, after a runoff.  Oh, for that other article from the square!  N/W 143, Control 26.5, Agility 20, Total 189.5

5th  Manda McLellan and ASTRA STORM.  Shows the importance of an article!  N/W 145, Control 29.5, Agility 15, Total 189.5

6th Judy Meekings and STYPERSON BRIG AT WINDLEBROOK.  A fortuitous cast on the second track article saved this team on nosework.  Equal best S/A with Manda and some speak marks!!  N/W 134, Control 29, Agility 14, Total 177

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