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Trials Manager’s Report

My first attempt at Trials Manager and wow, what an initiation.  Starting with a Championship trial, and getting a huge entry which meant running over 8 days, something we’ve got away with for a couple of years.  I couldn’t have done this job without the support of a brilliant team behind me.  It’s a management job like you could never imagine.  As both a competitor and a helper at our local trials for around ten years, I never gave a thought to the enormity and diversity of this role.  Trials Managers who have done the job for years – you are Saints (or sadists)! 

Anyway, back to my team of dedicated Committee members, Club members and non-Club helpers.  Thank you so much to all of you for all your assistance.  I must give special thanks to Sue Ashby for liasing with the Farmers, checking and marking out the land, liasing with the Judges and Tracklayers and just being there to answer all my silly questions.  Also Dot Levin, Trials Secretary, for all your hard work doing the background work and organising the catering.

Thank you to the Judges, all the Tracklayers and Stewards; it is a long, cold week out there.  Thank you to Jan and Julie on base, and Jacqui for writing the certificates.   To Dot and Sue for the helpers’ food, Dot, Beryl and Doug for turning out such excellent bacon butties in difficult conditions, the catering van at the weekend and all the lovely people who brought scrummy home made cakes.  Thanks John for transporting and organising the jumps.  I haven’t named everyone who helped at this trial but just the concise list above provides some food for thought - how many people give up their time (and holiday) for just one person to compete with their dog?  I hope I’ve never forgotten to thank my judges, tracklayers and stewards as a competitor previously, but I’ll make sure that I do it twice in future.

Thank you to the farmers for the superb land.  TD ran on rape, which caused poor Sue nightmares, as she was convinced it would be thigh-high after the warm, sunny, damp autumn.  WD ran on lovely winter wheat.  CD nosework was on stubble. We are very lucky to have so much land, so close to the base and such huge fields.  The weather was mostly quite kind with just a couple of gusty days and just one awful day with a spell of torrential rain and hail. 

Congratulations to Julie and Dug on winning the ticket and making Dug a Working Trials Champion (subject to KC confirmation).

Thanks again to everyone who was involved in any way in making this trial a success.


PS.  Sue, I didn’t even make it home to cook the dinner on the final Sunday.


Stake: CD


Stewards: Tally Rees (Sat), Lisa Coull  (Sun)

Thank you to the committee of Leamington DTC for the invitation to judge this stake. I had a lovely two days. Thank you to Zoe, who, on her first attempt (of many?) at trials managing did a very good job. She was well assisted by a great team, who all worked very hard before and during the trial.  My thanks also to the club for providing two very good stewards - Tally Rees and Lisa Coull.  Both managed to put competitors at ease and yet steer them through the round by giving clear instructions. Well done, top marks!  Having done such a good job, you can now volunteer again.  Di managed to keep the competitors flowing, resulting in me not having to wait about.

The overall standard of work was good. Two dogs took advantage of the new system of marking to gain their qualification.

1st           Mr Colin Harrison’s WSD, WAGGERLAND TED.  Ted enjoyed his day out and with a calm, steady handler, only lost 1.5 marks. Well done, Colin.   89.5 /100.  Qual CDEx.

2nd         Mrs H Morris’ Golden Retriever, CARISHILL PARSLEY.  Pepe also enjoyed his day with Hilary in control. Only lost marks on heelwork.  97/100.  Qual CDEx.

3rd          Mr R Shropshire with STYPERSON OLIVER.  Oliver and Rob just lost the odd half mark here and there.  Another good round.  95/100.  Qual CDEx.

4th          Mr A E & Mrs J M Orchard’s Lab Retriever, GOODREST SKYE OF TADMARTON.  Quincy said no today to the long jump, otherwise another good round. (handled by Tony Orchard).  91.5 /100.  Qual CDEx

Also Qualified CDEx:

Mrs Hayley Woodcock’s BC, COTSDEAN NELL, 90.

Ms Donna L Walker’s Dalmatian FFLIGLINA OBERON, 88.

Mrs B A Riste’s Gordon Setter, GEMWELL STORM DRAGON, 87.5.

Suzanna J Hough’s BC, TRICK OR TREAT 86.5.

M A & J G Ward’s GSD, BUDSHAN SOLO, 86 (Handled by Mrs Juliet Ward).

Mrs Rita Kidson’s BC, CHESARIK ZAK, 84.

Mrs Eleanor Mestraud’s GSD, WOLFHART FIRENFUL IDES, 84.

Good luck in your next trials – just qualify!!  Thank you all for a pleasant weekend.


Stake: WD


Tracklayers: Sue Ashby, Julie Skipp, Roger Shrimpton, John Wykes, Chris Gregory and Julie Atkins.

Stewards: David Barker (3 days) and Kate Peyton (1 day)

Control Scribe: Angie Walden (4 days)

Certificates, Julie Skipp & Jackie Gibney.

Kitchen: Dot Levin, Beryl Draper & Julie Skipp.

Base steward and Articles Monitor: Jan Darby

Evening meal monitors: Leamington Committee.

My thanks to Leamington DTC for the judging appointment and for keeping the rain at bay until Friday!  Zoë Finlay made a super trials manager so has probably got the job for life! Thank you for making my judging stint so easy.  Special thanks must go to Sue Ashby for her help before and during the trial on both WD and TD. She sorted out the farmers, tracking land, tracklayers and marked all the fields out with Len 3 days before the trial started. A mammoth piece of work!

Thank you all for your good company, and for giving up the time to tracklay and put out the squares.  Thanks for keeping things moving and smiling through Friday’s rain!

Tracking was on lush winter wheat, near perfect conditions. We saw some super tracks, especially Celia and Barrie’s dogs who were well handled. Unfortunately we also saw some ‘pilot error’ where dog and handler were not quite communicating!

The C/A in some cases was not up to WD Championship standard, especially the heelwork and one or two of the retrieves, but everyone had a good crack at the sendaway with excellent results. Stays were also a disaster on 2 of the days.


38 Entries.  After 4 days, 6 WDEx, 1 WD.

1st           Celia Bourne, FLAME OF THE FOREST, WSD, 182.5.

2nd         Barrie James, TYTRI KAY, BC, 177.5

3rd          Janet Freeman, SUNSHINE BLUE BOY, Lab Ret, 170.

4th          P Werner, CROCODILE DUNDINGO, Aus Kelpie, 169.5.

Also qualified WDEx

Prof M Robinson, FLINT OF GLEN MEL, BC, 162.5. 

Rita Kidson, CARFELD GYP, BC, 160.

Qualified WD

Sue Jones, DURSTONE MELODY, WSD, 157.5 

Congratulations to all the qualifiers and to those who didn’t….there is always tomorrow! You were such a happy bunch of people! Thank you for accepting my remarks and decisions….so gracefully!



Stake: TD


Tracklayers: Len Newman, Tom Darby, Norma Ansell (Sun, Mon, Tues), Penny Bellis (Wed, Thurs), Ruth Cahill (Fri, Sat)      

Stewards: Colin Ball (Sun – Fri), Brian Martin (Sat and Sun)

First of all, my thanks to Leamington DTC for the invitation to judge their Championship TD this year.  Zoe Findlay did a superb job at her first go as trials manager, and with Sue Ashby organising all the land and Julia Skipp and Jan Darby running the base, nothing was left to chance.   Other members helped in various capacities, including supplying delicious rolls for lunchtime and bacon butties etc.  Certainly from my point of view everything ran like clockwork, and I should like to say a very big thank you to you all.

My tracklayers did a stalwart job with Len laying the earlies each day, Tom the middle batch and Norma, Penny and Ruth sharing the final batch. Colin stewarded from the first Sunday until he had to leave to judge the CD, and I was very lucky that Brian agreed to come up take over from him.  Again, big thanks to all of you for all your efforts and for your company.

My intention was to set a test whereby a dog that qualified was worthy of a TDEx, with the hope that the ‘cream will rise’.  The tracking ground, oil seed rape of varying lengths and density, was almost all in one field. The track articles were a piece of green wellie about 2” x 1”, approx 3” purple flex and about 1.25” square of thick black belt leather. The search articles were the plastic pull off a milk bottle, a brass mortise lock key, silver foil from a pill packet and lastly an oyster shell.  No one article posed a problem.  I was treated to some superb nosework with many dogs recovering 3 & 4 with style.  The weather varied from mild, dry and calm on the first Sunday to hail, gales and torrential rain on the Friday afternoon, with pretty much everything in between.

The control field was a bit humpy bumpy to say the least, but I didn’t feel that it affected the dogs, with the exception of the redirection.  The control round started with a long straight bit of heelwork alongside the steward – at his pace!  The heelwork then continued, followed by the sendaway and redirect. The outrun was 120 paces to a small red marker which was invisible to the dog (and also to the afternoon competitors, for which I apologise).  I was looking for the dog who would stop on command, and by and large, it didn’t pose too much of a problem.  The redirection was approximately 150 paces to a telegraph pole, at a right angle to the outrun if the dog stopped in the right place.  After about 50 paces of the redirect there was a ridge and many of the dogs found it difficult to run beyond this.  The agility was next followed by the speak – at heel and at my pace!  At the end of the day we were left with the following well deserved qualifications:

1st           Mr G & Mrs J M Atkins BC, OUR DUG, (handled by Julie Atkins).  A clear and very worthy winner. In equal first place after brilliant nosework, this dog put in a superb round of control and agility. Subject to confirmation this makes ‘Dug’ a Working Trials Champion. Congratulations Julie. It’s a good job Dug is still young as I understand that it will be 2008 before he can compete in the KCCs.! (162+32+20 = 214) Qual Excellent.

2nd         Mrs Sheila Tannert’s Lab Ret, W TCh STYPERSON BRIAR. Tracked well in Monday’s wind, but an indecisive indication on the second article cost 2.5 marks. A brilliant control round pulled Briar in to the reserve ‘ticket’ position. Well done.  (153.5 + 33.5 + 20 = 207 )  Qual Excellent.

3rd          Mrs Allyson Tohme’s Weimaraner, FURSDON TWYLYTE TRAMONTANO.  A lovely track, on the first day, but a chewed second article and indecisive indication on the third cost 3.5 marks. Also lost 1 mark on the gun, but then put in a superb C/A round to pull up to third place. Well done. (153 + 31.5 + 20 = 204.5 ) Qual Excellent

4th          Mrs Jean Howells BC, GLENALPINE JED. Another wonderful round of nosework but not your day on the C/A Jean. Still, it was enough to qualify and that’s what counts!  (160.5 + 25.5 + 16.5  = 202.5 ) Qual Excellent


Also qualifying TDEx:

Ms Miriam Lyons WSD, KALYON SHEEFRA, 202.

Dave Marchant’s WSD, WTCh WAGGERLAND MURPHY, 201.


Dave Marchant’s WSD, WAGGERLAND MISTER JAKE, 199.5.

M Weselby’s Lab Ret, STYPERSON MILLIE, 193.5.

Mr P & Mrs M Bryan’s WSD, WAGGERLAND JASPER AT BRYNBOURNE, 193.5, (Handler Paul Bryan)

Jill Carruthers GSD, JASUETER RED GARNET, 195.

Louise Reynolds’ BC, PLAS MAJOR BOOTS, 194, (handler Nick Boyce)

Glenys Page’s WSD, GETAWAY BLACK TESS, 193.

Mrs Anne Fowler’s BC, WTCh WAGGERLAND FLOSS,  190.5.


Mrs P A  Harvey’s Lab Ret, ELECAMPANE SPRUCE, 190.



Mrs Suzanne Plumb’s WSD, COLLIEWOOD CAVALLERO, 186.

Qual TD


Best Nosework:  Liz Warrior’s X Breed, OH MY KKATIE, with 162 – Tracked on the very windy Monday

Best Control round: Nick Boyce’s BC, PLAS MAJOR BOOTS, with 33.5

I should just like to finish with a big thank you, not only to Leamington and all its helpers, but to all the competitors who made this appointment such an enjoyable experience.

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