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This was my first attempt at Trials Manager, and it was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed.  It showed me the other side of trials, as I have only been a competitor myself in trials for five years.  I have always appreciated and got on with my local farmers very well, so I know how to keep them on my side.   I now realise how important the volunteers are - experienced or not, there is always a job, and without these people Trials just would not run - so I would now like to thank The Team.

Firstly Andy Magyar for all his help before the Trial; without that knowledge I would have been at a loss.  Next, Secretary Linda Newbold, for her support before and during the trial.  David Waite who took entries and processed them even after his accident (we all hope you are on the way to recovery now). 

Judges: Barry Gilbert - TD, Jean Howells - WD, Dave Marchant - UD, Steph McBride - CD

Tracklayers: Gary Talbot, Tom Darby, Liz Warrior - TD; Arthur Jeal Andrea Lynd - WD; Chris Bell, Sheila Tannert - UD

Stewards:  Sara Royle, Barrie James, Donna Walker - TD; Judy Meekings, Jenny Henton - WD; Linda Newbold Heather Cook - UD

Base Stewards: Jan Darby, Diane Yeatman

Escorts: Robert Martin, Polly Thomas, Pat Quinn.

Thanks also go to the Snooty Fox for providing good food and allowing us to use them as a base.  If I have missed anyone out please accept my apologies.

The TD tracking ran over three days with 35 entries.  The land was stubble with a nice growth of grass in most of it, there were 16 qualifiers.  The control was on the Sunday and we moved the jumps on the Saturday evening to the tracking land, because Autocross had brought forward their event by a week; needless to say it was a wise decision as we could still hear them at the tracking fields.  There were 8 qualifiers overall.  The test I felt was very straightforward but did seem to cause a few problems.  Congratulations go to Pat Williams and SUNSHINE PIP on winning her first ticket - well done, Pat, you deserve it.

WD tracking ground proved to be hard; it was direct drilled rape onto stubble with some growth.  Only 4 qualified overall out of 25 entries, so to those who did it, be very proud of your dogs.  Congratulations to June Reed and SHADOWQUEST LEGACY for winning the stake - well done.

UD had 21 entries and ran over two days; the land had been ploughed and drilled with rape with a little more growth than WD land, but certainly tracked better.  There were 10 qualifiers after the control, so well done to you all.  Mick Head with SHERINGEM JAZPER got a well deserved first place - congratulations

CD had 20 entries and they were all worked in one day.  We finished up with 9 qualifiers with Stevie Boyall and VANQUISH ULTIMATE EDITION being the clear winners - well done and good luck in the future.

To everyone who took part, I hope you enjoyed your day, and remember its not always about winning, but the taking part and enjoying the day; take home the positives and work on the negatives.  Hope to see you all in April.





Stewards: Sara Royle and Jenny Henton

My thanks to Midland Counties for the invitation to judge the CD stake.  We had twenty competitors and ran the test all in one day.  It was a very cold and cloudy day but no rain, so that was an added bonus to a very friendly and well run trial. Special thanks must go to Janette for taking over as trials manager, a daunting task which she accomplished with her usual energy and drive and has said even after all those sleepless nights she would like to do it again.

I had wonderful stewards in Sara Royle and Jenny Henton, who both managed to keep all the competitors feeling relaxed and confident.  My special thanks to Sara for laying all the squares and stewarding the control. 

The standard of work was excellent and I always find it such a pleasure to watch young dogs work.  My congratulations to those who qualified and to those who didn’t, there’s always a next time.                 

1st Stevie Boyall with Aston, VANQUISH ULTIMATE EDITION, Lab, D, 95, Q.  An excellent team and well deserved win.

2nd Mike Williams with Marina, MARINA BENNY’S PAL, X-Breed, B, 93, Q.  A very enthusiastic little bitch who is always a pleasure to watch.

3rd Angela Clarke with Monty, CHACKMORETON CHASER, Golden Retriever, D, 91.5, Q.  Just bits and pieces cost valuable marks, otherwise a very competent round.   

4th Sharon Brown with Daphne, TARNEDGE DAPHNE, Lab, B, 88.5, Q.  A good performance from this young dog with just one or two things to tidy up.   Well done.

Also qualified CDEx:       




Ms K Peyton with JEDI KNIGHT, BC, D, 84





Tracklayers: Arthur Jeal (3 days), Andrea Lynd (2 days), Gary (1 day)

Search Stewards: Judy Meekings (2 days), Jenny Henton (1 day)

C/A Steward: Judy Meekings

My thanks to Midland Counties for inviting me to judge the WD Stake.  Thanks to Janette for running a good trial – I had an enjoyable few days. 

For keeping us fed and watered, my thanks to Linda and Diane; also thanks to Jan for running the base.  My thanks to my tracklayers, Arthur, Andrea and Gary, and to my stewards, Judy and Jenny.  It was Jenny’s first time laying squares – well done, Jenny, you did a good job.

There were 25 entries and 21 worked.  The ground looked good, but a lot of the dogs struggled over the three days.  Friday was misty and overcast, but not cold; nine dogs worked, but only one qualified.  Saturday was overcast, windy and much colder; six worked and one qualified.  Sunday was overcast until lunchtime, the sun came out and we had a lovely sunny afternoon; six worked and two qualified.

1st Mr and Mrs D Williams’ SHADOWSQUAD LEGACY, GSD, D, handled by June Reed, 188, Q WDEx.  You had a sticky corner on the track, but managed to sort it out and got both articles, followed by a full mark square.  A good control round and full marks on the jumps gave you a well deserved win.  Very well done. 

2nd Jackie Rutter with STARDELL MAIA AT NYEWOOD, BC, B, 182.5, Q WDEx.  A good track with both articles and a full mark square.  Well done, Jackie.

3rd J Hope and A C Reynolds’ CARISBRO MACH, handled by J Hope, 171.5, Q WDEx.  A good track, but only one article, and a nice control round.  Well done.

4th Ken Coleman with SHERINGEM MAC, BC,D, 170, Q WDEx.  The missing track and search articles were costly today.  A nice control round and full marks on the jumps.  Well done.




Tracklayers: Gary Talbot, Tom Darby, Liz Warrior

Search Stewards: Sara Royle, Barrie James, Donna Walker

C/A Steward: Steph McBride

Thanks to the society for the invitation to judge and everyone who helped make the trial run smoothly, especially Janette for having the courage to take on the Trials Manager’s role and doing it so well.  Tracklayers were Tom, Gary and Liz.   Search stewards were Sarah, Barrie and Donna, and Steph stewarded the control round on Sunday.  Thank you all for giving all the dogs an equally fair chance with consistently laid tracks and searches.

I knew the ground would be stubble and set a nosework test that I thought would be possible for the dogs to succeed even if the weather was bad as well.  As it happened the heavy rain the previous weekend had gone and left the ground soft, but not muddy, and with a lot of green undergrowth on most fields it looked like good tracking conditions.  I also decided to make article recovery easy for the tracklayers and lined all 3 articles up with the track walk in and start poles.  The first article was a block of wood 2"x1" x 0.75", the second was a 4" long piece of orange electrical flex and the last article was a 9" piece of washing line which blended in with the stubble.  The first article was far enough round the track for the handlers to be thinking that they had missed it, and the second article was close enough to the first to test whether the dogs had started concentrating again.  The last article was there for only the dog to find, there was no way a handler would notice it.  Searches were generally well done.  I chose 3 large articles: a 2" square piece of brown vet bed, a lolly stick and a 1.5" x 1" piece of black carpet.  The fourth article was a bit harder, a 4" long narrow strip of rubber.

There were 16 nosework qualifiers from 35 entries.

When you look at a trials master score sheet at the end of a trial quite often the marks for the gun test are a row of 5’s.  I wonder if there really is no differentiation between all these dogs.  To see if this really was true I decided not to have the dogs stationary, on the basis that it should be possible to train even a gun shy dog to stay for a few seconds with the handler in sight only a few paces away.  I asked the handlers to walk away from me with their dogs at heel and when they were about 10 paces away I fired one shot from a .22 pistol.  The results were interesting; of the 27 dogs that did the gun, 12 got less than full marks.  Most faults were for the extra commands that the handlers needed to give to keep their dogs with them, although there was some barking and overreaction as well.

The control field was going to be where the other stakes had been during the previous few days.  However, there was a motorcycle Moto-X event in the next field on the Sunday and we decided to move onto one of the tracking fields.

We started with a straightforward down stay at 9.30 and then did the rest of the control round.  The test started with the dog and handler walking at heel between the judge and steward while I talked to them about the position the dog would take up on the scale.  An out of sight speak (12 continuous barks) was followed by fast pace to the sendaway start.  The sendaway was 100 paces down a slight slope in the middle of a very obvious green stripe on the field to a wicker basket.  Redirect was 150 paces to the left and further back to a white tracking pole with a large yellow disc on it.  I split the marks 3 and 7 and we saw lots of dogs make excellent attempts at this exercise.  Slow pace heelwork then took the dogs to the jumps.  The round was quite compact, everyone was ready to work on time, and we had finished before noon.  There were 8 qualifiers:

1st Pat Williams, SUNSHINE PIP, 196.5.  They have been second on more than one occasion recently and came up from 3rd place after the nosework to win their first Ticket.  One of the best control rounds, just a blip on the long jump.

2nd Miriam Lyons, TAMERRYE MARANELLO, 193.5.  Held on to second place after the nosework with a good qualifying control round.

3rd Tony Lockyer, WTCh DOUBLE TOP AT HARTSHILL, 192. 

4th Tony Lockyer, LAWINICK COME N GET IT AT HARTSHILL, 188.5.  What can you say?  Tony had both his dogs qualifying on the nosework on the same marks, having missed a different track article with each.  Two very professional control rounds worked to get the best out of the different breeds of dog.

Also qualifying TDEx:

Sue Ashby, THE TITAN, 186

Margo Brothwell, TANGHAM LITTLE RYAN, 181


Dave Olley, LITTLE RAYMOND, 179.5

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