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Open Trial
Venue: Alnwick
Trial Held: 21 July 2013



Thank you to NECWTS for asking me to judge.  What a fabulous trial this is, headed by Jacquie Hall as trials manager and supported by her team from North Northumberland Dog Training.  Thanks to the ladies in the kitchen and everyone who supplied all the home baking - delicious.

Thank you to my tracklayers and stewards for giving up their time to help.  Saturday’s team were Roy and Penny with Vicky stewarding and laying squares, and Sunday’s Lol and Julz, with Sharon stewarding and on squares - great company both days.

Thanks also to Lesley for keeping the score sheets.

17 entered, 13 ran.  There was a great variety of breeds, from tiny x-breed, Dill (under 10’), min English Bull Terrier, Rott, Aussie, GSD, Collie, Dobe, Weim. Schnauzer, Labradoodle and Spaniel!  Is this a record for the most breeds in one competition?

Tracking was on grass of between 6" to 18" in length, the ground was parched and dusty underneath.  I was surprised given the conditions how few handlers offered their dogs a drink after tracking.

Track articles - pack hankies, 6" electric cable; square articles - 3" x 2" folded leather, 4" x 2" foam, metal teaspoon and piece of wooden puzzle.  12 qualified after the track and squares.  Control started with heelwork, followed by retrieve and then sendaway, 80 yds to a small cone, the jumps and finally stays.

1st Suzanne Plumb with Tanzie, BC, 196, Q.  Keen little dog who just wants to get on and work.  Well done, Suzanne.

2nd Janet Freeman with Solo, BC, 192, Q.  Lovely happy partnership; I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of this team!

3rd Neil Green-Morris with Kia, Rott, 186, Q.  Solid round from this fit Rottie.

4th Helen Watson with Frankie, Dobe, 181.5, Q.  Helen ran round the track after her.  Keen to work for you, Helen, well done.

Also qualifying:

Kim Astbury with Chase, BC, 180

Shirley Windsor with Flash, Aussie, 178

Joyce Watson with Ceilidh, Labradoodle, 171.5





Tracklayers/Helpers/Stewards/Acting Criminals: Julz Findeisen, Lol Campbell, Avril, Steve Lancashire, Gary Tait, Chris Trevor, Mike Wilson

Thanks to NECWTS, not only for the judging appointment, but for your patience in waiting 12 months: I managed not to break any bones this year, so was able to fulfil a long held invitation!  (Thanks too, to Lorna for stepping in last year, we were all pleased you were available and willing to fit in the appointment in what was a very busy year for you).

Jacquie Hall runs this very friendly trial, helped by members of her training club, many of whom seem to cook for the 5000, (do us WT folk have a bit of a reputation for eating well??) as well as many of the jobs that needs doing at a Trial.  Plus the experience of many NEC stalwarts who tracklay, steward and run criminal.  Thank you all for your hard work this weekend, all the good food, Lesley for collating all the scores, and the gofers for ensuring everything was as it should be - it made judging a real pleasure.  And Jacquie, well, if you feel stressed as TM, it doesn’t show, and you ran a super trial, and thank you and partner John, for the BBQ at your home on Friday.  It was the icing on the cake.

In the fields, Julz stewarded the C/A and all teams were successful.  On to nosework; Julz and Lol tracklaid expertly on cut silage with good growth, Avril laid the searches well and we lost only one competitor.  As the acting criminals were only available for one day, the patrol round was on the second day - with 9 competing, a one day trial wasn’t feasible.  With the weather as it was, had we asked dogs to complete the whole stake on one day, we may well have had some suffering from heat exhaustion, so it worked out really well.

Many thanks to Steve, Gary, Chris and Mike, who were excellent in their role, and exactly the same for every dog.  Julz (right-hand woman of the year), stewarded the patrol round, giving each team opportunity to show their best.

Quarter first, to find a kneeling man in the long grass, search him and escort 50 yards, at which point a man came out from a  hide, challenged as he approached, then turned and ran away (Chase).  Once apprehended and searched, the dog was sent on the secnd part of the quarter, to include a hide, find a person in the rough grass, and search him.  As the handler re-joined his dog, a man challenged and turned to run (Recall).  Then the test of courage - three men being very noisy running at the dog: once the dog had bitten one or more of the aggressors, the handler took charge, and escorted all three, and then the attack on handler was the last part of the test.  Thanks to Bill Richardson for doing a run through with Kali, I’m sure seeing the test worked helped the competitors.

1st  JOTUNTEIM ALMA, Mali, and Tom Davies.  Drew to run first and was very nervous, but Ruby worked brilliantly and deserved the win.  I’m sure she will be a force to reckoned with in Ticket.  Congratulations: 278/320

2nd THREENINES KATIE, Mali, and Moira Rogerson.  Veto’s quarter was textbook and faultless, and although ‘the little monkey’ failed the recall, the rest of her work was super.  Well done, Moira; 258/320

3rd FLY BY NIGHT LAD, WSD, and Alan Bexon.  Fly worked well throughout the test, unfortunately he was a bit ‘sharp ‘in the hide, and was selectively deaf on the recall, costing him the qualification.  261/320.

Congratulations to you all, best of luck in Championship.

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