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Open Trial
Venue: Alnwick
Trial Held: 15 July 2012



Tracklayers: Penny, Derek and Ann

Search Steward: John

C/A steward: Roy

My thanks go to the society for the invitation to judge, to the competitors for accepting my decisions and to the following:- Jacquie for great organisation and her determination to find suitable land following weeks of monsoon weather, my tracklayers, Penny, Derek and Ann, search steward John (Happy Birthday!), C/A steward Roy – thanks particularly for including the stays on day 1, Lesley manning things at the base, the superb catering team (loved the cheese scones!) and last but definitely not least, Cheryl for ensuring each competitor found us in good time.  All of these were great company and prepared everything just as I needed.

There were 17 entries.  We started with nosework on each day.  Saturday was occasionally showery, the ground damp to wet and a mild breeze at most.  Sunday was gloriously sunny but with a strong gusty wind.  Track articles were a 4" square of purple rubber and a 4" square green pan scourer.  As a result on Saturday the tracking was good with everyone managing at least most of the track.  On Sunday a strong swirling wind challenged all but two of the dogs, Vicky Hunter’s Spot and John Currie’s Jim, both completing paw perfect tracks with great style.  Search squares were well executed on both days – the articles were a tennis ball, a small peat pot, a large plant marker with a length of wool attached and a 6" strip of knotted fleece.

The control test was straightforward, commencing with retrieve then followed by heelwork, sendaway and finally jumps.  The sendaway was 60 yards uphill to a striped vertical pole against a hedge.  As usual the jumps took their toll on a number of dogs.  The sendaway was particularly well executed by almost all of these young inexperienced dogs.

1st Nelson Smith and THREENINES ALEX, 198.5, Q.  Nelson and Remo put in stunning performances across the board and were a real pleasure to watch.  Remo is a natural athlete and Nelson has his exuberance well channelled.

2nd Jackie Hilton and her stunning Aussie GOOSECREEK CHINOOK, 173.5, Q.  Sonic was in good form this weekend, his C/A virtually flawless.  An enticing but aberrant wind scent just pulled him off the last leg and article.

3rd Vicky Hunter and XANDOA SPOT, 192.5, Non-Q.  Vicky and Spot demonstrated flawless tracking and extremely mature handling to execute a flawless track in a very difficult wind on an undulating exposed field.  Their control round was equally impressive, only the jumps causing problems today.  Spot is extremely enthusiastic and capable of completing perfect jumps.  But an initial knock at the clear followed by a run past on a second attempt before returning to soar over it with ease put them under pressure.  His bounce and immediate return over the scale without a wait or correct position cost them the qualification and a higher place on this occasion.  I have no doubt that they have a wonderful trials career ahead of them.

4th John Currie and MY BOY JIM, 181.75, Non-Q.  This is a fabulous young dog that John has brought on despite earlier medical problems.  Only the jumps stand between them and their qualification and the ability is clearly there, he just needs a little more experience.

Also meriting mention - Margaret O’Kane and LITTLE SPROUT, a tiny Lancashire / Ormskirk Heeler, who just missed out on a qualification.  This little dog has a stunning attitude in all it does and certainly believes itself to be 10 feet tall. It was a joy to watch.




Tracklayers: Lol Campbell, Martyn Willcox

Search, C/A Steward and Patrol Scribe: Ann Bedford

Patrol Criminals: Steve Lancashire, Chris Trevor and Martyn Willcox

I took over this appointment from Jacqui Gibney after her injury, so firstly I wish her all the very best for a full and speedy recovery.

Appreciation must go to Jacquie Hall for ensuring this stake, as well as the trial itself, went ahead against all odds.  The persistent and heavy rain that had been so frequent in the area prior to the trial meant land was at a great shortage as the farmers hadn’t been able to cut the silage.  However, Jacquie managed to find 3 fields of set aside next to each other and thus we were able to run a PD stake, dodging the puddles and thistles.

My thanks to all my helpers, you were all terrific.  Thanks also to Lesley Drummer at the Base who supervised Sam, who was supervising Robert, Ann’s spaniel pup.

6 entered, 4 ran.  The day started with the C/A which all did well, followed by the nosework which in the long, damp grass proved a doddle to the dogs. The patrol round started with the quarter, which, due to the layout of the field, consisted of a 100 yard outrun to a tree on the boundary, then along the long 250 yards of bushes and gateways, then up the next side of the field to the criminal behind another tree.  This criminal was searched and escorted during which the other two appeared from a distance, rattling a metal bin with stones within.  The dog was sent, meaning it had to cover about 70 yards before reaching the test of courage criminals, giving the dog time to consider whether it really wanted to bite or not.  All the dogs went to the criminals in a convincing manner but a couple perhaps weren’t quite used to the distance beforehand and failed to properly detain.  All three criminals were then to be searched and escorted during which the attack on handler took place. The chase and recall followed.

On the whole, lots of promising aspects by each team, three of whom were sufficiently ready for the qualification.

1st Alan Bexon and FLY BY NIGHT LAD, WSD, D, 292 COM.  Excellent nosework, good C/A; needs work on the speak.  Made hard work of the quarter – don’t use his name so much when you want him to work away from you – however, the rest of the patrol was faultless.  Fly’s attention to the criminals, control and bite were all first class.  Well done.

2nd Diane Ling and DEBEN LITTLE TOM, X-Breed, D, 290.5, COM.   Sailed through the nosework and C/A with no problems, excellent control in the patrol, very good quarter worked well by both Tom and Diane.  Another where the attentiveness to the criminal in the hide was exceptional.  Tom needs more experience with the test of courage but this should come soon with different scenarios, given his enthusiasm and commitment during the rest of the round. Well done.

3rd Bill Richardson and KENOCTO OCTOBERS DELIGHT, Mali, D, 268.5, COM.   Excellent control and track, needs more enthusiasm in the search square.  Eck was very steady and focused in the patrol, very good quarter and location till the nibble in the hide.  Good commitment everywhere else – control with coming off the sleeve on first command just about there, with the rest of the control faultless.  Well done. 

4th James Warrior and WARRIORS LITTLE ROSIE, X-Breed, B, 242.5, NQ.   Excellent nosework and C/A, worked quarter well with good focus at the criminal in the hide.  Very good control, Rosie just needs a bit more experience with the test of courage and chase bite, but then she nearly took the criminal down in the recall!  Loads of promise and when this team have more overall experience of the patrol round, they should qualify with ease.

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