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Open Trial
Venue: Alnwick
Trial Held: 06 July 2008



Judge: Caroline Wright

Steward: Roy Drummer

Thank you to NECWTS for their kind invitation to judge CD, to Jacquie Hall, not only as Trials Manager, but also as a wonderfully welcoming hostess to myself and others throughout the whole weekend - thank you Jacquie.  The hard workers in the kitchen kept up a supply of tempting hot meals and sweet treats.  Thank you also to everyone at North Northumberland DTC whose base was used for the trial.  This was your first time as host and everybody’s diligence and attention to detail was impressive.  Without exception, every person was welcoming and keen to help - this was a genuine ‘family’ atmosphere which cannot be faked.

My steward Roy Drummer carried out my instructions to the letter and as a result I was left to concentrate on the scores - thank you Roy, you were a great steward and wonderful company. 

Six teams worked, which were all at varying degrees of ability, with some needing just a little more work.  It was the usual stays and jumps which were most of the teams’ undoing.

1st Mrs M Aichison and LUCKY JACK, Cocker Spaniel,  83, NQ.  Nice keen little dog - a little more work needed and you’ll qualify.

2nd Ms J Moulin and DURABLE OF DIRRINGTON, WSD, 78, NQ.  Another lively dog who unfortunately wasn’t keen on being alone without mum.

3rd Mr R Aichison and KENMILQUIN DIAMOND GUY, G Ret, 75.5, NQ.  Bouncy dog who just wants to please.

4th Catherine Rippon and LIGHTFOOT MEG, XB.  Nice team who worked well together.

Thank you to all the competitors for being such good sports and for accepting my decisions with grace.


Stake: UD


Tracklayers: Lol Campbell, Stevie Braithwaite, Fran Mitchell, Roy Drummer

Steward: Pat Hodgkins

Thanks to NECWTS for the giving me the opportunity to judge at this Open Trial, hosted by North Northumberland Dog Training Club.  Trials manager Jacquie Hall and the dog club team worked well to provided a warm, very friendly base, with delicious homemade food, and everyone was made to feel very welcome at this first trial held at Alnwick.

Thank you to my tracklayers Lol and Stevie on Saturday and Fran and Roy on Sunday - all laid the tracks on the lush clover just as I wanted and only a couple of dogs failed to get round.

My grateful thanks to Pat, a great friend, for her faultless stewarding; all teams qualified their search squares and she then steered the handlers and dogs through their control and agility rounds.

Also thanks go to Alison, our Liaison Officer, for directing the competitors to their tracks, gate stewarding and supplying us with a box of cakes.

Apart from the heavy rain during stays on the Saturday afternoon, resulting in a couple of dogs standing up to shake, the weather was damp with a slight breeze.  Out of eleven dogs entered, eight worked, two went out on the nosework, and four failed the control section and one the jumps, leaving me with one qualifier.

A point worthy of note – if only an experienced trialist who went to their vehicle to let barking dogs out during the stay had waited one more minute before doing so, then a dog that sat up at nine minutes thirty-five seconds to see what the commotion was all about then went down immediately would have qualified……………what a shame.

1st Lisa Duggan and KIPCROFT TIG, Border Collie, Q.  Losing two marks on the nosework with all articles recovered, full mark sendaway, and lovely heelwork.  Very good all round performance.

2nd Pam Cuthbert and PIERCES APPRENTICE, Crossbreed, NQ.  A good nosework round, but failing the long jump and a second attempt at the scale left you with not enough marks to qualify.

3rd Karen Bexon and CHOCOLATE LITTLE MAN, English Springer Spaniel, NQ.  The rapport between this handler and her spaniel during the nosework was wonderful to watch, but it all changed on the control field as Choc went very flat. I am sure if you keep to fun training it will all come right for you.

4th Rosie Jones and DREAGANTA GALLADUH, Border Collie, NQ.  Again a good nosework round but failed the scale and down stay.

Stake: PD


Tracklayers: Lol Campbell & Penny Pritchard

Stewards: square - Doreen Wait, C/A Scribe -Doreen Wait, Manwork - Heather Patrick

Criminals: Iain Forrest, Bryan Ogle, Doreen Wait and Nelson Smith

Helper For The Day: Jim

This judging appointment was originally pencilled in for John Watts but due to a slight hiccup in his health he had no option but to withdraw his services.  John is now, fingers crossed, on the mend.   John and I then decided that since I was originally his steward and knew the test, that the best thing would just be for me to take over the judging appointment with the approval of NECWTS committee.  So thank you John and NECWTS for that.  Also thanks to all my stewards, helpers, tracklayers and criminals who all did a fantastic job and were great company.

This new venue was Jacquie Halls first time as Trials Manager, and along with some very good helpers she did a fantastic job.  Long may it continue.  Well Done.

7 Entered – 7 Ran.

The weather started wet then turned out fine for the rest of the afternoon. We started with the speak before the track. Tracking was on short grazed pasture. Track was 14 legs – articles were: green plastic strip, green tie up.  6 out of the seven completed the track.   Square was next.  Articles were placed 4 paces in from each side of the square and were scented for 10 minutes prior to the square being laid, and they were: green rubber strip, green milk cap, green piece of string & a green peg.   You will note all articles were green to blend in with the terrain.   2 dogs failed the square leaving us with 4 qualifiers going into the C/A,  which started with a little bit of heelwork, followed by a sendaway down to a telegraph pole at the boundary, then left along the boundary to a gap in the hedge.   Jumps were next.  We lost 1 on the jumps leaving us with 3 qualifying going into the manwork.


CHASE:- 2 Criminals shout.  Handler to challenge, one criminal returns to side of handler and dog.  Remaining criminal runs off, dog sent to chase, handler must tidy everything up and take control of the situation.  Running criminal throws bag away before dog bites.

SEARCH AND ESCORT:- (gun in bag).  Handler escorts criminals back to judge, en route attack on handler takes place.

QUARTER:- 4 areas to search.  Nelson Smith at location with radio and book.  Handler to take control and search criminal and hide.

TEST OF COURAGE:- 2 criminals stand with line of bags, and one criminal stands behind line and shouts at handler to draw dog to him; as the dog runs in bags lifted to prevent access to the shouting criminal.  If dog deviates left or right the two criminals holding the line of bags to go from side to side to force dog through bags.

RECALL:- Exactly the same as the chase.

1st Q, 286, Ms M McLellan and ASTRA STORM, BC, D.  Very good C/A and jumps.  Storm gave a good account of himself in the manwork but he is still young and needs more scenarios before moving up to Championship. Well done.

2nd Q, 252.5, Mr W Richardson and CAPER KALI, BSD Mali, B.  Just scraping through in the n/w, good C/A and jumps and one of the best manwork rounds I have seen Kali do.  Now just transfer this to Championship, Bill.  Well done.

3rd NQ, Ms R Cahill and VOMKYNA BORUSS, GSD, D.  Good n/w and C/A. Second attempt on long jump.  Bud’s manwork was extremely keen but you managed to control him.  Louder command needed for that recall.  Qualified in every section but not enough overall.  Good luck for the future Ruth.

4th NQ, Miss J. Miller and TRKINDALE ACE, WSD, D.  Fab track but unfortunately nothing out of the square (the little s—t!). Good C/A and jumps, excellent manwork.  If only for that square…. I know he can do it.

Two weeks previous to the trial I worked the track and square with Brook on similar ground, so knew it was do-able.  I also did a rough run through on the manwork with him, just so the competitors had a rough idea of the round, as I feel it is always fair that the one going first should be able to see a dog do the round before they go on, because competitors 2 and onwards always get to see dog(s) work, (unless it’s a lock-out).

Well done to those who qualified and to those who didn’t, there will be other trials.  Thank you for entering and accepting my decisions.  I enjoyed watching all your dogs work.

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