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Championship Trial
Venue: Alnwick
Trial Held: 06 September 2015

Stake: PD


Tracklayers: Karen Warner and Lol Campbell

Square, Control and Patrol Steward: Julia Findeisen

Protected Stewards: Karen Warner, Tracey Park, Gary “Monster” Martin (in a good way), Mike “The Flash” Wilson (in a good way)

I would like to thank Jacquie Hall and the committee of NECWTS for the invitation to judge at this trial and for all the hard work they put into the preparation and running of it.  Also thanks to anyone who had anything to do with helping in anyway. It’s always great to come up north and see old friends at trials for a few days, especially when you’re staying in such luxurious lodgings with such great company.  To my steward, tracklayers and protected helpers, what can I say?  As always in trials you need great helpers around you throughout.  Thank you for your input when we were setting up the PD round and your expertise during it; it was greatly appreciated.  Special thanks to Karen, Mike and Gary, who travelled for many hours to help .

11 dogs entered, 10 ran.

The tracking was on dry stubble, so I set a straightforward track with no cutbacks, of 13 legs with a dolly peg as the first article and a 4 inch square of cloth as my last.  In the square my articles were a 4 inch galvanised joist hanger, 4 inch piece of earth wire insulation, a dolly peg and a 4 inch x 0.5 inch clear plastic tube.  Unfortunately, 3 dogs went out at this stage (on the track)

NEC 2015 Champ PD track

The control started with the speak - the dog was placed on a large wooden box about 18 inches high.  The handler was then asked to join me with his back to the dog, then tell the dog to speak.  Next was heelwork, which finished near the sendaway point.  The sendaway outrun was down the left hand boundary of the field, just past an area of rough ground; the redirect was across the field to the right hand boundary.  The agility was straightforward; 1 dog went out at this stage.

I decided to run my Patrol test as a lock out.  The handlers were asked to prepare themselves for a chase or recall as the first exercise; if it was a recall, they would know when the steward tapped them on the back.  My test started with the recall; the handler was asked to stand by some trees on the left hand boundary of the field.  Mike walked up from behind, giving verbal; when he had walked past he broke into a run.  The handlers view was obscured by the trees but their dog had a clear view underneath them.  The dog was then sent after the helper and was recalled out of sight of the handler.

The Quarter was next and also started from the left hand boundary.  The steward explained to the handler that the whole field was to be searched on their left from where they stood looking across the field to an oak tree on the right hand boundary.   Halfway across the field was an area of long grass about 40 ft across and in the middle of this was Gary in a sniper ghillie suit.  When the dog located Gary the handler was asked to join the dog.  The handler was asked to stand outside the grassy area and call his dog to him and continue the quarter.  Tracey was in a hide at the top right hand corner of the field visible to the dog but not to the handler.  On the dog locating Tracey, the handler was told to join the dog.  After dealing with Tracey, the quarter continued.  Karen was in the top left hand corner, again visible to the dog but not to the handler.  As handlers had been told to treat everyone as a suspect, it was expected that they took Tracey with them when their dog located Karen.  After dealing with Karen and Tracey the escort began, coming back down the left hand boundary towards the start of the quarter.  When Karen thought she had the best chance of touching the handler she turned and attacked.  After this the escort continued.  The chase helper then started walking up the field towards the escort, challenging the handler.  The handler was told this was now the chase and to take control of the situation.  They were expected to control Karen and Tracey, and on direction from the steward send their dog.  After the dog stopped the chase helper, they were told to join their dog and were expected to take Karen and Tracey with them.  The chase had finished close to the grassy area where Gary was hiding and the handler was told to prepare his dog for a test of courage.  Gary rose out of the grass in the sniper suit, acting in an animal-like manner, roaring and grunting as he came forward; on the dog detaining Gary, the handler was told to deal with the situation and the test was over.  The handlers looked surprised when Gary popped up, but the dogs took it in their stride

Lock outs aren’t easy, but what they do show is that the handlers who have developed a way of thinking and dealing with every individual exercise, which they can adapt to any situation, have their dogs very well controlled, which means they can pay more attention to the steward and can take in more information.  Also they can think clearly about the next move without worrying about what their dog is doing. Which is a great advantage. 

I hope everyone enjoyed my test, as much as I enjoyed watching your dogs work over the three days.  I know you will all be qualifying soon.  Thank you for accepting my decisions in the sporting manner that I expect from competitors of your calibre.      Cheers!

1st           Dave Olley, WTCh LITTLE RAYMOND, GSDx, D, 306.5, Q.  This team kept the pressure on throughout the test, culminating in an almost faultless PD round.  The handler took nothing for granted and allowed for every eventuality.  Ray’s enthusiasm for his work in general and drive to find the hide helpers was excellent.  A well-earned ticket.

2nd         Diane Ling, WTCh DEBEN LITTLE TOM, GSDx, D, 263.5, Q.  Reserve today, but on another day?  Well done, Di and Tom.

3rd          Heather Patrick, SHEREBRIDGE KHAOS, BC, D, 244.5, NQ (best PD trophy by BC/WSD).  Great to see Heather and Chuck coming on so well.  Now you’re shedding those nerves, Heather, the sky’s the limit.

4th          Alan Bexon, WTCh FLY BY NIGHT LAD, WSD, D, 242.5, NQ.

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