Lower Withington, Open Trial
Judge: CHRIS DAVIS
Steward: Jackie Hope
This was my first judging appointment in Working Trials and I would like to thank the Committee of North West for the invitation. I would also like to thank the following people for their help and involvement with the trial:
Jackie Hope, my steward for the day, what a good job she did of putting the competitors at ease and taking them through the test.
Ray Lea, Trials Manager, without whom the trial would not happen. He gave me a lovely piece of land away from the base which enabled the competitors to do squares, dumbell and stays without the usual crowd looking over the gate; the control round was back at base.
Pam Wadsworth and her team in the kitchen, providing me with a super lunch and plenty of cake.
Base people, Judith Stamp and Hazel Holt - they do a stern job of booking competitors in, writing all the scores up and checking my addition!!
The Farmers and Landowners who are very generous letting us use their land for each trial.
And all the other people who were there to help on the various days. My thanks to them all.
Then to the test. I set a simple straightforward test that was there to achieve, but sadly on this occasion there were no qualifiers. Articles for the square were a 5in x 3in piece of beige carpet, 7in piece of black hose, and a 3in x 3in piece of green underfelt. The heel on lead took handlers and dogs away from the gate and into the recall, then the sendaway, 50yds to a cone against the hedge, and heel free back towards the jumps.
1st Jackie Weight with Dempsey, GSD X. Good heelwork from this partnership, but sendaway and jumps took their toll today. Dempsey hurt his dew claw when going over the scale and was unable to come back. Another day, Jackie, and I’m sure you will be there.
2nd Stella Uttley and Tommy, GSD. Super control round from this pair, jumps again taking the points away and nerves playing their part too. Tommy gained ‘Best GSD not the winner’ Trophy. Well done.
3rd Brown and Robinson’s Angus, Labrador, handled by Janice Robinson. Near perfect square, only losing 2 marks with all 3 articles found with ease in 2 minutes 47 seconds - lovely to watch. Jumps again were the culprit for these two. Another day, I’m sure.
Thank you to the competitors for accepting my decisions and why. Keep trialling and you will achieve. I thoroughly enjoyed my first appointment and I hope the competitors did too.
Judge: DAVE STEWART
Tracklayers: Sue Ashley and Richard Musgrave
Steward: Emily Arch
Many thanks to North West Working Trials Society for the invitation to judge the UD stake, and to Ray Lea, the Trials Manager, who did a fabulous job and ran a wonderful trial. This has to be one of the friendliest trials going. I was lucky to have two excellent tracklayers in Sue Ashley and Richard Musgrave. Both not only gave competitors some great tracks but were also great company, or so Sue tells me they were. Both Richard and I, being cowards and wanting to retain the ability to walk unaided, agreed. My steward was Emily Arch, who was great company for both days. This was her first time stewarding and no-one would have known; she was brilliant, although on the second day she did start to get a bit lippy, obviously taking lessons from Sue. Thanks also go to the base staff of Judith Stamp and Hazel Holt, who had the very difficult job of sorting me out and did it with a smile. Thank you ladies for all your help. The kitchen staff of Pam, Deena, Aileen, Sylvia, Chris, Chaz and Carol did a fabulous job in keeping everyone fed and watered and thanks to Jill for doing a great job in escorting the competitors on Saturday to their tracks. Finally thank you to the competitors for entering and giving me the pleasure of judging your dogs. The weather was excellent for both days. Tracking was on grass and looked a picture and so it proved. 11 teams competed, 7 on the Saturday and 4 on the Sunday, with all completing the track with relative ease. It was an absolute delight to watch you all work. The tracking standard was excellent. The track articles were a dolly peg and a 4" x 2" piece of carpet. The search square proved a little more problematical with only 5 teams managing to get all 4. The articles were half a dolly peg, gun cartridge, 4" length of green hose and a 4" metal spoon. The control was a slightly different scenario. Nerves played a big part with some competitors, so I didn’t get to see most of them at their full potential. I did, however, have the pleasure of seeing several teams who were terrific. Unfortunately, as usual, the jumps and stays took their inevitable toll and we lost 8 competitors.
1st Margaret Robinson, JUST ARRAN AT TRENTVALLEY, WSD, 197, Q. What a stunning round, Margaret. Truly a delight to watch, a privilege to judge and a deserved winner. Also got the best track award. Look forward to seeing you both work in the higher stakes. You have a great attitude with that young dog.
2nd Pat Quinn, RASTWYKE RAPIDE, Lab, 182.5, Q. A lovely track and a solid control round. Got the best gundog award. Very well done and all the best in your future trials.
3rd Janine Atkinson, THE QUARRIEMAN AT DENLEA, WSD, 166.5, NQ. A great try, Janine. Once you get the stay sorted you’re there. Look forward to seeing your progress at future trials.
4th Lucy Newsome, ASTRA RUBY RUBOUS, BC, 165.5, NQ. Excellent try, Lucy - not far away. Best of luck in your next trial.
Judge: JENNY HOLT
Tracklayers: Chris Greenhalgh and Dave Bell
Steward: Diane Higgins
The weather was good and the organisation worked well, thanks to all the members within the Society who are always willing to help. Special thanks to Ray Lea, Trials Manager, and Judith Stamp, Secretary, who have all the setting up organised well before the trial and are already well into the planning stages of the 2014 February Championship Trial. My personal thanks also go to my tracklayers, Chris Greenhalgh and Dave Bell, who laid all the WD tracks, and to Diane Higgins who laid all the squares, did all the time-keeping throughout and drove a car full of us to and from the pub each evening. What a star! All competitors were escorted to their tracks by Jackie Dykes, and Pam Wadsworth and her kitchen team were always on hand to provide brews, nibbles and snacks. Hopefully a good time was had by all.
The track pattern on grass consisted of 11 legs, 4 x 90 degree angles, one open angle and 5 back angles. Articles were a 2" piece of stick, and a small piece of carpet on the end.
My aim was to set a test which would prepare the qualifiers for WD Championship but not be too over-facing for the dogs and handlers competing in WD for the first time. Of the 17 who did the test 15 completed the track with good marks. I allowed second attempts on all jumps, anticipating wet November conditions, and heelwork was in the vicinity of the jumps, which proved a little too much for a few of the live wires.
1st Janet Freeman with ASHLINDT ARRAN, BC, D, dob 16/12/11, 193.5, Q. Excellent performance throughout, professionally handled. A young dog to be proud of.
2nd Tony Fox with STARDELL MUSCIDA, BC, D, dob 15/11/10, 186, Q. Worked on the first day and was ahead of the field for most of the trial but Janet’s superb control round took the trophy.
3rd Hilary Wilson with HOLLOWAY HOT CHOCOLATE, WSD, B, do. 27/10/09, 180.5, Q. Well-handled throughout and nice to watch.
4th Brenda Nevard with ISPYDA SPIDER, WSD, B, dob July 2011, 177.5, Q. One article left in the square cost her a higher place. Good steady work and a well-deserved qualification.
5th Manda McLellan with GARTONHAUS BORA OF ASHLINDT, GSD, B, dob 2/10/10, 169.5, Q and Best Track Trophy. Superb track but only 2 out of the square and a little over enthusiastic in the control. A team with a lot of potential.
6th Julie Paul with DIANDIE SUMMER STORM, GSD, D, dob 6/3/11, 162, Q. Missed the stick on the track and little blips on the jumps but the qualification was well-deserved.
Judge: GARY MARTIN
Steward: Anne Bussey
Tracklayers: Kim and David
Criminals: Terry, Gwillam, Alan, Chris and Mark
Many thanks to North West WTS for the invitation to judge at this well run and friendly trial. Under the stewardship of Ray Lea, the trials manager, it was a pleasure to be in the company of committed and enthusiastic trialists. Nothing was too much trouble and we were really well looked after. The hospitality was second to none. Thank you, Ray and the North West gang – you have done a sterling job as always.
The landowners came up trumps again, providing us with all the land we could possibly want, so a huge thank you to Paul Jenkins and George Riddell for your support and help.
The base was staffed by Judith and Hazel who were always there to greet us with a cheery smile. They were the epitome of efficiency – nothing was left to chance and my task was made so much easier with the help of you both. Thank you for all your hard work and your company.
The kitchen was staffed by Pam and her seemingly never ending team. Superb fare was always available – the dark ginger cake was to die for!! As soon as we returned to base throughout the day a steaming hot cup of tea was placed in my hand as we walked through the door! Couldn’t have asked for more – thank you, one and all.
Jackie and Jill did the escorting – a much overlooked but essential job. Everyone was delivered to their tracks on time – thanks, ladies.
Kim and Dave were my track layers. Kim did both days and Dave the Sunday. You were both great company and expertly did your jobs, ensuring competitors had a fair crack at the test. Thank you both so much – especially Kim, who was at the fields before it got light, clambering over farm gates and getting a very frosty hairdo in the process!
Anne was my excellent steward through all sections. Great company and a very competent and precise steward – all that any judge could ask for – leaving me to get on with the judging. Thank you, Anne, it was a pleasure to work with you and benefit from your professionalism and company.
My criminals were superb. Competent, trustworthy and, above all, fair to each and every competitor – I couldn’t have asked for more. Thanks fellas, I really appreciated your skills and you giving up your time to help out. PD is nothing without a bunch of people like these and the discipline owes them our gratitude. They were – in no particular order, although Terry did try to convince me the list was compiled in order of seniority - Terry Austin, Gwillam Harding, Chris Trevor, Mark Garden and Alan Heatley. The most important member of my team in the field was without doubt ‘Driver’ - Alan’s dog who did all the run-throughs for me, including the sendaway. What a star he is, even after a couple of months lay off – although you’d never have known it! He went at it with his trademark enthusiasm.
Terry had an early start to his day when he had to do a test of courage of his own with the cows in the next field! They decided that they wanted to participate so got through from a couple of fields away into the adjacent field. They then started to dismantle the hide that Terry was in by pulling it into their field! The hide was retrieved, thankfully – this meant we had to re-jig the round to avoid any more bovine participation! To each and every one of my team, a huge thank you.
We had 11 entries with 8 actually working. Nosework was on decent growth of grass; track articles were a 4 x 0.5 inch piece of camouflage material knotted in the middle and a 2 inch cube of wood. Square articles were: (i) 2 inch piece of camo material, (ii) half a wooden peg, (iii) 2 inch x 0.5 inch piece of rubber backed material, (iv) a small metal jam pot lid. The latter article was the result of a New Forest cream tea with Gary and Julie Atkins, Pat Herbert, Brian and Barbara Riste – who without a thought for themselves and for the sole benefit of my test - consumed a total of 14 pots of a variety of jams! There is no truth in the totally unfounded rumour that Pat was responsible for demolishing 11 of them on her own – it was ten! Thank you all – your commitment to the trials world is truly appreciated!!
C/A started with a speak, through heelwork to the sendaway and then jumps.
Patrol took the form of;
Chase – two decoys, Chris and Mark, came out from the hedge and were challenged but they didn’t respond. They reached a pole midfield and ran, at which point the dog could be sent. Once the dog had detained a decoy the handler joined the dog, called it off and sent it onto the remaining fleeing man. The handler was then to take the first ‘crim’ with them and take control of where the dog had detained the second man.
Quarter – down field to a fishing umbrella where Gwillam was hiding. As soon as the dog started to bark the handler could join the dog and take control; a search of the hide would reveal a lock knife. The dog was sent further round the field to where Terry was hiding sat behind a tarpaulin. Again, once the dog had indicated a find the handler could rejoin the dog and take control.
Search and escort – the two decoys were then escorted along a given route, a vocal distraction in the form of a third decoy, Alan, from a distance away gave Gwillam the opportunity to turn and attack the handler. As soon as the dog was on Alan made a second attack which the handler had to deal with.
The recall was a copy of the chase.
TOC required three decoys to stand shoulder to shoulder and for Gwillam to engage the handler in a very low key exchange. All three were visibly armed. The handler sent the dog and as the dog was six feet away they ran aggressively at the dog. Once the dog was on the sleeve the test ended.
There was a mixed bag of performances but in all the dogs I saw promise in all areas. There was a bit of confusion from some and others were just not ready for a quiet decoy in the chase/recall. However there was a clear winner in the end.
1st Wendy Beasley with STARDELL LUNAR, BC, bitch, 284.5, Q. Strong in all sections, as you would expect from any of Wendy’s entries; she always turns out a well prepared dog. Patrol work was lovely, with bags of control but a real dynamism when required. Lunar will no doubt be a real force when she makes her debut in ‘Ticket’, which I look forward to seeing. Well done, Wendy, on your deserved win, and good luck in the future.
2nd Manda McLellan with LITTLE TIGER, X-Breed, dog, 244.5, NQ. Very nice nosework but a blip in the C/A and confusion in patrol meant this wasn’t Tiger’s day. Patrol gave glimpses of what is there – nice TOC with loads of commitment. Good luck in the future.
3rd Joan Miller with WOOLSHAN JAGER, GSD, dog, 242, NQ. Unfortunately nosework was the downfall. Patrol was enthusiastic and with total commitment, as you’d expect from Tyler. Much improved performance from the last two occasions I have seen this lad. All that time and effort is starting to pay off, Joan, so keep at it - he’s looking good.
4th Andrea Clarke with ORLISCWT BOBBIN ALONG, ISCWT, dog, 220, NQ. What a super lad Yogi is, Andrea. Going well until a few bits and bobs in the patrol round meant that it wasn’t going to be this team’s day. But it wasn’t due to any lack of enthusiasm, I think that this test just didn’t suit him. Great team with a super attitude to each other and the sport. Good luck in the future, it was great to be able to judge him.
Thank you to all competitors for entering under me – I hope you enjoyed the test. Good luck to you all in the future.