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Hi everyone.  Well, 2013 got off to a bad start for all the trials in January due to the bad weather, but not here in the North West.  We had a good entry, making the trial a seven day event.  We did have a few problems leading up to the trial, with a lot of flooded land, which meant a lot of land walking to make sure every competitor had dry land to work on.  We also knew that it was time for the land owners to get out to do their slurrying, but the land owners yet again came up trumps and slurried early so it had two to three weeks to soak in; it made for some really good tracking.  The usual control field next to the base was too wet for the TD control so it was given to the UD and CD for their control.  The TD judge, Lol Campbell, came over on Monday morning and went straight into the nosework; he set a lovely track pattern which was right for a TD championship trial, and on pasture as well.  The control field was moved to Forty Acre Lane, where Lol set a great test with no gimmicks.  Thanks, Lol, for your great company through the seven days.  Lol also had the company of Diane Higgins as his steward for the seven days and they seemed to get on really well - but she is a good steward.  Thank you, Diane.  The tracklayers were Terry Austin for the earlies and Kim Astbury, both doing 5 days; thank you both so much, you are two very good tracklayers.  They were joined by two more excellent tracklayers in Geff Margreaves (3 days) and Dave Stewart (4 days) - what a great team to tracklay TD.  Thank you all very much.  Kim Astbury also took on the job of the C/A steward on the Sunday.

UD was run on Friday and Saturday, and was judged by Sheila Margreaves, who had Dena Swift as her nosework and C/A steward - thank you both very much.  The tracklayers were Martyn Willcock and Dave Bell both days - thank you both.

CD was also run on Friday and Saturday and was judged by Lorraine Wilson and her steward was Sue Ashley.  Lorraine also judged the Veteran Stake, which started on the Thursday afternoon and recommenced on Sunday, as it was a large entry of seventeen.  Sue Ashley also stewarded the Veteran - thank you both for giving up your time for the young and the old dogs.  The tracklayers were June Reed, Martyn Willcock, and Arthur Ball - thank you.

In base we had Judith Stamp and Hazel Holt for all seven day - thank you.  In the kitchen were Pam Wadsworth, Chris Overton, Jackie Nicholas, Jackie Hope, Carol and Chas Cotteril, Aileen Burns, Sylvia Hindle and Marge Williams; thank you all for the great food all week.  And to everyone who donated cakes, Kate Wykes, Jenny Holt Aileen Burns, thank you.  And not forgetting the escorts, Jackie Dykes and Gill Armstrong, who got everyone to their tracks on time, a great job yet again.  And to the land owners who we CANNOT do without, Arthur Lea, Arthur Tomlinson, Alan Brocklehurst, Nick and David Wilkinson and George Riddle - thank you all very, very much.





Tracklayers: Martyn Wilcox AND Dave Bell

Steward: Dena Swift

I would like to thank the North West Working Trials Society committee for inviting me to judge this stake.  Also thanks go to Ray for his efficient and well organised trial and to his brilliant team of workers that includes Judith and Hazel in the base, Pam, Carol, Charles, Aileen and Margaret in the kitchen, Jill and Jackie transporting us around and trying to keep us under control!  Also thanks to my superb tracklayers, Martyn Wilcox and Dave Bell, and last but not least, Dena Swift for stewarding the full stake for both days, a job well done.

The weather for the two days was generally kind to us with sunshine at times; on the last track on the last day we had a flurry of snow, and Tony won the stake - it must be the sparkles in the snow that did it, or maybe a little of Tony’s influence.

1st TRIPLE TOP AT HARTSHILL, WSD, handled by Tony Lockyer, D, 197, Q.  Well done, a worthy winner.

2nd MANPOL VIXEN, GSD, handled by Terry Austin, B, 188, Q.  Calm and sensitively handled by Terry - well done.

3rd TRACELYN NEIL DIAMOND, GSD, handled by Phil Talbot, D, 183.5, Q.  Really nice round; both handler and dog enjoyed the round.

4th JASPER THE COWPE CRUSADER, WSD, handled by Emily Arch, D, 180, Q.  Sensitively and gently handled to achieve this result.

Best track of the UD stake goes to Chris Davis with WESTMIDS INDY, GSD, B.  Very well done with this high drive bitch; she loves to track and it shows.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the competitors for entering this stake and allowing me to judge them.  All the best for the future.

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