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I must start this report by saying thank you to all the competitors, from day one through to the last day, for all their wonderful comments about the lovely friendly happy well run trial we have at the North West (not my words).  "How do you do it?" I was asked.  The answer is that I don’t really know; we just give the team members the jobs they like doing and they are happy. Like escorting competitors to their tracks, hence no pressure on the competitor find their own way, so no worry about getting lost, even though our furthest land is only five minutes away.  Pam looks after the kitchen and is happy; tracklayers laying tracks they are comfortable with; and me - land availability, lots of it and I’m happy.  In the base every one sits around one big table, TD to CD, all chatting, new competitors listening and learning - it all makes for a good atmosphere.

The Trial started on Tuesday 15th and every day had a similar sort of weather, except for Saturday, when it rained overnight but was gone by 9am.  There was quite a good entry, with 43 in TD, 13 in UD, 27 in CD and 7 in Veterans, and with only one scratching from UD and three from CD, it made for a good week.  Tracking was as usual on grass. I owe a big, big thank you to the landowners for allowing us to use their land and to the owner of our C/A field - how convenient, right next to the base, so kitchen staff and competitors can watch from inside the base.  I would also like to thank my daughter, Claire, for the lovely food on Friday night at the base and to everyone for their brill company throughout the trial - thank you .

The trial was kindly sponsored by Skinners pet food





Steward: Gill Armstrong

Gate Steward: Dave Bell

Thank you to the NWWTS for inviting me to judge their championship CD Stake; it was, as always, efficiently run by Trials Manager Ray Lea and all his team.  Thanks to Judith and Hazel on the desk at base, Sylvia for her lovely handwriting on the certificates, Pam and her crew in the kitchen for good food, Dave Bell for acting as shepherd on the gate and a huge thank you to Gill for stewarding for me again and guiding some very nervous competitors through their paces.  The standard was very high, particularly in the nosework section. Thanks to all the competitors; it was an honour to be able to judge you and your dogs.  I had two pleasurable days and I hope you enjoyed it too.

27 entries, 22 dogs worked, 8 qualified.

1st Anne Bussey and VONGRAF NAOMI (owned by Mr. E T Noel), BSD Mali, 99.  A lovely neat tidy round by Nuschka and experienced handler, Anne.  Well done.

2nd   Derek Short and MADBONNER STAR CHILD, Dobermann, 98.  Another really good round - glad to see the sendaway as good as that, Derek.

3rd   Sue High and BROOK OF WASHBURN, WSD, 93.5.  I know you were nervous, Sue, but Brook worked beautifully for you - well done on your qualification.

4th Jan Turner and W.AXL NOSE (NAF), Std. Poodle, 90.5.  Jan, you and Axl work together as a team very nicely; good luck in the higher stakes.

Also Qualifying CDEx:

David Salisbury, PADDY OF THE NORTH, GSD, 89.5

John Fitzpatrick, STAR AT CONCERN, Cross, 89 (Owner Carol Royle)

Margaret O’Kane, LITTLE SPROUT, Cross, 88.5

Cathy Williams, STORM FORCE OVER ISLA, GSD, 88




Tracklayers: Friday, Chris Greenhalgh, June Reed; Saturday, Chris Greenhalgh, Terry Austin

Steward: Barbara Bell

I would like to thank Ray Lea and North West WTS for the invitation to judge the UD stake at their Championship trial. Thank you to the ladies in the kitchen for keeping us all fed and watered both days, also thanks to Ray’s daughter for my meal on Friday night.

We had 13 entries with 12 turning up to work.  Tracking was on grass; on Friday it was dry but overcast and very cold, on Friday night it had rained and so the fields became a bit boggy, but still ok to track on.  I would like to thank June Reed, Terry Austin and Chris Greenhalgh for laying tracks, and Barbara Bell for being square steward and also control steward for both days - thank you for your hard work and very good company.

1st Diane Ling with DEBEN LITTLE TOM, Cross, D, 198.5, Q UDEx.  Wow, what a dog!  Lost 1 mark on the track and when it came to the C/A I caught Diane breathing and managed to dock her half a mark.  Tom also got the best track trophy.  Tom was bred by Rod Roberts and Diane and Tom also go to Rod for training, and it shows.  This dog has only done 3 trials so far and you can be sure it won’t be long before he is in Ticket and winning them.  Well done, Diane.

2nd Anne Fowler with GLENALPINE MAISEY, BC, B, 193, Q UDEx.  An experienced handler who got the best from her little dog.  Dropped 2.5 on the track but got a full point square and a very good control round.  Well done, Anne.

3rd Mike Williams with MARINA BEN’S PAL, Cross, B, 192, Q UDEx.  Good nosework and an even better C/A round, only losing 0.5 on the gun test.  Mike and Marina make a good team and they will go far.  Well done, Mike.

Also qualifying UDEx:

Pat Hodgkins with MERE MAGIC, CDEx, UDEx, Cross, B, 175.5

Cathy Williams with STORM FORCE OVER ISLA, GSD, D, 171

Well done to everyone who qualified, and to those that didn’t, it won’t be long before you do.  Good luck to you all for future trials.  It was nice to see Fred Welham, at 91 years of age, still giving a good performance with only the sendaway costing him a qualification.




Tracklayers: Tom Darby, Jeff Margreaves, Richard Musgrave.

Square Steward: Diane Higgins

C/A Steward: Kim Astbury

I am grateful to the North West Society for giving me my first ticket appointment, and to Trials Manager, Ray Lea, and the Committee for organising a very well run and enjoyable trial.

Although very cold at times, the six days were relatively frost and rain free with minimum wind.  Tracking conditions were excellent with 31 of the 43 dogs completing the tracks, which were on relatively clean grassland.  Articles were another story, with a number of dogs finding the first article three yards from the pole but handlers moving on in complete oblivion, only to beat themselves up afterwards when the awful truth was revealed.  The track articles were a 3 inch piece of green garden string, a 4 inch long twig and a 2 inch piece of green underlay at the end.

Square articles were also a bit elusive, with 172 being put down and only 97 recovered by the dogs, although most dogs worked the square well and the articles were well scented.  The articles were a 6 inch nail, a 3 inch match stick, a 3 inch piece of bale string and an inch square of stiff braid.

The ‘speak’ and the ‘gun’ exercises were done on the tracking field and handlers were clearly more fazed by the loud gun (sorry about that) and the basic stationary ‘at heel’ speak than the dogs. 

The control on Sunday involved 18 qualifiers in the nosework.  For good marks the heelwork, commencing from the entrance gate, had to be free and natural (as in the rule/guidance books).  The sendaway was 130 yards into an open field but through between a hedge and a copse.  The dogs were assisted by the placement of a thin pole, which most dogs managed to spot at some stage.  The dogs had to be called back to be clear of the hedge before being sent 150 yards to the left to a line of trees at a wood edge.  Most dogs made a good effort.

Similarly the jumps were well done and the final results were:-

1st and Ticket Winner Sheila Tannert on 204.5 with her young Labrador, STYPERSON CLEO, (Teal to her friends). Led the field from early in the week to the completion of the nosework, being the only team to achieve 3 and 4.  However, on Sunday she was seriously challenged by the reserve team but her clean professional handling won through.  Teal also won the ‘best gun dog of the trial’ trophy.

2nd Margo Brothwell on 202 with crossbreed, TANGHAM  LITTLE  RYAN, who put up a good ‘fight’ for the top spot. Good luck in the future.

3rd Julie Skipp on 198.5 with ZAK OF SKIPWAY.  One of the few dogs to get four articles out of the square but as with Margo the first track article proved to be costly.  Better luck next time.

4th Moira Rogerson with XANDOA CHANCE on 195.5.  Three articles off the track but ran out of steam for the square, recovering only 2.  Another young dog with a future.

Other TDEx qualifiers were:-

Margaret Robinson with JUST FRANKIE AT TRENTVALLEY.  Lovely to see a young ‘rescue dog’ in a good home and enjoying his work after a disastrous start in life.

Kathy Ingham with OBCh RUSKATH OTHENTIC IMAGE on 191.5.  Good luck in the quest to make her a ‘double’ Champion.

Gary Haim with WTCh WAGGERLAND DILEMMA on 187.5

Graham Reaney with TARNEDGE ROUGH DIAMOND on 186.5

Janette Sayer with VILLAGE KING on 184

Janet Parker with NEDLO TOP OF THE POPS on 183.5

Lorna Cottier with ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS on 179.5

Kath Woolley with ANDSAL EYECATCHER AT DUNSA on 178

Qualified TD:

Jain Douglas with ROTHIEVALE CIARA on 171.5

I enjoyed the company of the competitors and watching them working their dogs.  What a great sport we have!

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