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Here we are again, another open trial over and Christmas bearing down on us. Due to the large entry we started with TD on the Wednesday and UD on the Thursday.  Tracking for TD was on reseed, sown at the end of last year and unused so it was quite nice with a couple of inches of growth.  UD was on pasture, again with a couple of inches of growth, but with a few cow pats thrown in.  The weather through out the trial was below freezing every day, with the frost getting more severe day by day, down to -9.5°C on the Sunday. 

I would like to think that I put out a very strong team to give every one the best chance to qualify and to make it a smooth and successful trial.  So a big thank you to my judges, who set fair and do-able tests, and standing out in those temperatures for 4 and 5 days was very commendable: to the tracklayers, a big thank you - Terry Austin was out there every morning at 7am, Andrea Lynd came over to help with the tracklaying and again did a first class job, and Kim Astbury tracklaid for 4 days - thank you ALL.  Linda Newbold and her sister, Diane Yeatman, found out how cold it was when the fuel in Linda’s van froze, and when it did warm up, to -1°C, it burst the fuel pipes under her van and they had to go home with a nice man from the AA. 

UD suffered the same cold conditions, but as they started with C/A the sun was up when they went tracking, but it was still very cold.  Barbara (Bambi) Bell, with her steward, Diane Higgins, also did a first class job in the poor conditions, with the sun taking the frost and the tracks with it; Jenny Holt, Kath Woolley and Arthur Ball did a good job of tracklaying.   Jackie Dykes, Gill Armstrong and Chris Greenalgh got everyone to their tracks on time - great escorts who know exactly what they are doing without any interference, and they are so reliable.

And to CD, with Lisa Coull taking on her first judging appointment and her steward, Jackie Hope, also her first time; you both did great - thank you. 

To the base staff, who did another good job in there; to some of the most important people in trials, Pam Wadsworth and her team in the kitchen, keeping every one in the field and in base supplied with hot drinks and non-stop food, to my daughter, Claire, and her friend, Nic, for the lovely food on the Friday night - thank you all.  And last, but by no means least, the land owners who gave me more land than I could use - what a great position to be in.  Hope it’s like that for the February trial.

Good luck to every one in 2011.






Steward: Jackie Hope

Thank you to NWWTS for the invitation to judge CD - my first judging appointment.  This trial is always so friendly, relaxed and well organised it has become a favourite.  Thanks as always go to the farmers for their land and Skinners for their generous sponsorship.  Pam and her team in the kitchen kept us well fed and watered and always do a splendid job, I’m sure had I stayed any longer I’d have undone my trousers en route home!  Thanks also to Judith and Hazel for running the base etc.

Last but by no means least, huge thanks to my steward Jackie Hope, who did an excellent job putting competitors at their ease, calling the round and laying the squares exactly as planned.

7 dogs entered and we started off with 5 dogs working – a HWV, a lovely rescue GR, a rescue cross breed, a Standard Poodle and a Chihuahua, but two withdrew after the sit stay and nosework.  Articles were a wooden dolly peg, 7cm square of green carpet and a 13cm piece of knotted red rope.  I tried to set a control round which flowed from one exercise to the next with a 40m sendaway to a clearly visible cone.

The overall standard was very good, with absolutely no mouthing of articles, super heelwork, very keen, accurate sendaways and rock solid stays despite bitterly cold, frosty weather.  All dogs were well handled, but competitors needed to take their time listening to the instructions given and also time in setting their dogs up for each exercise.

1st W AXL NOSE, Standard Poodle, D, handled by Jan Turner, 88.5, CoM.  Some super work by this dog, the only one to get 3 from the square.  Jan only lost a few marks due to extra commands and no return over the scale. Well done.

2nd TWEED SUITED AT HELIDALE, Cross, B, handled by Carole Cottrell, 81, NQ.  Tweed was a lovely little dog with a super attitude and incredibly agile for 9 years old!  No return on the scale cost her a CoM today. 

3rd WILBERT WONDER, Golden Retriever, D, handled by Maren Amey, 70.5, NQ.  Harvey has a super attitude and was really well handled throughout his round.  No jumps today cost him his CoM, but I’m sure once he’s fully jumping fit he’ll do really well.  At risk of a divorce, I could have taken him home!!




Steward: Diane

Tracklayers: Kath Woolley, Jenny Holt, Arthur Ball

Many thanks to Ray and NWWTS for asking me to judge, and all the various helpers who worked so hard to ensure a successful trial.  Big thanks to Pam and all the kitchen staff for all the food/drinks and to Ray’s daughter and friend who gave a beautiful meal for everyone on Friday night.  Also, big thanks to the tracklayers who laid tracks brilliantly and gave everyone a fair chance of success.  Thanks to Gill and Chris for escorting and made sure all competitors arrived for their tracks on time. My steward for 4 days was Diane, who did a grand job and was excellent company throughout, thank you. Also, to Hazel and Judith for doing all the scores and certificates and booking in etc.

We had 2 qualifiers over 4 days - a bit disappointing.  The tracking was quite successful but the squares overall were poor, maybe due to the freezing weather conditions and hard ground with no wind.  Jumps and stays took their toll but the sendaways were carried out successfully by the majority. Congratulations to the qualifiers and carry on enjoying your dogs.

1st Tom Darby, TRIPLE CHAOS, 183, Q.  Well deserved; handled well, good control round and track.  Good to see you on the other side, Tom. Congratulations.

2nd Tony Baverstock, KINGSPRIDE AURORA, 176.5, Q.  Handled very quietly; Tony knew how to get the best out of his dog.

3rd Jan Baker, JABY PHLOMIS, 184, NQ.  Shame about the jumps; had a good track and 4 out of the square.

4th Tracey Collier, CHARLOATS AVIN FUN AT GLENTRADA, 175, NQ.  Brilliant track, 2 out of the square.  Shame about the jumps; didn’t move a muscle in the stays , which I’m sure you will be pleased with.

I feel I need to comment on some of the attitudes in trials and that is, please thank your tracklayers and stewards; maybe it is down to nerves etc, but it only takes a second to say it.  Also competitors will find that judges are more than willing to discuss the reasons for the allocation of their marks, if they ask at the time of competing.  Competitors will also find that judges are less than pleased when they discover that certain competitors are gossiping about the allocation of marks and the positioning of jumps, when they have NOT had the decency to approach the judge themselves on the day of the competition.  It is also not acceptable to try to besmirch the decisions of the judge to other competitors who are presenting themselves for competition.

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