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Hi everyone.  This was my third attempt at the trials manager’s job, but my first at running a TD stake, and it did test me a little bit leading up to the trial, as all my TD track layers, quite rightly, wanted to work their dogs on home ground; but yet again the membership rose to the occasion to make this another successful trial. This year we acquired some new tracking land but with all the bad weather it became unusable.  The weather for the trial was quite good to us, windy and cold except for Sunday when it turned really foul.  The trial this year had a very good entry in all three stakes; 37 in TD, 30 in UD, and 15 in CD, with only a few cancellations.  Tracking started on the Wednesday through to Sunday.

I would like to thank every one who gave up their valuable time to help at the trial.  To Pam and all her staff for doing a great job keeping every one fed and watered for almost a week - THANK YOU.  To Judith and Hazel in base - thank you. To the escorts, thanks for getting all the competitors to their tracks on time; to all the track layers and stewards - thank you, I will leave it to the judges to name you.  To Terry Austin (TD), Kath Woolley (UD) and Anthea Ball (CD), thank you all for setting very good tests and being great judges.  To the people that really matter, the land owners, without you we could not carry out our sport; we are very grateful, thank you very much.  Thank you to Lower Withington Parish Council for the use of the village hall as our base.  And to every one who travelled to the north west to enter, thank you and good  luck in the future.

Ray Lea




Steward: Brenda Ball

Thank you to the North West for the opportunity to judge.  Thanks to Bren for stewarding for me.  CD Open can quite often be a mixed bag of experience and inexperience.  However, there were excellent sendaways, recalls, heelwork and agility.  Nosework was also very good.  Just one or two handlers need a bit better control of their dogs.  But stays turned out to be a minefield; there were four qualifying up to then, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.  However, best of luck to all in your future trials.

1st Sharon Dunn, SIEGERSON NAPOLEON, GSD, 79, NQ

2nd Paula Jaques, EMM OF EMLEY, BC, 78.5, NQ

3rd Arthur Smith, HELZENDER CASTO, GSD, 74, NQ

4th Margaret O’Kane, LITTLE SPROUT, Cross, 72.5 NQ




Tracklayers: John Atkin (3 days), Jenny Holt (1 day), Jain Douglas (1 day), June Reed (1 day)

Steward: Fran Atkin

Many thanks to North West for inviting me to judge, and to Ray Lea, Trials Manager, the tracklayers, Pam and her team in the kitchen, Judith and Hazel at the base, and the escorts for getting everyone to their tracks on time.  A very large thank you to Fran and John Atkin, who were such good company for three days.  I hope I did not offend anyone with my remarks or humour – please enjoy the lower stakes with your dogs, it gets much tougher.

We had 30 entries, of whom 22 worked, and we had three qualifiers.  We did have some who were very close and quite capable of qualifying, perhaps unlucky on the day.  Other teams were not quite ready, but we saw some lovely dogs and handlers who just need a little more help or time – don’t give up!

Tracking was on grass, the weather was cold and fine on Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday we had rain, snow, sleet and hail thrown sideways at us, and it was very windy and cold, but most dogs coped with the conditions.  I set a very straightforward test, with generous articles in the nosework.  Dogs can fail without the need for gimmicks and minute articles.

1st Glenys Page and BRIGLEN JOSS, BC.  A precision round by this experienced handler and Ozzy.  142/33.5/16.5, Total 192, Q.

2nd Karen Bexon and CHOCOLATE LITTLE MAN, CDEx, ESS.  Brilliant track, Choc has a lovely attitude.  Speedy square, just cure the mouthing.  138/33/15, Total 186, Q.

3rd Mick Fryatt and DAGWOOD DAX, GSD.  Good partnership, Dax really wants to please.  A hairy moment on the rack, but thankfully they sorted it out.  128/30.5/17.5, Total 176, Q.

4th Victoria Royle and MISTER MURPHY, GSD.  Failed the stays, otherwise a very good round.  136/20/17.5, Total 173.5, NQ.




Tracklayers: Kim, Dave and Ray

Steward: Sylvia

Many thanks to NWWTS for the invitation to judge the TD stake at their open trial.  A trial couldn’t run smoothly without the help of many people back at the base, so to Judith and Hazel, Pam, the ladies in the kitchen, my tracklayers, Kim, Dave and Ray and steward Sylvia - a big thank you.  Because of the large number of entries and the limited daylight hours the stake ran over five days.  Of the 36 entries, 30 competed and we had 10 teams gaining certificates of merit.

I set a fairly straightforward track pattern – no cut backs, but still a large number of dogs continually circled the handler all along the track.  The articles were 2.5in piece of blue plastic, a bolt (which proved to be the one most dogs found difficult), and a square of carpet.  In the square was a piece of red webbing, 5in drinking straw, 5in weather cone (from Lauder) and a 2.5in piece of earth wire.  There didn’t appear to be any one article more of a problem then the others, though some dogs did miss the cone even when the handler had spotted it!! 

1st NEDLO TOP OF THE POPS, BC, and Mrs Janet Parker, Q, 204.5.  First dog to run and set the standard.  Nice track with 3 articles and 3 from the square – competent all round performance. Well done.

2nd SALLY BELL, CDEx, UDEx, BC, and Mr L Newman, Q, 197.  Another good track, 2 articles, 4 from the square, bits and pieces in the control round, full agility.  Well done.

3rd NEWBOROUGH SNOWDROP, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, WSD, and Mrs J Olley, Q, 195.  All 3 from the track, 2 from the square.  Good control round, full mark agility. Well done.

4th JAQ IN A BOX, CDEx, UDEx, BC, and Mr R Jaques, Q, 193.5.  Two from the track and 3 out of the square.  The heelwork needs little tidying up, but excellent recovery on the sendaway.  Full mark agility. Good qualification.

Also gaining certificates of merit

DUNNSLAYNE DAZZLING QUEEN, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, WSD, and Mrs A Salisbury, 190.5.  Lovely steady track and a good control round.

ROTHIEVALE CIARA, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, Lab, and Mrs J Douglas, 189.  Good track, 2 articles and 2 from the square proved costly, but a superb full mark control round – good luck in future trials.

MISH MASH MISHKA, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, X/Breed, and Sue Drake, 186

TYGUARD CHILLI AT MANPOL, GSD, and Cath Phillips, 185

CANDLEWIND ROMULUS, BC, and Mrs J Raymond, 182.5

SAPPHIRE TYG, ACD, and Mrs G Armstrong, 180.5

Best Track Trophy was awarded to POLLGINA MICHELLE SO GENTLE and Mrs Sara Royle.  This Labrador worked on the worst day (Sunday) when we had sleet, snow, rain, hail and strong winds.  She worked the track as if on rails, scoring 99, 3 articles and 2 from the square, but unfortunately Eyla swallowed one - we all felt for you Sara.  Hope Eyla is OK, best wishes and good luck for your future trials.

It is a privilege to be able to judge, so thank you for entering and allowing me to see your dogs work.

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