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Trials Manager’s Report

Our trial was sponsored by Skinners Pet Food, with Elisabeth Wooltorton in attendance to give everyone some good advice. Another successful championship trial was run by Team North West, with 43 entries in TD, 12 in UD, 21 in CD and 16 in Veterans.  TD started on the Tuesday with 9 entered and 8 running, Wednesday saw 9 teams working, and on Thursday also 9 teams worked.  On Friday TD was joined by UD and CD, with only 3 teams working UD due to scratches, and 10 working in CD; along came Saturday and the Veterans joined the other three stakes and ran over two days, due to a large entry of 16.

The weather was quite good for the time of the year, with Thursday being wet and cold.  Sunday morning was cold but dry until just before the stays, when it started to rain, turning to sleet and snow with a bitterly cold wind.

I would like to thank ALL my fantastic team, starting with the TD judge, Paul Adams, his steward for five days, Sue Ashley, his tracklayers, Kim Astbury, Richard Musgrave and Dave Stewart, and Kim for scribing on Sunday; my UD judge, Terry Austin, his steward Sylvia Austin, his tracklayers Chris Davis, Kim Astbury and Dave Stretch; CD judge, Linda Newbold, her steward, Dena Swift; and the Veterans judge, Chris Trevor, his steward Jackie Dykes, the tracklayers Phil Talbot, Martyn Wilcock and Dave Stretch - thank you for stepping in at only one hours’ notice, Dave - a big, big thank you to you ALL.  And special thanks to Dave and Richard for coming over and living out of a suitcase for nearly two weeks so all you competitors can compete in your hobby - great work, lads and Kim.

In base Judith and Hazel did a good job; as usual in the kitchen was Pam Wadsworth and her team of Chris Overton, Diane Higgens, Aileen Burns, Chris Stubbings and Carroll and Chas; the escorts, Jackie Dykes, Gill Armstrong, Jain Douglas and Hazel Holt - a big thank you to you all.  Trials don't run smoothly without people like you.

A big thank you to Sue Ashley for going out and laying run-off tracks in the foulest of the weather, and to my daughter Claire Bailey for the wonderful food on the Friday night.  And last, but by no means least, thanks to the land owners who gave me as much land as I needed, as they held off slurrying the land till we had finished - a great and relaxing position to be in.

If I've forgotten anyone I'm sorry, and I hope you all have good year.

Ray Lea


Stake: CD


Steward: Dena Swift

I’d like to thank North West for the opportunity to judge the CD stake at such a great trial.  Thank you to Ray Lea and his brilliant team of helpers for doing such a fantastic job organising the trial during and prior to the event.  Pam Wadsworth did her usual fab job in the kitchen with her band of helpers.  Thank you also to Ray’s daughter, who provided a lovely evening meal on Friday.  Thank you to the ladies for manning the base and sorting all the scores and certificates.  Special thanks to Dena for keeping me company and putting down all the squares and stewarding the control. 

A very big thank you to the farmers for the use of their land to enable us to carry on our sport, and to Dawn and Dave at Holly Tree Farm for making me feel so welcome once again.  And last, but not least, a big thank you to all the competitors who entered and allowed me to watch their dogs work - they were all brilliant.  Congratulations to everyone who qualified and commiserations to those who didn’t………it was just bad luck on the day as they were all very capable.

I was very impressed on the first day when 10 dogs all did the sit and down stays with no problems.

1st           Dave Olley with ELMHAUS PORTER – Rooster, 96.5, Q.  Full point square and nicely worked control gave Rooster and Dave a well-deserved first place.   Square 20, Retrieve 9.5, Control 47.5, Agility 19.5.  Congratulations.

2nd         Polly Thomas and POLLIGINA DENNIS SPARKIE – Dennis, 91, Q.  A nice round from a young dog with a great attitude.  18.5, 9.5, 48, 15.  Very well done.

3rd          Jenny Orchard with TADMARTON EASTER LILY – Lily, 90, Q.  Another nice round from a dog who enjoys her work.  19, 10, 45, 16.   Well done.

4th          Jenny Holt with BEELAHOLT BRIAR – Briar, 88.5, Q.  A toilet break during the square and a missed article were costly for Briar today, the only dog to do a full point agility section.   12, 10, 46.5, 20.  Well done.

Also qualifying CDEx:

Kev Bryan with Sugarsmack Joy – Lottie, 84.  19, 10, 36, 19

Qualifying CD:

Graham Taylor Teelum Bates – Teelum 76.5.  17.5, 3.5, 41.5, 14


Stake: UD


Tracklayers: Kim Astbury and Chris Davis on Friday, Chris Davis and Dave Stretch on Saturday

Steward: Sylvia Austin

My thanks to NWWTS for the invitation to judge the UD stake at their Championship Trial.  With trials manager, Ray Lea, at the helm, Judith and Hazel on the desk and Pam and helpers in the kitchen, things were kept running very smoothly - a big thank you to you all.  Special thanks must go to my tracklayers, Kim Astbury, Chris Davis and Dave Stretch, who laid all the tracks as I had asked.  Thanks also to my square and control steward Sylvia. 

We had 12 entered, 8 competed and there were 3 qualifiers.

1st           Dianne Ellis and DIANDIE SUMMER MAGIC, CDEX, GSD, 188, Q.  Brilliant track from Hattie, such a lovely attitude, a pleasure to watch; also very good line handling from Dianne.  3 from the square and an excellent control round made them very worthy winners.  Also collected the Best GSD in UD Trophy, Best Track Trophy and Best % Track of the Trial Trophy.  Good luck with your future trials.  Track 90 + 20, Square 27, control 33.5 and agility 17.5.

2nd         Lucy Newsome and ASTRA RUBY RUBEUS, BC, 178, Q.  A very good track from Ruby, with just one corner causing one or two problems.  3 from the square.  Another excellent control round; agility was tight, but well done on your qualification.  83 + 20, 28, 33, 14.  Best NWWTS member in UD.

3rd          Becky Macguffie and POLLGINA FERNEND FALCON, Lab, 164, Q.  Very nice track from Gibbs; had to work out a couple of corners but got there in the end.  2 from the square, and just enough in the control; excellent agility.  Well done.  80 + 20, 20, 25, 19

4th          Valerie Joughin and ROYAL MERLE OF CLAUGHTON, WSD, 166.5, NQ.  Super track from Ross and with 2 from the square had enough marks for the nosework.  Excellent control round, but that darn scale - Ross decided he couldn't possibly do that today.  Keep going, Val, it's all there and he will do it for you.  88 + 20, 19, 32, 7.5

A big thank you to all the competitors for entering and allowing me the privilege of seeing your dogs work, and for accepting my decisions.  It was a pleasure to be in your company.  Good luck to you all for your future trials.


Stake: TD


Tracklayers: Kim Astbury, Richard Musgrave and Dave Stewart

Run-off Tracks: Sue Ashley

Search Steward: Sue Ashley

C/A Scribe: Kim Astbury

Stay Stewards: Sue Ashley, Kim Astbury and Ray Lea

Escorts: Jackie Dykes and Jill Armstrong

Base Staff: Judith Stamp, Hazel Holt and Brenda Ball

Kitchen Staff: Pam Wadsworth, Di Higgins

Tracking Ground:  Grass fields all pretty level and virtually the same for everyone.

Weather:  Dry, sunny, strong winds, heavy rain, sleet, snow and very, very cold - we had it all.

I would like to thank Ray Lea and the committee of North West WTS for the invitation to judge the TD stake at their Championship Trial this year.  A big thank you to the land owners; without their kind permission we would not be able to run any trials.  To my 4 experienced tracklayers - thank you all for your expert tracklaying in difficult conditions and superb company - we certainly had a laugh together.  To Sue Ashley, my search steward for the week, thank you for your company and expert square laying.  To all the base and kitchen staff (especially Lol the Brummie) thank you.

Nosework was carried out very well and I was generally pleased; we had a few 3 and 4’s and a few with less, it was a mixture of different articles being missed.  On Thursday we had very heavy rain and only had 1 qualifier, Sue Jones with 2 and 4, and Margaret Robinson completing a good track but with only 1 off the track, which was a shame because Frankie worked very hard indeed.

NWWTS Champ Feb 2015 TD Track

C/A on Sunday for the first 12 competitors was dry but cold, then as we started the stays it started to rain and eventually we had sleet and snow for the rest of the competitors, plus it was very cold.  A big thank you to Kim Astbury, who was my scribe - not an easy job when you’re wet and cold.  I set what I thought was a straight forward control round, with a sendaway of 150 paces out run to a group of trees, recall half way and redirect right to a large tree stump 120 paces, with dogs scoring between 3 and 10.  Heelwork and jumps were all pretty good.  The speak took its toll, with some dogs struggling; it was leave your dog at a pole, walk 25 paces to another pole, turn, face your dog, put your hands on that pole, and when I raised my hand get your dog to bark and when I counted 15 barks I put my hand down and you told your dog to stop barking; scores varied from 0 to 5.   We then did the stays - I briefed my stewards on what I wanted and said that the time would finish out of sight, which all 19 dogs did successfully.

1st           Jane Wood with LUDGATE POWER ‘N’ GLORY, CDEx – TDEx, BC, D,  211/220, Q TDEx, and winning the TD Ticket after a run off.  Worked on Saturday when we had 9 out of 10 qualify nosework.  Good nosework followed with a full mark C/A.  Well done, Jane, and good luck at this year’s KCC’s.  NW, 93+30+33; C/A, 35+20 

2nd         Julia Findeison with BANDAITCH DIRTY HARRY, CDEx – TDEx, XB, D, 211/220, Q TDEx and winning the Reserve Ticket after a run off.  Again, worked on Saturday.  What a lovely dog with a lot of potential.  Julz also won North West Best Member.  Well done, Julz.  96.5+30+34; 30.5+20 

3rd          Sue Ashby with WTCh THE TITAN, CDEx – TDEx, WSD, D, 208.5/220, Q TDEx.  Well done, Sue. 97.5+30+31;  30+20 

4th          Diane Ling with WTCh DEBEN LITTLE TOM, CDEx – TDEx, PDEx, XB, D, 203/220, Q TDEx.  Well done, Di.   95+20+35; 33+20 

Also qualified:

Andrea Lynd with REBARK BUBBLY PEG, Lab, B, 202.5, and also winning Best Gundog of the Trial and Best Track with 98/100 and 3 articles.  Well done, Andrea


Mrs V Thompson’s TRACELYN DANCIN IN THE DARK, CDEx – TDEx, GSD, B, handled by Gavin Thomson, 202

Sheila Tannert with WTCh STYPERSON CLEO, Lab, B, 201.5

Jill Carruthers with WTCh VOMKYNA DARCA, GSD, B, 201.5

Tony Lockyer with TRIPLE TOP AT HARTSHILL, CDEx – TDEx, WSD, D, 201.5

Len Newman with SALLY BELL, CDEx – TDEx, WSD, B, 201

Glenys Page with WTCh BILKO’S GLORY, CDEx – TDEx, WSD, D, 200


Barry Gilbert with WtCh GLENALPINE COSWORTH, CDEx – TDEx, BC, D, 198

Tracey Park with WAGGERLAND TYNE, CDEx – TDEx, WSD, D, 197

Sue Jones with DURSTONE BRYNN,  CDEx – TDEx, WSD, D, 194

Mike Williams with TADMARTON ELEANOR, CDEx - TDEx, B, 194

Sarah Burroughs with TARNEDGE VELVET, CDEx – TDEx, Lab, B, 182


Stake: Veteran 


Tracklayers: Phil Talbot, Martyn Willcock, Dave Stretch

Square Steward: Jackie Dykes


Thanks to NWWTS for the invitation to judge the Veteran Stake.  What a challenge to be able to set a test outside the rules, and what a privilege to watch some superb trackers working at what they love to do.

My track had a 60 yard walk-in, with 5 articles, two cross tracks - it's fun to see some handlers' body language saying NO! and the dogs just tracking!  All the teams had a really good go, considering the conditions.  Note: the last leg came back past the walk-in pole, another 30 yards to the last article.

For the square I asked Jackie to use the walk-in pole as the first and only pole and then to walk 25 paces up the walk in, 25 paces right, 25 back down and 25 paces back along the last leg.  Instructions to the handler were to keep one hand on top of the pole at all times while the dog was working.  Four handlers got the idea and picked the pole up, however, most of the dogs got both articles, which were diagonally opposite the one and only pole; one of them was a tennis ball (25 points), the other was a dried sausage, scoring 25 points if eaten, but only half marks if retrieved intact.

The weather wasn't kind, but all the dogs loved it.  Thanks again to Jackie (the hat!)


EVERYONE qualified, the top four were:

1st           CHARLCOATES AVIN FUN AT GLENTRADA, handled by Tracy Collier

2nd         BIG TROUBLE LITTLE CHINA, handled by Kim Astbury

3rd          SAPPHIRE TYG, handled by Gill Armstrong

4th          JAKE AT JOTUNHEIM, handled by Allyson Tohme

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