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Stake: CD


Steward: Gill Armstrong, 2 days

Gate stewards: Beryl Gunnal and Val Joughin

I would like to say many thanks to the North West Working Trials Society for the invitation to judge their CD, thanks to Ray Lea, trials manager - he even managed to maintain good weather throughout the trial - and thanks to all the wonderful helpers at this trial, for making it such a resounding success.

A BIG thank you to Judith and Hazel at the base, Pam, Diane and everyone else who pitched in to run the catering - lovely fresh food, hot drinks, with lots of beautiful cakes!

Thanks must go to our gate stewards; it was very cold both days, and I expected Beryl and Val to end up with hypothermia.  Your help made the running of CD flow very well, we certainly appreciated you both.

To my right hand lady, Gill, you were a super steward; all dogs qualified the nosework section and you even managed to keep me up to speed, which is no easy task!

Thank you, Gill, for giving up two days, you are very good company and a very efficient steward.

1st           PARAVEL JUNIPER, GSD, B, with Caroline Woods, 88.5, Q CDEx.  As Caroline is a bag of nerves when competing she opted to work first on Saturday.  Dekah worked a very good round, only lost a few marks for extra commands in the heel free section of control.  All three articles recovered from the search and lost a few marks on retrieve, again for extra commands.  With 15 for her jumps, Dekah was the star of the CD.  Congratulations, Caroline.

2nd         BEESTING SAMBA, BC, B, with John Missin, 79.5, Q CD.  Spirit recovered three articles from the search and only lost one point on the retrieve, giving them a very good start to the test.  Her control round is solid, John, a few marks lost due to extra commands, probably not needed?  With 15 for her agility we had our hopes on a qualification, unfortunately the last exercise was the down stay and she sat up as John left her - a very expensive laps of concentration.  On Friday’s performance she will certainly get her CDEx soon

3rd          BANDAICH  STAR EDITION with Dave Stewart, 88.5, NQ.  Roxi worked a blinder of a round - only lost one point on heel free and one on lead; super nosework, recovered all articles for full marks, only lost 2 on retrieve for extra commands.  Such a shame about her anticipating the clear jump, knocking off the top bar - she made the second attempt look so easy, but with 5 for long and 5 scale, dreaded 12.5 for agility!  I bet by the time this goes to press you will have qualified.

4th          MERPOL VITO, GSD, B, with Christine Davis, 87.5, NQ.  Vito had a full mark nosework section and only lost 1.5 on control - she has so much potential, Chris, you must be so pleased with her.  She was another dog who was short on marks in the agility section, but I know she has been successful with the agility since competing. Again, I am sure Vito's CDEx is not far away

Thank you to all the competitors; I hope you enjoyed the day out with your dogs.  There are a lot of very good dogs coming through the CD stake, but please try to be aware of extra commands, they can be very expensive.

Remember you all went home with the best dog!

Thank you for the GSD gift, it was a lovely surprise.  To all the people who helped as puppy monitor, helped to walk, feed, play with and train the Tasmanian Devil, "Dell", you are wonderful, she had a ball.........


Stake: UD 


Tracklayers: Jeff Margreaves and Dave Stretch, day one; Martyn Wilcock and Alan Heatley, day two

Square and C/A Stewards: Sue Ashley Square day one; Emily Arch, day two

Gate Stewards:  Ray Lea and Martyn Wilcock

Stay Stewards: Sue Ashley, Dave Stretch and Emily Arch

Base: Judith Stamp, Hazel Holt and Lol Williams.

Escort: Jackie Dykes

Kitchen: Pam Wadsworth, leading the team and kindly contacting us prior to the trial to ascertain our dietary needs, Chris Gamo, Chris Overton, Sylvia Austin, Diane (rude jellies!) Higgins and Chas.

Evening meal: Claire and Claire (loved the veggie option!!)

Farmers: George Liddle (tracking fields); Andrew Lea (control field)


My thanks to NWWTS for the invitation to judge their UD Champ stake, to all who made the trial possible, before, during and after the event and my sincere apologies if I have forgotten to mention you by name.

I have never been to this area or trial previously and now know what I’ve been missing!  This trial, managed by Ray Lea and “Team NW”, is one of the nicest that I have had the privilege to attend.  The base in the village hall has plenty of parking, an adjacent dog walking wood and control field, and tracking on lush pasture a very short drive away.  I would recommend that if anyone is considering entering this trial, go for it, it’s in a lovely part of the country, close to motorway connections and a very friendly group of people who made us feel very welcome.

The teams in the field were first class, with tracks, squares and control round executed with consideration for the competitors, giving them the best chance to qualify.  Weather was dry and bright, with a very slight breeze.

16 entered, 12 ran, 7 qualified


1st           THE ZETA, CDEx, UDEx, WSD, B, owned and handled by Sue Ashby, 198, Q.  A near “paw perfect” round for this very experienced handler and her young dog, Zeta.  Lovely to watch and just know I have witnessed a champion on the way up.  Well done, Sue, good luck in WD.

2nd         GLENWOODIAN FLINDERS, Lab, B, owned and handled by Jain Douglas, 197.5, Q.  Despite Jain having a new knee which she was still “running in”, this team were a delight to watch.  Only half a point between 1st and 2nd places, worked to a very high standard.  Bindy did you proud.

3rd          TEASEL TUMBLETWIST, Lab, D, owned and handled by Abbey Peart, 195.5, Q.  Abbey described her sendaway as her “nemesis”.  Dobby went off like a rocket, there’s a lot of us that would like such a problem J!  A pleasure to watch this pair, who are definitely a team.  Well done, Abbey.

4th          ZINZAN ZOO, CDEx, UDEx, Cross, B, owned and handled by Jackie Dykes, 193.5, Q.  As well as qualifying this super, happy girl, Poppy, to a very high standard, Jackie was also heavily involved in the running of this trial.  Thanks for your help, Jackie; it was lovely to meet and watch you and thank you for letting me see Poppy.


Also qualified:

TADMARTON EARL, Lab, D, owned and handled by Bob Shropshire, 189.5.  A very competent round by Bob and Harvey - a return on the scale would have put you in places.  Well done!

BEELAHOLT BRYN, CDEx, UDEx, BC, D, owned and handled by Jenny Holt, 186.5.  You’ve bred a great pair of dogs Jenny – so alike!  Good luck in WD

EYLAUERHOF ISLA, Rottweiler, B, owned and handled by David Waite, 184.  A scary moment during the track from which this team recovered competently. Well done, David and Isla.


Best track and best GSD trophy to ZEFRAM AMBELUS AT CONCENN, GSD, B, owned by DA and SD Warrick, handled by Sandra Warrick, unfortunately not qualifying on this occasion.


My final thanks to the competitors for entering.  I thought that the standard in this competition was very high, such a pleasure to watch.  Thank you for showing me your lovely dogs.  To those that qualified, very well done; to those that didn’t, better luck next time.


Stake: WD


Tracklayers: Mark Gardner, all three days, Terry Austin, Thursday and Friday, and Kim Astbury, Saturday

Square Stewards: Kim Astbury, Thursday and Friday, and Di Higgins, Saturday

Control Steward: Kim Astbury, all three days

As this trial is scheduled on the same weekend as Surrey, I have only been once before and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Thanks to the committee of the society for the invitation to judge the WD stake and all of their hard work in running the trial.  Despite feeling the sensation that Joyce Tibbets was sticking pins in an effigy of me for deserting her, I really enjoyed the weekend.  What a super team that Ray Lea has put together to run this trial.  He works really hard and thinks of everything.  I started making notes of people to thank and decided that it would make my speech just too long; but I really want to acknowledge their contribution.  We were able to park our caravan in an ideal site very close to the base, with excellent dog exercising facilities, thanks to Paul Jenkinson.  The tracking land and control field were ideal.  Tracking was on fairly lush grass that was not too long and provided by George Liddell.  Judith Stamp, Jackie Dykes and Hazel Holt (who also escorted) ran the base and made sure everything was kept on track.  There was a veritable army who kept us fed including Pam, Di, Chris(tine), Lol, Sylvia, Claire, Claire and Chris(topher).  Apart from the team in the field, Sandra, Dave Stewart, Di Higgins and Sue Ashley helped with the stays, either stewarding or controlling the gate.  

NWWTS WD track pattern 600x701

20 Entered, 17 ran.  Only two, of the seventeen teams that attempted the exercise, failed to complete the track.  Weather for the first day was very misty, to the extent that it was just possible to see the whole track, and the ground, for the early tracks, was covered in a thick frost.  On the second and third days, it was brighter, warmer and there was less moisture on the ground.  The tracks were laid perfectly by all three tracklayers.  Judging by the marks and quality of tracking it appears that the dogs found it more difficult on the first day.  All of the teams that completed the track recovered both of the articles, which were a 2" square piece of leather and 2" square piece of green fabric.  Square articles were a spark plug, a 4" length of green washing line, a 2.5” length of wooden dowelling and a piece of cloth cut from what was my favourite suit, which Sandra hated, and the demise of which she celebrated openly!!!  Kim and Di really worked hard with the squares, ensuring that the dogs had the best possible chance of success.  None of the articles posed particular problems for the dogs, but only seven retrieved all four articles.

The control round began with the down stay, which was completed uneventfully on all three days.  One handler scratched after completing a very competent nosework round when her dogs displayed indications of lameness.  Of the fifteen teams that attempted the control round, twelve achieved sufficient marks to qualify. 

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the dogs that entered this stake, and I had a fantastic three days just watching them demonstrating their abilities, ending with twelve very deserving qualifiers.

1st           Jane Lewis with RHYNSTON RHYS, CDEx, UDEx, Rhys, WSD, D, qualifying WDEx on 196.5.   Jane's whole round was a delight to watch.  Achieved 89.5 for the track, recovering both articles, 34 points for the square and only losing two marks for the sendaway exercise in the control round. 

2nd         Chris Gregory with THRIFTWOOD ALLEGRA, Dilly, Golden Retriever, B, qualifying WDEx on 194.  A very good track, 89 + 20 for the articles, then recovering all four articles from the square for 33 marks.  In the control round, Dilly was the only dog to achieve a full mark sendaway.  Dilly is absolutely super and Chris showed what can be done by a lively Goldie in the right hands.  Well done, Chris.   

3rd          Karen Bexon with SPICEY LITTLE MAN, Spice, CDEx, UDEx, WSD, D, qualifying WDEx on 190.5.  Awarded 3rd place over Joyce Watson by reason of her superior nosework marks.  She was also awarded the trophy for the best nosework, achieving 89.5 + 20 for the articles and 34 for the search square.  Karen has clearly worked very hard to keep a lid on this very lively dog.  Congratulations, Karen.

4th          Joyce Watson with COLINTON CEIL, Ceilidh, XB, B, qualifying WDEx on 190.5.  Another very competent nosework round, achieving 88 for the track + 20 for the articles and 32 for the search square.  What a happy little girl; I really enjoyed watching her work.  Well done. 

Also qualifying WDEx:

John Fitzpatrick with THREENINES ACE OF CLUBS, Jimmy, BSD Mali, D, 189.5.  A very creditable 89 + 20 track and 32 for the search exercise.  A really impressive strong dog.   Well done, Fitz.

Elaine Barr with Freddie, appropriately named FREDDIE'S JUST DYNAMITE, Cocker Spaniel, D, 178.5.  What a little dynamo - wow!!!  I understand that Freddie didn't perform to the best of his abilities but I thought he was just great.  Track 88+20 and 25.5 for the search, failing to retrieve the cloth.   Congratulations, Elaine.

Judith Stamp with LITTLE MADAM MABELLINE, Mabel, CDEx – WDEx, XB, B, 177.5.  Judith achieved 84.5 for the track + 20 for the articles.  Mabel couldn't locate the spark plug in the square and ended with 25 marks for that exercise.  Congratulations, Judith.

Ruth Cahill with RASSAU LERA OF VOMKYNA, Pixy, CDEx, UDEx, GSD, B, 176.  Ruth and Pixy achieved 89 + 20 track.  Pixy had difficulty recovering the wooden article, achieving 23 for the search exercise.  Well done, Ruth.  

Gary Haim with LOOPITOONZ SPACE RANGER, Buzz, WSD, D, 172.5.  Gary and Buzz achieved 87.5 + 20 for the track.  Buzz was unable to locate the spark plug and didn't seem to be able to pick up the washing line from the square, achieving 17 points.  Gary's more than capable handling of this dog achieved a well-deserved qualification, achieving full mark heelwork and retrieve exercises, and 9 for the sendaway.  Well done, Gary.  It was good to see both you and Sandra.

Polly Thomas with POLLGINA DENNIS SPARKIE, Dennis, Lab, D, 172.5.  Achieved 85+20 for the track and 23 for the square, Dennis having difficulty locating the spark plug.  A very lively lab that Polly just about kept on top of.  Congratulations, Polly.

Jenny Holt with BEELAHOLT BRIAR,  Briar, CDEx, UDEx, BC, B, 163.5.  87+20 for the track and articles.  Briar was unable to recover the washing line and was awarded 27 points for the search exercise.  She is a real livewire who seems to want to do the exercises on her own terms, but Jenny managed to steer her to a WDEx.  Well done Jenny - phew!!


Stake: PD


Steward: Sue Ashley (Search and C/A)

Tracklayers: Geoff Margreaves, Dave Stretch

PD helpers: Mark Gardener, Chris Trevor, Alan Heatley, Paul Quinlan (Yelldog)

PD Steward: Mark Lewindon

Escorts: Jackie Dykes, Hazel Holt, Kim Astbury

Thank you to the NWWTS committee for inviting me to judge this stake.  Thank you to Trial Manager, Ray Lea, and his team for making me feel ‘at home’.

Many thanks to Judith Stamp and Hazel Holt at the base, to Hazel, Jackie Dykes and Kim Astbury for escorting, and to Pam Wadsworth and co in the kitchen for keeping everyone well looked-after.

Thank you to the tracklayers and stewards who all did a great job, making everything run smoothly.  A big thank you to Mark Lewindon for practicing with me before the trial, and for being consistent and clear in stewarding; it makes a big difference to the competitors.

I must say special ‘thank you’s’ to the PD helpers, especially Alan Heatley, who ran his legs off, and to Paul Quinlan, who was drafted in to help at short notice. What great actors you all are.

7 entered and ran.  Tracking was on grass.

The PD round was in an L-shaped field with numerous trees and bushes. The boundaries on 3 sides were used for the quarter (the first exercise).  A hide was placed in one corner to draw the dogs.  The dogs were sent along one side and called back to be re-directed along the remaining 2 sides.  A camouflaged helper was positioned just around the last corner, standing against the fence.

From the quarter the helper was escorted, and he attempted to attack the handler when a second helper appeared and spoke to me.  From the end of the escort the dogs were set up for the recall, which was around the corner of the field, out of sight to the handlers.  After the recall, dogs were prepared for the Test of Courage: a helper shouted aggressively, and the dogs were sent.  When the dogs were about 20 yards away the helper started banging 2 metal dog bowls together.  If the dogs bit the main helper they were surrounded and menaced by 3 other helpers holding white sacks.

The last exercise was the chase and detention, which was set up exactly as the recall.

Pleasingly, all 7 dogs had qualified through nosework and control with similar marks, so I decided after the first day to run the PD test as a lockout, as watching other dogs could have given competitors an advantage in their handling of the test.

1st           Alan Bexon with WTCh FLY BY NIGHT LAD, CDEx - TDEx, PDEx, WSD, D, 275, Q.  An excellent 2 days’ work.  Fly did a fabulous quarter, really looking into the hedges, with good control.  Keen to work in all 3 phases of the trial, although he declined the test of courage.  Overall, an admirable performance; congratulations.

2nd         Les Theobald with TYTRI ROMAN JACK, CDEx – WDEx, BC, D, 261, Q.  Congratulations on your second PDEx in 2 weeks, Reserve CC, and Best Patrol Round.  Keep working on the heelwork!

3rd          Diane Ling with WTCh DEBEN LITTLE TOM, CDEx - TDEx, PDEx, Shepherd/Collie, 256, NQ.  Good nosework and control round, but uncharacteristically no recall, so 5 marks short on Patrol.

4th          Tom Davis with JOTUNHEIM ALMA, Malinois, B, 246, NQ.  Good work from Ruby throughout, but no recall, so again 5 marks short on Patrol.

I would like to thank the competitors for being so sporting and accepting of my decisions, and for their kind comments about the tests.


Stake: Veteran


Tracklayers: Arthur Ball and Phil Talbot

Steward: Barbara Bell

Thanks to the society for the invitation to judge, and to Ray for all the organisation. Thanks to my tracklayers, Arthur Ball and Phil Talbot - you can both tracklay for me anytime.  Special thanks to my steward, Barbara, for both days and also to Beryl for shadowing me and picking up my pencils.

As this was veteran stake, I set a test that was hopefully enjoyable for the competitors and was enjoyable to watch. There were two cross tracks and most of the dogs coped admirably with them.  Comments over the two days ranged from a competitor saying 'Really enjoyed that. We should train cross tracks right from the beginning', to a spectator saying, 'why set such a stupid track like that!'.  Suppose you can't please everyone.

1st           SHADOWQUEST LEGACY, handled by Gill Moran, 187 pts

2nd         SHERINGEM GLYNN, Paul Adams, 185 pts

3rd          BEELAHOLT KEZZY BEAST, Rosemary Smyth, 179 pts

4th          CONCENN XCEL, Gail Gwesyn-Pryce, 150 pts

Thank you to most people for accepting my test and decisions in the spirit that it was meant.


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