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Open Trial
Venue: Ringwood
Trial Held: 03 March 2007


Stake: UD


Tracklayers: Mary Drewitt and Janet Parker

Steward; John West

Firstly I would like to thank Poole and District DTC, and especially Melvin and Mary Drewitt, for the invitation to judge the UD stake at this most pleasant venue.  I also extend a very big thank you to John West, not only for laying all the squares and control stewarding for all the competitors, but also for his support, and the caring and friendly manner he helped put all the competitors at their ease.  A special thanks is also extended to the kitchen staff, especially Sue,  who needed male guidance only once when preparing the excellent meals that were prepared for us each evening.  I also thank my very skilled tracklayers, Mary Drewitt and Janet Parker, both good company and very efficient.  Thanks Girls.

The weather was mainly dry and sunny, with only one heavy downpour of rain whilst the penultimate track was being laid.  The tracks were laid on rough grass and scrub land.  Out of the eight dogs that entered, only three qualified, four dogs failing the track and one the jumps.  All but one dog brought all four articles out of the square.

I finally thank the competitors for accepting my judgement and comments in a positive and friendly manner, without question or argument.  I found it an enjoyable task to evaluate and judge some lovely young dogs, the majority of which, it was evident, enjoyed the work, and endeavoured to please their handlers.  To those who qualified, I extend my congratulations, and to those who just missed out, I wish you every success next time.

1st           Elizabeth Hickman with WOLFHART TOUCH OF GOLD, GSD, B.  This young bitch, Jay,  showed off her training to perfection, zooming round the track with a loss of only three marks and four articles out of the square.  Then a near perfect control and agility round, even with a re-direct on the sendaway, made this team a very well deserved winner of the stake.  Congratulations and good luck in the future.  191, CoM.

2nd          Lindsey Poole with MORROW BILBY, GSD, B.  Tia made a nonchalant start to the track, but came good in the end, and with four out of the square and a perfect sendaway, this young bitch did well.  With a little more work on the long jump and the gun, you should experience many more successes in the future.  Well done to you both, and good luck.  174, CoM.

3rd           Irene Nicholl with GUNULT CHA CHA, Weim, D.  Kern’s performance was only marred by his over-exuberance and immaturity when tracking; only by good handling did he complete the track, but unfortunately he only found one of  the articles, thereby not allowing him a higher placing.  He did bring four articles out of the square and had an excellent control and agility round.  With a little more maturity, this dog should have a very successful future.  Well done.  172.5, CoM.

4th           Phil Roberts with WILHELM CLARUS, GSD, D.  This was the first time this team had been in competition, and although they did well in the nosework section, the dog’s inexperience showed by letting it down in the jumps and stays.  This dog enjoyed working, and wanted to please his master, and should therefore do well in the future.  136, NQ.




Tracklayers: Gavin Thomson and Melvin Drewitt (Friday), Martine Taylor and Arthur Jeal (Saturday)

Stewards: Lynne Cousins – C/A; Jacquie West - Search Squares

Many thanks to the Poole Committee for inviting me to judge their WD stake.  There were 14 entries of which 13 actually competed over the 2 days.

As usual at Poole the food was excellent.  Many thanks to Sue and Carol in the kitchen, and Mary, who prepared the evening meals.  Thanks also to Mary and Melvin for allowing us to stay with them during the trial.

We started each day with the C/A round.  Here we saw some very good retrieves, with 5 dogs obtaining full marks and 4 more only dropping 0.5 mark each.  The conditions underfoot for the heel work were wet in places.  Even allowing for this I feel that some handlers need to train for this exercise a little more if they are to avoid dropping valuable points as they progress on to WD Championship level.  For the sendaway I chose a large tree in the hedge 100 yards across the field.  Unfortunately several of the dogs found this difficult.  The majority of dogs qualified the agility section.

Many thanks to my wife Lynne for her help stewarding the C/A rounds. This was only her second stewarding appointment and she kept things running smoothly for me.

In the afternoons we moved on to nosework.  Conditions had a significant impact upon the outcome, with no dogs completing the track on the Saturday.  Although we were really lucky with the weather during the day there was a significant amount of rainfall on the Friday night, which made the ground conditions very wet for the competitors on Saturday.  On the Friday three dogs completed the track, each finding both articles (long, thin, wooden tea stirrer for the first article and a beer mat for the second).  Thanks to my track layers who did an excellent job in the soggy conditions.  They were all good company and kept up their spirits in spite of so few dogs getting around their tracks.  Most of the dogs worked the search square with ease, retrieving 3 or 4 articles (Gun Cartridge, 3 inch long piece of sash cord, 4 x 1.5 inches piece of carpet and a 3 x 2.5 inches piece of sack cloth).  My thanks to Jacquie for laying the search squares, which were laid with precision and great care to avoid the puddles, especially on the Saturday.

Reading the above comments it would be easy to picture a gloomy couple of days.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The dogs were all enthusiastic and appeared to enjoy themselves.  In addition the handlers all had a very positive attitude.  In spite of the conditions underfoot, and for some the fact that their dogs did not quite achieve the performance they wanted, they took it all in their stride and remained positive.  I had a thoroughly enjoyable couple of days and hope that the competitors also enjoyed the trial.  The highlight for me was the look on the face of the last competitor on the Saturday, who walked up the gravel track to see several cows standing at the start pole with one rubbing its head on the start pole itself.  He was relieved to hear that it was the spare track and that his track was further over.

Congratulations to the two that qualified and better luck next time for those who didn’t make it.  I feel that a number of you can genuinely put your failure to qualify down to the conditions.

1st     Gary Squires and ARNCOURT DELTA, CDEx, UDEx, (GSD), Q, 185. Very good nosework.  Highest nosework marks, and one of only 3 dogs to get all 4 articles from the square.  This followed very good control and agility rounds. Well done Garry and Ellie, worthy winners.

2nd   Carole Brooke and THEALEFARM BROOKE, CDEx, (Lab), Q, 175.  Another very good performance. Oscar was 0.5 mark up on Ellie in the C/A rounds but did not score quite so well on the nosework.

3rd   Rita Banfather and STARCO MY GUY OF BANNERSWAY, CDEx, UDEx, (GSD), NQ, 165.5.  Another good nosework performance and C/A round. However, the sendaway let them down and resulted in the non qualification.

4th    Robert Willetts and MOORMILL NILANDU, CDEx, UDEx, (FCR), NQ,132.5.   The second highest C/A scores and one of only 3 dogs to get all 4 articles from the square.  Unfortunately Dax did not complete the track.


Stake: TD


Tracklayers: John Hinds, John West, Melvin Drewitt, Len Newman

Square Stewards: Sharon Drewitt and Le’ Newman

Trials Manager: Melvin Drewitt

Base Steward: Jean Howells.

Thanks to the society for inviting me to judge and to Mary, Melvin, and their committee and helpers for all their hard work, prior to, during and after the trial.  Special thanks to Mary and her culinary staff, who produced the most superb meals every evening as well as keeping me fed and watered during the day.

All the tracklayers did a brilliant job and deserve a special mention, as laying TD tracks in a waterlogged forest is no mean feat.  Trying to keep to the track pattern must be a nightmare when huge gorse bushes, rivers and large ponds have to be negotiated.  You all have my sincere respect, admiration and gratitude.

Thank you, Jean, for organizing the base and keeping the score sheets updated, and thanks also to June for the use of her land for the control and for the shelter of your lovely cottage.  My soggy paperwork took quite a lot of sorting out and my list of helpers seems to have disappeared altogether, so if I have forgotten to mention anyone please accept my apologies.

We had heavy showers most days, some of which were very prolonged.  Tracking in these conditions was not easy and sadly we lost one of the qualifiers in the stays when the rain was particularly heavy and prolonged. 

1st     Sue Redshaw with MEADOWMILL TRAVIS, CDEx, WDEx, Lab.  Travis did a lovely track, losing only 3 and went on to do a superb square, getting all 4 out.  This was followed by a competent control round and a well earned qualification.   Well done Sue.  N/W, 97:20:31, C/A, 30:17.5.  Total Points 195.5, COM.

2nd   Margery Lee with LOKI MISCHIEF MAKER, CDEx, WDEx, WSD.  Loki worked really hard on the track and grew in confidence as he went round.  Lost only 4 and found all 3 articles.  A good square and nice C/A put him in a qualifying position, but unfortunately he found the torrential rain during stays just too much.  Hard luck Margery, but never mind, at least you know he is easily capable of qualifying in TD.  N/W, 96:30:29, C/A. 19.5:15,   Total Points, 189.5.

3rd   June Coutts with HORSEDROVE HENRY, CDEx, WDEx, Lab.  Darcy flew round the track with no problems at all, except perhaps that he forgot the articles.  Went on to do a nice square, excellent control round, considering he did his stays in torrential rain, and got full point agility.  Well done June. All your hard work is paying off.  He really can do it.  Good Luck next time.  N/W, 94.5:0:25, C/A, 27:20,   Total Points, 166.5.

4th    Jane Gray with GOMARINGEN HANNS AT DERJANCA, CDEx, UDEx, Lab.  Tarka produced an excellent track, losing only 3 and getting two articles, and followed this with a full point square.  Unfortunately on his way into the control field he spotted a squirrel and just could not make himself concentrate on the control round.  Hard luck, Jane.

Two other dogs and handlers worthy of a mention.

Chris Gregory with VOMHAUSNYE QUANTUM, CDEx, WDEx, GSD.  What a track Chris.  Absolutely superb.

Beryl Kimberley with OAKENHEART DARK DELIGHT, GSD.  You both coped really well on the forest and were just a cat’s whisker away from completing the track.  So close, but never mind, there is always next time.  Good luck.

I would like to thank all the competitors for entering under me and I wish you all good luck in future trials.

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