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Venue: Ballater
Trial Held: 20 June 2004

Trials Managers report

Once again another lovely trial held on Her Majesty the Queens beautiful Balmoral estate.  I would like to thank Mr Ord the factor for liasing with Her Majesty on SWTS behalf.  I am most grateful for the help received from Glyn Jones and Fiona Smith estate rangers before and during the trial. . 

The weather before the trial was great but as is often the case it changed and we woke to a much cooler and damper climate on the Saturday.  The bonus of this was, of course, that it kept the midges away.  Sunday continued in the same vein but brighten by the end of the day as we packed up to leave.  The stakes were held in their usual location all in heather with UD on the flat, coursed by little rivulets and sometimes puddles.  WD was up the steep hill and TD was a mixture of the two.   CD gets the wild grass area, nice and flat.  C/A right opposite the cottage on a cropped grass plateau.   All surrounded by the magnificent mountains and landscape.

Due to the location of this trial people who give their time generally try to make it into a short break and, I think, once again those who did, had a thoroughly enjoyable stay in and around Ballater.  I know those who travelled from the South and stayed for a week or more were delighted

Thank you to the many helpers this year from the setting up on the Friday to the clearing away on the Sunday, many hands make light work, I am very grateful.  To judges, tracklayers and stewards, many thanks for helping make such a wonderful weekend and I leave it to the judges to thank you in name in their reports.   To the competitors, many of whom were also doing many of the fore and aft mentioned jobs, if success came your way congratulations, if not, I wish you every success in your forthcoming trials.

 Catering, the big bug bear, as always, so big thank you to all those who helped with the catering and gave the others a break.  Shirley Jeffrey did another magnificent weekend with her usual efficient organisation, helped on the Saturday by Karen Tait and Lorraine Wilson in the Cottage and for competitors  by Lyndsay Errington and Jenny Wood (new to trials and starting off in style). On the Sunday, by Karen Tait and Anne Forrest (cottage) and Ailsa Anderson and David McPhilips (competitors).  To all who donated food and raffle prizes this again was very much appreciated.

Finally, it was good to have Eileen Milne with us for the weekend.  Eileen as one of the founders of this trial had for many years organised the catering and worked away in the background.  We found out during the evening meal that she had been a land girl at Balmoral and stayed in Ballater during the war.  So, a  very special place for her and full of memories of which she was tempted to share a few.  I hope she will join us next year and keep us entertained with her stories of opera singers. (Italians at that).



CD Stake


Steward: Hilary Hirst

Thanks to SWTS for inviting me to judge CD at Inchnabobart.

Logistically this is quite a "trial" and Manager Sheen Kerr and all her helpers did a good job, coping with all the hard work of catering, moving jumps, etc. at this out-of-the-way venue.

Thanks to the many helpers, all appreciated.

A big "Thank You" to Hilary Hirst for stewarding - magic, and highly recommended!

Ten entries, 9 ran. Weather very cold, wet and windy, but the dogs didn't seem to mind.

1st           S Watt with BIRKIE BLOOMER (Lab). A lovely round from this new handler and dog. Liked the fast and decisive sendaway! Q COM (89)

2nd         A Pollard with PRIDE OF THE GLEN (G. Ret.) Another lovely round from this working-type Goldie but refused the scale (which I am told is unusual). If only! NQ (82 1/2)

3rd          W Welstead with CALAFOUNTA1N NORTH DAWN (Lab) Excellent nosework and control. An older dog starting out in trials -jumps a problem. NQ (82)

4th          A Bedford with WOLFHART DARK ISLANDER (GSD). Good solid stays from this young Shepherd. Nice heelwork too.


Control and Agility

Judge : Carol Russell

Stewards : Ian Beaton - you were great, thank you.

Thanks must go to Her Majesty for allowing us the continued use of her estate.  It is a superb venue with incredible scenery.  To Sheila Kerr, trials manager, a difficult job well done.  Everything was organized down to the last plate!  Also thanks to the ladies in the kitchen.  Knowing how difficult the tracking can be I set an easy test.  Sendaways in UD were crossed white poles 75 yards.  WD plus TD outrun 100 yards to single white pole with flag on top.  Re-direct left 50 yards to blue pole.  These were either perfect or terrible!  Some dogs have not quite got the hang of what is required.  Speak - face the dog - five barks, quiet, five barks, mostly well done.  Jumps were good, few failures.  Heel work was very good.  Then we came to the STAYS.  Oh dear, 18 competed.  7 broke. 3 of which were qualifying. 


1st           Fran Mitchell with WINSTON   N/Q 181.5

2nd         Lorraine Wilson with ALFIE N/Q 167.5

3rd          Jean Morley with KAPPA N/Q 133.5

4th          Andrea Lynd with HIM  N/Q  133.5


1st           Jacquie Hall with GHAILLE  N/Q 71

2nd         Pam Cuthbert with MILO N/Q 66.5

3rd          June McPhillips with KYLE N/Q 57

4th          Shirley Shearsmith with FERN N/Q 48.5


1st           Gary Tait with MORSE   A Qualifier  187

2nd         Ian Forrest with REBUS N/Q 184.5

3rd          S. Watt with BUZZ N/Q  169

4th          Joyce Hudson with HARRIS N/Q 155.5

Several handlers were close to qualifying.  Enjoy your dogs and your trialing.


WD Stake


I would like to thank everybody involved with the running of this trial for making us so very welcome. Special thanks to Jim McKay who laid all the tracks and Derek Mcauley who laid all the squares.

Thanks also to Sheena Kerr the Trial manager who worked hard to keep things running smoothly.

The ladies in the kitchen were great and thanks must go to them for coping with my odd dietary requirements.

The weather was not good ,with strong blustery winds, which certainly did not help the dogs which I felt generally lacked a desire to track/search.

Every dog  managed to leave the pole in the right direction . Jim, Derek and myself on each occasion hoped that this time we would have a success but is was not to be.

The land is not easy at this trial but the spare track was completed each day, albeit with a slightly more experienced dog and handler.. This at least gave Jim the satisfaction of knowing that the failures were not down to his tracklaying.

This has got to be the most spectacular setting for a trial in the whole of the UK with  the use of Her Majesty's lodge as a base and the surrounding land on which to track .

I recommend that anybody who has not experienced this trial should get themselves up there asap.

Nos of entries      7

1st           J Hall with MERCURY SKYLARK G/Ret  NQ

2nd         P Cuthbert with PIERCES BOY CDex UDex   X-breed   NQ

3rd          J Mc Phillips with ESKMILL MIDNIGHT CDex  F/Ret NQ

4th          S Shearsmith with MEDBURN NEMESIA CDex UDex   GSD   NQ


TD Nosework


Tracklayers:  Bob Slack, Jim Jefferies, Joyce Rae.

Search Steward:  John Hood

I would like to thank the Society for the invitation to judge at this beautiful venue.

My tracklayers did a wonderful job as did my search steward.   The ladies who ran

the kitchen gave us a lovely lunch.  Sheena Kerr has an excellent team to help her.

Unfortunately the weather was not very kind.  Saturday was cold, wet and very windy. Sunday was a little better but still very cold.

1st           RENDALE ROBIN CDex-WDex Lab d. Handler Ms F.Mitchell A lovely track with all 3 articles and a good square to follow. Bad luck on the control.  NQ

2nd         ALFIE PEPPERPOT X-Breed d.  Handler Mrs L. Wilson  A good track except for the last leg.  If only you had got that first article.  NQ

3rd          KRINKLEY PARK KAPPA CDex-WDex GSD d.  Handler Mrs J. Morley  Really tried hard on the track but overshot and didn't manage to recover.  NQ

4th          REBARK ALMOND Lab b. Handler Ms A.J.Lynd This little bitch really worked hard to recover but didn't quite make it. NQ

Good luck in the future. 

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