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Open Trial
Venue: Ballater
Trial Held: 26 June 2005

Trials Managers Report

We had a wonderful weekend for our trial in the most beautiful of settings for which. We are grateful to Her Majesty the Queen for allowing us to use it.  Thanks to Mr Ord for liasing with the Queen on our behalf.

The weather was warm and sunny on Friday and Saturday turning to hot on the Sunday.  The dogs all enjoyed a splash in the river Muick to keep cool.    The tracking grounds were looking particularly good which resulted in dogs, which were ready for something other than grass doing very well indeed.  As usual we lost a number of possible qualifiers in the control, which left the number of overall qualifiers the average 25%.

Every one thoroughly enjoyed the weekend with the, now accustomed, holiday spirit prevailing.   This tumbled over into the evening meals organised in the Auld Kirk in Ballater where some very interesting stories were told and great hilarity when one competitor/helper managed to loose her purse down the loo!!

A great trial is a team effort and we certainly had this from judges to competitors and all the bits in between.

I did a quick calculation and in addition to those that came to help, I noted that almost every competitor did something whether it was tracking, stewarding, catering or providing the eats.   This is the success of this trial, that everyone contributes and are willing to put something back .

Many thanks to Shirley Jeffrey for organising the catering and keeping everything running so smoothly with the help of Karen Tait and Ann Forest.  Not forgetting Gwen Matear, Helen Jones and Ailsa Anderson for keeping the competitors fed.  A huge thank you to all those who brought the home baking and soups and puddings.  Almost everyone contributed something, which rapidly disappeared down throats as it all looked too scrummy to ignore.  I know, I tasted just about everything going.

Thanks too, to Judges, tracklayers and stewards for giving of your time so freely.  While judges will also thank their tracklayers and stewards by name,  I would like to thank Fi McLeod and Joyce Slack for doing the base and scores.   Also my chauffeurs for the weekend Carol Russell and Bob Slack who ferried me around the estate, thankyou.

On the subject of help, grateful thanks to Fiona Smith and Glyn Jones the estate rangers for all their assistance before and during the trial.   I don't believe we did anything to disturb our royal visitors who I believe had a little look at some of the tracking.

Congratulations to competitors who were successful, to our other competitors better luck next time. 



CD Stake


I would to thank the Society for the invitation to judge.  It is an absolute pleasure to be at this trial as the location is just wonderful.

Thanks also to Sheena for being Trials Manager and also the base and catering ladies.  It's not the easiest trial to cater for as the there are no shops on the doorstep.

My husband, David was an excellent steward and we managed to get through the day without having a domestic.  The competitors were a great bunch and accepted my decisions without complaint.

1st           Lindsay Errington with SGIAN (lab) - an excellent round from an experienced handler with a young dog.  This was Sgian's first trial but I think Lindsay forgot to tell as him as he was not fazed at all.  96 Q

2nd         Karen Kelly with DOUGIE (xbreed) - this pair had a cracking round and I was devastated when Dougie failed the scale and missed out on a qualification.  84 NQ

3rd          Sam Ashton with DOTTY (WSD) - a promising pair who with a bit more work have the makings of a good team.  75.5 NQ

4th          Wendy Welstead with TESS (Lab) - this dog showed such enthusiasm for an older dog.  Unfortunately, the sendaway and jumps proved costly.


Control and Agility


Steward : Robbie Warner

The standard of work, with notable exceptions, was not satisfactory.  This section should not be an area where dogs are failing, unless they have been set a bad test.  Progression to championship will involve much stiffer exercises than the competitors were faced with at this event.

The trial as usual was wonderful, the venue is a perfect location and once again blessed with perfect weather.  The organisation by the SWTS committee first class and we were all spoiled, with catering and accommodation.  Particular thanks to Sheena Kerr who put so much effort into the smooth running of the trial.  My thanks to the society for the offer to judge.


1st           Robert Currie with VOMHAUSNYE PUNK (GSD) Q

2nd         Jim Jeffrey with BIRKIE BLOOMER (LAB) Q

3rd          Ailsa Anderson with SEAHAAR SHELL (BC) NQ

4th          Loraine Wilson with ALFIE PEPPER POT (X) NQ


1st           Garry Tait with INSPECTOR MORSE (GSD) Q

2nd         Sheila Shearer with DREAGANTA DEODUBH (BC) Q

3rd          Doug Shearer with DREAGANATA DONN (BC) NQ

4th          Ann Bedford with WOLFHART DARK ISLANDER (GSD) NQ


1st           Hillary Hirst with TRIJEM ALL AMERICAN TALE OF AVAWAGA (Aust Shep D) Q

2nd         Joyce Rae with NIXTEV GLENCADAM (GSD) Q

3rd          Joyce Hudson with STEELEYE SAM (BC) NQ

4th          Linsey Errington with CASTLESIDE YOUNG JET (LAB) NQ


UD Stake


Steward : Jim Scott

Tracklayers : Derek Mcaulay, Bill Mackie

A big thanks to track layers and steward for keeping me right.  I was a bit nervous but you would not have known.

10 dogs entered

4 on Saturday

4 on Sunday

2 scratched

What a difference a day makes!

Saturday was cool and overcast with light spots of rain.  Sunday was scorching, bright sunshine, warm weather unusual for Ballater it was lovely, unfortunately not for the dogs.

Saturday all 4 dogs got round the track with varying degrees of success.  Sunday no dogs got round at all.

It was a 7 leg track with generous sized articles for track and square.  The squares were a success both days.

1st           Mrs. Hilary Hirst with dog QUINCY (Aust Shep).  Lovely dog.  Congratulations to both. Q.

2nd         Mrs. Joyce Rae with TRAVIS.  Well done. Q.

3rd          Joyce Hudson with SAM.  (BC) NQ.

I was going to say hard lines to Sam and Joyce but I won’t because both did well in winning the Taylor Tracking Trophy for best nose work.

Special mention to Sylvia Gordon and Ria for getting round the track and all the best to Ria in her retirement.

I would like to thank the competitors for competing under me.

Every year I say it cannot get better but it does.  A great venue for dogs and people so come on get the entries in next year.




Tracklayers : Jim Jeffrey and Joyce Rae

Search steward : Louise McLaren

My thanks to S.W.T.S. for this judging appointment.  My thanks also to Sheena Kerr for her administrative team; and to Shirley Jeffrey and Karen Tail in the kitchen for looking after us so well.

On a dry, clear day the sun beat down and it was probably too hot for the dogs and definitely too hot for the handlers on the famous Inchnabobart WD tracking ground.  (The only consolation was that the midges weren't as bad as I've seen them in previous years).  However the handlers only had to go round once;  my thanks to Jim and Joyce for laying the tracks - for their expertise and for their hard work on this terrain in these conditions!  My thanks also to my daughter Louise for coming to steward for me and for trying to keep me right as much as possible.

There were six entries; five competed.

Joyce Hudson and Harris were first away and Harris was going really well - precise and purposeful - until Joyce fell and hurt her leg.  She held Harris back for a significant time and by the time she caught him up again he had obviously been put off the track.  He went on to take all four articles out of the square just within the time.  Very unfortunate, Joyce, but good for you for tackling the WD here - its no idle boast to say you've had a go at WD at Inchnabobart; and I'm absolutely sure from what I saw of Harris that he'll do you proud in the future.

Track and articles 55; square 35.

Next off was Ann Bedford with Rona.  Rona did most of the track really well but came across the hillside well down of the long top leg and also just lost the track again before the end.  That left her really needing to get all four articles out of the square to stay in with a chance of qualifying - and she only got three!  At good team missing the chance of qualification by just 5 points - so frustrating.  Sorry, Ann, really sorry!

Track and articles 70; square 27.

Next was Doug Shearer with Donn.  Donn got more than two thirds of the way round but then came downhill off the top leg and as a result lost the rest of the track.  However he got full marks from the search square, completing it just in time!

Track and articles 72; square 35.

Fourth away was Sheila Shearer with Smudge.  Smudge also went well until that ill-fated top leg where he came downhill early on but he continued along in the right direction until he eventually picked up the downhill leg and then he got within a few feet of the final article.  He too got full marks for the square, completing it in 4 minutes 10 seconds.

Track and articles 82; square 35.

Last away was Gary Tait with Morse.  We thought he was only going to get as far as the first corner.  Morse repeatedly indicated the track and Gary repeatedly stood his ground bringing Morse in ever-increasing circles.  Tracklayer Joyce had a few trenchant things to say about Gary at this point!  However when Gary eventually decided to leave the tracking to Morse things started to look up; and when Morse walked him straight to the first article we could almost literally see the doubt lift off Gary's shoulders.  They then did tremendously well for the rest of the track and were the only team to actually find the last article.  It now all depended on the search square.  Many of my fellow German Shepherd owners will have experienced that moment when you put your dog into the search square and he stands stock-still, head down, with a glazed look in his eyes, appearing to have lost the will to live.  For a few horrible moments I thought Morse was going to put Gary through this (maybe in revenge for the first corner of the track!) but gradually he came good and ended up taking three articles out of the square.

Track and articles 106; square 24.

1st           Gary Tait with INSPECTOR MORSE (GSD) Q177

2nd         Sheila Shearer with DREAGANTA DEODUBH (BC) Q162

3rd          Doug Shearer with DREAGANTA DONN (BC) NQ 158.5


TD Nosework

Judge: Bob Russell

Tracklayers : Bob Slack, Steve Hirst

Steward : Gary Tait

Thank you to the Society for the invitation to judge at this trial which I think of as a 'real treat'.  From Saturday morning, the weather just got better and better with sunshine all Sunday making the views absolutely breathtaking.  Many thanks also to the catering staff, tracklayers, steward and trials manager Sheena Kerr.  All of whom made this trial easy for me to judge.  My thanks also go to the competitors who accepted their results without complaint.

1st           VOMHAUSNYE PUNK (GSD) Q204. Handled by Robert Currie this compact, keen dog dropped only 5 points on his track.  He worked the mountainside with absolute confidence and ease.  3 articles on the track followed by 4 out of the square made this performance a joy to watch.  Also winner of the best track and search trophy.

2nd         BIRKIE BLOOMER (LAB) Q200

Handled by Jim Jeffrey this young dog was highly entertaining to watch, to say the least.  On a track laid on the lower area of peat this team proved you can track on water.  The dog took off with Jim hanging on as best he could in the conditions underfoot.  In the wet areas, Birkie just went straight through with a bow wave on either side with Jim jumping, leaping and doing double twists with Pike.  3 articles off the track and 3 from the square.  For me this dog's performance could only be described as incredible and I am sure there is still more in the tank to come.

3rd          SEAHAAR SHELL (BC) NQ 175

This team qualified nosework with ease, but lost qualification somewhere on control  Shell dropped 6 points on the track.  Being quite small and light she made simple work of those areas on the mountainside with short heather and grass, but had to work a bit harder in the sections with longer heather .  Ailsa (I'm getting on a bit, you know) Anderson, the handler, legged it round the track making like Lyndford Christie.  3 articles off the track and 3 from the square.  Great performance.  Shame about control.

4th          ALFIE PEPPERPOT (X-BREED) NQ. Handled by Lorraine Wilson.  Left the poles looking good and working well but lost it at the corner going the wrong direction.

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