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Championship Trial
Venue: Lauder
Trial Held: 16 May 2010



Steward: Carole Hall

My thanks to SWTS for the invitation to judge at one of my favourite trials, in an area where Yvonne and I have holidayed for many years.  Ann Bedford heads a terrific team of helpers, who between them put on an excellent trial.  My thanks to Ann, Gwen Matear, June McPhillips, Mary Edgar and Helen Jones at the base; Jackie Suckling and Katie Lawnes in the kitchen and to those others in the background but whose help was appreciated.  Thank you all for looking after me so well and making both the visit and the trial very enjoyable.

Having travelled up at the start of the week we thought we would be noble and call in to lend a hand erecting the tents etc.  My timing was as impeccable as ever and we arrived just as the last peg was being driven in.  As the wind had got up, (doesn’t it always when putting up tents, awnings etc?) I thought, "Well, that was lucky."  Well, my luck ran out here, and they had me tracklaying on the Friday as a change from sightseeing.

16 entries; 12 ran.

I had a terrific team of helpers out in the field – well, it felt like a team but it was in fact Carole "What, with these feet?" Hall.  So keen was Carole to serve with me that despite there being hundreds of vacant pitches on the caravan site she insisted on parking so close to me we could have embraced without leaving the caravans!  Carole was an excellent steward giving every team the same consideration in such a way as to give them every possibility of succeeding.  She must also be nice and smelly because all the squares where successful.  But she is a hard taskmaster - it is the first time I have had to design a round where the steward stands still and the judge does all the walking!  Many thanks, Carole.  Thank you also to June McPhillips who was gate and stay steward.  

The stake ran over one day on grass – well, one field actually.  But what a field - it was huge with shortish, even grass and a flat if not level surface, but ideal for staying on your feet and keeping your balance.  I had a great bunch of competitors who took whatever befell them with good grace and this also helped to make a very enjoyable trial for me.  All of those who did not quite make it did enough to show that on another day they will be successful, even the few who had "a day to be forgotten".  Congratulations to those who succeeded – you deserved to.  All the dogs that ran showed commitment to their work, which says a lot about how they have been trained.  Don’t lose this in trying to make improvements and achieving consistency.  To all the teams who ran, thank you for accepting my decisions and best wishes to all at your future trials.

1st Caroline Wright and CARISHILL ODIN, G.Ret, D, 88, CDEx.  Only minor mistakes along the way from Benson and over-precise footwork from Caroline in heelwork spoilt the picture that this team presented.  Nevertheless, a very good overall performance.

2nd Tom Darby and TRIPLE CHAOS, WSD, B, 82.5, CDEx.  Excellent performance by Tom and Rio with just little bits and pieces, but no sit which proved very costly in the end.  I will say it for all of us - thank goodness tracklaying is still Tom’s first love because he is as particular about getting his training right as he is about laying his tracks!

3rd Gary Martin and CARISHILL ATLAS, G.Ret, D, 80, CDEx.  Gary and Dylan had no sit stay and no return over the scale and that made a huge difference at the end.  Other than that this was the performance I was looking for.  A committed, happy dog and good clean, unfussy handling.

4th Margaret O’Kane and LITTLE SPROUT, XB, D, 77.5, NQ.  Margaret says Dill is a Lancashire Heeler, but whatever he is he is a cracking little worker who zipped through the square in 55 secs.  Took Carole longer putting it out.  Iron out the problems and we will all be glad he is too little to bother us for long!




Tracklayers: Helen, Derek, Jim, Gary Tait

Search and Control Steward: Betty

Thanks to SWTS for the invitation to judge.  We’ve always loved the great atmosphere of the Scottish trials and having judged for them it’s easy to see why - Ann, as Trials Manager, leads a dedicated, hardworking team, who make sure that competitors and judges want for nothing.  Thanks to Ann, June, David, Gwen, Katie, Jackie, Mary and all the others who provided food, drinks, calculation of marks, certificates and everything else that was required.  Especially thanks for the thoughtfulness in providing for my strange dietary needs!

Helen and Derek (Friday), and Jim and Gary (Saturday) laid superb tracks for all the competitors and ably dragged me around the common to make sure I could see everything.  After having to follow a couple of competitors for what felt like halfway across the common, I’ve nothing but admiration for the Lauder tracklayers - they must be some of the fittest in the country!   My square and C/A steward was Betty Orrin, who also did a brilliant job and kept me entertained over the two days. 

Thanks also to the competitors and their dogs.  The standard was very mixed.  Tracking in the main was very good, both the dogs and the standard of handling.  Squares were also mainly good, with most dogs getting either 3 or 4 articles.  Control was a little bit disappointing, with the main faults being slow retrieves, going and coming, together with excessive extra commands on the heelwork.  5 dogs out of 14 broke the stays.  Only one dog got 20 on the agility. 

Fourteen teams competed – 10 successfully completed the track.

1st PIERCE’S APPRENTICE, CDEx, X-breed and Pam Cuthbert, 184, Q UDEx.  Sam worked a lovely track, with excellent handling by Pam.  Good teamwork, with a good sendaway and all the articles.  NW 136, C/A 29 + 19.  Well done.

2nd GLENOXLEY STAR WIZARD, CDEx, UDEx, BC, and Cheryl Savage, 183, Q UDEx.  Brock barely put a paw wrong on the track and again, excellent handling by Cheryl who read her dog perfectly.  Again good teamwork with an excellent sendaway.  132, 31.5 + 19.5.  Well done.

3rd LEAD ON MACDUFF TO DREAGANTA, BC, and Sheila Shearer, 179, Q UDEx.  Another very good track with 2+3 articles, Sheila and MacDuff were unlucky enough to work in the only poor bit of weather of the weekend. 135.5, 25 + 18.5. Well done.

4th BEELAHOLT KEZZY BEAST, WSD, and Rosemary Smyth, 164, Q UDEx.  A good track but only one article was expensive on the nosework.  This team were in a class of their own in the control - full heelwork, retrieve and sendaway - exactly how I’d hoped dogs and handlers would tackle the round.  Just as well really, as Kez decided he didn’t like all the activity in the stays and sat up.  124.5, 25 + 14.5.  Well done.

Qualifying UD:

WOOLSHAN INKSPOT, CDEx and Vic Snook, 158.5,

SIR PATCHALOTT BEADNELL, CDEx, and Vicky Hunter, 151

PINFOLD FLY and John Tait, 149.5,




Tracklayers: Andrea Lynd, Jeff Margreaves

Steward: Julia Findeisen

Criminals: Tom Davies, Vic Snook, Anthony Snook, Iain Forrest

Thank you to SWTS for the invitation to judge.  Ann Bedford and the committee did an excellent job of organising the trial.  Thank you to June and David McPhillips for their hospitality on Wednesday evening, and to the girls in the kitchen, who fed us well during the trial.  Special thanks to everyone who helped in my stake; Julia, who did an excellent job of stewarding, and my tracklayers and criminals, who were, as usual, first class.

I had eight entries, two of whom scratched.  Of the remaining six, one went out on the jumps and one on the nosework, so four dogs did the manwork round.  It was a fairly straightforward test, with a big quarter round the boundary, two recalls, two chases and a test of courage without a set up.  I had three qualifiers on the manwork – Finnegan with Rita Banfather thoroughly enjoyed themselves; I hope Finnegan has a happy retirement.

1st Gary Martin’s BC dog, WTCh TYTRI ROY, TDEx, PDEx, 274.  An excellent all-round performance; Roy is definitely back on form on his manwork.  Well done.

2nd Manda McLellan’s BC dog, ASTRA STORM, TDEx, PDEx, 263.5.  So close - a second recall would have won the Ticket.  Storm is certainly on form, and I’m sure his first Ticket won’t be far away.

3rd Ron Jaques’ BC dog, JAQ IN A BOX, WDEx, PDEx, 258.  The test of courage was costly today.  Another day, another test, and Jaq will get that second Ticket.

4th Rita Banfather’s GSD dog, STARCO MY GUY OF BANNERSWAY, CDEx, WDEx, 227.5.  I’m sure that without that stay problem Finnegan would have gained his PDEx one day.  A GSD full of character – as I have written earlier, I hope he has a happy retirement.




Tracklayers : June McPhillips, Helen Jones

4 entered, 3 ran (literally)

My thanks to June and Helen for tracklaying and being good companions.  I hope it has given June the bug (for tracklaying, that is) - I know it gives me a buzz when the dogs get round.

I spent time thinking what would be right for older dogs on the common.  What a mistake to make - it was the handlers who I should have been concerned about.  I realised this after the first track, when I thought Julz was bent over praising Annie for a track well done.  When I got within earshot I realised by the rasping noises coming from her (Julz that is) that she was in fact fighting for breath.  In terms of condition of handlers after the track then Lorraine must take first prize.  As for the dogs, well it was a pleasure to just watch them out on the track - they made the judging almost a non-event.  At the end there was only 1.5 marks between the three of them.  We ought to be glad they are all in honourable retirement.

Annie picked up the last article and didn’t want to stop so was carrying on: Brecon thought "Oh! time for a game": Alfie had the first article open before Lorraine knew he’d found it, but you should have seen the after burners come on when she realised he had got to the second one, the third one he couldn’t eat so she could saunter up to him.  (The first two articles were packets of treats and the last article was a tennis ball.)

1st Julz (Julia) Findeisen and ANNIE (GEFNI YELLOW MELLOW FOR GRACORN) GSD, B, in her ninth year.     

2nd Fran Atkin and BRECON (BRONFYNNON BRECON) WSD, D, in his eight year.

3rd Lorraine Wilson and ALFIE (ALFIE PEPPERPOT) XB, D, age indeterminate - Alfie that is!

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