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Open Trial
Venue: Ballater
Trial Held: 21 June 2009

TM, CD, UD, WD, TD Stakes


As Steve Hirst’s work took him away abroad in the weeks prior to the trial it is probably more appropriate for me than for him to write this report, as I have so many people to thank for helping me out in his absence.

First of all though I should thank Her Majesty The Queen, on behalf of S.W.T.S., for continuing to allow us to use the buildings at Inchnabobart and the land around for our trial. Inchnabobart provides a wonderful setting for a trial and we are very lucky to be given access to it. I would also like to thank Fiona Smith, the Ranger, who was as ever very approachable and very helpful.

This year we had a combination of lovely weather and very few midgies: it was near perfect for the humans but perhaps a little too warm for the dogs.

I should like to express our most appreciative and grateful thanks to all our judges – Ailsa Anderson, Hilary Hirst (who did a double stint), Gwen Matear and Ann Bedford. I am sure that they will be naming and thanking their stewards and tracklayers in their own reports but I would like to thank them all too - I am truly appreciative of their willingness to turn out and help.

My congratulations – and envy! - to the qualifiers; but also my thanks to all entrants for supporting this trial and especially to all those who actually made it all the way to Inchnabobart. I very much hope that you enjoyed the trial. I would like to thank those members of the S.W.T.S. Committee who advised me and helped me in all sorts of ways, both before and during the trial - most notably Helen Jones, June McPhillips, Ann Bedford, Lorna Cottier and Lorraine Wilson. My thanks to Steve Hirst and Chris Woodhouse for putting out the signs. I would also like to thank those who were on hand to help move equipment and do other jobs around the base – Jim Jeffrey, Bill Mackie, Steve Hirst, Chris Woodhouse, David McPhillips, Derek McAulay, Bob Russell and everyone else who just lent a hand here and there.

My thanks to everyone who gave us raffle prizes and food, both for helping to make this trial financially viable and for contributing to the quality of the catering. I must mention Beryl Gummow who transported lots and lots of superb food all the way from the aptly named Bakewell!

At the base I was totally dependent on Betty Calderwood, who spent her mornings receiving the competitors, spent her afternoons doing the scoresheets, etc., and spent her in-between times quietly advising me. Thank you very much, Betty.

Finally – the catering team. With the base being so far removed from Ballater we are totally dependent on them for all the catering for the judges, helpers and competitors. My most sincere and appreciative thanks to Sandra Dawson, to Janis Simpson, to Chris Woodhouse and to ‘the boss’ Louise McLaren. Not only was the food superb but there was always a friendly, welcoming, sociable atmosphere around the base which was very much appreciated by all and not least by myself.

Thanks again, everyone.





Tracklayers: Jim Jeffrey, Joyce Rae

Steward: Phillip Glasgow

Thanks to SWTS for inviting me to judge the UD nosework (Ballater is my favourite trial of the year), and to all the helpers who made the trial run smoothly. Also a big thanks to everybody who helped out within the kitchen - the food was first class as always. The weather was very wet and windy for most of the day, which resulted in most of the tracks being under water. June McPhillip’s Springer Spaniel swam most of the track very well but unfortunately it all came to an end on the fourth leg. To my tracklayers and search steward, thanks - you all did a fantastic job!

1st Lisa Duggan with KIPCROFT TIA. Lost only 2.5 marks on the track and lost 1 point for search square. A very good round for a new dog and handler. Well done. Q, 146.5

2nd Pam Cuthbert with PIERCES APPRENTICE. Very good nose work, only dropped 2 marks. Well done, Pam and Sam. NQ, 137

3rd Lorraine Wilson with AULD CASTRUM JESS. Another very good track, only lost 2 marks. Well done, Lorraine. NQ, 136

4th Ailsa Anderson with PHANTOM’S JEAN. All was going so well until the fourth leg. Well done anyway, Ailsa. NQ, 85

Thanks to all competitors for entering and accepting my decisions on the day. I did enjoy watching the dogs and handlers working their tracks in such poor weather conditions.



Judge: Gwen Matear

Tracklayers: Derek McAuley (2 days), Brian Glasgow, Gordon Barnett

Steward: Helen Jones

Thanks to the Society for the invitation and to Jim McKay for a brilliant trial. Thanks also to my steward and tracklayers for their help and great company. The weather was lovely for the humans but just a bit too hot for the dogs. The setting for this trial is just superb and a couple of days watching dogs and handlers tracking is a perfect way to spend a weekend. We had some great tracks over what can be difficult ground for the handlers to negotiate but the dogs just take it in their stride.

1st Lorna Cottier and ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS, X-Breed, 183, NQ. A great track from Lorna and Haggis – they made it look effortless.

2nd Pam Cuthbert and PIERCE’S APPRENTICE, X-Breed, 176.5, NQ. Another superb track with some fancy footwork from Pam to stay upright!

3rd Jo Moulin and DURABLE OF DIRRINGTON, WSD, 170, NQ. A great effort from Jo and Jura dropping just one point.

4th Sam Ashton and DOTTY DOTTY, WSD, 163, NQ. A good track but 3 out of the square saw Sam and Dot take 4th place.




Steward: David McPhillips

Thanks to SWTS for this judging appointment; it is always a pleasure to judge at such a spectacular venue. Trials Manager Jim McKay did a fantastic job running the show, very well organized. Catering was superb – ham and cheese croissants to die for, organized by Jim’s daughter Louise and assisted by Janice (who, complete with versatile pinnie became a walking till), Chris and Sandra. Many thanks to David McPhillips for stewarding - you did a grand job. Thanks to Bob Russell for standing in whilst David’s wife June, worked her dog. Last but not least, thanks to the competitors for doing their bit and accepting my decisions.

The round was quite straight forward, though only two dogs (both WD) gave what I felt was a good overall performance. The ground there is obviously very smelly for our four legged friends, which did affect the heelwork and sendaways. No one managed full point jumps.

Decent weather all weekend!


1st Lorraine Wilson with ALFIE PEPPERPOT, X-Breed, D, 211, Q. OAP’s rule!! No, I’m not talking about Lorraine, though…….. Alf is nine and a half now and still showing the others how it’s done. Nice steady control round.

2nd Brian Glasgow with NORSHEP ROCCO, GSD, D, 208.5, Q. Brian became the strong silent type (proving he knew his dog) on the sendaway, then Rocco made us all hold our breath again at the scale. However, he worked through it all to put in a decent control round.

3rd Dennis Nelson with SELDOMSEEN HOBBSONS CHOICE, WSD, D, 181, Q. Heelwork a bit ropey, otherwise a good control round. One of only two to get a full point speak

4th Rosie Robson with CORBY CRAGS KIZZY, X-Breed, B, 185, NQ. Kizzy’s head wasn’t totally in gear today. Obviously bored during the heelwork so had a mad charge around for a few seconds but it was the sendaway that was costly.


1st Fran Atkin with BLEDRI OF STEPASIDE, WSD, B, 187.5, Q. This young dog gave one of the best control rounds today, earning 34 for his control.

2nd Anne Symon with MIDNIGHT ONYX, Lab, B, 146, NQ. Betty’s sense of humour cut in on the retrieve when a very large pile of poo within striking distance of the dumbbell took her fancy and she decided to have a meal instead of doing the retrieve, though to give her due, she did then return with said dumbbell!

3rd Debbie McKay with KENMILQUIN KATE, ESS, B, 131.5, NQ. This is the other dog to put in a notable round this weekend. Unfortunately, let down by the jumps.

4th June McPhillips with CRICHTON CEILEIDH, ESS, B, 72.5, NQ. Not MM’s best performance. Completely lost attention on the heelwork as there were far too many exciting smells for a spaniel to ignore.


1st Lorna Cottier with ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS, X-Breed, B, 183, NQ. Birds took Haggis’s attention on the heelwork, and the sendaway was costly, but I suspect it won’t belong before this qualification – and others - are acquired.

2nd Pam Cuthbert with PIERCE’S APPRENTICE, X-Breed, D, 176.6, NQ. Lovely control round, qualified on the jumps, then Sam decided the stays were not for him. Pam has worked so hard to get this qualification then fell at the final fence. Hard luck.

3rd Jo Moulin with DURABLE OF DIRRINGTON, WSD, D, 170, NQ. Overall tidying required for this little dog. Fell foul of the jumps today.

4th Sam Ashton with DOTTY DOTTY, WSD, B, 163, NQ. Sam gave up on the sendaway, however Dot took over and completed the exercise. Another victim of the jumps this weekend.




Tracklayers: Steve Hirst and Bill Mackie,

WD Squares: Beryl Gummow

CD Steward Beryl Gummow

Thank you to Jim McKay for shouldering all the hard work usually done by the trial manager, leaving my other half Steve free to concentrate on work duties. We are both eternally grateful to you, Jim, and the trial ran like clockwork. You even kept the midges away!

Louise, Janice, Sandra and Chris kept everyone fed and watered (even when the water ran out). Lovely food and a very special atmosphere at base - thank you.

Betty ran the booking in, scoreboards etc and didn’t shout when I kept her waiting, not forgetting Helen and the rest of the SWTS committee for all the entries etc prior to the trial and for the invitation to judge. Thank you all.


Thanks to Steve and Bill for trailing up and down the mountain in the heat and the heather - heroic! Beryl laid all the squares and recovered the missed articles. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

The going was hard but perfectly possible, as shown by a full mark track from our only qualifier.

1st Fran Atkin and BLEDRI OF STEPASIDE, WSD, 187.5, Q, winning the SKC trophy and Auchencaird Gordon trophy. Faultless tracking from Merlyn, a muscular, strong collie. Congratulations and good luck in the future.

2nd Ann Symon and MIDNIGHT ONYX, Lab, 146, NQ, winning the Milne trophy. Good tracking for most of the pattern, but Betty went wrong two legs from home and left two in the square. Hard luck but good luck next time.

3rd Debbie McKay and KENMILQUIN KATE, ESS, 131.5, NQ. Some good nosework shows Breeze can do it - good luck next time.

4th June McPhillips and CRICHTON CEILIDH, ESS, 72.5, NQ. Roughest piece of ground helped to defeat these June and Maisie. Better luck next time.


Thanks Beryl for looking after me and the competitors for the second day running. Clear, friendly stewarding helps so much especially in this stake. Brilliant.

1st Paul Thornton and LIMASMYTHE BROWNS BUSTER, GSD, 81, Q, winning the Donnersmark trophy. All the way from Coventry to do a lovely round. Congratulations and good luck with Trojan, such a handsome, happy rescue dog.

2nd Sue Sentinella and SHADAWSQUAD ZOFIA, GSD, 69, NQ. Good performance from a super team. Well done at your and Ruby’s first trial, and good luck.

3rd Jo Moulin and DURABLE OF DIRRINGTON, (), WSD, 66.5, NQ. Jura has lots of potential, good luck.

4th Sam Ashton and MOSS OF PRIMSIDE, (), BC, 63, NQ. Sort out Moss’s stays and you’re there. Good luck




Tracklayers: Jim Jeffries, Pam Cuthbert

Steward: Philip Glasgow

Thanks to SWTS and ALL the many helpers at this small but friendly trial. Well done to all. Special thanks to my superb tracklayers, Jim Jeffries and Pam Cuthbert - no easy task on this land - and to Philip Glasgow, a smashing steward.

The weather was perfect for tracking, resulting in a high percentage of nosework qualifiers. Squares were well done.

1st Lorraine Wilson, ALFIE PEPPERPOT, XB, 211, Q and T and S Trophy. 9 yr old Alfie tracked precisely on a very boggy piece of land. Good luck in ticket.

2nd Brian Glasgow, NORSHEP ROCCO, GSD, 209.5, Q. A decisive and fast track from this team. Excellent line handling.

3rd Dennis Nelson, SELDOMSEEN HOBBSONS CHOICE, WSD, 181, Q. Just gained enough marks on the track, but a full mark square helped.

4th Rosie Robson, CORBY CRAGS KIZZY, XB, 185, NQ. Another good track. Pity about the C/A

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