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Venue: Ballater
Trial Held: 24 June 2012


To begin, I would like, on behalf of the SWTS, to thank the Queen for continuing to allow us to use the buildings at Inchnabobart and the land of the Balmoral Estate for this trial.  I would also like to acknowledge Fiona Smith, the Ranger, who is always very accommodating and very helpful.

The weather this year was mostly overcast or rainy though it did clear up somewhat on the Sunday afternoon.  There was little wind. Though the midgies were in evidence at times they weren’t ever too bad.

I realize that Inchnabobart is a very long way to come for most people: I would like to thank all those who attended – whether to help or to compete or just to visit.

I would like to express our most grateful thanks to our Judges – Steve Hirst (CD), Gary Tait (UD) and Jacquie Hall (WD and TD).  They were very ably assisted by their stewards who were, respectively, Hilary Hirst, Sheena Kerr, Lesley Drummer and Ailsa Anderson.  The usually ever reliable Jim Jeffrey having very inconsiderately broken his foot, I thought I was going to have even more trouble this year finding people both able and willing to track-lay.  However, Bill Mackie, Derek McAuley, Colin Thain and Steve Hirst did all the track-laying between them.  Isn’t there a Track-layers’ Appreciation Society?  There should be! I personally think that they don’t get enough recognition!

My thanks yet again go to: Helen Jones for the secretarial work; Ann Bedford for dealing with money matters; and June and David McPhillips for doing the scoresheets.  In addition David was supposed to be just a nominal Trial Manager so that I could be a competitor.  His only duty was supposed to be to make sure that I had no prior knowledge of the CD and UD articles and track pattern!  However he remained at the base throughout the trial helping out in all sorts of ways.

People help in lots of ways at a trial. I would like to thank Bill Mackie; and I would like to thank Sandra Dawson and Maureen Munro for their help on the Sunday.  In particular I would like to thank Beryl Gummow and Chris Woodhouse for all their help both in setting up beforehand and in clearing up afterwards.

My belated but nevertheless very grateful thanks also go to Bill Mackie for donating two new clear jumps to the Inchnabobart trial.

Yet again I failed to note everyone who donated prizes for our raffles, but my thanks go to all of you.  I would also like to thank very much everyone who donated to the catering: Ailsa Anderson, Ann Bedford, Sandra Dawson, Lesley and Roy Drummer, Beryl Gummow, Bernie Heaney, Hilary and Steve Hirst, Sheena Kerr, Linda McKay and Maureen Munro.  Hilary and Steve also donated a rather fine bottle of whisky for Fiona Smith.

Once again the catering was outstanding: Chris Woodhouse at the barbecue and Janis Simpson and Louise McLaren in the kitchen provided both a most friendly welcome and excellent food.  They set the tone of this trial and I cannot praise them highly enough!

This was my fourth and last year running the Inchnabobart Trial.  I am becoming all too aware that I am not getting any younger and I want to quit before it becomes too much of a trauchle for me.  I have very much enjoyed the experience, whilst at the same time being very conscious of and very grateful for all the help I have received!  My stint at Inchnabobart has certainly made me much more appreciative of other Trials Managers and of all those who help at trials.





Steward: Hilary Hirst

Thank you to SWTS for the invitation to judge at this very special trial.  It’s always an honour to be at this beautiful venue. Thank you to Jim and Dave in charge and all their team, including Louise and Janis in the kitchen – plenty of delicious treats in a lovely friendly atmosphere.  Thanks as well to my very able steward, Hilary.

Thank you to the competitors for allowing me to judge your dogs.  All showed promise and all found the sendaway easy.  The winner was top drawer and so were Maria and Biggles until the scale defeated them.  Good luck to all of you at your future trials. 

The test was uncomplicated and I thought flowing, allowing for first time competitors, both handlers and dogs, and the temptations of the area.

1st Terry Austin and MANPOL VIXEN, GSD, 96.5, Q.  Wonderful!  Also won UD on Sunday – congratulations!

2nd Beryl Gummow and WANTON AVAWAGA, ASD, 84.5, Q.  Improving all the time and qualifying at her first trial.  Made the steward very proud!  Well done.

3rd Maria Theodossiou and GORTONS ARGYLL LAD, GR, 89, NQ.  Such hard luck on the scale, otherwise just 1 point lost.  A very good team.

4th Lorraine Porteous and DARKISS SCARLET TABOO, Dobe, 84, NQ.  Just the search square to improve, then you are there.




Tracklayers: Bill Mackie, Colin Thain and Derek McAuley

Steward: Sheena Kerr

I would like to thanks SWTS for inviting me to judge the UD at Ballater, which is my most favourite trial location, and to all the helpers who made this trial run smoothly.  A big thank you to everyone who helped out in the kitchen - the food was first class, as always.  The weather was very wet over the two days, which resulted in most of the tracks being under water and caused a few competitors and Bill Mackie to fall, but my tracklayers, as always, all did a great job.  Thanks to my steward, Sheena Kerr, for her help, assistance and company and to Jim Jeffrey (who due to recovering from a broken foot – was unable to lay tracks) for still attending and helping out.  Lastly, a big thank you to Jim McKay, who performed his last stint as Trials Manager; as always this trial was excellent and you have always put such a lot of effort and time into making it what it is – I wish you and Midge all the best and look forward to seeing you both compete next year at Ballater.

1st Terry Austin with MANPOL VIXEN, Q, 189.  What an excellent track and control from you both; all the best in the future.

2nd Catherine Gordon with NNERUM FANFARE, Q, 183.5.  Another excellent round, did not drop a mark on the track.  This was one of the best tracks I have ever seen; all the best to you both.

3rd Lesley Drummer with LONDON PRIDE, NQ, 159.  What a great track from you both, a shame about the jumps but not far away now.  Good luck to you both in the future.

4th Joyce Rea with GEFNI EFOR EFFORT, NQ, 152.  Another good round from you both.  Well done, Joyce, as Tora completed the down – don’t know who was happier, Tora or you.  Good luck to you both in the future.

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

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