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Venue: Ballater
Trial Held: 22 June 2008


I would like to start by thanking Her Majesty The Queen for once again allowing us to use this wonderful place as our base.  Also thank you to the Factor, Mr Peter Ord.  Mr Ord retires next year before we hold the trial, so I would like to say thank you for all your help and support, and best wishes to you and your family for the future.

Big thanks go to Fiona Smith, the Ranger, who does so much before, during and after the trial.  She even removes all our rubbish and lets us borrow a trailer for the jumps, which she collects at the end of the weekend!

The weather was warm and sunny on the Saturday.  It rained all Saturday night and didn’t stop until lunch time Sunday, then it brightened up.  This meant that everyone got a good soaking in the morning, but kept on smiling - the hot soup was much appreciated.

I feel a bit of a fraud calling myself Trials Manager this year, because for the seven weeks leading up to it I was working in The Philippines, which is seven hours ahead time-wise, making communication a long process.  So all the final preparations were left to my long suffering wife, Hilary, who also had to deal with some traumatic episodes at home and work.  A very, very big thank you. 

Huge thanks go to all our judges; they were all very familiar with the  ground at Inchnabobart, having been here many times before, so all set tests suitable to this unique venue.  Congratulations to those of you who qualified.

Thank you to all the base staff, doing a wonderful job behind the scenes making sure judges, stewards, tracklayers and competitors had all they needed.  Catering was left in the capable hands of Lorna, who did a splendid job, whilst also looking after baby Jill.  Outside on the hot stove was my brother in law, Chris, who did a great job of cooking burgers, lorne sausage and bacon. Thanks.

Thanks Beryl for bringing Chris and delivering all the food to the judges, tracklayers and stewards.  The shopping for the trial was taken on by Sue Sentinella, who also transported it all and stayed to help - thanks Sue.  

To all who ran the admin. side, booking in, scores etc, Betty, David, and Lorraine, a big thanks.  To Colin Thain for putting up the signs and collecting the trailer from the Ranger station so we could transport the jumps from base, then at the end removing the signs, thank you.

To everyone who donated food a really big thanks, it was all delicious and eaten.  Thank you to everyone who helped with all the unsung jobs that make my job so much easier and the trial run so smoothly.  I’ll leave it to the judges to name their tracklayers and stewards, your work was very much appreciated.


I have one pair of sunglasses (yes, it did shine) and a peaked cap.  Anyone who has lost the above let me know.

As a foot note to my report I would like to remember a long standing member of SWTS who helped at Ballater from its start, Eileen Milne who sadly passed away two weeks before the trial.





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.


Stake: UD, WD, and TD C/A


Steward:  Ann Bedford

My thanks once again to this Society for the opportunity to judge at this trial, which I consider to be a holiday rather than a duty. The base seemed to run like clockwork, with competitors coming at a constant pace and the catering being the usual excellent standard.  Thanks for this smooth operation must go to Steve Hirst as Trials Manager and his assistant, Hilary, who stood in for him when business duties had him in the Philippines a couple of weeks before the trial.  Having said that, let’s not forget the many helpers in catering, base staff etc. who all give their time in making this and every trial so enjoyable.

A special thanks to Ann for acting as steward over the two days in her straightforward and impeccable manner.

The weather on the Saturday was bright and dry though a bit windy, but degraded somewhat on the Sunday, with a bit of damp which produced a few of the dreaded midges, which made it a bit uncomfortable on occasions.

Control varied from reasonable to excellent. The jumps seemed to trouble some, especially on Saturday, but others made them look easy, but the re-direct in TD required a bit of work by some.  What seemed most problematic was the speak exercise, which was to be done with the dog walking at heel, with only two dogs gaining good points, so it would appear that training for this manner of speak is sporadic. Possible future competitors beware!  My pet hate?  Handlers having little control between exercises, especially the jumps, having to grab their dogs by the scruff of the neck. The word is CONTROL.

UD Stake.

1st Lisa Duggan and KIPCROFT TIA, BC, 196.5, Q.  A newcomer to the scene but experienced in performance with a full point C/A round.  Lovely to watch.  Well done in qualifying.

2nd Pam Cuthbert and PIERCES APPRENTICE, X-Breed, 171, NQ.  Agility the problem.

3rd Lorraine Wilson and AULD CASTRUM JESS, BC, 165, NQ.

4th Ailsa Anderson and PHANTOM’S JEAN, BC, 128.5, NQ.

WD Stake.

1st Rosie Robson and CORBY CRAGS KIZZY, X-Breed, 179.5, Q.  Living dangerously on the jumps and struggling a bit on the sendaway but just doing enough to get through.  Well done.

2nd Helen Kelly and LAETARE DYAMI, BC, 187.5, NQ.  Excellent control round, but unfortunately the long jump cost the qualification as can be seen by the good overall marks.

3rd Carol Ashworth and TWEEDSMILL LOCK TAY, FCR, 172.5, NQ.

4th Pam Wadsworth and BURSTEAD CON of ROANLODGE, Cocker Spaniel, 167.5, NQ.

TD Stake.

1st Liz Roberts and CALLANWAY HARRIS, GSD, 194.5, Q.  Good jumps and reasonable control.  A bit short on the speak. Well done on the qualification.

2nd Roy Drummer and MOSSDEW DELTA FORCE, FCR, 189, NQ.  Good control round but failed on the jumps. Winner of the best track and search trophy.

3rd Alison Pollard and PRIDE of the GLEN, Golden Ret, 176, NQ.  Good control round, but just missed out on the jumps.

4th Lorraine Wilson and ALFIE PEPPERPOT, X-Breed, 168, NQ.


Stake: WD Nosework


Tracklayers: Jim Jeffrey, Jim Mackay, Lorraine Wilson

I would like to thank SWTS for the invitation to judge the WD at the Inchabobart trial, and also Her Majesty the Queen for the use of the hill in her beautiful back garden!

Hilary Hirst did a sterling job organising this trial as Steve was called away on business and arrived home in time to be at the trial. Well done to you both, the teamwork was superb.  I would also like to add a big thank you to my tracklayers who also put the square articles in and understood exactly what I wanted and why.

When I was first asked to judge I agreed, but said that as I have both qualified a dog on the hill and tracklaid on the hill I wanted the stake run on the hill (anyone who knows the ground knows that this is a hill….. and a half!).  Although a tad steep for the handlers it is fantastic tracking ground and the dogs love it.  It can be tiring for the dogs and as I have, on many occasions, seen dogs do lovely tracks then stand in the search square panting and tired I decided to complete the square before the track while the dog was still fresh.

This proved to be the right decision as out of six dogs, five took four articles from the square while the sixth took three. Four of these dogs then went on to complete their tracks with style and commitment.  Thank you to all competitors for making my judging so easy and, after recovering from the shock of being asked to do the square first, realising why I was going against tradition. 

1st Rosie Robson and KIZZY.  Kizzy completed a beautiful track losing only 0.5 a point, but the first article was the result of teamwork so costing her 2.5 points on that article.  Good square and a WD qualification made the long  road north worthwhile.

2nd Helen Kelly and SHAZ; 35 for the square and 1 little point off the track, all articles and Helen on her knees crawling at one point - real commitment from this little dog and a well deserved Best Track Trophy.

3rd Carol Ashworth and HOLLY; another perfect square and a superb track on difficult ground, Holly was right at all times - it was Carol who was confused out on the hill but believed her dog …. Eventually!

4th Pam Wadsworth and CONNOR; 3 articles out of the square and a lovely track from this wee spaniel who bounced through the heather trailing Pam behind!


Stake: TD Nosework


Tracklayers: Sat – Gary Tait, Pam Cuthbert; Sun – Bill Mackie; all brilliant, as usual

Steward: Colin Thain – thanks for a great weekend.

Many thanks for the opportunity to judge at this terrific venue, and especially to Steve and Hilary Hirst and all their helpers – you were great.

Saturday saw the best tracking, as there was heavy rain on Sunday.  Tracking was on deep heather.

1st Liz Roberts, CALLANWAY HARRIS, GSD, Q.  A very steady round from this experienced handler, working well as a team with her dog.  Congratulations.

2nd Roy Drummer, MOSSDEW DELTA FORCE, FCR, NQ.  A brilliant track on boggy ground – a joy to watch.

3rd Alison Pollard, PRIDE OF THE GLEN, Golden Ret, NQ.  Missed part of the track, but had a good square.

4th Lorraine Wilson, ALFIE PEPPERPOT, X, NQ.  Worked in atrocious weather on Sunday – got three quarters of the way round the track before getting lost.  Good square.

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