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Open Trial
Venue: Gateside
Trial Held: 15 March 2008

Trials Manager’s report

Being a new venue with new base and land this trial was always going to be a challenge, but I think we got there in the end, although instead of counting sheep to get me to sleep at nights this time around it was pigs!

To all of the tracklayers, stewards, base staff and criminals (David, Lindsay, Rudi, Jimmy, Stevie, Jim, Gary, Steve, Derek, Lorraine, Helen, Avril, Roy, John, Betty, Davie, Sarah, Lorna, June, David, Caroline, Ann, Ryan and Iain) thank you - you were brilliant. Your time and effort was very much appreciated.  Special thanks to Ann Bedford, June and David McPhillips, all of whom remain my personal help desk and to Derek McAulay whose efforts on behalf of SWTS for each of the trials is above and beyond the call of duty.

Special mention must be made of Jim Jeffrey and Gary Tait, who whilst tracklaying in WD had to contend not only with marauding Tamworth Pigs, but trail bikes, a flock of sheep and a dog walker.  Nothing fazed the pair of them and they carried on without complaint although it did cause much hilarity – hysteria maybe methinks!!

Thanks to the Judges (Barry, Bill, Jacquie, Helen and Pat) who were great company, set good tests and made for a very enjoyable trial.

Thanks to the farmers, for ensuring all tracking was on good pasture which had lain empty for the winter.  This was their first foray into the world of working trials and they could not have been more accommodating in our requests for more and more land.

Most things went well, considering it was a new venue, and I hope everyone enjoyed it and I look forward to welcoming you all next year!!


Stake: TD, WD and UD Control and Agility


Steward: Betty Calderwood

Thank you to SWTS for the invitation to judge C/A at this new venue.  I have always loved the Scottish trials and the lovely friendly crowd of helpers.  Gwen Matear did an excellent job of managing this trial, leaving no stone unturned in the planning.  Her proficient team at the base ensured that competitors arrived at the C/A field in a continuous flow.  Everyone in the kitchen did a great job providing us with a very welcome warming meal each day.

A special thanks to Betty for ensuring that all the competitors were given clear instruction without feeling hurried.  You were also very good company - not that we had much time to chat, with 43 entries in the 3 stakes.  Thanks also to Lorna and Phil for making me so welcome and putting up with me for the weekend.

Lastly, thank you to all the competitors for accepting my decisions with a smile.

I set what I thought was a simple test.  Heelwork away from the jumps, speak with the dog at the handlers side, WD and TD sendaway to a pole 110 paces in the middle of the field, redirect was 90 paces to a wall.  UD sendaway was 90 paces to the wall.  The field was very ‘gamy’ and I think this caused a lot of the problems.

Well done to all those who qualified and those that didn’t I’m sure you will very soon.

UD Stake

1st Mr R and Mrs P Johnson, PENRITH NELL, Carole Hall handling her daughters Lab Darcy.  Well done, the only qualifier.

2nd Mrs Fran Mitchell, BARAK BALDEMAR, WSD, NQ.  I’m sure Fran will soon be qualifying with this rescue collie

3rd Ms  Lisa Duggan, KIPCROFT TIG, B/C,  NQ.  Did a good C/A round, but failed on nosework. 

4th Miss Yvonne Walker, DIEGOS CAUGHT IN THE ACT, Dobe, NQ.  One of the best sendaways of the weekend.

WD Stake

1st Stevie Braithwaite, NORSHEP BRECK, GSD.  A very enthusiastic dog.  Stevie delighted.  A creditable control round.  Well done.

2nd Mr Denis Nelson, SELDOMSEEN HOBBSONS CHOICE, WSD.   A full point sendaway.

3rd Mrs Helen Kelly, LAETARE DYAMI, BC.  I haven’t seen Helen with her collie before.  A nice control round, you must be pleased with her.

4th Bill Norman,  ADAIRWAY BRIGAND,  GSD.  One of the best control rounds over the 2 days.  Well done, Bill.

TD Stake

1st Mrs Penny Pritchard, GRACORN HOME BREWED, GSD.  Penny handles this big lively shepherd so gently, but he responds so well.  I think you will continue to do well with him Penny, good luck.

2nd Mrs Hilary Hirst, TRIGEM ALL AMERICAN TALE OF AVAWAGA, ASD.  Starting us off on the second day with a near perfect round.  What a lively, happy dog. Good luck with him in ticket.

3rd Mrs Jenny Holt, HULLATER BROCK, WSD, NQ.  Failed nosework , but put in a good control round.

4th Katy Whittemore, DEVILSBECK MUSTANG, G/R.  I have watched this dog and his young handler with great interest through the stakes.  I have great admiration for Katy’s calm and effective handling.  Failing the nosework today, but I know he’s qualified for ticket.  I’m sure you will do well with him Katy.



Judge: Bill Mackie

Tracklayers: Jim Jeffrey and Gary Tait

Steward: Steve Hirst

I would like to apologise for the long delay in sending in my report on judging the WD Stake at Gorebridge.

Thanks go to SWTS for inviting me to judge, and also to Gwen, who did a sterling job as Trials Manager.  Thanks also to the ladies in the kitchen, who did a brilliant job, as always – no trial could run without them.

A very special thank you must go to Jim Jeffrey and Gary Tait for their expert tracklaying, especially considering the conditions they had to endure when laying the tracks – pigs, trail bikes, sheep, and just to finish off, someone walking their dog.  It’s a good job they’re both good sports.  Many of us would have thrown our toys out of the pram and gone home!  Thanks also go to Steve Hirst for stewarding for me.

I have a little piece of hilarity I would like to share with you.  I took rolls out to Jim and Gary for their lunch; Jim didn’t want anything, so a certain young lady, who shall remain nameless (you know who you are!), began to feed the rolls to the pigs.  Next year they’ll come back and expect to have pudding as well.

Lastly, thank you to all the competitors for entering.  Even if you didn’t qualify, it’s a good day out, and hopefully everyone enjoyed the day.  I know I did, and everyone will have better luck next time.

1st Mrs Stevie Braithwaite, NORSHEP BRECK, GSD.  Well done.  Full point track, a very worthy winner.

2nd Mr Dennis Nelson, SELDOMSEEN HOBBSON’S CHOICE, WSD.  Again, well done.  Just pipped at the post, better luck next time.

3rd Mrs Helen Kelly, LAETARE DYANI, BC.  Unlucky with the first track – the pigs walked all over it!  Did much better with the second one.

4th Mr Bill Norman, ADIRWAY BRIGAND, GSD.  Still life in the old dog yet (ie. Bill).  The dog did pretty well too.


Stake: TD Nosework

Judge: Barrie James

Tracklayers:   Dave McPhilips – Both days,  Lindsey Errington – Saturday, Rudi Fruzinski – Sunday.

Square Stewards: Jimmy Scot – Saturday,  Stevie Braithwaite – Sunday.

Thanks to SWTS for the invitation to judge the TD Nosework  at this trial, and to Gwen Matear and her team for running a well organized trial.  Thanks to the folks in the kitchen for keeping us fed and watered, and special thanks to Gwen and my stewards for chauffeuring me around over the three days. 

Thanks to my square stewards, Jimmy Scot and Stevie Braithwaite.  Squares on both days were laid exactly as I had requested.  Tracklayers Dave McPhilips, Lindsey Errington and Rudi Fruzinski all expertly laid their tracks – thanks guys. The fields were all grazed pasture with the land conditions just about right, not too wet or too dry. The weather conditions were a little mixed, quite breezy both days but mainly dry except for a sharp shower of rain during the first tracks on Sunday.  Saturday was cold with Sunday much colder.  Taking into account the weather and the land I thought the tracking conditions quite reasonable. 

I set a straight forward track with 15 legs with reasonably sized articles – piece of green wellie rubber, red milk carton cap and a piece of carpet. The overall standard of the dogs and handlers on the track was fairly mixed, as to be expected in TD Open.  Some dogs and handlers were more ready than others. The dogs that were up to a TD Open standard coped with the track and weather conditions quite well.  We had eight nosework qualifiers out of the seventeen that worked.  Five dogs found all three articles and three dogs got two articles.

(please note that the third leg from home was changed to 30 yards due to the breezy conditions)

The ‘B’ track for handlers with two dogs was a mirror image of the track above.

The square was laid as a St George’s cross and not a St Andrew’s cross (as on the diagonals) (sorry SWTS!). Articles were a 3" piece of baling twine, a 6" wooden coffee stirrer, a 3.5" piece of garden cane and 3.5" piece of rubber garden tie with the metal removed. The wooden coffee stirrer was near the centre of the square, the other articles being within 6 or 9 feet of the square boundary. 5 dogs retrieved all four articles, 8 dogs retrieved three articles and 4 dogs retrieved two articles. Mouthing the articles was costly, especially on the 6" wooden coffee stirrer!

Thanks to the competitors for entering under me and, mostly, accepting my decisions with good grace. I saw some good teams this weekend and look forward to seeing them in ‘ticket’ soon. There were some teams who just did not quite make it this trial but who had the potential to succeed – keep persevering and training, that qualifier is not far away.

1st Penny Pritchard and GRACORN HOME BREWED, GSD, D.  Well done Penny and Teifi.  A nice competent track, quietly handled.  Good all round performance.  Well deserved first place. Mostly just bits and pieces on the corners cost the marks.  Three articles off the track and four out the square. Q, 192.5

2nd Hillary Hurst and TRIGEM ALL AMERICAN TALE OF AVAWAGA, ASD, D.  Well done Hillary and Quincy. Tracked well, a few marks lost on two cut-backs otherwise quite tidy.  Missing first article and Hillary finding second article was costly.  Three articles out of the square. Q, 178.

3rd Jenny Holt and HULLATER BROCK, WSD, D.  Good try Jenny and Brock. A little untidy on the track here but it was quite windy for your track.  Jumping halfway across a cut-back was very costly and went wrong on the last leg.  Two articles off the track and four out of the square.  NQ, 171.

4th Katy Whittmore and DEVILSBECK MUSTANG, G/R, D.  Very impressive tracking and handling from Katy and Monty.  Very few marks lost up to going in the wrong direction three legs from home.  Two article off the track and three out of the square. NQ, 164.

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