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Open Trial
Venue: Stalisfield
Trial Held: 22 September 2013


This was a completely new venue for SATS and the first trial to be run in Kent for quite some time.  A huge thank you to Sharon Carter, who lives in the village and was able to secure the land through her close relationship with the farmers and the community in general.  My thanks go to Richard Baker and David Murray for access to the land on their farms, also to Richard and Marianne at the Plough Pub for the use of their paddock for the C/A and the caravan pitches. 

We ran three stakes, Introductory, WD and TD.  The WD tracking was on stubble and TD on grass; probably the biggest influence on success or failure related to the amount of game around.  That said, the gamekeeper, Garry Bell, was most accommodating.

We had the use of the village hall as our base, directly opposite the pub.  To say the hall had character would be an understatement, but it worked so well for us, allowing us all to eat together in the evening, which really brought the team together.  Whilst on that subject, a huge thank you to Linda, who not only kept everybody fed and watered all day but somehow managed to produce a choice of menu each evening for us all to enjoy.  All the additional cakes, quiches etc. that were brought by helpers and competitors are also greatly appreciated.

So many people gave up their time so willingly to help; Sharon Carter, who judged the TD and was an enormous help in establishing the trial generally; her steward, Jane Wood, and TD tracklayers, Andy and Emma Baker, Stan Ford; Rita Banfather, who judged the Intro and WD, her steward Carole Brooke and WD tracklayers, Steve Banfather and Barry Harvey (yes he came out of retirement for me!).  Sylvia Cook held things together for me as base steward and Peter Brooke helped and supported me with just about anything.

The atmosphere throughout the trial was brilliant; the weather was kind and so far the feedback has been positive.  Yes, there were the inevitable hiccups but now that the farmers, gamekeeper and local community have a better understanding of what a trial entails, I am sure there will be future trials at this venue.

My thanks to the competitors who entered, particularly not knowing the venue, and for all those that stayed for the presentations on Sunday afternoon - it was great to see so many of you still there and it added something to the occasion.





Tracklayers: Barry Harvey and Steve Banfather

Steward: Carole Brooke

I would like to thank SATS for asking me to judge Intro and WD at their open trial in September.  It was a new venue, and what a venue it was!  The land owners kindly let us use their land, some stubble and some grass.  A big thank you to them - I hope we are welcome back.

The village was so quiet you could walk your dogs around the lanes, as apart from the odd tractor there seemed to be nothing on the roads.  The few locals were so friendly.  All that and a great pub!

Les and Linda worked their socks off making sure we had everything we needed and more.  Linda produced a cooked meal every night as well as feeding all the helpers and competitors during the day. 

My steward for WD and introductory was Carole Brooke. Thank you, Carole, you did a great job of helping the competitors and myself, good company too.



The Introductory Stake was held on Sunday.  Seven entered and all 7 competed.

I do enjoy the introductory stake as I like to see new people in our sport.  I hope we made them feel relaxed and wanting to do more.

1st Chris Brooksby with Chris, RAVENSBROOK CHRIS, BC, 82.5, Q.  Lovely round, a dog and handler ready for higher stakes.

2nd Lynne Watkins with Szarka, STARSHOT SZARKA WITH SZIKRAS, Hungarian Wire Haired Vizsla, 81, NQ.  Lynne handled this young dog so well.  I am sure you will both go far.

3rd Angelika Wicker with Clive, CHICERRON CAPTAIN DUNWELL, Beauceron, NQ.  My first meeting with a Beauceron and what a nice dog Clive is.  Get him happy with his down stay and I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of this big fella in trials.

4th George Davis with Kaiser, JASROX ARROW, GSD, NQ.  Kaiser did a full mark search square and loved it.  You both need more experience so please keep going - you will get there, I am sure.



WD was on the Saturday and we started with the control.  Tracking was after lunch.  Tracklaying for me were Barry Harvey and Steve.  Thanks guys, I know you lost some land, finding the farmer moving bales after you had marked out the fields.  Tracking was on stubble with big round bales still in the fields.  Out of the six only 2 got round their tracks, all the others doing only one and a bit legs.

1st Frances Webb with Monty, NORWULF LUIGI, GSD, Q.  Although you didn’t find the track easy you did it - well done.  Very nice square, only losing one mark.

2nd Richard Cornwell with Griff, VON KYNA EAGLE, GSD, NQ.  Only losing 2 off the track and one off the square was a lovely nosework round.  Once you get your sendaway sorted a dog to go far in trials.

3rd Tim Cooper with Boko, GLORIOUS GLOSTER, X-Breed, NQ.  The tracking on stubble proved a problem.  A shame as you did a very nice control round.

4th Graham Black with Toby, TOBIAS COLLIER, WSD, NQ.  Full mark square and jumps, but sadly failed the track.




Tracklayers:  Stan Ford (Friday), Andy Baker (all 3 days), Emma Baker (Saturday and Sunday)

Search and C/A Steward:  Jane Wood (all 3 days)

20 entries, 17 worked, 6 awarded COM. 

This is the first year at this venue so it was a bit of a learning curve for the farmers and SATS.  However, from all the feedback so far, competitors and helpers enjoyed their time with us, qualifying or not, which should be what trials are all about.  It is a beautiful area to visit.

A huge THANK YOU must go to: the farmers, Richard Baker of Hurst Farm and David Murray of Snoad Farm.  Richard enlisted the help of the next door farm when it became apparent he could not provide enough grass fields for our needs; Richard and Marianne at The Plough Pub, providing camping, the control field and, of course, the facilities of the pub; the locals, who were interested in what we were all doing and made us all feel welcome, although a little bemused at times; the tracklayers, Stan Ford, Andy and Emma Baker who laid immaculate tracks as I had asked; Jane Wood, who stewarded for me – it was such a help to have an experienced and concise steward who was great company as well; Sylvia Cook as base steward and a welcoming face for the competitors.

Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Les and Linda Allen, who between them ran the trial and provided ALL the food for competitors and helpers during the day and evening.

The tracking was on grass.  The articles were:  3" lolly stick, 4" x 1" black sock and a red shotgun cartridge.  The square articles were:  6" x .5" strip brown vinyl, 2" x 2" green foam, 1.5" green hosepipe and an aluminium foil pudding dish folded to 3" x 1.5".   8 competitors completed the tracks.

The C/A round was kept straightforward, for me to judge and the dogs to enjoy working, as Working Trials are all about the nosework as far as I am concerned.  Make the most of ‘do you own thing heelwork’, but I could hear the extra commands when you were away from me!  Without exception, all the dogs had a good crack at the sendaway and redirection.  We had 100% success on the stays.

1st Sue Russell and GLENALPINE DANNY, BC, 207, Q. The spectators (cattle) and ourselves were treated to a master class on the tracking field and C/A.

2nd Helen Brown and MANPOL SAPPHIRE, GSD, 206, Q.  An excellent track by Freya; marks lost on the track were Helen spotting yesterday’s track and not believing her dog, but the dog convinced Helen in the end, thank goodness!

3rd Penny Bellis and SHILLINGTON JASMINE, X-Breed, 204, Q.  This is a serious working dog!  Brilliant track (98), search (35) and sendaway.  I love the stop command!

4th Joyce Tibbetts and VONHAUSWOLF MAUD, GSD, 196.5, Q.  Worked a very steady, accurate track, losing very few marks until the dog cut across a couple of legs, but still qualifying well with full mark square.  C/A – full mark speak, heelwork, stay, long and scale jumps, 9 for the Sendaway.  Brilliant!

Also gained COM:

Sally Baker and CLASOLA DASKA, Weimaraner, 195

Judith Owen and BRENTMOOR JAY, BC, 192.5  

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