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Championship Trial
Venue: Beachy Head
Trial Held: 30 May 2015


Stake: TD


Tracklayers:  Len Newman, Dennis Webb, Linda Bowden

Search and Control Steward: Jane Gray

26 entered, 24 worked, 8 completed the track, 5 qualified.

How wonderful to have a trial at a time of year when the weather (in theory) and daylight hours are favourable to our sport.   Many thanks to SATS Committee, including Bill Hardaway, who put my name forward for my first TD Ticket appointment.   It was an honour to be asked and a privilege to be able to watch some very good dogs working.

Frances and Dennis Webb have championed this venue, which is ideal for the facilities on offer, especially now we have moved the date to May.  Black Robin Farm is in a naturally beautiful holiday area and is run by Wills and Ali, who could not have been more helpful and accommodating to our needs.  Both Frances and Den have put in an incredible amount of time to make this trial work for SATS and the trials community, for which we should all be grateful.

Jane, Len, Den and Linda went to great pains to ensure that my test was in place for me to just simply judge the dogs working - I can’t thank you all enough.  The kitchen was ably manned by Jane Clarke and David Green, who were supporting the trial by competing as well, Iris Green and Den’s friend Jeff.  They all ensured we did not go hungry – thank you.

Beachy Head is chalk downland, exposed to a variable but constant coastal wind.  The two meadows used for TD tracking both produced qualifiers, although one did have longer grass.  Neither field had any livestock grazing for 4 months and has never been treated by chemicals.  Three days were pleasant weather, with sun and a reasonable wind, but on Friday the wind increased so much that we had difficulty standing up to watch the dogs work.  There was rain that day but we managed to avoid it while the dogs were working. 

The track pattern was designed to be as open as possible to accommodate for the wind, 865 yards long.  The articles were a cut rubber band, a kebab stick and 4” dogwood.  The square articles were 4” black chain, 2” square of green vetbed, white schoolboard chalk and a transparent plant tie.  The C/A round was dictated by the natural hazards of bunny and badger holes, thistles and undulating land.  No dog had any problems completing the round.

1st           Sheila Tannert and WTCh SYPERSON CLEO, B, Lab, 199.5, Q.  Sheila worked on the Friday during the worst of the weather, and Teal’s experience showed through.  A wonderful team to watch and another name qualified for the KCC’s.  Also Best Track Award.

2nd         Sheren Perez and KAEFFER KAL, BC, B, 199, Q.  The first dog of the trial to complete the track on the shorter grass on the first day and got a round of applause from us!  One to watch for the future.

3rd          Sarah Burroughes and TARNEDGE VELVET, Lab, B, 187, Q.  Also tracked on Friday, a valiant effort rewarded by this placing.  Never stopped trying, a lovely attitude to work.

4th          Sue Ashby and WTCh THE TITAN, WSD, D, 178, Q.  Titan never stopped working what was obviously a hard track, with the wind funnelling up through the valley, taking up all the available time.  At 8 years old his experience helped him complete this track.

Qualified TD:

Jill Carruthers and WTCh VOMKYNA DARCA, GSD, B, 174.  Sadly it was not quite enough articles that resulted in this qualification, but the dog worked so well and Jill was delighted, which was lovely to see.

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