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Open Trial
Venue: Hailsham
Trial Held: 19 September 2009

TM, UD, TD Stakes


I would like to thank very much Chris Wadham, who owns Preisthawes Farm, for letting us run our trial at his farm at what is the busiest time of the year for him. I was blessed with very good weather for September and a wonderful team of helpers, both before and during the trial.

Sandra Lewindon judged UD and Mark Lewindon judged TD. Both judges set excellent and very fair tests for the conditions. Thank you both very much.

Les Allen and Peter Brooke did a wonderful job of laying the UD tracks with great precision. Completing the team was Carole Brooke our UD Steward. You all worked very hard much appreciated.

In TD we originally had 11 entries, but over the two days only 9 competitors worked, so Dennis Webb laid all the TD tracks, with Ruth Payton stewarding. They always do an excellent job - thank you both very much.

At base Linda Allen did the most fantastic job of feeding everyone; this job is always very hard work. I know all the helpers and competitors would wish to say a Very Big Thank You, Linda. Those chilli jacket potatoes are just wonderful.





Tracklayers: Les Allen and Peter Brooke

Steward: Carole Brooke

My thanks to SATS for the invitation to judge their UD Open stake. This took place at Priesthawes Farm, Hailsham, courtesy of the farmer, Chris Wadham - our thanks to him for the venue. The competition took place over two days, both very sunny and unseasonably hot. The tracking ground appeared to be harsh, comprising sparse stubble with no growth. However, the top did “give” when trod upon and the standard of the tracking by some very young and inexperienced dogs proves that appearances can be deceptive, with most dogs completing extremely good tracks.

Tracks were laid by Pete Brooke and Les Allen. These gentlemen were both professional and conscientious, both giving competitors the best opportunity possible and laying tracks just the way I had asked. Thank you both. Track articles were a piece of black rubber, approximately 4” x 2” and end article a small blue cloth elephant, approximately 3” x 3”.

Carole Brooke was both the square and control steward. My thanks, not only for being great company out in the field but also laying squares, giving competitors the best chance, and then efficiently stewarding them around the control field. Square articles were a red gun cartridge, a piece of black vet bed (3” x 2”), a piece of beige carpet (3” x 2”) and a wooden dolly peg.

Carole and Pete were also stay stewards, unfortunately having a busy time on the first day, with 5 out of 7 dogs breaking stays. Sadly, four of those were qualifying. Stays were less of a problem on the second day with all dogs completing the 10 minute down stay.

Frances Webb’s management of the trial was smooth and efficient, a reflection of just how much work she has done behind the scenes to make the day seem so effortless. Thank you, Frances.

Linda Allen did an outstanding job of catering at the base, magically creating feasts in a barn with no facilities. Linda, Mark’s still going on about your Chilli!! Thank you very much.

I was privileged to see some young dogs working to a very high standard. Tracks were very accurate, accompanied by competent squares. The control rounds were also extremely proficient. At the end of the two days we had the following results:

1st Nick Brunner with EASTER PRINCE, 195.5, Q. Very well done, Nick. Reuben is a super little dog, but I know he’s given you some challenging times in the stays. He did them at this test and I am sure that you will fly now this problem has been sorted.

2nd Stella Richards with FERNHAVEN SHESADELIGHT, 189, Q. Stella, Sade is a delight and did you proud at this test. Solid stays when others fell by the wayside, very well done.

3rd John Reynolds with STONECROSS TOMMY, 187, NQ. It was a pleasure to watch this young dog work. John, he did so very well. I know that you will reach great heights with Tommy, he’s a smashing young dog.

4th Sally Baker with CLASOLA DASKA, CDEx, 184.5, NQ. Another super dog, Vita put in a very polished performance, but unhappily, not qualifying today.

Thank you to all the competitors for entering your dogs under me; I saw some cracking dogs and thoroughly enjoyed watching them work. I saw so much potential that I know that you will all do well in future competitions. Good luck to you all.




Tracklayer: Dennis Webb

Square and Control Steward: Ruth Payton

I was really surprised and flattered to be asked to judge the TD stake at SATS, and I would like to thank the SATS committee for the invitation. The team behind the trial is really professional and friendly. I kept thinking of things about ten weeks behind Frances, who ran the trial like clockwork.

I was told that the land would be “dirt” so I set my test accordingly, with the track having a long first leg to settle the dogs in, some right angle corners before introducing angles. The articles weren’t small but selected to blend in. The control round was tackled before the nosework. Sandra, who was judging UD, and I had agreed to share a start for the sendaway providing TD competitors with an outrun of 110 yards to a tree in a long line of trees and bushes. Our heelwork and other exercises were planned not to draw the dogs from the sendaways or interfere with each other’s rounds.

Speak on command was the first TD exercise. Dogs were tied with a lead to a fence and required to produce ten barks, the handler standing with me, five paces from the dog. The heelwork was used to move competitors to the beginning of the sendaway. The redirect was 85 yards along the line of trees and bushes. Agility completed the round. The standard of control and agility was very high and all of the handlers tackled the test extremely competently, with only one team not achieving sufficient marks to qualify in the control and agility.

Unfortunately the weather was warm and very dry for the weekend making the tracking challenging, and no dog completed the track. The one qualifier, Margo Brothwell, only missed the last leg and article. The tracks were all laid to perfection by Dennis, who demonstrated considerable diligence and did his best to give competitors the best possible chance of completing the tracks. Ruth was great company over the two days, stewarding control, laying squares and relaxing competitors. I was also privileged to have Bill Hardaway’s company and wealth of experience on the tracking land.

I would like to thank Frances Web as the trials manager for running everything and organising our domestic needs. No trial could be held without tracking land and Chris Wadham, the farm manager, managed to ensure that we were accommodated. Linda Allen in the kitchen kept us well fed and watered – she certainly found her way to my heart with an awesome chilli! Last of all, I would like to thank the competitors for entering under me, supporting me (even in the difficult tracking conditions) and accepting my decisions.

1st Margo Brothwell with Ryan, TANGHAM LITTLE RYAN, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, Cross, 180, Q.

2nd Judy Meekings with Brig, STYPERSON BRIG AT WINDLEBROOK, Lab, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, 168, NQ.

3rd Sharon Carter with IVYMOOR SOLID GOLD, CDEx, UDEx, Weim, 143, NQ.

4th Allyson Tohme with Arrow, JAKE AT JOTENHEIM, Sch3, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, GSD, 142.5, NQ.

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