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Championship Trial
Venue: Hailsham
Trial Held: 17 March 2003

Stake: CD


Square Steward: Colleen (my better half)

Trials Manager: Frances Webb

Base Steward: Sue Sole

Catering: Carol Bowles

Escorts: Carole Brookes and Barbara Ottley

My thanks to all the people mentioned for all their hard work to make the trial a very enjoyable experience.

There was a small entry of 12 dogs, but I saw some nice work.

1st           Lauren Marlow and JOTUNHEIM KID, Malinois D, 95.5/100.  Very good, impressive round; smart, clean handling of a well trained, keen dog.

2nd          Bob Cooke and VIVAX DRUH FROM STEINMETZ, Dutch Herder.  Bob says this is the first of this breed to qualify, mainly because there are not any more here!  Nice work from an experienced old chap (Bob, obviously) with a dog that should keep him on his toes.  Well done, 87.5/100.

3rd           Manda McLellan and ASTRA STORM, BC, D.  Dog of 20 months, won UD, I believe.  Loads of potential, this one; in experienced hands, will soon be up in Ticket.  86.5/100.

4th           Linda Edmonds and BECKONBERRY BUD, GSD, D.  Very keen GSD, takes some handling.  I’m sure if Linda can keep up with him, he could do well.

Four qualifiers out of twelve, above the average, but they all deserved this qualification.  Well done to all of them.


Stake: UD


Tracklayers: John Reynolds and Barbara Ottley

Steward: Wendy Donaldson (Wednesday), Heather Hardaway (Thursday)

I would like to thank SATS committee for inviting me to judge the UD at their championship trial this year. It was a new venue for SATS and in my opinion much better than the forest has been over the past few years, when the short gorse made tracking painful for many dogs. Tracking was on winter wheat and the weather was dry and mainly sunny, albeit with a cold wind. Very well organised Frances!  Sue Sole kept the scores in order at base and food was expertly prepared and served with a smile (or hug if male) by Carol Bowles (how much did you get for a ‘bit on the side’ from all those hunky criminals Carol?) !!! Brilliant – great fun, thank you to all concerned and congratulations to Frances Webb for organising it all.

Many thanks go to my tracklayers, Barbara and John, who both did a brilliant job and were great company too. Thanks also to my two stewards, Wendy and Heather, who did one day each of laying squares and stewarding the competitors through the control round. Not a single slip up and such good company. Thanks also to Carole Brooke for ensuring everyone was in the right place at the right time both days – even under the stress of working her own dog. Thank you all very much.

I set the sort of test I would like to work with a young dog. The track articles were big enough to be rewarding when the dogs found them and the walk in was at a right angle to the first leg with the marker pole just ten paces from the start of the track to avoid teaching young dogs to pull to poles. Tracking was on winter wheat about 4 inches thigh.  First article – green gun cartridge, Second article – green carpet 6.5 inches x 1.5 inches

The search square articles were all laid on the diagonal and comprised; a teaspoon, a lolly stick, a tapered strip of leather 4 inches long and a small strip of curved plastic 3.5 inches long. No article proved evasive but there was a lot of mouthing and playing with articles.

For the control I asked for leads and collars to be left at the post to avoid any unnecessary grabbing of dogs between exercises.  The test started with the retrieve, and then heelwork in fast and slow pace between the jumps. Next came the sendaway, which was 80 paces straight to a red cone with a white pole protruding from behind on the hedge at a right angle. Most dogs gained over 8 marks for this, there was one 7 and one 5, but only one full point sendaway.  Next came normal pace heelwork followed by the jumps: hurdle, long jump, scale.

I was privileged to see some super work, keen dogs and as always some heart stopping moments. Commiserations go to David Barker and Sophie who did very well until the stays – hard luck David. The best track was Lyn Edmonds with Bud with 87 for the track and both articles; unfortunately came unstuck on the control. Hard luck to you and to the other non-qualifiers, and thank you for accepting my judgement in such a cheery manner. Good luck for the future and thank you all for allowing me the privilege of judging your work.

There were 11 entries and 9 ran.

1st           Manda McLellan with ASTRA STORM, (Border Collie), 185.5, Q UDEx.  I judged STORM in Wales and was impressed, so I was not surprised to see you win today.  Many congratulations, Manda.

2nd          Carole Brooke with THEALEFARM BROOKE, (Lab), 159.5, Q UD. Two more square articles would have made a difference but a good all round performance. Well done, Carole.

3rd           Cathy Dench with DANCING IN THE SHADOW, (GSD), 154.5, Q UD. Well done on achieving the only full point sendaway, Cathy.

4th           David Barker with MORROW AMAROO, (GSD), 164.5, NQ.  Such a shame about the stay, David.  Once this is sorted you will do well with SOPHIE.


Stake: WD


Tracklayers: Dennis Webb, Tom Bowles

Steward: Angela Sanders

Many thanks to SATS for the invitation to judge WD.  Thanks also to all at the base, especially Sue Sole keeping everybody in order, and Carol Bowles making a super job of the catering.  Well done, Frances, on an excellently run trial, and for finding the new venue, which was appreciated by all.  Some may bemoan the leaving of Ashdown Forest, but it was getting increasingly difficult to run a trial on the forest, and Priesthawes Farm was a great success; hopefully it will attract bigger entries once word gets round.  Also, thanks to Carole and Peter for the friendly and comfortable accommodation.

Tracking was on moderately well grown corn.  My two tracklayers, Dennis and Tom, (hope you had a good Ruby Wedding, Tom and Carol) worked very hard, and gave every competitor a good chance – thank you both.  Squares were laid consistently by Angela, who also stewarded the Control and Agility – thanks very much for your expertise and good company.

Tracking conditions were good, although there was some variation of ground cover.  This didn’t seem to make any difference to the dogs, who nearly all approached their nosework with enthusiasm.  Control and agility was generally well done, although the sendaway caused a few problems, with all dogs needing at least one extra command to get to the target.  After two very enjoyable days, we ended up with five qualifiers.

1st           Lynne Watkins and STARSHOT DOLGOS WITH SZIKRAS, Hung Wire-haired Vizsla, B.  Bracken worked well throughout, only losing one mark on the track, and thoroughly deserved both the qualification and first place.  She’s a very keen dog, and Lynne handles her with just the right mix of firmness and encouragement.  Well done.  191, WDEx.

2nd          Robert Willatts and MOORMILL NILANDU, Flat-coated Retriever, D.  Dax overshot a couple of corners on the track, but Robert handled him very well to recover, and returned with all six articles.  A very competent control round led to a well deserved qualification.  184.5, WDEx.

3rd           Sue Redshaw with MEADOWMILL TRAVIS, Lab, D.  Travis goes from strength to strength, and showed just how well he and Sue work together (apart from the heelwork!).  Missed one article in the square, but the rest of his work was first class.  182.5, WDEx.

4th           Gavin Thomson and CONCENN XANADU, GSD, D.  A bit short on articles, with only one on the track and two from the square, but a superb control round saved the day.  168, WDEx.

Also qualified:

Jacqui Gibney with BRYN HEULOG AP BRECON, WSD, D.  A few hiccups, but overall Bryn worked well, and deserved to qualify.  165.6, WDEx.

Hard luck story: Caroline Ashford with WOLFHART’S ULFHETHIN, who recovered brilliantly from a nearly disastrous start to the track, only to uncharacteristically fail the jumps.


Stake: PD


Tracklayers: Dennis Webb, Stan Ford, Lynne Watkins.

Steward throughout: Tom Bowles.

Criminals: Jeff Alan, Dave Clarke, Burt Maynard, Steve Grange.

Scribe, PD round: Carol Brookes.

Base Steward: Sue Sole.

Catering: Carole Bowles.

Anne Bussey (sorry, Anne.  Nearly forgot you, but it just clicked )

Thanks to SATS for the invitation to judge PD Ticket at the above trial.  Thanks also to Francis Webb and her team all named above. (Obviously the first team.)  The four days went like clockwork, with Francis organizing everything - even the weather. 

I set a relatively straight forward track with reasonably sized articles.  Of the eleven entries, nine did the nose work, six completed the track and square with qualifying marks; of the three failures, two completed the track, but sadly no articles, and one failed the track and chose not to do the square.

The control round went well; however we lost another two in the agility (scale), leaving us with four hopefuls going into the patrol round.  The patrol round on the whole went well, with six teams giving a reasonable performance.

1st                 Rod Roberts and BART.  A solid performance in all sections by this experienced team.  Nosework 102.5, control 33, jumps 20, patrol round 129. Total 284.5, PDEx - a well deserved win.

2nd          Mick Tustain and IKE.  Another experienced team, and another solid performance in all sections, with just 4.5 marks separating them.  Nosework 99, control 32, jumps 20, patrol round 129. Total 280, PDEx.

3rd           Sally Bergh Roose and JI.  What a first attempt at championship PD.  Just the odd marks here and there proving costly.  Nosework 100, control 32.5, jumps 19, patrol round 122. Total 273.5 and PDEx.

4th           John Phillips and LOGAN.  This team left themselves a lot to do in the patrol round, but sadly it all went wrong in the quarter.  Total 255, NQ.

Further thanks to the competitors who accepted my decisions in a sporting manner.

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