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Open Trial
Venue: Oakwood Hill
Trial Held: 23 February 2014




Tracklayers: Maggie Richardson, Mark Lewindon, Caroline Ashford and Don Laskey

Stewards: Sue Russell and Simon Bown

 My thanks to Surrey for the kind invitation to judge their WD Nosework at their open trial. This friendly, efficient trial was professionally managed by Joyce Tibbetts and Chris Brooks as Trial Secretary - thank you, ladies, for all your hard work. Thanks also to everyone who helped at the trial, before, during and after; at the base Diane Whiting was the kitchen staff for the Friday and assisted on Sunday - thank you Diane, lots of nice detail, flowers on table, food served with attention to detail. Beryl Kimberly provided a lovely home cooked lunch on Saturday and Sunday - thank you, Beryl, scrummy! No trial can run without the generosity of the farmers, in this instance Charlie Frost, my thanks for the use of your excellent land. Thanks also to Chris Brooks for sourcing land and keeping up a good relationship with the local farmers.

My team in the field:-

Friday - Maggie Richardson (wish I was as fit as this lady) and Mark Lewindon laid tracks and Sue Russell laying squares.

Saturday – Maggie and Caroline Ashford laying tracks, Simon Bown laying squares. This was Simon’s first time helping at trials and he made an excellent job of square steward. Anyone looking for a helper, I would recommend this newcomer to our sport who is looking for experience.

Sunday – Caroline and Don Laskey laid tracks and Sue squares again.

Thank you all for your hard work and diligence, giving up your time to help and giving the competitors the best opportunity to qualify.

The weather was unusually good for February. Friday, quite warm, sunshine and not much wind till the last two tracks when it picked up, but this didn’t affect the dogs working then. Colin Ball’s promising young dog, Rebus made the track look like a ten minute old track rather than the one and a half hours that it had been aged. Saturday was like a spring day, the fields benefitting from an overnight dew. Sunday more overcast, windy and a chill in the air

Articles on the track were a length of Astro-turf, approximately 4" long and 1" wide, which disappeared into the super tracking fields, ankle length grass. I chose this to test the dog’s article recognition - apologies to the tracklayers that it wasn’t perhaps as easy to find as some articles. The end article was a pink foam hair curler, approximately 5" long and half inch in diameter. Square articles were half a beer mat, green and red; a red and black pencil; a piece of black rubber 1" x 2" and a piece of carpet 1.5" square.

19 entered, 16 ran, 8 qualified on nosework, 5 qualified overall

 1st TADMARTON ENZO, Lab, D, "Enzo", handled by Les Allen, 196, Q. A nicely handled, slick performance by this young dog, a pleasure to watch and made the field team smile when Enzo nearly pulled Les over in his keenness to track. Felt as if I were witnessing a very special team destined for great things here; well done and I wish you every success for the future on your journey together.

2nd SOLINDY BLACK MAGIC, CDEx, UDEx, WSD, B, "Moss", handled by Lynn Bricknell, 194.5, Q. Moss settled into the track after the first leg and Lynn visibly settled after the first article. Moss is a nice girl working well for her handler. Poor Lynn was so nervous at the end that I had to give her marks to her husband. Don’t be so nervous, Lynn, she’s a sweetie.

3rd VONLUCIANHAN ARMAGEDDON, Mali, D, "Junior", handled by Jean Pierre Felicien, 185.5, Q. Lovely young dog, tracking like a mature dog, taking Jean Pierre even when Jean Pierre wasn’t convinced. Very profession performance by both dog and handler. Good luck in Champ.

4th GLENALPINE KASHEL, CDEx, BC, D, "Kash", handled by Stella Richards, 185.5, Q. Put in a very respectable nosework round, with just a couple of minor bits and pieces. Well done, Stella, I was pleased to be present at his UD and delighted that I was there for his WD success. Good luck in champ.

These last two dogs achieved the same qualifying marks making them joint third. After discussion with C/A Judge it was decided to award 3rd place to VONLUCIANHAN ARMAGEDDON, who had slightly higher track marks.

 Also qualifying:

PADDYDEPAWS AT COALWAY, CDEx, UDEx, X-Breed, D, "Ash", handled by Ann Ketteringham, 180. A plucky little chap hardly making an error on the track. Ann later told me that Ash was a rescue dog. Well Ann, hats off to you, not only for giving Ash a home, but also for making him super little working man and I wish you every success with him.


My final thanks go to the competitors for entering under me and accepting my decisions with good grace and allowing me to watch their lovely dogs. To those who qualified, well done and good luck in Champ; to those that weren’t successful on this occasion, better luck next time.


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