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Open Trial
Venue: Newdigate
Trial Held: 28 February 2016


Stake: Introductory


Steward: Elizabeth Stapleton

My thanks to the Surrey Dog Training Society committee for the invitation to judge the Introductory stake at their open trial and also to Joyce Tibbetts for managing such a friendly trial.

Thanks to Val Upton for putting me up on Saturday night and thank you to everyone involved in organising this trial, especially base steward Christine Brooks and all those behind the scenes and “front of house” in the kitchen. Big thanks to Elizabeth Stapleton, my search square and C/A steward.

Four teams had entered the stake but only two ran.

The search square was worked first, followed by the dumb-bell retrieve.  Search articles: 5” green garden hose, 4” x 2” green carpet, 4” x 4” brown fur fabric and a yellow plastic duck.  Both teams retrieved the required three articles.

The control section began with both dogs doing the sit stay together (1 minute, handlers in sight), followed by recall, heel on lead, sendaway (30 paces to a telegraph pole with 2 crossed white poles in front of it) and heel free; the 5 minute out of sight down stay was carried out after the agility section.

It was good to hear plenty of verbal encouragement from handlers to dogs during the control exercises, but lovely and quiet during the stays!

1st                Jason Punyer and PRETTY LITTLE LUNA, X-Breed, B, 89, Q.  Luna clearly enjoys trials, obtaining 29 marks out of 30 in the nosework section, and Jason has good cause to be really pleased with her.  A full mark clear jump and second attempt on the long jump and scale was enough to give Jason and Luna the qualification they deserved.  Congratulations.

2nd         Keleigh Parsons and PRETTY LITTLE MISTY, BC, B, NQ.  Another dog that is going to do well, Misty obtaining 29.5 marks out of 30 on nosework.  The stays and the scale were Misty’s downfall today, but this dog has motivation by the bucket load.  Keleigh was so pleased that Misty went over the scale at the second attempt, as it’s the first time she’s done it away from the training ground and in a competitive environment.  She’ll soon put it all together, Keleigh, good luck.

Thank you to both competitors for entering under me; it was a pleasure to watch your dogs work. Hopefully you both went home having enjoyed the experience and looking forward to entering future Trials.


Stakes: TD, WD and UD Control and Agility


Stewards: Sally Baker (Friday), Lé Newman (Saturday and Sunday)     

My thanks to the Surrey committee for the invitation to judge and to Joyce Tibbetts and Chris Brooks for running a very well organised trial, with a great atmosphere throughout.  As always, a huge thanks to the farmer for the use of the land, hard standing for parking and the luxury of toilets!  Thanks also to a superb team in the kitchen who kept us fed and watered well throughout.

A very special thank you to my stewards, Sally Baker and Lé Newman, who were both great company and stewarded the C/A rounds with great consistency.

The weather was dry for all three days, albeit very cold and windy; the upside was it helped dry the ground quite well, meaning we only had to move the jumps once throughout the trial.  

UD Stake:

1st           Claire Norton with DREAGANTA KAINAAT, BC, D, 196, Q.  Lovely clean round from Claire and Kainaat, dropping just one point overall on the combined C/A.  Very well handled and a lovely focussed dog, a good team to watch.  Well done, Claire, you even surprised yourself.

2nd              Jacki Snook with ASHLINDT CIDER, CDEx, BCD, 191.5, Q.  Slight wobble to start with on the first exercise which was the retrieve; Cider was distracted by his nose, which proved costly overall, but then went on to only drop half a point on the rest of the combined C/A.

3rd               Ruth Payton with KALIAZAR CHAOS, CDEx, BC, B, 190, Q.  Good to see Ruth back working a dog after a long layoff following a broken ankle, and for sure “Dot” enjoyed being back out competing.  The long jump proved costly on the day, otherwise a good round.

4th               Moira Rogerson with XANDOAS SCOUT, CDEx, Mali, D, 188.5, Q.  Superb round from Moira with this youngster, completely clear round on the C/A and a delight to watch.  Well done, Moira.

Also qualifying:

Shirley Simpson with FERROUS A TOUCH OF BEAUTY, 186

Bill Richardson with XANDOAS ISA, 183

Caroline Ashford with WOLFHART TAQUIL, 169.5

WD Stake:

1st                Pat Herbert with GLENALPINE FEN, CDEx – UDEx, BC, B, 198.5, Q.  A super round from this team, not dropping a point on the C/A.  Once again, a very experienced handler with a young and very focussed dog, lovely to watch (and learn from).  Well done, Pat, what more can I say other than congratulations?

2                     Julie Atkins with GLENALPINE PEG, CDEx – UDEx, BC, B, 193.5, Q.  Another great round from an experienced handler and a new youngster, litter mate to Pat’s, dropping 2.5 overall on the control and very clean set of jumps.  Great round, Julie, just a slight blip on the sendaway, and with you it will only ever be a blip.

3rd               John Wykes with DREAGANTA RED RORY OF TARNFORCE, CDEx, BC, D, 185.5, Q.  Rory had great fun, although John didn’t look too amused at times!  Well done, John, I know it wasn’t easy to achieve this result and you worked hard on the day.  Some tidying needed on the control but with your experience it won’t be a problem - good clean set of jumps.

4th               Margo Brothwell with TANGHAM LITTLE SAXON, X-Breed, D, 184, Q.  Good lively round from Saxon, with Margo’s experience showing through in keeping it all together.  Another youngster coming through the ranks in experienced hands - clean set of jumps.

Also qualifying:

John Philipps with HUNDESCHAFER CADEN, 178.5

Tim Cooper with GLOSTER NIGHTHAWK, 169.5

TD Stake:

1st                June Coutts with TADMARTON ESTELLE, Lab, B, CDEx – WDEx, 207, Q.  June was extremely pleased with her control round and particularly the sendaway and redirect, as this had been an area of weakness previously; the training she has put in has clearly paid off.  Nice round, June, dropping 6 overall on the C/A.  Congratulations on your first TD Open with Ripple and first place.                                                        

2nd              Tony Lockyer with ABBI BLACK AT HARTSHILL, GSD, B, CDEx – UDEx, 203.5, Q.  As you would expect from Tony, a very good clean control round with this delightful young dog, only dropping 2.5 overall on the sendaway and redirect, otherwise very clean C/A.  Lovely round to watch.  Well done, Tony, the first of many, I am sure.

3rd               Dean Woodcock with CORIES TEX, CDEx – WDEx, Kelpie, D, 203, Q.  Good round from this team, only dropping 3.5 on their C/A, one of the stronger sendaways and redirects of the trial.  Lovely to watch, well done, Dean.

4th          Gary Haim with LUPITOONZ SPACE RANGER, CDEx – WDEx, WSD, D, 198, Q.  Once again, good strong control round from an experienced handler with a new young dog, a delight to watch; excellent sendaway and redirect, just dropping 1.5 on control overall, but the long jump proved costly today.  You are on a roll, Gary, as I believe this was your second qualification over the weekend, getting another WDEx at NW.  Well done.

Also qualifying –

Stan Ford with VONHAUSWOLF RAINHARD, 197.5

Martine Taylor with GLENALPINE NIKKI, 194.5

Stella Richards with GLENALPINE KASHEL, 193.5

Betty Briley with JETRIL JIG, 189.5  

I had a pleasant surprise on the control field at the end of the trial; as soon as the last competitor had worked Julie, Pat and Gary returned to help clear the field with Stan, Lé and Len - a great gesture and much appreciated after three cold and busy days.

Thanks to all the competitors, I really enjoyed watching the teams work over the three days.


Stake: UD nosework


Tracklayers: Tess, Elizabeth and Trina (Friday), Don Laskey and Stella Richards (Saturday and Sunday)

Stewards: Sue Shave (Fri), Val Upton (Sat & Sun)

I would like to thank Surrey for asking me to judge their UD stake, Joyce and Chris who ran everything smoothly at the base and to Val for letting me stay at your lovely home.

Thank you to Sue, who laid her first ever UD squares - you did a great job - and to Val who took over expertly on the Saturday and Sunday.  Also my thanks to all my tracklayers; you all laid the tracks exactly as asked, and all but one competitor got round the tracks and retrieved all the articles from the squares - well done all of you. 

The weather varied from a sunny day on the Friday to freezing days on the Saturday and Sunday – having said that the weather didn’t seem to affect any of the nosework.  Thank you for entering under me and I hope you enjoyed my test.  Those of you that qualified, well done – those that didn’t, I hope you have better luck next time.

21 entered 15 ran

1st           Claire Norton with DREAGANTA KAINAAT, BC, 196, Q.  Claire did a lovely track with Kainaat, only losing 2 points on the track and 1 in the square.  Congratulations on your win, I’m sure it won’t be your only one.

2nd              Jackie Snook with ASHLINDT CIDER, CDEx, BC, 191.5, Q.  A super track from this pair, only losing 3 points in the nosework; you handled this lively dog very well.

3rd          Ruth Payton with KALIAZAR CHAOS, CDEx, BC, 190, Q.  Congratulations on your qualification, Ruth, only losing half a point on the nosework.  I hope your ankle holds up as you rise through the stakesJ.

4th               Moira Rogerson with XANDOA’S SCOUT, CDEx, Mali, 188.5, Q.  Scout put Moira through the wringer on this track – he did the first half beautifully then hit a patch where a flock of geese had been grazing; Moira’s experience showed through and let him work it out, but we all let out a breath of relief once he found the last article.

Also qualifying:

Shirley Simpson with FERROUS A TOUCH OF BEAUTY, BC, 186

Moira Rogerson’s XANDOA’S ISA, CDEx, Mali, handled by Bill Richardson, 183


Stake: WD nosework


Tracklayers: Stan Ford, Tess Shoolbred, Lynne Watkins

Square Steward: Sue Russell

Many thanks to Joyce, Chris and the Surrey DTS for the invitation to judge at their open trial.  I had a great time and although the wind was a bit raw, it stayed dry so I have nothing to complain about.  The competitors were a cheery lot and accepted my decisions without complaint, for which I thank them.  I am grateful to the farmer for letting us use the good Surrey grass, which was very wet in places, and thanks to the many workers in the society for their efforts in making the trial a success.  Huge thanks to my tracklayers, Tess, Stan and Lynne, for their work and their company.  Many, many thanks to Sue, who put up with me for 2 full days in her role as square steward.  Finally, thanks to Liz for putting us up overnight and sharing that lovely wine (I have now ordered a case).

1st                Pat Herbert and GLENALPINE FEN, BC, B, 198.5, Q.  The best track of the day and the only full mark square, clean and neat.  A worthy winner.

2nd              Julie Atkins and GLENALPINE PEG, BC, B, 193.5, Q.  Not far behind the winner on the nosework field.  Lovely to watch.

3rd               John Wykes and DREAGANTA RED RORY OF TARNFORCE, BC, D, 185.5, Q.  A nice calm round; as good as any on the track but a bit of mouthing in the square.

4th               Margo Brothwell and TANGHAM LITTLE SAXON, X, D, 184, Q.  An excellent track and search but lack of control in the gun test cost them.

Also qualified:

John Phillips and HUNDERSCHAFER CADEN, GSD, D, 178.5. A vigorous young dog and the one the judge would most like to take home!

Tim Cooper and GLOSTER NIGHTHAWK, Lab, D, 169.5.  The youngest dog in the stake, should settle into a cracker.  Loved him!


Stake: TD nosework


Tracklayers: Len Newman, Gavin Thomson, Maggie Richardson, Lee Payne, Peter Brooke, Dave Self, Ruth Payton

Stewards: Lé Newman, Caroline Ashford

Many thanks to SDTS for the invitation to judge; it was a real pleasure to judge on “home ground”.  And thanks to Joyce and Chris for keeping everything under control and running smoothly.  And, of course, thanks also to all those in the kitchen, who made sure that we were never hungry or thirsty.

I had an unusually large team of tracklayers, with all except Len laying just one batch, but they all laid the tracks exactly as I wanted, for which I am very grateful – and especially my thanks to Len for laying the early tracks each day.  My two square stewards were equally proficient, and their efforts resulted in almost all dogs qualifying in the search exercise.  Thank you all very much.

TD Open track Surrey 2016 600x805

Tracking was on grass, with a reasonable growth, and the ground was damp but not too muddy.  The weather, although dry, was very cold and blustery, and some dogs found the strong wind difficult to cope with.  I saw some very good tracks, from dogs which were determined to work to the best of their ability, and which I’m sure will do well in the Ticket stake.

Track articles were:- half a lolly stick, 3” x 0.5” piece of underlay, and a 2” x 1.5” piece of green scourer, and the search articles were:- half a small foil pie dish, 3” length of green garden stick, half a clothes peg and a black cartridge case.  No one article caused any major problems.

1st           June Coutts with TADMARTON ESTELLE, Lab, B, 207, Q.  Ripple is a busy girl, who thoroughly enjoyed her work.  She bombed round the track in great style, and followed with a top speed square, almost standing on her head as she located articles while running at full pelt.  Super little dog, June!  Good luck with her, I’m sure she has a glittering future.

2nd         Tony Lockyer and ABBI BLACK AT HARTSHILL, GSD, B, 203.5, Q.  Abbi didn’t find the track easy, but battled through, recovering all three articles, followed by a very nice square, with all four articles retrieved very tidily.  Another one heading for the top, Tony!

3rd          Dean Woodcock with CORIES TEX, Kelpie, D, 203, Q.  Tex had a tricky spot on the track where we really thought he’d lost it, but good handling by Dean and determination from Tex saved the day, and they finished the track with all three articles located.  A tidy square completed a very competent round.  Well done.

4th          Gary Haim and LUPITOONS SPACE RANGER, WSD, D, 198, Q.  Buzz did quite a bit of checking in the wind on the track, but completed it with all three articles, followed by three retrieved very neatly from the search square.  Good luck in Ticket, Gary.

Also qualified:

Stan Ford and VONHAUSWOLF RAINHARD, GSD, D, 197.5.  Zeus was the first dog on, and set a very high standard, with all articles recovered in a very stylish manner.

Martine Taylor with GLENALPINE NIKKI, BC, B, 194.5.  A very nice track from Nikki, but she cut it a bit fine in the search – the timer pinged as she put the second article in Martine’s hands!  Well done, Martine, very nicely handled.

Stella Richards and GLENALPINE KASHEL, BC, 193.5.  Another tidy track from Kash, with all three articles, and three nicely recovered from the square.  Well done, Stella, and good luck in Ticket.

Betty Briley and JETRIL JIG, GSD, B, 189.5.  Missing the first track article was costly, but Jig worked well throughout.

Two other dogs, which sadly didn’t qualify on the C/A, were definitely worth watching.

I was very impressed with Hayley Woodcock’s SAMDAIS LITTLE STAR, who did a stunning track, only losing half a mark, with all three articles, and then followed it with a full mark square.  Brilliant - she’s very well named!

The other dog to catch my eye was John Reynolds’ STONECROSS TOMMY, who produced the only other full mark square, after a very good track.  Well done, John, his nosework is excellent.

My thanks to all the competitors, who, without fail, were friendly and polite, even if not successful this time.  I hope to see you all progressing to TD Champ very soon.


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