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Championship Trial
Venue: Skipsea
Trial Held: 31 December 2013

 

STAKE: CD

Judge: LAURA BARDWELL

Steward: Jenny Olley

 First I would like to thank Yorkshire for asking me to judge the CD stake; I would also like to thank Sheila and Jeff Margreaves for running this lovely trial, which ran like clockwork. I would like to thank Liz Mills, Karen Bexon and Teresa Musgrave for the lovely food they provided, and Tom Mills and Alan Bexon for helping to set up jumps and keeping things ticking over. Thanks also to Sheila Margreaves and Sandra Lewindon for the smooth running of the base.

Big thanks to Jenny Olley for doing a great job stewarding, getting the test perfect for each person. Finally, a huge thank you to the people who entered and made such a good job of the test. It was straightforward but, as usual, it was the jumps and stay that took out most of the dogs.

 1st TADMARTON ELEANOR and Mike Williams. My only qualifying dog. Not much to say about this young dog except stunning and a well-deserved win.

2nd COCAINE Z KOVARNY and Angela Moslin, NQ. A very well controlled round by this very lively dog, only just missing out by a few points; I’m sure he will do it next time.

3rd CHASING A DREAM and Kim Astbury, NQ. What a lovely calm dog; I’m sure he will qualify soon - only a matter of time.

4th TUMBLE TRAIL and Elaine Boyd, NQ. What a square, full points and all over and done within 42 seconds - brilliant! Sort the jumps and you are well on the way.

 STAKE: WORKING DOG

 Judge: RAY LEA

Tracklayers: Chris Trevor and Mark Lewindon

Steward: Jenny Olley

 Many thanks to the Committee of Yorkshire WTS for the invitation to judge the WD stake at the Skipsea Championship trial. Lots of thank you’s - firstly to Jeff and Sheila Margreaves for looking after me; nothing was too much trouble, a very big thank you to you both. Next, what can one say? The food was superb, from breakfast to the evening meals, so many thanks to Rita, Liz, Liz, Teresa, Karen and Sandra. To Sheila and Sandra doing base - thank you. And to my team in the field, Chris for the earlies both days, and Mark both days, thank you - all tracks laid perfectly. And thank you to my steward, Jenny - every square laid inch perfect - thank you, your company was brilliant throughout.

Tracking was on about four inch growth of crop. I tried to keep my articles to a Christmas theme - on the track was a bauble (about the size of a golf ball) and a Christmas card at the end. The search articles were a red velvet bow, a small cube parcel in gold, a red gift bow and a 1.5 inch piece of Christmas tree. All the squares were well carried out, with only one article having to be recovered by Jenny.

The first day looked to be quite good tracking conditions, but sadly only one team got round the track, and that not without its problems. Day two and the weather was horrendous, with very strong winds and rain and this was just too much for the dogs.

On to the control; the walk in was to a small snowman where the lead was left. The test started with the retrieve and then the dumbbell was left with the snowman; on to the heelwork, which was twelve paces at normal pace to the next marker, then a figure of eight for all three paces. That done, it was normal pace to the sendaway, which was an outrun of 120 paces to a small Santa by a tree; on return it was on to the jumps - clear, long, scale. Then it was on to the down stay to end the test.

To the competitors, thank you for entering and accepting my decisions; it was a shame the weather beat you. Good luck for the future.

 

1st Shirley Simpson with WESTMIDS KYRE, GSD, B, 169, Q. Well done, Shirley. Glad you stuck at it, you both worked hard out there.

2nd Wendy Craven’s QUIZ-IS SOMETHING SPECIAL, WSD, D, handled by Dave Craven, 144, NQ. This team worked really hard but the weather got the better of them. Well done.

3rd Pam Wadsworth with SNOOP DOG XIMENA CAYA’S HOME DOGANODOGS (imp), Bouvier, D, 96.5, NQ. You gave it a good try, Pam, again it was the weather.

4th Carol Grant with DREAGANTA ROB ROY, BC, D, 95.5, NQ. The track wasn’t there for you today but a nice C/A.

 

STAKE: TD

Judge: JUDY MEEKINGS

Tracklayers: Richard Musgrave, Dave Olley, Lol Campbell

Steward: Fran Atkin

 My thanks (I think!) to Yorkshire WTS for the invitation to judge the Ticket at the Christmas trial. This is the first time I’ve been to this trial, and the atmosphere was wonderful – I can understand why people keep coming back year after year, in spite of the winter weather. The trial was managed extremely efficiently by Jeff Margreaves, ably assisted by Sheila; this was their first go at management, and they made an excellent job of it, with nothing left to chance. Jeff even sent me photos of the tracking land, which was really helpful. Thanks for all your hard work that made the trial such a success.

The base was run by Sheila, with help from Sandra Lewindon, and the competitors were escorted to their tracks by John Atkin – many thanks to you all. As for the catering – well, what can I say? Teresa, Liz M, Liz S, and Karen did a fantastic job, not just making sure that we were never hungry or thirsty, but also providing fabulous evening meals, which were prepared by Rita and Sheila. Thank you all very much.

My team on the field were brilliant. Thank you to my tracklayers, Richard, Dave and Lol, for giving up the chance to work your own dogs, and laying tracks in weather conditions which were very challenging at times; you were fantastic, and great company too. And many, many thanks to Fran, trudging through the mud and wind laying squares, and then scribing for the control round, and still keeping a smile on her face.

The tracking was on one huge field of fairly sparse winter wheat. The weather was mixed; the first day, Friday, was dry, with gale force winds making conditions difficult for the dogs. In spite of this, four out of seven dogs completed the nosework successfully, making this the most productive day. I must give a special mention to Sandra and Kyte, who have both had their health problems in 2013, who battled against the wind in their first attempt at Ticket, but were beaten by the clock – great to see you both back on the competition field! Saturday and Sunday were fine and sunny, with much lighter winds, and produced mixed results, with some excellent tracks seen, but the weather really hit us on Monday. Gale force winds returned, stronger than ever, with driving rain from time to time, making it feel very cold. In spite of the seemingly impossible conditions, Paul Bryan and Wispa battled round almost to the end, with Paul at times leaning at 45 ̊ into the wind!

The control day dawned cold, wet and windy! Eight teams had qualifying marks, but sadly three dogs decided that staying down for 10 minutes, the first exercise, was not a good idea. The speak exercise, the dog tied up with the handler about 5 yards away turning gradually in a full circle on the spot, was generally well done, but the three-way sendaway proved a problem for a few dogs, although those dogs that managed it accomplished it very well. At the end of the morning, we ended up with three dogs qualifying TDEx, all of them thoroughly deserving their achievement.

 

1st Alan Bexon and FLY BY NIGHT LAD, WSD, 206, TDEx. Fly was the only dog tracking on the first day in gale force winds to get 3 and 4, and a very professional control round and full mark agility gave Alan and Fly their first Ticket - I’m sure it won’t be their last. Very well done and good luck for the KCC’s.

2nd Glenys Page and WTCh BILKO’S GLORY, WSD, 200.5, TDEx. Sam tracked very confidently in unseasonal sunshine, but missing the fourth square article was costly. A very nice control round, with a brilliant sendaway and full mark jumps, gave this team a well-deserved Reserve Ticket. Well done to you both.

3rd Margaret Robinson and JUST FRANKIE AT TRENTVALLEY, WSD, 193, TDEx. Margaret and Frankie were living dangerously on the track, going walk-about on the last corner, having missed the second article, but they eventually recovered to finish with that precious end article. The control and agility round was top class, with a superb sendaway – well done.

4th Barry Gilbert and GLENALPINE COSWORTH, BC, 199, NQ. Cossie tracked very well and recovered all the articles, giving him the Best Nosework Trophy. Unfortunately, he decided that investigating the dog next to him in the stays was more interesting than lying down for 10 minutes, but the rest of his control and agility showed us some very good work.

 Thank you to all the competitors for entering and facing sometimes appalling weather. Those that didn’t qualify were almost certainly beaten by the conditions, with proven good tracking dogs unable to find any scent in the gales, and I’m quite sure they will be successful in future trials. I wish you all every success in 2014.

 

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