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Open Trial
Venue: West Bretton
Trial Held: 07 April 2013


It has certainly been a more complicated trial this year.  Firstly we had to change the UD Judge.  Bill Richardson, who was down to judge, had his father’s bereavement to deal with so Sheila Margreaves very kindly stepped in to cover.  I’m sure I speak for all in working trials when I offer our deepest condolences to Bill and family.  Grateful thanks go to Moira Rogerson, who was our CD and C/A judge, who in spite of her personal circumstances fulfilled her judging commitments brilliantly. Thank you, Moira, it couldn’t have been easy or the most memorable trial you’ve had.  We are very grateful to you.

Secondly, as with most trials up to now, will we run or will we cancel?  Snowbound up to the 2nd, half the fields inaccessible, the odds were definitely in favour of not running.  A decision would have to be made by the evening of the 3rd to allow us time to contact people if we felt it necessary to cancel.  Fortunately the weather forecast was for better weather.  Wednesday was better and warmer, the snow started to disappear off the fields and we were getting more fields available to us, albeit not the condition we are used to.  Half our usual fields had not even been set and were just rolled plough, the other half were no different to what they were like in November, very sparse crop.  The farmers were brilliant; any fields we wanted they gave us and we now had just enough to run the trial.

Friday was windy and dry.  Saturday and Sunday were the hottest this year so far and in fact dried all the fields out.  From snowbound to rock hard in 2 days!

My grateful thanks go to all my workers.  A lot of my usual workers this year were not available through judging, holidays, working etc. and it’s at times like this when true trials people rally to the cause.  Eric and Yvonne Carpenter forgoing competing, Lol Campbell, Nigel and June Hines, Tom and Liz Mills all coming at a moment’s notice to help.  Thanks not only to these but to my base staff Tracy Eaton, Margaret Welham, Sheila Margreaves and Yvonne Carpenter, tracklayers Brian Page, Dave Olley, Andrea Lynd, Peter Turner, and all who helped out to make the trial possible and successful.

Thanks to all my judges, Dave Olley PD, Mark Lewindon TD, Chris Trevor WD, Sheila Margreaves UD and Moira Rogerson CD and C/A, who all were a pleasure to deal with.

We didn’t quite get the success rate we would have liked - I think the cold ground conditions and wind played a large part in that.

To 71 competitors - you were a great bunch of people, polite and respectful and were an absolute pleasure to have.  To the 72nd competitor who was mistakenly sent to the wrong track, sorry but mistakes do happen; the base staff are only human and if you would kindly direct your comments to me and not to my workers I would be grateful.  If you are available to help for 3 days next year and show us how it’s done perfectly every time, I would be delighted to have you.

To those who were successful, congratulations; if not can I wish you the very best of luck at your future trials, and I hope to see you back next year.





Tracklayers: Pete Turner and Tom Mills

My deepest sympathy goes to Bill Richardson, who was originally scheduled to judge the UD nosework stake.

My thanks go to YWTS and our Trials Manager, Dave Stewart, for this efficient and well organised trial, also thanks to Pete Turner and Tom Mills for tracklaying both days.  Thanks to my square steward, Liz Mills, for doing a sterling job laying the squares, also to Liz and Doreen in the kitchen for keeping us fed and watered superbly.  Thank you to the base ladies, Margaret, Tracey and Yvonne.

We were very lucky to have nice weather on the two days of the trial, but the land was very difficult due to the adverse weather conditions of late.

1st LAURINCO RED FLAME OF HOLLOWGATE, handled by Mrs Janette Sayer, 194.5, Q.  He went around on rails - lovely to watch, a worthy winner.

2nd KISINANA BRIG, handled by Ms Katheryne Tollemache, 186.5, Q.  Both worked well, really nice round.  Well done.

3rd LAWINICK SWEET TALKER, handled Mrs Jacqui Gibney, 185, Q.  Another good round of nosework from this team, well done.

4th LEETSIDE WHIZZ KID, handled by Mrs Lorraine Wilson, 183.5, Q.  Really nice round, well done

I would like to thank the competitors for entering and allowing me to judge them.  All the best for the future in trials.




Tracklayers: June and Nigel

Square Steward: Sarah

Thanks to the YWTS for the invitation to judge WD at West Bretton.  Thanks also to all the helpers, escorts, base staff, and especially tracklayers, June and Nigel (spot on!), and Sarah for laying the squares, and for reminding me to start the clock! Out of 15 entries all 15 ran over two days, tracking on very sparse crop (so I kept the articles a fair size; if the dogs found the track, they deserve the articles.)  Thanks for having a go.  5 Teams qualified, 2 completed the track.

1st JET BRAMBLES, (Merlin), Labrador, handled by Abbey Peart, 192.5, Q, and Best Nosework.

2nd LIZLINE OLIVER CROMWELL, (Oliver), GSD, handled by Liz Price, 185.5, Q.

3rd SNOOP DOG XIMENA V CAYA’S HOME DOGANODOGS, (Snoop), Bouvier, handled by Pam Wadsworth, 179, Q.

4th HUNDWITH DUTIFUL, (Merry), Weimaraner, handled by Sally Toynbee, 169, Q.

Also qualifying:

TRACELYN NEIL DIAMOND, (Hugo), GSD, handled by Philip Talbot, 161.5




Tracklayers: Eric Carpenter, Brian Page, Andrea Lynd and Dave Olley (Friday)

Square Steward: Sandra Lewindon

I would like to thank the committee of Yorkshire Working Trials Society for the invitation to judge the TD nosework at West Bretton open trial.  This is a really friendly well organised event and I was genuinely surprised to receive the invitation.  Despite depriving both Sandra and myself of the opportunity to enter one of our favourite trials, I accepted without hesitation (or consultation).  Sandra might start speaking with me again sometime this year!!!!. 

I prepared the test with a memory of lush crop that I competed on last year and set a fairly simple pattern with fairly generous articles.  They were  a 2" square piece of green carpet, a generous piece of green ground sheet mesh and a wine cork as the end article (not one of those plastic imitation things but a real cork - you won’t believe how many bottles Sandra had to drink to accumulate sufficient articles with some to spare!!).  The search square articles were a train ticket, a length of plastic covered chain link fencing bent twice, a small piece of knotted nylon rope and a long coffee stirrer (That was my contribution and my thanks must go to the Starbucks and Costas in the area of Victoria - I should buy shares, the length of time I spend in them). 

When I arrived the crop was a tad more sparse than the previous year, due to the appalling cold and wet winter.  It had snowed the previous weekend and there was still some drifted around the edges of the fields.  I immediately realised that I wasn’t in Essex anymore!!!

The tracklayers were Eric Carpenter laying the early tracks, with Dave Olley laying a second set on the on the Friday.  Brian Page laid the second sets and Andrea Lynd the third on Saturday and Sunday.  They were an experienced team who did their best to give the competitors a chance in the difficult conditions.  Sandra laid the squares over all three days and the whole team were great company - thank you for your excellent work.

Twenty seven teams entered and twenty four attempted the test.  The wind had dried the surface of the fields providing a dusty crust over a soft base.   On the Friday there was a strong wind that made it very difficult and, whilst the five teams that attempted the test on that day made good attempts at the track, it proved just too difficult.  Saturday morning was slightly damper for the first dogs that tracked and the wind had dropped.  The first team, Liz Price with Grace, made it all the way round.   Unfortunately they did not successfully complete the control and agility.  They were followed by Heather Cook with Jaxon who completed most of the track, only missing a couple of legs in the middle, and Sarah Burroughs, who also negotiated most of the track but missed the last box and end article.  Unfortunately, after those teams, the conditions proved just too difficult and we didn’t have any more qualifiers.     

As usual the trial ran like clockwork, thanks to the easy style of Dave Stewart who, himself, acknowledges the effort put in by Liz to make things work.  They really are a great team who put so much into the sport - thanks Dave and Liz.  I would also like to thank the base team; Liz Stewart again who gets everywhere, and Doreen in the kitchen.  Anybody who hasn’t tried the sausage pie should enter just to experience it!  Sheila, Tracey and Margaret ran the base and Fred Welham escorted competitors and brought our food up to the field. 

I also, last year, had the privilege of meeting Robert Nichols who owns the farm upon which the TD tracking is carried out, and his wife Janet.  The society is really fortunate to have their support.  They are genuinely interested and cannot do enough to help.  Thanks to them both.  Lastly, I would like to thank the competitors for entering.  I genuinely believe that all of the dogs that competed are capable of competing at this level but that the conditions were just too difficult on this occasion.  Best wishes for success at future trials. 

1st  Heather Cook with Jaxon, LOOKYLOOKY LIFE N SOU, CDEx – WDEx, WSD.  Heather handled this test very well and deserved the qualification in these difficult conditions.  She did most of the track, recovering all three articles achieving 73 + 30 and 33 for the search square.  Heather also won the trophy for the best nosework.  Well done, Heather, and best wishes in ticket - you will be a formidable team.  Qualifying with 189 points.

2nd  Sarah Burroughes with  Ester, TARNEDGE VELVET, Lab, B.  Sarah and Ester made a really good effort at the track but unfortunately went straight across the last box missing the end article.  They achieved 73 + 20 for two articles on the track and 34.5 for a very impressive search square.  Whilst they qualified in all three sections, they did not have sufficient marks to qualify overall with 171.5.

3rd Ann Bedford with Lexi, MOORSONS BROADWAY ENCORE, CDEx, GSD, B.  Worked on Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately Lexi went straight on instead of taking the angle on the right hand side of the track missing the last two articles.  Lexi is a smashing young GSD who will, in Ann’s capable hands, be one to watch.  Unfortunately not qualifying this time on 135.5.

4th Trish Harding with RUSHBOTTOM RIVER OTTER, CDEx – WDEx, GSD, D.  Trish worked on the first day in the windy conditions.  She reached the top of the track before going astray.  This is another impressive GSD that did not, on this occasion, achieve sufficient marks to qualify on 131.5.




Tracklayers: Alan Bexon and Lol Campbell

Search, Control and Patrol Steward: Karen Bexon

Criminals: Alan Bexon, Bernie Martens and Dave Raybould

Thanks to Yorkshire WT Society for the invitation to judge.  A big thank you to Dave Stewart and his team for running such a well organised and friendly trial.  A special thanks to all the criminals and tracklayers, and my steward in PD at the trial.

Nine entered and eight ran.  Tracking conditions were hard, especially on the first day, but six qualified the nosework.  Seven teams did the C/A; all qualified that section.  We used the same field for the control and patrol; it had been ploughed and harrowed, making for an interesting working surface.  I did have a choice to go further down the lane to grass fields, but was concerned about vehicles getting on and off the field, as the night before to get to the field at the top of the hill we had asked the farmer to clear a road through the snow, so thanks to him and all the farmers at this trial.

The patrol round commenced with the chase, and as the theme was looking for a world champion ferret that had been stolen from the annual West Bretton Ferret show, it started like this.  Dog and handler at the pole at the top of the hill, 10 yards away a hide, from which came 2 concerned ferret fanciers, complaining that the man standing in the middle of the field had stolen their ferret.  When the handler challenged this man about the ferret, he ran, and the dog was told to give chase.  Once detained, the handler followed up, controlled the dog, and took command of the criminal. 

The quarter followed with the dog having to go to 4 hides around the field.  At the last hide were 2 more ferret fanciers, once the dog had found them and given voice, the handler ran across to take care of the situation, taking the chase criminal with him.  The criminals were called out and searched, with the dog put on guard duty, the handler then entered and searched the hide finding a jute sack full of hay, laid on the top of the hay was a 6 inch sheath knife, the knife, although worth a point, was a decoy to distract handlers from the 2 point ferret at the bottom of the sack.

One guy was released after being questioned, the other 2 were escorted, where as usual the attack on handler took place.    At the end of the escort the 2 guys were told to move away and clear off the land; as they did so they came across 2 more sacks of hay and decided they could subdue the dog with these weapons, enabling the test of courage to take place.  Once the dog had changed their minds and the criminals had been dealt with, all that was left was to find the innocent man who had been left at the last hide, challenge him, send the dog and successfully recall the dog, as after all the man was innocent.

1st and best patrol round David Waite with Rula, EYLAUERHOF RULA, Rott, 297.5, Q.  A good nosework and C/A, followed by a very impressive patrol round.

2nd Andy Laws with Frankie, LAWS LITTLE FRANKIE, X-Breed, 288, Q.  Good nosework and C/A, followed by a competent patrol round.

3rd Joan Miller with Tyler, WOOLSHAN JAGER, GSD, 281 Q.  Worked well in all sections.

4th Tom Davis with Ruby, JOTUNHEIM ALMA, Mali, 262.5 Q.  Nice to see Tom on the other side of the fence, good job done in all section. 

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