Melton Mowbray, Championship Trial
TM, CD, UD, TD Stakes
TRIALS MANAGER’S REPORT
About eight years ago a fellow working trialist and I were considering how we could put something back into Working Trials. We decided to arrange a little Open Working Trials, just two stakes, CD and UD, and as I was a member of the Midlands Border Collie Club we asked if they would be interested in being involved with this. The club jumped at the chance because they are also very interested in the working abilities of the Border Collie. As most of you are aware this trial has gradually progressed and built up and we have just completed running our third Championship Working Trial. I am also only too aware that we could not have done this without the help of people from the working trials clubs in the area around us and the support of M.B.C.C. This trial could only be run with a team of enthusiastic people pulling together. The trial is not dependent on one individual, we all contribute together to make it work. Over the years we have had a lot of positive feedback and thank you cards from competitors, and some very kind and supportive messages from some experienced working trialists. Going on the actual feedback from competitors we appear to have run five successful open trials and three successful championship trials so far. I know I am not the most experienced trials manager but I have been involved in dog competitions for more years than I care to remember, and was also show manager for a number of large open obedience shows in the past. Where I may lack experience as a working trials manager I always make very sure that I thoroughly understand the relevant regulations that apply, without making up my own regulations or putting my own interpretation on them. As those of us who have done the job know, a trials manager’s task can sometimes be an onerous one. The job is often stressful enough as it is, without it being made more unnecessarily stressful by the actions of others. I can understand why some societies are struggling to appoint willing trials managers. In my case I am considering my position for a few weeks before making a decision on whether to continue as a Trials Manager due to some of this negative aura.
We had a super venue this year in a hotel conference centre (the venue for the 2013 KCC’s). Everything was in one place; base, accommodation and evening food. Much better than the cold draughty scout hut used in previous years! Both tracking stakes were on winter wheat with quite wet muddy ground. I would like to add my own personal thanks to the tracklayers and stewards, especially those helping in the TD Stake, as they were there all week, and it was very heavy going trekking on the fields. All the tracking stake competitors received a highlighted route map with both printed and verbal directions and every junction had a TD or UD direction sign (3 for TD and 4 for UD). This seemed to work out quite well; I believe only two competitors did not follow the signs and temporarily got lost on the way to their field. CD was on a pasture field adjacent to the base and so just a short walk from the car park.
I thank everyone who helped with the trial in any way. We really cannot do it without you! Thanks to the three judges, Dave doing CD, Roger doing UD and Len doing TD. All three undertook their respective roles in a professional manner, enduring varying conditions through the week, from cold, windy and damp days to a sunny frosty Sunday. Due to a family illness there was a possibility that Len would not be able to undertake the TD C/A on the Sunday and I thank Roger Shrimpton for agreeing to stay an extra day and night to cover this eventuality. Fortunately the situation for Len did not develop further and he was able to complete the Stake. Again, thanks to everyone who helped and the competitors for entering, and congratulations to all who achieved an award at the trial.
We are considering alternating our UD Stake with a WD Stake in future years to coincide with ASPADS Oxford Trial so there will always be a Championship UD and WD Stake around this time of the year. Watch this space – it maybe WD next year instead of UD.
Judge: DAVID WAITE
Steward: Diane Yeatman
Thanks to the Club for inviting me to judge, and to Barrie James and all the team for organising and running the trial. A big thank you to Diane for doing a brilliant job stewarding over the two days.
There were 26 entries, of which 19 worked. 5 teams qualified CDEx and 2 teams qualified CD. I hopefully set a straightforward round that was suitable for the Stake. The articles in the search square were a green cartridge, a 5” piece of green plastic Christmas tree and a 3” x 1” x 1” block of wood; overall most dogs did a good retrieve and search square, which got most teams off to a good start to the stake. The standard of the Control Section was also very good, but as quite often with either young or inexperienced dogs, the Agility Section proved very costly.
1st Jeny Miller with FOXFOLD UNEXPECTED EDITION, X-Breed, B, 100/100, Q. What a beautiful round to watch and judge, a very polished and no nonsense work like performance. Although the approach to all the jumps made me wonder if the dog was going to jump them, but she did with ease.
2nd J Lewis with RUSHBOTTOM RHYNESTONBROWS, ASD, D, 98/100, Q. Another high class round from this team, with only minor faults in heelwork and sendaway costing the points.
3rd Nathan Wilson with SPECIAL GIFT, Weim, D, 94/100, Q. The name says it all, this dog did look a bit Special. 5 points dropped on the long jump and 1 on the search square were the only faults with this dog’s performance today.
4th Jill Carruthers with Vomkyna Darca, GSD, B, 93/100, Q. Another really good solid round from this young dog. Only minor points dropped on heelwork, retrieve and square, but another dog that lost 5 points on the long jump.
Also qualifying CDEx:
Michael Loughran with GARRETHALL QUADRILLE, Lab, B, 87/100. This team’s second ever trial and to say Michael was very pleased is an understatement.
P Thornton with LIMASMYTHE ENNYA, GSD, B, 79.5/100
J Lloyd with LITTLETHORN ROLLS ROYCE AT BROOKSBID, CDEx, BC, D, 78.5/100
Judge: ROGER SHRIMPTON
Tracklayers: Andrea Lynd, John Weselby (Thurs, Fri), Pat Herbert, Linda Newbold (Sat)
Stewards: Stevi Boyall (Thurs, Fri), Zoe Finlay (Sat)
Thank you to MBCC for the invitation to judge the UD stake at your Championship trial, and for your hospitality; using Scalford Hall as the base and for accommodation is going to be a very hard act to follow.
Trials Manager Barrie James worked very hard before and during the trial to make sure it was a success. Thanks to the ladies who ran the base and for the home-made cakes.
Special thanks to my team of tracklayers and stewards. You all worked very hard, at times in very difficult conditions. You were a good team, did a splendid job and were a pleasure to be with. On behalf of the competitors and myself, thank you all again for your time and efforts.
Tracking was on sparse winter wheat. All the fields were very wet, making it hard going for all concerned. Thursday was very cold and windy, Friday the same with snow showers; on Saturday, for the first tracks the ground was rock hard due to a heavy frost, which thawed very quickly, making it again very difficult under-foot. As you can see from the results, the conditions made it very difficult for many of the more inexperienced dogs and handlers, but the majority made a really good effort, and got the first article before losing their way. The search squares were generally very good, which made it a little better.
The Control and Agility field was hilly and furrowed, which made the heelwork more interesting! The sendaway was to an upturned cone over a rise, which could be seen by the handlers, but was just out of sight of the dogs at the start of the sendaway, but came into view from about half way, so those dogs which went out soon clocked it and homed straight in to it. The distance was about eighty of my paces. The majority of dogs found it no problem, with several full mark sendaways. Retrieves were of a very good standard, and just one dog broke its stay exercise. The agility was very well done, with problems for only one or two. Overall I thought that the standard was very good, with some very promising young dogs coming through.
1st June Reed handling Mr and Mrs D Williams’ SHADOWSQUAD LEGACY, GSD, 185.5, UDEx. Track 88.5, Articles 20, Search 25, Control 32, Agility 20. First to track on Thursday and made it look easy, full of confidence, lovely to watch. A bit untidy in the search square, but apart from that a really good nosework performance. First to go in the control and agility, and again no problems, a pleasure to judge. Looks like another success story for you, June. Well done and good luck. Also winning the Best Track Trophy.
2nd Liz de Unger with STYPERSON ROYCE, Lab, 177, UDEx. 78/20/27/33/20. Tracked when the ground was still frozen and was going very well until nearly home, then got into all sorts of trouble. But your cool head, Liz, saved the day! He worked hard in the search square for three articles. A very good control round with a full mark sendaway, and the agility section looked easy for him – a really good all round performance. Well done, and all the very best for the future.
3rd Val Upton with GLENALPINE RAFFERTY, BC, 176.5, UDEx. 84/10/34/33.5/15. Tracked as the ground was thawing out rapidly, and after a few casts on the first leg had very little trouble. Unfortunately he missed an article on the track, but followed this with one of the best search squares. Had the highest marks for the control section, with just a blip on the long jump to mar what was a very good performance indeed. You must have been very pleased with him – he looks like another young dog with a very promising future. Well done.
4th Ray Lea with ANMEETUE COLOURFUL LADY, BC, 158.5, UD. 73/10/33/25/17.5. Worked really hard on the track in very difficult conditions, but kept going. Unfortunately, missed the last leg of the track, so only got one article, which was a shame after working so hard. Nevertheless, followed this with a very good search square. A good control and agility round was essential for this team to get the full qualification, but the sendaway did not suit this team today, and a slight problem on the scale meant they could not manage it, which was a real shame after all the hard work on the track. So here’s to better luck next time.
Judge: LEN NEWMAN
Tracklayers: Ann Bedford, Sue Ashby, Andrea Lynd and Andy Magyar
Steward: Le Newman
Thanks for the invitation and running of the trial to Midland Border Collie Club. Thanks also to my track layers, Ann Bedford, Sue Ashby, Andrea Lynd and Andy Magyar, and to my Search Steward and Control Scribe, Le Newman.
In the conditions and an undulating field it took not only skill, but also strength. All tracks were in one very large field. I sent the track pattern to my tracklayers prior to the trial to help them get the feel ready for the first track.
The track had 12 legs, 840 yards in length, articles Plastic bung, Tent Peg, 2.5 inch wood. Search articles 6in large link chain, felt, wood and hemp rope 6inches.
There were 50 entries. With 9 dogs completing the track and only 7 qualifying it showed the conditions were very difficult.
I set a straightforward control round informing all competitors prior to the trial of my interpretation of the “I” regulations. On the heelwork I had a gate, which is used in the Good Citizen tests, but the so called natural heelwork from some handlers, if they walked up the high street would get some very funny looks!!
We had only 8 dogs complete the control round, this was a shame as it felt like a Sunday morning training session rather than a Ticket. I understand why Societies work this way, but how do the newcomers see what’s required at the top when no other stakes are held on the final day.
After the control we were only left with 4 qualifiers.
1st Jeny Miller, FOXFOLD COALITION, XB, OW, CDEx – TDEx, 205. Jeny gave a very professional control round, a worthy winner on the day.
2nd June Reed, LITTLE JODE, GSD, 198. It proves that a GSD can do a good control round. I still say on the day a good GSD takes some beating. Best Track.
3rd Kathy Ingham, OBCh RUSKATH OTHENTIC IMAGE, WSD, CDEx – TDEx, 193
4th Stevi Boyall, WTCh STYPERSON LOMOND, Lab, 186.5.
Thanks to all the competitors for entering, I am sorry not more dogs got round the track. Also thanks to Roger Shrimpton who was on stand by on the Sunday just in case I was called back home (hope you enjoyed the meal!!).