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Trials Manager’s Report

Thanks to all who helped to make this year’s Open Working Trial a success.  Without the commitment of people willing to give up their time to contribute to running a trial, there would be no trials – you are all fabulous, thank you very much.

The weather was mostly very windy and the ground underfoot very wet!  The tracking for TD was on rye-grass set-aside, sown some months previously.  The WD tracking was on newly sown grass, again, sown some months previously.  I would say this was among the best tracking land we have been able to use for our trial.

Thanks to our judges – Linda Newbold (TD nosework), Dave Waite (WD nosework), Rob Currie (CD) and Tracy Park (TD and WD C/A).  You all did a great job in difficult conditions and set fair rounds for the competitors to have a crack at.  Thanks to the tracklayers and stewards, who did their jobs very professionally, despite the conditions.

Special thanks must go to our own gobby Scot, Anne Fowler.  Anne arranged all the tracking land for us (who would dare turn her down?); with husband Tony’s approval, put up with the TD judges (Linda and Tracy) in her house for three days (and yes, I did write that correctly!); allowed Tom and Jan Darby to park their caravan at her house; let Dave M doss down on her lounge floor after the fish and chip supper on Friday night; and put on a lovely buffet dinner at her house on Saturday night.  Thanks very much, Anne, it was all very much appreciated.  Special thanks to Jan at the base – Jan is a Trials Manager’s dream!  Thanks to Dave and Julia Skipp for very ably running the kitchen for us.

A nice touch at the Saturday night dinner – Judges Linda and Tracy waited on the rest of us!  Liked it!

Only one gripe, and it is on behalf of the C/A judge.  Tracy and her steward were kept waiting for most of the day on Sunday for competitors to work.  I believe there were only two C/A rounds worked before lunchtime, even though it was requested, on the report sheet sent out to them, that later track time competitors work their C/A in the morning.  I cannot understand that when competitors are given a track report time of late morning/early afternoon at an open trial, this is the time that they arrive to do everything.  Am I missing something?  I believe the last C/A round was worked near to 4pm.  This selfishness resulted in the presentation ending up being quite late.  Everyone who had to be there was kept waiting a long time by a selfish few.  We cannot always choose to work our C/A after our track!  I felt particularly sorry for Tracy, as she had a four hour journey time to get home to her daughter and partner, after giving up her time for over three days to be with us.  Perhaps the answer is to give competitors an individual C/A field report time, as well as a track report time, at open trials.

Congratulations to all the qualifiers and placed  competitors.  Commiserations to the others – it could be your day at your next trial!




Stakes: WD and TD C/A


Steward: Rita Shields

Firstly I would like to thank the society for inviting me to judge the C/A; the Trials Manager, Barrie James, who ran a very nice friendly trial; Julie and Dave Skipp in the kitchen, who did a great job of feeding us for three days; Jan Derby in the base who did a great job too; my steward, Rita, who scribed for me on all three days, was fantastic, great company and a very nice lady - I thoroughly enjoyed your company Rita, many thanks.  Finally to Anne, Tony and Anna Fowler for letting me stay for the whole duration of the trial – it felt just like home from home, and they also let me take my dogs in with me, which is very important in the colder months, as Terry-Mac feels the cold if he is left in the van overnight (Bless him!).  Many thanks, Anne, much appreciated.   And last but not least the competitors – who were a great bunch and I saw some great dogs work.

The weather over the three days was dry but very windy, although it did toss down on Saturday night.

WD Stake

WD started with the retrieve, onto the sendaway (approx. 125 yds out to a gate), then heelwork and finally the jumps.

1st     Q, 190, Miss Angela Smith and MATTIAS BELLARINA, GSD, B.  Full jumps and a good control round ensured a qualification, but keep working on that down stay, although today she just held it together for you.  Well done.

2nd   Q, 187, Ms Judith Stamp and SPROLLIE DOLLIE, XB, B.  A good control round, just scraping thru’ with 14 on the jumps.  Well done.

3rd   Q, 184, Ms Kate Peyton and JHAVA RUFINA, Rott, B.  A good effort all round guaranteed a qualification.  Well done.

4th    Q, 182, Mr Graham Reaney and TREGELBER QUEST, GSD, D.  I am more used to you judging me Graham, but I did enjoy it been the other way on for a change.  A very good control round – you know why he didn’t return on the scale and thank you for your honesty in the stays.  Well done, I was chuffed.

Also qualifying

169, Mrs Gill Armstrong and SAPPHIRE TYG, ACD, D.

168, Mrs Diane Turner and LUCY GREENGAGE, BC, D.

166.5, Mrs Jenny Holt and BEELAHOLT ZIGGY ZAG, BC, B.

TD Stake

TD started with the speak on the move, then sendaway and re-direct (approx. 125 yds out to same gate as WD, then right re-direct along the hedgerow to the corner - approx 125 yds), then onto the heelwork and finally the jumps.

1st     Q, 201, Mrs Liz Warrior and OH MY KKATIE, XB, B.  Nice jumps, fab heelwork and speak ensured a good qualification.  Well done.

2nd   Q, 198.5, Mrs Fran Atkin and BRONFYNNON BRECON, WSD, D.  Brill jumps, just scraping thru’ on the control, but well done Fran.

3rd   Q, 195, Mrs June Reed and LITTLE JODE, GSD, B.  No speak today (you did say she was a little quiet, June), but a fab sendaway and re-direct followed by lovely heelwork more than made up for it, thus ensuring a qood qualification.  Well done.

4th    Q, 179, Mrs Pat Parkinson and CARISHILL HYACINTH, G.Ret, B.  Full heelwork and speak and full jumps with a good effort on sendaway and re-direct made sure you gained a good qualification Pat.  Well done.

Many thanks to all competitors for allowing me to judge you and your dogs.  Well done to all the qualifiers; to those that didn’t qualify, keep at it.  I saw some good dogs over the three days.  Also I would like to thank Joan Watkins with O’Riley and Sue Jones with Meg, who had originally scratched from the C/A, but because Rita and I had no-one to judge at that time and we were cold from standing around, they volunteered to keep us busy and worked their dogs, and they did themselves proud with two good rounds.  Many thanks Joan and Sue. 


Stake: WD Nosework 


Tracklayers:  Margaret Robinson, Robert Currie and Stevi Boyall

Stewards: Sheila Tannert on Saturday, and Liz Warrior on Sunday 

I would like to thank the Midlands Border Collie Club for inviting me to judge, and to Trials Manager Barrie James for his support.  Many thanks to my tracklayers and stewards for doing a brilliant job in sometimes very windy conditions. A big thank you to Anne Fowler for liasing with the local farmers and obtaining some great tracking land. Over the two days I was never looking for, or waiting for competitors, this was no doubt down to the ever reliable and organised Jan Darby, who does an excellent job - thanks, Jan. Thanks also to Julie and Dave Skipp for keeping us fed and watered.  Last but by no means least, thanks to Tony and Anne Fowler for their brilliant hospitality on Saturday evening.

The tracking land was grass, which in some parts was very wet, but the dogs proved it was still trackable. Saturday was very, very windy, Sunday was less windy but colder. There were 16 entries and 15 ran. Over the two days 12 teams completed the track, and 8 teams qualified overall.

The track articles were a 2in. x 1.25in. piece of green pan scourer and a 2.5in dia. green plastic disc. Search articles were 2in x 1.25in piece of rubber backed carpet, 3.75in x 0.5in piece of wood, a metal tea spoon and a 2in piece of plastic pipe.

The overall standard of tracking I thought was very good in some difficult conditions, and was a pleasure to watch and judge, but only 4 teams managed to get both articles of the track and all four out of the square.


1st           Q 190 Angie Smith and MATTIAS BELLARINA, CDEx, UDEx, (GSD). Angie and Bella made the track look easy in very windy conditions and did a good square. Congratulations and good luck in future trails.

2nd         Q 187 Judith Stamp and SPROLLIE DOLLIE, CDEx, (Crossbreed). Judith and Jess struggled on the first four legs of the track, but after that, hardly put a paw wrong. Good square. Well done and good luck.

3rd          Q 184 Kate Peyton and JHAVA RUFINA, CDEx, (Rottweiler).  Kate and Lottie probably did the best straight line tracking over the two days, but struggled on some of the corners. Good square. Well done and good luck.

4th          Q 182 Graham Reaney and TREGELBERG QUEST, CDEx, UDEx, (GSD).  Graham and Jack did a near faultless track, but only managed to get three out of the square. Well done and good luck. 

Other Qualifiers

169, Gill Armstrong and SAPPHIRE TYG, CDEx, UDEx, (Aust.Cattle Dog)

168, Diane Turner and LUCY GREENGAGE, CDEx, (B C)

166.5, Jenny Holt and BEELAHOLT ZIGGY ZAG, CDEx, UDEx, (B C)

161.5, June Reed and ESSEX GIRL, (GSD) 

Winner of the Best W D Track Trophy was Margaret Jones and RUSKATH ONE STEP AHEAD, CDEx, UDEx, (WSD) 


TD nosework 


Tracklayers: Tom Darby, Andy Magyar, Dave Marchant, Barrie James

Stewards:  Gail on Friday, Zoe on Saturday and Sunday 

I would like to thank Midland Border Collie Club and Barrie for asking me to judge.  To Anne Fowler for her time and efforts in sorting out the land, and especially to the farmers for allowing us to use their land. Thank you to Jan, for her, as always, excellent job in the base, ensuring that all ran smoothly and everyone was where they should be on time. A big thank you to my tracklayers, Tom for doing the early tracks on all 3 days and Andy on Saturday, Barrie on Sunday, and to Dave for Friday - I'm sure he likes it really despite his moaning!!  You all did a brilliant job.  Thank you to Gail and Zoe for doing a great job of putting out the squares, even though it was difficult in the high winds, and for keeping me company.  Thanks to Julie and Dave Skipp for manning the kitchen and keeping us fed and watered.  Special thanks to Anne and Anna for putting me up and to Tony for putting up with us!  

Tracking was on well grown set aside which was very wet, but thankfully the rain held off during the day. Friday and Saturday were extremely windy, and Sunday was calmer but cold.   23 teams worked over the 3 days, with 11 completing the track, the high winds being a problem for some of the dogs.  Track articles were a 6 inch green cable tie, a 3 inch piece of leather and a 2.5 inch piece of yellow hose pipe.  Square articles were a green garden tie, a 2 inch piece of green pan scrub, a 3 inch by 0.5 inch piece of wood and a silk rose leaf, which the majority of dogs found but a few handlers disregarded as being a bit of the field vegetation!!  If the dog brings it to you, save it no matter what you think!!


1st           Q 201 and Best Track. Liz warrior and KKATIE.  Katie did a lovely track on the first day and made it look really easy even in the strong wind.  Congratulations.

2nd         Q 198.5 Fran Atkin and BRECON.  Nice positive tracking and a lovely square.  Well done.

3rd          Q 195 .5 June Reed and JODE.  Steady and committed tracking, just lacked a bit of enthusiasm in the square.  Well done.

4th          Q 179 Pat Parkinson and POPPY.  Poppy looks as if she really enjoys herself.  Shame about the slight detour at the end of the track, but I'm sure with her attitude she'll do well in the future. 

Thank you to all the competitors for entering and for turning out despite the weather.  Hope you all had a safe journey home.  

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