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Trials Manager’s Report.

We were extremely lucky this year to be able to run a trial. The farming community in this area had such awful memories of the previous outbreak of Foot and Mouth in 2000 that they were initially very reluctant to allow the trial to go ahead. Albeit I had to return four entries from Surrey.

Support by many helpers was the best ever and most gratefully accepted. The regular supporters: Alan and Carol Hedges, Pat and Tom Curtis, Martin and Ann Bracegirdle, Pearl Bray, and John West. I cannot thank them enough, for without them the trail would not have taken place.

Also the judges Shirley Robinson, Maureen Regan, Jo Magness, Roger Shrimpton and Margery Lee for setting tests that were fair to all thus making the trial a success. I will leave them to pass on their thanks to the tracklayers and stewards.

All the judges donated their expenses to Wessex WTC as a contribution towards next years KC’s

Pat Middleton-Smith


Stake: UD Nosework


Tracklayers: Alan, John and Adrian

Steward: Liz

Many thanks to Portland for the invitation to judge, to Pat and all her helpers who make this a very friendly trial, and also to Carol in the kitchen, Alan, John and Adrian for laying the tracks and to Liz for the squares. Tracking was on good quality grass; everyone completed the track and got at least two articles out of the square, unfortunately one dog did not find any articles on the track. Tracking was of a very high standard but some dogs need a little more motivation to search for articles. I hope everyone enjoyed my test as much as I enjoyed watching their dogs work.

1st     Jinette Hickson with ROSMARINUS RAINBEAU, BC. Very nice track and square, all articles recovered. Well done

2nd   Janet Parker with NEDLO TOP OF THE POPS, BC. Echo had a very sticky moment on the second corner but stuck at it and recovered well.

3rd   Ann Clark with STYPERSON QUINCY, Lab. Lovely dog with attitude. Unfortunately Quincy managed to miss the end article on the track.

4th    Ruth Cahill with VOMKYNA BORUSS, GSD. Was very hard pressed to take half a mark off as Bud dragged Ruth around the track, again lots of attitude.

Also qualifying:

Ann Bracegirdle with LOWERBIRCH BRAY, Border Terrier. Lots of game scents on a terrier’s track meant quite a few stops for scenting but he never tried to take Ann for a walk. Nice to watch Bracken work.


Stakes: CD and UD C/A


Stewards: Pearl Bray and Gill Lawrence

Many thanks to Portland for the invitation to judge at their trial.  Pat Middleton-Smith, and her band of loyal helpers, does run a lovely trial.  Nothing is too much trouble, which creates a relaxed atmosphere, but no doubt feet were paddling like fury underneath.  Thank you, Pearl, for stewarding for me on the first day.  You gave very clear instructions and put the competitors at ease.   It’s been a long time since we have been together and it was great to catch up with you.   The next day, due to illness, the base were short of help, so Pearl was relegated to base and Gill valiantly stepped in to steward for me.  Thanks Gill you did a grand job.
I saw some super dogs, and it was good to see that the standard for CD and UD was high.  Thank you, competitors for allowing me to judge your dogs and for accepting my decisions. Good luck for your future trials.CD Stake
     Ruth Kuszek and SOUTHLEIGH TORNADO, CDEx, UDEx. Staff, (D), 91.5, Q. Well done, Otto did a super round.  It was so obvious that here was a dog that was of UD Ch standard.  Lovely little dog.
2nd   Ruth Cahill and VOMKYNA BORUS, GSD, (D), 82, Q. This was Bud’s first outing and didn’t he do well!   Only lost 1 on his heel free.   Good luck for you future trials.
3rd   Gabbie Slade and NYRVANA WILD WORLD, GSD, (D), 80.5, Q. Very good round. Django obtained a full mark send away.  Well done and thank you, Gabbie, for explaining the background to the name “Django”.  Good luck for the future.
4th    Carole Huckle and VAPRESTO DIABLO, BSD, (D), 61.5, NQ. Blue worked really well, but the jumps took their toll today; I’m sure it won’t be long before he flies over them.    Good luck with your future trialsUD C/A
     Janette Hickson and ROSMARINUS RAINBEAU, BC, (D), 192.5, Q. Roy didn’t start off well in the heel free - I think he thought the pole was for a track or search, but he settled eventually only losing 1 mark in the other exercises.   Well done, Janette, what a recovery.
2nd   Janet Parker and NEDLO TOP OF THE POPS, BC, (D), 190, Q. Echo did a super round, only losing 1 mark in heel free; the other exercises got full marks.  Well done and good luck for your future trials.
3rd   Ann Clarke and STYPERSON QUINCEY, Lab, (D), 182.5, Q. Again another super round. Quincey is a real live wire, an absolute delight to watch.  Well done, Ann, for keeping up with him.
4th    Ruth Cahill and VOMKYNA BORUSS, GSD, (D), 179, Q. Another good round by Bud, and what a redirect!!!   Well done. What a good day you had.
5th    Anne Bracegirdle and LOWERBIRCH BRAY, Border Terrier, (D), 168.5, Q. Super round by Bracken.   He really is a delight.  Well deserved qualification.


Stake: WD Nosework


Tracklayers: Ann Bracegirdle and John West

Steward: Rose Faulkner

Thanks to Portland Dog Training Club for the invitation to judge the WD nosework at their October trial. Trials manager, Pat Middleton-Smith, and her team put on a very friendly and well run trial. Pat organises this trial almost single-handedly, and even opens up her home as the trials base, and makes everyone feel very welcome. Special thanks to Carol Hedges for all the wonderful food, from breakfast to the evening meal – something quite special.

I was pleased to have Rose Faulkner as my search steward, and Ann Bracegirdle and John West as my tracklayers, a really good team who worked very well together, and were a pleasure to be with. Thank you all again for your time and efforts.

The weather over the two days was fine and dry. Tracking was on very lush ankle deep grass, with all competitors taking full advantage of the conditions and qualifying on the nosework section. Just be warned though, competitors – tracking conditions are not like this very often!!

After a run-off for first place, the results were as follows:

1st     Elizabeth Hickman and WOLFHART TOUCH OF GOLD, GSD, Qual CoM, 191.5. Track 85, arts 20, search 35. A lovely track with just a couple of problem areas, but never any real trouble, followed by a full mark square. You are a good team that work very well together. I’m sure you will do well in the future.

2nd   Frances Stoneley and SPARKY OF WESSEX, WSD, Qual CoM, 191.5. Track 88, arts 20, search 32. A really nice track carried out in fine style – very impressive. A little untidy in the search square, but otherwise a very good nosework performance. Well done and good luck for the future.

3rd   Sue Drake and MISH MASH MISHKA, X-Breed, Qual CoM, 189.5. Track 83, arts 20, search 34. Tracked well, with one or two minor problems, mainly due to game I suspect, but came good in the end. Followed by a very nice search square. A good overall performance. Well done.

4th    John Turtill and BISQUET TORRA, WSD, Qual CoM, 178.5. Worked really hard on the track on what proved to be the most difficult piece of land, but stuck at it and came through very well. A very good team effort. Well done.

Also qualifying CoM:

Sue Lawrie and LAZARUS MARSH MEDLAR, WSD, 178. Track 83, arts 20, search 26.

Lyn Cousins and MOORTIME NIGHT SPIRIT, ASD, 175.5. Track 84, arts 20, search 26.

Lynne Baker and AQUACADIAN BLACK AZELL, Lab, 175.5. Track 83, arts 15, search 26.

Carol Brooke and THEALEFARM BROOKE, Lab, 165. Track 78, arts 20, search 18.


Stake: Veteran


Search Steward: Alan Lee

Tracklayers: John Hinds, MBE, Alan Hedges

My thanks to Portland for inviting me to judge this stake, to my search steward (patient husband!), and to both of my excellent tracklayers who coped admirably and with barely a wince at my idea of a fun track for our oldies: also to the excellent kitchen staff ever ready with tea, coffee and scrumptious food.

I had a really great day watching dogs with a wide range of ages (7 - 13.5 years), come and enjoy themselves, which was my aim when setting the test. We had 9 entries of which 7 ran. The weather was good to us, dry and neither too hot nor too cold. We were on stubble with reasonable re-growth, so all in all everything was green to go!

1st     Anne Bracegirdle with JASPER, FCR. Anne had almost the only slope in our field. I think she probably thoroughly appreciated his power on the uphill, but maybe not so much on the downhill! What a power house of a tracking lad and accurate with it, a joy to watch.

2nd   Pippa Bentham with MOLLY, WSD, at 12.5 yrs our second oldest dog. I’m not sure who had the most fun, Pippa or Molly. I only know what pleasure it is to watch a true partnership that has stood the test of time. The best start to the track of all of them.

3rd   Gordon Kirk and LASSIE, Lab. Another very happy pair who were there for mutual enjoyment. Just cut a corner on the track, but never dropped an article in the square. They were a pleasure to meet.

4th    Nicky Prescott with TILLY, X Breed. Another lovely partnership that has stood the test of time. A little careless with her square articles but she had fun.

Thank you all for entering. It was a privilege to watch these dogs and see the pride they had at being again the TOP DOG in their small world.

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