St Lawrence, Jersey. Open Trial
STAKES: CD AND UD
Judge: JUDY MEEKINGS
My thanks to the Jersey club for the invitation to judge at what is to be, sadly, their last Working Trial. Low numbers of competitors and rising costs of maintaining the training ground has forced the club to abandon this section, but hopefully the handlers will be able to continue training independently.
Many thanks to Carole Pearce for acting as chauffeur, including waiting for my flight after I spent all day kicking my heels at Gatwick Airport, and then giving me a wonderful tour of the beautiful island of Jersey. She also stewarded the squares and organised meals. Thank you, Carole and all your willing helpers.
The three competitors approached the stake with enthusiasm. Searches gave mixed fortunes, but Control was, on the whole, well done. Unfortunately, the jumps were a problem for two of the dogs.
1st Wendy Wright with FOXBARTON BLACK VELVET, BC, 97.5, Q. Diva worked a faultless control and agility round, only dropping a couple of marks on the search and half a mark on the retrieve. I hope you’ll keep training her, Wendy, and bring her over to the mainland to compete with us.
2nd Jane Heaps with STORMDANCER GOLDEN TOUCH, Weim, NQ. Elsa was not at her best today, but had a stab at all the exercises except the jumps.
3rd Jane Heaps with STORMDANCER TOFFEE CRISP, Weim, NQ. Bronte decided that she wasn’t going to pick anything up today, but worked nice heelwork and recall. Keep training her, Jane, she shows a lot of promise.
The same three competitors took part in the UD stake. I laid all the tracks, on grass fields which had been cut a few weeks previously, and were very dry underfoot. Unfortunately, these conditions proved too much for inexperienced dogs to track on, and, in spite of all of them working very hard, no dog managed to complete the track. The control and agility showed promise, but more work is needed in some exercises.
1st Wendy Wright and FOXBARTON BLACK VELVET, BC, NQ. Diva started the track confidently, but having found the first article she tracked over the next corner; she then recovered all four articles from the square. Her control and agility was very polished, and she ended a worthy winner. A good day for you, Wendy!
2nd Jane Heaps and STORMDANCER GOLDEN TOUCH, Weim, NQ. Elsa worked a nice square, but was reluctant to take part in the other exercises.
3rd Jane Heaps and STORMDANCER TOFFEE CRISP, Weim, NQ. Bronte’s reluctance to retrieve is a major problem, but if you can solve this, Jane, she shows a lot of promise.
After the "formal" day of CD and UD, on the Sunday a club match gave members the chance to work their dogs without any pressure. All exercises except the jumps were attempted, and the control in particular was very well done. All six tracks had different patterns, so the competitors could all watch each other – so each one had 5 assistant judges!!
1st Jane and ELSA, Weim. Elsa worked much better today, with a very nice track and all articles from the square. She followed this with an almost faultless control round to give a well deserved win. Well done!
2nd Wendy and TICKET, BC. Ticket worked a lovely track, with both articles, but only managed to recover two from the square. A very tidy control round confirmed second place.
3rd Rosemary and CHASE, GSD. Although he didn’t manage to finish the track, Chase retrieved all the search articles, and then had the best control round, only losing half a mark. Lovely to watch.
4th Carole and FLORRIE, BC. Florrie struggled on the track, but worked a very professional control round.
5th Sue and SAM, GSD. Sam’s inexperience made some exercises challenging for him, but he worked willingly and happily for Sue, and shows a lot of promise.
6th Jane and BRONTE, Weim. Once again, Bronte’s reluctance to retrieve was a big handicap, but I’m sure this will be overcome in time.
It was very pleasing to see handlers and dogs enjoying their work, and all dogs will be capable of completing all the exercises with a little more training. I do hope you will all keep training, in spite of losing your control training field, and look forward to seeing some of you on the mainland in the future.
It was a great pleasure to meet you all, and thank you for making me so welcome. Also, many thanks for the card and gift.