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Thanks to the Welsh Kennel Club for inviting me to judge at this trial, and thanks to Lindsey Poole for running yet another thoroughly enjoyable event.  Brian Riste organised the base brilliantly and Barbara was up to her usual high standard as ‘domestic goddess’ – thanks to you both.  It was good to see Ann and Graham Hill, who came along to watch on Saturday and Zoe and John from the Kennel Club had a stand with us for the first time, with John helping me out setting up jumps etc. as well.  Our farmers provided us with some lovely fields to work in and, even though it was very windy, at least the rain kept away.  On top of that, I had the pleasure of watching some lovely dogs work – how good can it get?



Steward: Linda Reynolds

My little friend, Reynolds, was a superb steward, she laid all the squares to perfection, kept the competitors as relaxed as possible while yelling commands at them to be heard above the wind and reminded me of what I should be doing – thanks, old buddy.  We started with the squares and retrieves, and then did the sit stay in a group, followed by the control and agility and down stays.  The general quality of work was very good, with all of the competitors taking the opportunity to use extra commands to help or praise their dogs without sliding into the realms of verbal diarrhoea!  I allowed the handlers to play with their dogs between exercises as long as the toy was out of sight during their work, and it was good to see the dogs and handlers really enjoying themselves.

1st Anne Bussey with BORDERTIME SOLAR FLARE, BC, D.  Smartie worked really well and I know how hard Anne has had to work to get that attitude!  His square was tidy, with no mouthing or dropping, and his control round was lovely.  I hope the less experienced handlers noticed how Anne handled the sendaway by taking her time and redoing the setup when Smartie’s attention was not focused in the right direction.  It pays to take your time.  The only marks dropped were on the scale, where he just could not wait for the command to return.  Altogether a lovely round.

2nd E Noel’s VONGRAF NAOMI, Malinois, B, handled by Anne Bussey.  Nuschka has not been with Anne for long and on this showing, will be a very good trials dog.  Very focused in the square, just needs to tidy up the retrieve.  The worst thing in heelwork was her rather enthusiastic ‘speak’!  Another very good example of taking the opportunity to encourage an inexperienced dog in real trials conditions.

3rd Barbara Griffin with TOPPER OF EASTWAYS, WSD, D.  I am more used to seeing Barbara and Topper at obedience shows and used to meet up with her at agility, too.  Now she is turning her hand to working trials and doing a very good job of it.  But for the sendaway would have given Anne a serious run for her money in first place as she had full marks for all of her other control exercises.  Well done, Barbara, a lovely round.

4th W Beasley’s STARDELL NAOS, BC, B, handled by Meg O’Kelly.  Another very good round from Meg and Taos.  Just the return over the scale cost her a higher place; the rest of her control and agility was excellent.  Taos needs a little more focus in the square but if this round is anything to go by, I am sure they will do very well in the higher stakes.

Our other competitor was Carol Gaunt with DAISY DOOGLE, Crossbreed, B.  What a fantastic dog!  Just the scale causing a blip in an otherwise near faultless round.  Carol did say that Daisy is very inexperienced on the scale so once she has that sorted, there will be no stopping her!

Thanks to the competitors for entering under me and giving me such an enjoyable day judging their lovely dogs.



Judge: Dean Woodcock.

Steward: Hayley Woodcock

Thanks to the Welsh KC for the invite to judge.  The level of work produced by all teams was tidy, with jumps or stays stopping more qualifying.

1st D Warwick, SPACE COMMANDER, GSD X.  Produced a good strong round followed by full set of jumps Q

2nd P Bentham, MY BILLIE, WSD.  A good round, just short on the jumps.  NQ.

3rd  B Griffith, TOPPER OF EASTWAYS, WSD.  A good round, again just short on the jumps.

4th W Beasley, STARDELL NAOS, BC.  Good round with a strong sendaway, not quite enough on the jumps.



Tracklayers: Ann Clarke and Linda Reynolds.

Squares: Lindsey Poole (Sat), Susanne Jaffa (Sun)

Control: Linda Reynolds (Sat), Susanne Jaffa (Sun)

Thanks to my excellent tracklayers, Clarkey and Reynolds – what a team!  They laid the tracks beautifully and we were treated to some super nosework rounds in some very nice grass fields that we were using for the first time at this trial.  They were ideal for UD, good ground cover and slightly less windswept than the less sheltered fields at higher altitudes.  Lindsey and Susanne were obviously well smelly as most of the dogs recovered all four articles from the square - thanks girls!  Reynolds stewarded the control round on Saturday and managed to raise her voice enough to be heard above the wind (and her such a quiet person!!) and Susanne sorted them all out on Sunday just as efficiently.  Both of them managed to keep even the most nervous competitors relatively relaxed - again, many thanks for your help.

1st Jefferson/Hornsby’s BEKKIS THE PATHFINDER, CDEx – UDEx, BC, D, handled by Jenny Jefferson.  Our only qualifier on Sunday, Jenny and Teg did a very good track but somehow managed to miss the last article.  Never mind, you still worked well enough in your control round to gain this place. Lovely, enthusiastic sendaway and generally an extremely good round to watch.

2nd Chris Young with LLYNELLEN MEADOW SAGE, CDEx, WSD, D.  Chris and Jack were our Saturday qualifiers and tracked beautifully until they missed a bit at the end.  Again, it did not stop them qualifying and Jack worked a lovely square.  A good control round, apart from the sendaway, and they finished off with lovely clear jumps.  Well done, Chris, he is coming on beautifully.

3rd Mary Hansell with NELLINKA WINTER STORM, GSD, D.  My goodness, can this dog track!!  Wickham was a joy to watch as he confidently hauled Mary round the field and hardly put a foot wrong.  The best track of UD.  He did manage all four articles out of the square with Mary getting hold of the fourth one just as Susanne said ‘time’!  That was a tense moment but apart from that he worked well, with just the sendaway causing a problem in control.

4th. Betts/Sharpe’s PINES PENNY WHISTLE, Hovawart, B, handled by Elaine Betts.  Whistle was another excellent tracking dog and very well handled by Elaine.  Good square with all four out and good control apart from the dreaded sendaway.  Remember, Elaine, you can take your time setting your dog up for that.  I am sure you are more than capable of qualifying UDEx.

From my comments above it may appear that I had set the sendaway from hell – it was, in fact, just ninety paces to a pole in the hedge.  Those that did it made it look easy, but most dogs seemed to have no idea about which direction to go and unsure of the command to wait.  One dog who did do a good sendaway was Maurice Millington’s Perdie, who also worked a really fantastic square – such a shame about the jumps and stay but I am sure you can mend those, Maurice.

Thanks, again for giving me the chance to judge your dogs and accepting my decisions.



Judge: Margaret Robinson

Tracklayers: Pat Herbert and Gary Atkins

Steward: Julie Atkins

Trials Manager: Lindsey Poole

Base Steward: Brian Riske

Head Chef and Chief bottle washer: Barbara Riske

Thanks to the society for the invitation to judge and to all the helpers involved in running the trial.  Special thanks to my tracklayers, Gary and Pat, with a special hug for Pat who braced the weather every morning to lay the early tracks.  Julie, Gary and Pat knew the land and the area very well, and I was grateful to them for letting me tag along with them for a couple of days until I was able to find my way around.  Thanks, guys.

As you would expect, Julie laid each square to perfection, and kept the control round flowing with clear and concise instructions to each competitor.  Thank you, Julie.  (My evening glass of Bailey’s went down exceptionally well too.  Thanks.)

Thanks to Brian for keeping the base running like clockwork and an extra special hug for Barbara who produced enough lovely food every day to feed a regiment.  Thank you, Lindsey, for all your time and efforts and the work involved in organising and running this event before, during and after the trial.

There were 29 entries,  11 cancelled and 18 ran.  The weather on Thursday was slightly better than the rest of the week, when the wind just seemed to get stronger and stronger, making the track more difficult each day, but at least we managed to stay dry apart from some heavy drizzle on control day.

1st and winning the TD ticket Liz de Unger with STYPERSON ROYCE, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, Lab, 199, Q.  Well, Sohrab had a couple of really sticky moments on the 2nd and 4th legs, but then really got his head in gear and tracked the rest of the track brilliantly, getting all 3 articles; he followed this with a super square and an excellent control round.  At only just three years old this young man should have a very rosy future ahead.  Congratulations, Liz.  Well done to a very worthy winner, and  good luck at the KCC’s.  Track 85, Articles 30, Square 34, Control 31.5, Agility 18.5.

2nd Kevin Hill with VEKKA LADY, GSD, 197, NQ.  Another young dog that is definitely going places.  Brilliant track with all three articles; her commitment, concentration and dedication on the track was a pure joy to watch, as was the calm efficient handling.  Well done.  But, oh dear, mouthing and dropping the square articles today was very costly, as was losing 2.5 on the gun.  Just little bits and pieces on the control round, possibly due to your inexperience as well as Vekka’s.  An excellent attempt.  Well done and good luck in your future trials.  93, 30, 30, 24, 20. 

3rd Marjorie  Lee with LOKI MISCHIEF MAKER, CDEx –TDEx, WSD, 179.5, NQ.  Loki tracked really well until he was halfway round when he hit a really sticky patch.  Both dog and handler persevered and after several minutes Loki finally picked up the next leg and finished the track in style.  You should be very proud of him, Marjorie, he’s a little star.

89, 20, 26, 24.5, 20.

4th Tony Lockyer with WTCh DOUBLE TOP AT HARTSHILL, CDEx – TDEx, WSD, NQ.  Gyp certainly did his best Tony, he never gave up, but the wind made the tracking so very difficult.  Thank you for going first in the control round and demonstrating exactly how it should be done.  

Worthy of a mention:

Chris Brooks and Jake, BC.  An excellent track obtaining 88.5 marks, but unfortunately only one article.  Followed this with a lovely square getting all 4 articles.  Well done, Chris, Jake has really improved this year and with a bit of luck he will soon be knocking on the door.  I hope so.   Good Luck.

Dave Marchant  and Beamish, WSD.  Worked his socks of on the track, never gave up and finished with 79 marks, all three articles and an excellent square getting all four out.  Unfortunately, went out on the jumps.

Dave Marchant and Murphy, WSD.  One of the best tracks of the trial but a bit short on articles on the track and square.  The concentration that he demonstrates on the track somehow gets lost on the way to the control round.

Gary Haim with Flynn.  This little guy just worked and worked and worked.  You should be right proud of him, Gary.

Thanks to all the competitors.  You were all brilliant, accepting the weather conditions and my decisions with good grace and just getting on with it.  All the best for your future trials.

Despite the wind it was a very enjoyable week.  The B & B was fantastic, Barbara looked after us all like a mother hen, and walking on the beach at Ogmore twice a day was great.

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