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Stakes: Intro and CD


Search Steward: Ruth Cahill

C/A Steward: Hayley Woodcock

Thanks to the WKC for the judging invite and to the base, manned by Brian Riste and trials manager Lindsey Poole; also thanks to Barbara for food and drinks on the field.  We had a dry day, although cold - perfect for the dogs.  Thanks to Ruth Cahill for laying squares and helping move and sort the jumps, and thanks to Hayley, who was my C/A steward for Intro and CD.

Intro Stake:

1st           Ann Ketteringham, DREAGANTA LARK AT COLEWAY, BC, B, 98, Q.  A good solid round with full point jumps; handled well with praise when needed.

2nd         Dave Garrett, FUNFASTQUICK WINTER MURIG, GSD, D, 92.5, Q.  This team worked a good round; glad you have sorted your scale, well done.

3rd          Vivien Green, ANNACOURT INKA, GSD, B, 74.5, NQ.  Good set of jumps with a tidy sendaway.  Keep up the work and you will get there.

CD Stake

1st           Barbara Riste, GEMWELL FLORE SARDO, Gordon Setter, D, 85, Q.  Nice square, followed by a tidy C/A round; again a handler who knew praise can help and it worked today - nice to see.

2nd         Jennifer Le Mesurier, BRYNFFRWD ANGEL GABRIELLE, HWH Vizsla, B, 78, NQ.  The square was costly today, however Angel has improved with a good sendaway and full mark jumps.  Well done

3rd          Sandra Warrick, ZEPHRAM AMPELUS AT CONCENN, GSD, B, 73, NQ.  A full point sendaway with a tidy square, unlucky today, but your day will come.

4th          Gail Gwesyn-Pryce, ZAVI JAVA AT CONCENN, GSD, D, 60, NQ.  A keen dog working the square, but stays were costly today.

I was pleased how the majority of the dogs did the jumps very well.


Stake: TD


Tracklayers: Pat Herbert and Len Newman

Square Steward: Ruth Cahill

C/A Scribe: Caroline Martin

Many thanks to Welsh Kennel Club for the invitation to judge my first TD Ticket.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and had a great time.

Thanks to Lindsey Poole, the trials manager; I know it’s such a difficult job, however things are not made easier when DEFRA in Wales give out somewhat dubious advice to farmers about having dogs on the land.  The upshot being, quite understandably, farmers refusing to let us track on their land.  However, Mike Rees, a local farmer and great supporter of the trial, wasn’t having it and sourced land for us at the last minute.  Lindsey had a torrid time and I am sure it’s an experience she won’t ever want to repeat.  Thanks, Lindsey, for all your hard work - Welsh KC is lucky to have both you and Ruth working for them.

Mike Rees is an absolute star for all he does for this trial.  He gave up as much of his own land as possible, and then called in a few favours from a neighbour to enable the trial to go ahead.  It really was touch and go whether the trial would run, but thanks to Mike it went ahead.  Mike, we are so grateful.  You and your family are such good people; it’s always a pleasure to visit this part of Wales and to see you and your gang again.

Brian Riste ran the base like clockwork as always, and Barbara, as well as working her dog, was in charge of the kitchen, producing no end of super grub.  Many thanks to both of you for all time, effort and great company.

My tracklayers were Pat Herbert and Len Newman; great to be able to call on such expertise and experience.  I thoroughly enjoyed their company, having a great time.  With tracklayers such as Pat and Len, as a judge it’s fantastic just to be able and sit back and mark the teams in the knowledge that everyone had the very best opportunity to succeed.  Thank you both for all your time and company.  

The land was not the easiest to track lay on or to divide up, but with this team it was all part of the job.  We had a footpath leading through the land which Pat and Len managed expertly, asking walkers to stop until dogs had worked, and then nattering with the ramblers until they got the ok.  All done with patience and politeness.  Although we did have a moment that caused a bit of consternation when Len threatened to get his woggle out!!

Ruth laid all the squares for me.  I asked for each square to be laid exactly the same from the time the first pole went in to the last article being laid.  It is so important to me that everyone gets the same test as far as it can ever be, and Ruth did a superb job.  Having such an experienced trialist and someone who is excellent company was a real bonus.  Thanks, Ruth, I really enjoyed our time and had a good laugh.

The tracking land was not exactly what you would want, but after all the problems we had to go with what we had.  It varied from boggy 9 inch clumpy, boggy grass to knee high weeds and thistles.  This variation was less than ideal but it’s all we had, so the tracklayers just got on with it in their own inimitable style.  None of the competitors moaned at all, they just got on with it, great sportsmanship in the true ethos of trials.

My track was 17 legs, with articles as follows. (1) 2” square of piece of canvass (2) 2” x 1” piece of leather and (3) 2” x 3” green underlay.  Square articles were 1.5” x 0,5” blue rubber, 1.5” x 0.5” green rubber, 2” x 0.5” brown rubber and green plastic plant tie.

C/A started with stays, as the weather was uncertain and I wanted to get them out of the way before it rained - which it didn’t!  The round started with normal paced heelwork to the speak.  Dogs were held by Caroline on the lead and the handler joined me 20 paces away.  Dogs were asked to speak 10 times and then quiet.  The handler and I walked forward 10 paces and stopped.  Another 10 barks and quiet and return to dog.  More heelwork to the sendaway.  Run out was 140 paces to a 200 yard hedge.  There was no specific point to send the dog to, just the hedge.  Depending where the dog landed decided if they redirected left or right to the corner of the field.  They were then asked to redirect again across the field to the opposite corner.

More heelwork to the jumps, which were undertaken clear, long and then scale.

I must thank, Caroline, and Len and Le Newman, who each ran their dogs through the C/A round in the days prior so I could tweak things and get my “schpeel” right.  I put my dog through the round as well - I wouldn’t ask a competitor to undertake a task that my dog couldn’t do.

1st and Ticket winner         Gary Atkins with WTCH GLENALPINE PETE, Q on 215.5.  Great track and superb square, losing just 3.5 and topped off with a C/A round where this team lost just 1 mark.  Full mark sendaway.  One command to the hedge, one for first redirect and then another to get “Pete Pup” 200 yards across field to the opposite corner.  Awesome and for me the best I have seen for a long time.  Great handling by Gary - he and Pete have a fantastic rapport and understanding.  Well done, you were worthy winners, and good luck at the KCC’s.

2nd and Reserve Ticket     Barry Gilbert with WTCh GLENALPINE COSWORTH, Q on 212.  Leading after the nosework, super track and very tidy (had to get that in as we were in Wales!) square.  All four articles out in 2m 20s, which was by far the quickest, and he lost just half a mark.  Quality handling, as you would expect from Barry.  The C/A went so well, but a blip on the sendaway let his brother in.  Everything else is just what you would expect from this team, to a high standard and very polished.  Well done, Barry, it was a pleasure to watch you and Cossie; you have a great relationship and are a quality team.

3rd          Sue Ashby with WTCh THE TITAN, Q on 208.  Great nosework as always from this ever consistent team.  98 for the track which was shared best mark.  Nice C/A, with sendaway causing Titan a bit of confusion, but with Sue’s experience she pulled him back into contention.  Titan is a super lad for whom I have always had a soft spot for; the rapport between then is there for all to see, and he so loves his mum!  Well done, Sue.

4th          Colin Ball with GARRETHALL REBUS. Q on 203. First time out for this team in Ticket although they looked like seasoned old pros (in the nicest possible way!).  Colin had the “gamiest” field, which for a lab ain’t the best!  But Rebus just got on with it and stuck to the task.  Really nice heelwork and speak, with the sendaway causing a bit of flap!!  But Colin’s experience brought out the best in Rebus, with Colin knowing how far to push him without causing complete confusion.  Great jumps and a very well deserved place and qualification.  Well done.

Also qualifying TDEx:

Jill Caruthers with WTCh VOMKYNA DARCY, 199.  Jill tracked on the worst piece of ground that others had really struggled on, but Darcy just romped around it!  She made the going look easy, but not so for Jill who just hung on for dear life and let Darcy do her stuff!  This was for me a master class in line handling on difficult ground, a pleasure to watch a great performance from a quality team.  Old eagle-eyes found the first article, how I don’t know!!  Darcy thought she’d do her own stuff on the sendaway, and Jill’s comment?  “Mark that then!!”  Well done, Jill, it was a pleasure to watch you as always; you both have such a great attitude to trial and life, well done.

Julie Skipp with ZAK OF SKIPAWAY, 194.5.  Nice track in very boggy ground, which gave Julie the opportunity to show off her sense of balance as she pirouetted through the puddles.  Zak left one in the square, but a nice C/A round saw this lovely team through to a well-deserved qualification.  Well done, Julie, he is such a nice lad and obviously thinks you ain’t too bad either!!

Mike Williams with TADMARTON ELEANOR, 191.  This team had a very ‘gamey’ bit of land; coupled with thistles and weeds they did exceptionally well to get round.  A real hiccup on 10th leg but Mike’s experience got Tara back on track, and they recovered well.  Really nice sendaway and heelwork and full mark jumps gave this consistent team another well-deserved qualification.  Well done, Mike.

Thank you for all that entered, I hope you enjoyed the test.  It was a pleasure to be given the opportunity to judge you.  Thank you for accepting my decisions with good grace and in a sporting manner. 

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