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Trial Manager’s Report

We are very lucky to have this superb venue, situated only 10 minutes from the M1.  Upon arrival, no more driving!  Plenty of room to exercise dogs, with the base and control field surrounded by  tracking land.  In all the years I have been attending, I have found it to be a friendly and efficient trial, with the same happy band of helpers, working hard, and then enjoying evenings out at the local pubs, swapping stories of times and dogs gone by.  What a daunting prospect therefore to be asked to manage the trial this year!  One of the worries is the diminishing entries, when, of course, the cost of running it is much the same.  We find ourselves running tombolas, selling  food and trying to think of ideas just to break even.  As a result, I would like to especially thank the helpers who came from far and wide, refusing expenses for the good of the trial, and ultimately the sport.  Most will be mentioned in their judges report, so I would like thank those who specifically helped me. Bob and Sue Carter who came all the way down with their caravan to cook the food and look after everyone’s needs.  Valerie King (square steward/trophy steward/wonderful cakes!), Rita Banfather, Vana and Mark particularly for getting me out of trouble on the first day!  Penny Bann who was not only  judging UD, but also a trouble-shooter / secretary, and always at the end of the phone ready to spring into action.  Jan Vallack (more wonderful cakes and a wealth of advice and knowledge) and Bob and Jenny Fidderman for allowing us to take over their farm!  Lastly I would like to thank the competitors, and particularly those who took the trouble to write Thank You cards and telephone to say they enjoyed the trial, despite not qualifying this time.

Belinda Frakes


Stake: UD and WD Control and Agility


Stewards: Fri and Sat, Penny Bellis; Sun, Paula Jaques

Thanks to West Herts for the invitation to judge the Control and Agility.  Thanks to Penny Bellis for a super job of stewarding, which made my job easy, and very good company.

I saw some very competent rounds and some lovely dogs.  I’m sure others will qualify soon.


1st           Nicola Pyne with KALIDEN GREAT REACTION, BC, Q, 187.5.  Lovely sendaway and re-direct.  Well done.

2nd          Mike Robinson with FLINT OF GLINMEL, BC, NQ, 196.

3rd           Beryl Kimberley with OAKENHEART DARK DELIGHT, GSD, NQ, 193.5.


1st           Sue Hough with TRICK OR TREAT, BC, Q, 184.5.  Congratulations, Gus did a full mark C/A.  Well done.

2nd          Jane Webb with INSTINCTIVELY PIPPA, WSD, Q, 178.5.  Another nice control round.  Well done.

3rd           Lyn Edmonds with BECKENBERRY BUD, GSD, NQ, 161.5. Well done.


1st          Judy Meekings with STYPERSON BRIG AT WINDLEBROOK, Lab, Q, 191.  Another nice tidy round.  Well done.

2nd          Alan Sword with OAKENHEART LORD OF THE RINGS, GSD, Q, 182.5.  Well done.

3rd           Caroline Martin with YES MALADY, X-breed, Q, 180.  Well done, Caroline, Mala won the Steinmetz Trophy for the best Non-GSD or BC/WSD in UD/WD.

Thanks to Bob and Jenny Fidderman for the generous use of their land.  Thanks to Belinda and all her helpers for a very well run trial, and to Bob and Sue for feeding us.  I enjoyed judging, and saw some super dogs work.


Stake: UD Nosework


Tracklayers: Fri – Vana Moody and Mark Lewindon, Sat – Vana Moody and Joan Snowden

Square Steward: Jackie Sears

Thank you to the West Herts committee for the invitation to judge the UD Nosework at this friendly and well run trial.  Thank you to my tracklayers Vana, Joan and Mark for laying the tracks and to Jackie for laying the squares; the good company and lovely weather made it a joy to be out there.  Thanks also to Bob and Sue in the kitchen and to Belinda the trials manager who kept the competitors coming.

17 teams entered and 10 ran.  The weather was sunny but rather windy!!  The tracking articles were a shotgun cartridge with a tennis ball as the end article (which the dogs seem to have fun with!)  Thank you to all the competitors who entered under me and good luck for the future.

1st           Judy Meekings with STYPERSON BRIG AT WINDLEBROOK, (Brig), Lab, D, 191, Q – Brig did a lovely track and towed Judy round.  Good luck for the future.

2nd          Alan Sword with OAKENHEART LORD OF THE RINGS, (Morgan), GSD, D, 182.5, Q – Morgan did a steady track - you need to have more faith in him, Alan. 

3rd           Caroline Martin with YES MALADY, (Marla) X-Breed, B, 180, Q – Marla did a lovely track, I’m not sure trying to roll in the fox p… half way round was a good idea though!

4th           Irene Nicholl with GUNALT CHA CHA, (Kern) WeiM, D, 185.5, NQ – Kern did a fantastic track; he did not put a foot wrong and stormed round the track – full marks to Irene for keeping up with him.  Kern won the trophy for the best UD track with a faultless round.  Only the gun test let you down today, otherwise you would have qualified.


Stake: WD Nosework


Tracklayers: Nigel Hines, Malcolm Snowden, Joan Snowden

Steward: June Hines

Thanks to West Herts for the invitation to judge WD nosework.  Thanks to my tracklayers, Nigel, Malcolm and Joan, for all doing a brilliant job over the two days.  Thanks to June for laying all the squares superbly.  You were all great company, and made my job very easy.  Mt thanks to Belinda Frakes, Trials Manager, for a super job, and to Jan Vallack for organising the land.  A special thank you to the farmers, Bob and Jenny, for the continuing use of their land and buildings.

Tracking conditions were not as easy as may have been expected looking at the lush growth.  Friday was very cold and windy, and on Saturday the sun and wind made it very dry.  Those dogs that completed the track did very well.

I had five qualifiers out of the twelve that ran, and three went on to qualify overall.

1st           Sue Hough with TRICK OR TREAT, BC, Q, 184.5.  Track 87.5, articles, 15, square 27.  Gus did a very steady track, and got the best track mark.  Very well done.

2nd          Jane Webb with INSTINCTIVELY PIPPA, WSD, Q, 178.5.  Track 86, articles 20, square 19.  Well done.

3rd           Lyn Edmonds with BECKENBERRY BUD, GSD, NQ, 161.5. Track 86.5, articles 10, square 17. Well done.

I had a super weekend, and Saturday night in the pub was the best laugh for ages – magnets and all!!!!!!!


Stake:  TD Nosework.

Judge: JANE GRAY    

Track Layers: Mark Lewingdon and Ruth Payton.

Search Steward: Valerie King.

Great  trial, good company.  Thanks for the invitation to judge.  Had a lovely time- and good food.  Excellent base, first time I’ve been there.  It was very windy, which I think made quite a difference to the tracking.  9 dogs worked, 4 got round the track with good marks, sadly 3 failed C/A, so my only qualifier was -

1st     N. Pyne with KALIDEN GREAT REACTION, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx, (BC).  Dillon worked really hard, first dog, first day (so I had high hopes for the rest of the weekend!) getting all articles on the track, (with Mum’s help!) and search.  84 track + 25, and 29 for square. Well Done.

2nd   Mike Robinson and FLINT OF GLENMEL, (BC). Flint did a fantastic track, well handled by Mike, 91 +30 and full mark square.  I was really impressed.  Shame about the stays.  Good Luck next time.  NQ

3rd   Beryl Kimberley and OAKENHEART DARK DELIGHT, (GSD).  Misty was the last to track on Sunday, and what a track – fantastic, 97 and 2 articles, 33 for square - failed her sendaway, naughty girl. Good luck, Beryl - you will do it.  Misty and Beryl got the Best Track and Best GSD Trophies.  NQ

4th    Steve Liney and GEMSTONE EASTER WISH, (X Breed).  Gem and Steve worked well, 84 for track, 3 articles and 33 for square.  NQ

Tracking was not easy, on very dry winter wheat, with high winds.  I had 2 excellent tracklayers, Mark and Ruth, with Valerie as my steward, all great company and very experienced.  My thanks to them, and the team at base; Trials Manager, Belinda Frakes - first time as T/Manger - well done,  Bob and Sue Carter for catering, and all the other helpers who make a well run trial.

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