Finmere 21st August 2016

Levels 1, 2, & 3 trial

As I didn’t expect too many entries for the L1 & 2 trial I decided to ask a few L3 competitors who were either ill or couldn’t make the L3/4 trial last time. As we got nearer the date more entries arrived and so we ended up with a respectable entry of 17. .

006I chose a slightly different format for the trial this time and split the various levels into two groups with the L3 starting at 9am and the L1/2 starting at 11am and this seemed to work well.

We started with the exterior search and the overnight rain had made the gravel rather attractive to some of the dogs but there were some good searches from Hazell and Gem & Skye and Jennie and Tinker getting both articles with ease. Next to follow was the boxes and Luggage and Indie became rather excited and decided to push several of the boxes around making reading her rather difficult for Val and unfortunately resulting in only one correct alert. This placed Val under a lot of pressure for the next two searches as Indie needed all four finds to pass and fortunately Indie decided to settle down and did Val proud by finding all 4 finds with ease. Well done for keeping your cool Val.

Next up was the tables & chairs and perimeter search and Marianne had hidden the scented article on a metal shelving system. All the dogs worked this well although unfortunately Tinker wasn’t able to tell his mum Jennie precisely where the scented article was hidden so only managed to get one find. Unlucky.

So everything was to play for in the vehicle search which didn’t seem to cause too many problems again for Hazell with Skye and Val and Indie both dogs getting both finds. Poor Tinker had a dog distraction as a local Chihuahua decided to bark at him and put him off his stride.

001So out of the 5 runners in L3 we had 3 qualifiers and the results are as follows:
1) Hazell & Gem
2) Hazell & Skye
3) Val & Indie

So as we were running a bit late the L1 & 2 draws didn’t happen until 11.30am but unfortunately everyone was in good spirits.

Susan, from my Wednesday group, came along to support Katrina and was hoping to have a nice relaxing day but as my scribe telephoned me saying that their dog was poorly so couldn’t make it, I asked Susan if she wouldn’t mind standing in. Susan soon got into her stride and worked well together with the judge making a brilliant team. So thank you Susan for standing in last minute.

We started with the L1 tables and chairs and I can’t say how impressed I was with all the Level 1 handlers and dog teams. Trek with Helen went straight to the scent and Helen very confidently called the correct alert. Nikki & Ellie and Elizabeth decided to go around again just to make sure but both dogs did lovely searches. We followed this with the L2’s with all 3 dogs doing really well and especially Lisa and Gibbs finding the gun oil scented article hidden on the handle of a piece of gym equipment. Mischief the Cairn Terrier rose to the occasion when a crowd gathered to watch him finding both scented articles with ease.

We then went outside and did the L1 car searches. Again we saw some really good and quick searches although Liz and Archie decided to double check and go around again which was a good decision from Liz as Archie isn’t the easiest of dogs to read. Karen and Foxy also did a good search and it was lovely to see Karen’s quiet and calm handling with this dog. The L2’s were next up and Geoff’s dog Bugg saw his mum Sue so was initially distracted but after Geoff persuasion Bugg continued the search finding both articles with ease.

010We then stopped for half an hour for lunch to then give the boxes and luggage search time to cook. Again some methodical searches and particularly impressive was Nicky and Acer finding the Lapsang Souchong tea! Lovely quiet handling from Nicky too.

So last up was the exterior search which was all for play for Sandra and her fourteen and a half year old collie Bramble. Fortunately Sandra kept her cool and correctly alerted on the agility jump which had the scented article hidden in one of the cup holes. Sue and Halle did a lovely methodical search which just showed that when this team get it together they are awesome.

So the day came to an early end at 3pm so there was plenty of time for tea and cake whilst we got ready for the presentation. Again Susan and Marianne worked as a team sorting out the place getters as the standard was so high. As Marianne decided to award the prizes in reverse order it was lovely to see Elizabeth face of surprise when she found out that she had won as she said that Spot had never won anything in his life before. Also well done to Geoff with Bugg for a good all round performance and winning today as well as winning the Level 1 back in May.

And off course thank you for a very experienced and friendly Judge Marianne who made very good decisions whilst also making the competitors feel at ease.