I’d thought that the fourth trial was going to be rather a long and challenging day as we had attracted our highest entry yet with 21 entries, 6 in Level 3 and 15 in Level 2.
However on my arrival at the Village Hall I was delighted to see that our Judge ‘Nikky Kirk’ had arrived early, which is always a good omen. Shortly after the first of the competitors arrived, Katheryne who was given the responsible job of organising the competitors parking so that we could use the vehicles for the vehicle searches later on in the day.
As myself and Nikki were sorting out the first search both Tina our runner and Patty our co-opted scribe arrived so I had ample time to go through their respective jobs before we made a start.
Tina rounded everyone up for the draw so that we could have a prompt 10am start, starting with the L2 ‘tables & chairs’ search. Unfortunately this seemed to be the start of a most unusual day with a lot of dogs falsely alerting on either the blue floor cleaner, red Hoover, paint pots or the stack of chairs rather than the brooms which were positioned in the corner. However the Judge did point out that most dogs were ignoring the corners until fortunately Nicki & Rags and Michelle and Myah saved the day of searching the corner and finding the ‘clove’ scent with ease.
Next up were the L3’s who had the small committee room additionally to search and unfortunately didn’t seem to fair much better. Nigel and his GSD very untypically struggled to find the scents and seemed rather unsettled and unfortunately it became apparent later on that Breazer was looking for her mum, who was busy helping me organising everyone outside. Such a shame really as this team would have easily passed here today.
The next search was the vehicle search which again I thought most of the L2 and L3 dogs had to work really hard at. However Remus saved the day for Colin and Maya for Ali and Indie and Val by locating and finding both articles really quickly and convincingly. These three did well.
The boxes and luggage were next and again gave mixed results. Gibbs decided that he would pick today to stick his head in one of the boxes, which he has never done before, convincing his mum Lisa that the scent was hidden inside giving a false alert and Mischief couldn’t seem to make up his mind making it difficult for Jennie to read him. However Laura and Ollie and Carolyn and her two cocker spaniels Enzo and Mily were on great form and didn’t seem to have any problems in deciding which of the two items were correct.
So for a lot of teams the final result all rested on the last test the exterior search. Unfortunately Susan’s black Labrador Lyla took rather a liking to the rope that had been stuffed into a bag giving a false alert which was a shame as this team has come on so well lately. The same bag was also too enticing for Rick and Max. Kate and Paddy really needed to find both articles too as Paddy had become so untypically distracted today and it was through Kate’s skill as a handler that they had done so well so far.
The L3 search proved easier and we saw some lovely searches for Ann with Maisie and Charlie showing his mum Karen that he does know what he’s looking for.
Of the 6 runners in L3 we had 3 qualifiers, and of the 15 runners in L2 we had 7 qualifiers who all really worked hard deserving their place at the trial today.
Again a big thank you to our Judge Nikki Kirk who was very good at her decision making, keeping the flow going and who didn’t mind me chivvying her along and two my brilliant helpers Tina (the morning shift) and Celia (afternoon shift) and Patty for scribing especially as she thought she was just coming along to watch.