The sun was shining, which was brilliant as rain had been forecast. This was my second level 1 trial that I was hosting but this time we were doing a level 2 as well. I had spent days ensuring that everything was packed and ready to go. Van went off to get power washed so was lovely and shiny ready for the vehicle search. Tea/coffee cakes and biscuits were all in the bag. Extra trip to the supermarket to make sure that we had enough boxes.
The van was packed with so much stuff that there was barely room for the dogs, but we were ready.
I arrived at the hall and started to get the exterior search ready. We were doing both outside searches first this time as did not want everyone to get wet later. But the sun stayed out all day.
Tracey the judge arrived and was eager to get started. So we did the draw to see the running order and off we went. First in was Karen and Malik who had a cracking search. She worked beautifully and found the hiiden swab in between the two flower pots. Next up we had Jenny and Harvey who was amazing. Harvey found the hidden scent in forty three seconds. Really pleased. Next we had Julia and Winter who is a lovely Japanese Spitz. He also had no trouble finding the swab.
All competitors (both level 1 and 2) found the exterior search items. Some took a little longer but we held our breath and all passed this section.
Next we did the vehicle search, and all level 1 dogs found the scented article in a very quick time. The fastest being Geof and Bug in 35 seconds. Level 2 dogs took a bit longer but then they did have to find two articles and had three vehicles to search. Zelda found them both in just under three minutes whilst Zsa Zsa struggled a little and only found one in 4 minutes 15 seconds.
We then tackled the boxes and luggage, where there were some confusing searches. Only 3 out of the 7 entered actually found this as some people were calling too quickly and some dogs were indicating on the wrong item. All very confusing but down to nerves and the floor being extremely slippery, I think they must have polished it too much. Next time.
Both the level 2 dogs found the boxes and luggage without any great problems – although again the floor proved to be a problem.
Next we had the tables and chairs where we had some brilliant searching. Sadly only Julia and Winter failed to find the correct chair, Winter sat between two chairs and Julia just called on the wrong one. Again just nerves on the day as in class Winter is always very smart on chairs.
Level 2 for tables and chairs was lovely to watch with both handlers being rewarded with top marks from our judge Tracey.
All done and everyone having a sit down and a welcome cup of coffee and everyone breathing again. Judge Tracey gave a talk to say how she felt the day had gone, then gave out the rosettes and certificates. All helpers were thanked, photos taken and then it was all over until the next time.
A huge thank you to Becky Harris for organising everyone to ensure they were at each section on time and putting everyone at ease. Also a big thank you to Nicki White for helping move equipment, load and unload my van, organise tea and coffee, hold my dogs for me and generally be useful.
We could not run these trials without the helpers, the judge and of course the competitors, so from me I would like to say a very big thank you to you all.
I had a fabulous day, encouraging each and every team as they prepared to do their search and then really enjoyed watching them. Marianne