Fri 04 Nov 2022, Battle

Level 5: Judge - Anna Katkowska

Beech Mill Farm, Kane Hythe Road, Battle, TN33 9QU

Start: 9.30
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Naomi Sullivan

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

On Friday ten teams arrived at my home to take part in a Scentwork UK Level 5 trial.
A lot of preparation had gone into the areas so there was no contamination of odour.
Naomi, the trial manager and my mentor, had spent a long time with me two days previously running through all the options of where to place the odours.
We tried to incorporate the elements that we continually cover during training, e.g search the entrance, the corners, work both directions etc.
We were hoping to test the teams not baffle them! It was all achievable as demonstrated by Buddy our super white dog.

Exterior. 4 Hides. 4 Minutes. 2 x clove 2 x gun oil
The area consisted of an enclosed concrete stable yard with two empty open stables.
All dogs apart from one, found the clove at the very end of the building which had been nicely warmed by the sun.
The gun oil at the base of the entrance proved a miss for those who forgot to search the area that they had shot past on the way in. Jo, with Flea, correctly indicated in record time as soon as she entered the search area, astonishing speed and accuracy from the very beginning.

Interior 1 3 Hides. 3 Minutes. 2 x clove 1 x gun oil.
The area was a closed double garage with a variety of objects, wheelbarrows, hoses, brooms etc.
Only two competitors found all three, one being Michelle with Minx, our eventual winner with a calm and steady search picking up the clove at the entrance which so many of the others missed.

Interior 2 5 Hides. 5.5 Minutes. 3 x clove 2 x gun oil
This area was in a barn with a mower, some bales of hay and a very exciting bag of sheep fleece!
Clove in a gate latch was missed by a lot of teams because they completely forgot to search that particular part. Only one team, Sharon and Fudge found all five. They went on to take 2nd place, only being beaten by one second! Their search was methodical and a great example of what makes a team.

The highlight of the day was the ever happy Winnie deciding that she was much more suited to being a sheep dog! I would give her a job any day.

Only four of our ten teams qualified which I expect caused some disappointment. I hope that everyone could see that it was an important exercise to reinforce all that they practice in training that they must take forward to competition. Some of the dogs were having quite a little party on their own with their partners only springing in to assist once they heard the thirty second warning! Teamwork is required. There was nothing in the test that wouldn’t have been covered in training but I do very much appreciate how nerves make reason fly out the window.

It was great to have everyone here and hope that you will all come again.
Many thanks to Naomi for trusting me to judge and Vanda for scribing

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