Fri 15 Apr 2022, Shottery

Level 6: Judge - Tina Schuster

Shottery Memorial Hall, Hathaway Lane, Shottery, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 9BL

Start: 9.30am
Entry Fees: £28 per dog.
Contact: Sue Gardner

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

I judged 2 Level 6 on Good Friday at Shottery – a group of 6 competitors in the morning and a different group of 6 in the afternoon. We used the same areas and hides for both (refreshing the scents for the afternoon group) and asking the morning competitors not to discuss the trial with the afternoon group. This arrangement certainly meant less waiting for the competitors.

Interior 1 was entrance hall with 4 hides – in the entrance door hatch (TO), in a corner (C), under an interior door (GO) and in a hole in the skirting board. Most teams found all items – which meant a good start to the trials, with the early hide in the entrance door hatch being the most missed one, which could be because it was an early and/or as it was TO.

Exterior was the second search with the side of the hall as a search area. Even though there were 3 scents, I gave the competitors 3.5 minutes, as it was a big area to cover. The hides were in a corner by a bin (TO), in a nook in the wall (TO) and on the wheel of another bin (GO). In the morning group, a couple of handlers called the bin wheel on the other side of the bin, and Ian with Bond (pm) impressed me by realising that the scent had travelled to the other side of the bin – instead of calling the alert. In the pm group, a couple of teams missed searching the corner behind the bin and/or dogs didn’t indicate on the TO.

Last search was Interior 2 – the big hall, which I chose to only use the emergency exit entrance and the upper level eating area (not the enticing dance floor). The scents were hidden on the left side of the door (C) another early, right corner (TO), on a bench behind a table (GO), in a nook on a wall (GO) and under the foot of a table (C). I felt that having 5 hides in the last search would give competitors the chance to pass. It was a pleasure to see Jan and Mattie (who won the pm with a clean sweep) search very systematically and I was ticking the finds off one by one in the order they had been hidden

In both groups, 4 out of the 6 competitors passed and it was a lovely day, with great helpers – Gill and Lisa – and lovely competitors. Thank you Sue for asking me to judge and for a well organised, efficient trial!

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