Fri 26 May 2023, Wichenford Memorial Hall, Worcestershire

Levels 5: Judges - Christine Gregory

Wichenford Memorial Hall, Venn Lane, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YF,

Start: 1pm
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
BACS acc name, sort-code, acc no
Contact: Pauline Whittaker
– Tel: 07595710767

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

As always a very well organised Whichenford trial. Many thanks to Pauline for the invitation and Nikki James for doing a great job as my scribe.

Only 6 competitors, so a nice relaxing afternoon in glorious weather – what a treat.

All areas were white dogged pre and post hide placement.

Interior 1
Half the hall and a committee room
4 hides 4 minutes
I’d seen at a previous trial how dogs ran from object to object, seemingly using eyes rather than nose. With that in mind there were 2 large items at either end of a radiator with clove, in a magnetic box , placed under and in the middle of the radiator. It was fascinating how just adding a couple of objects to a perimeter search turned what would probably have been a simple find into a bit of a puzzle. No team got it on the first pass but fortunately there was plenty of time for them to return to the area and work it out. I had a few thoughts about why this set up provided a bit of a challenge but whatever the reason it made good watching. This set up was repeated in the committee room and I saw some of the same things happening.

5 hides 6 minutes
A narrow busy alleyway, easy for the dogs to bounce from side to side and therefore difficult for the handlers to work any search pattern that they may have devised. To add to the handlers woes there was a hide in a fence post and the the grass the other side was long and tempting. It was a dilemma for the handlers – were the dogs sniffing for odour or were they enjoying the greenery. I also included my car which did not have a hide on it but proved a great time waster. The hide that caught everyone out was low in a corner, a threshold hide, it was one of those that probably needed some direct tasking from the handler.

Interior 2
Third of the hall, small storage cupboard and the entrance area to loos.
3 hides, 3 minutes
I had a hide in each of the areas. The one under the dado rail in the main hall (gun oil) needed handler participation, other than that, the hides in the front corner of the storage cupboard and the radiator valve by the door of the the loo entrance presented few problems.

The great thing with Scentwork is that successful dogs come in all shapes and sizes. My 2 qualifiers were chalk and cheese, Maggy, a neat and tidy cockerpoo who saved her energy for sniffing and Murphy, your typical bouncy labrador.

!st Brenda and Maggy
Maggy’s a precise little dog, very responsive to Brenda who complements her partner with nice calm handling. I loved the way Maggy was following Brenda out of the loo area but snapped back to the radiator valve hide in Interior 2.

2nd Virginia and Murphy
So full of enthusiasm yet despite all that rumbustious energy it was lovely to see that he could control himself. An indication anyway around a concrete post supporting a wooden strut would have been acceptable but Murphy manoeuvred himself to get as close to source as he could, nice work!

There were a couple of near misses.
Heather and Wilma (German Spitz Mittel) They absolutely whipped through Interior 1 but unfortunately the Exterior area, with all it’s distractions, was Wilma’s downfall today.

Karen and Agatha (G. Retriever)
To be honest I don’t know how this team failed to qualify today. Karen gives her girl plenty of space to work and Agatha really applies herself. She was lovely to watch.

Thank’s to all the competitors and good luck in your future trials.

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