Fri 27 May 2022, Marston Moreteyne

Level 7: Judge - Becky Harris

Beancroft Events Room, Beancroft Farm, Beancroft Road, Marston Moreteyne, Bedfordshire MK430QE

Start: Briefing 10am; Judging 10.15am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Emma Conlisk

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Last Friday I had the pleasure of judging a level 7, thank you for inviting me Emma and for all your attention to detail and organisation for the day. Also, thanks to Helen for scribing, it was lovely to spend the day with you.

We were lucky to have 3 very different areas to search, each requiring different skills from the dogs and handlers.
We started with interior area 1 which was set up in an office/sunroom that were joined by an internal door. One find was placed close to the open door in between the two rooms, it was in a position that if the dogs picked up the odour in the office they had to negotiate working around the door to get to the source of the odour. It was great to see a couple of the dogs independently problem solve this hide. Well done to Stacey with Bella, who assessed the situation and suggested that Bella search the other side of the door, resulting in Bella working the hide perfectly to source. The team that stood out on this search was Richard and Ziggy, this team wasted no time working the area, Richard trusting Ziggys expertise which allowed him to confidently call the area clear, lovely to watch, well done.

The exterior search was the second area, this took place in a yard, 5 of the 12 finds were placed in this search. Some of the finds specifically relied on the handlers reading the dogs changes of behaviour and allowing them to work the odour to source rather than the handlers assessing visually where the find may be. One of these was placed in a crack in the floor a short distance from a wall that had items against it. I must mention Sue with Luther and Helen with Trek, lovely independent searching from both of these dogs, who are quick to search and the handlers complemented them by not rushing and giving them room to search.

The third and final search was set up in a hall type environment, its was designed to encourage the handlers to have the confidence to ‘call the area clear’. There were some really super searches in this area, huge congratulations to Melanie, Sue, Suzanne, Yaz, Stacey and Chris who successfully called the area clear, I loved seeing your joy and excitement that you were correct.

The winners of the trial were Melanie with Rowan, a really great partnership who located 11 of the 12 hides, successfully calling 2 areas clear. Rowan is a super dog, happy and confident to search, she was handled really well by Melanie, Congratulations!

Super level 7 SWUK trial today. A really interesting and fair trial set by Becky Harris, I always appreciate her thorough planning and attention to detail. I heard some really good feedback for the competitors once they were allowed to ask and they’d finished.
So cool watching the teams work well together, I saw some wonderful teamwork, especially from the people who keep on beating me at trials
Thanks very much Helen for being a very helpful, knowledgeable scribe and Lisa Moore and Monika Dobbs for helping today, you were all REALLY appreciated

Some lovely competitors today, thanks very much. Those words of support and thanks make such a difference when people have worked hard to put together a trial.

Being a new TM makes you see things from a totally different perspective. One thing that came to my attention today was how hard we all find keeping track of our score, even walking from the trial area some people forget. Several times I walked back to check for them. I had tried to address this as when I emailed your RO as I included your personal scoresheet for you to print. Please do feel free to ask the scribe to jot your score or write it yourself before you leave the search area that can eliminate any confusion and it will remind you to check your score. As competitors it’s our own responsibility to check this before leaving the search as it’s very difficult to remember individual dogs/handlers queries by the end of the trial.

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