Fri 8th Nov 2019, Sutton Coldfield

Level 5: Judge - Jeni Pirie

1 Sue Taylor – Sunny – 130
2 Alan Clancy – Rhum – 119.8
3 Helen Kennedy – Preston – 110
4 Emma Conlisk – Smartie – 110
5 Jan Martin – Mattie – 99.8
6 Harold Latusek – Zack – 99.5

Bodymoor Heath Victory Hall is a lovely little venue, with a sensible sized car park, a well stocked kitchen and a very warm hall. Sadly there is no designated waiting room, but you can’t have everything.

Jeni Pirie kindly agreed to judge this Level 5 for me, and made the incredibly sensible call of having the external search between the two internal ones as to avoid the rain. A decision that paid off well. She also used the warm hall first, meaning competitors could wait in there and get a little warmer during the next search.

The searches appeared to be challenging, but at the same time manageable, with 6 of our 10 competitors qualifying. Congratulations to Sue Taylor and Sunny who came first in their maiden level 5.

Many thanks to Cath Seddon for scribing and to Jeni and Helen Kennedy for staying behind to help me tidy up at the end.

Bodymoor Heath trial 8th November

Firstly I would like to thank Ellen for inviting me to judge, to Cath for being my scribe and to all the competitors for making it a fun and relaxed trial.

I like the venue at Bodymoor Heath it has variety and questions for the dogs and handlers to answer, corners, doorframes galore and the scent can move in mysterious ways. A fab challenge at any level.

We started the trial with the Interior 1 search, this search included the large hall area of the venue. There were 5 hides in this area, one on the back of a chair, one low hide around the unlit fireplace, one under a table leg, one in an external doorframe and one in the end of a coat stand which was laid down on the floor.

Only one team found all five in this area, Sue and Sunny, but it came at a price of 3 false alerts for them, making the remainder of the trial a tense situation. Sunny worked really well but was easily talked into false alerting, something for the team to work on.

Keith and Monty didn’t have the start they wanted, with two finds, but Monty worked well and I really liked how Keith allowed Monty the time and space to investigate the environment.

Emma and Smartie showed great item and area awareness, covering the ground sensibly, finding 4 out of the 5 hides. A thorough search, just missing the last hide.

Helen and Preston flew into the search with Preston taking in the environment, but his interest in the area was halted by his first find, a lovely alert and straight into a very methodical search. A little too much time spent in a clear but busy looking area in the far left corner meant they ran out of time to check the right hand door frame methodically gaining 4 out of 5 hides in this area.

Harry and Zack showed good awareness of the area. The area in the far left corner of the room became a ‘thing’ for handlers in the search and Harry was no exception this caused a little blocking but Zack was very honest and tried to move on from the area, clever Zack.

Alan and Rhum showed us a chatty search. Rhum was very excited about doing his sniffies and Alan had to work hard to guide the search. Rhum knocked all 5 of the hides, but his need for encouragement to search meant that Alan had to paintbrush the area a little in this search, which is time consuming so 3 hides were found here.

Jan and Mattie worked hard, Jan handles Mattie very sensibly allowing him space to work and be self guided. Mattie is clearly a nervous boy and this handling manner works well for him. Sadly the offer of moving items was just too much temptation for Jan and she moved items which then caused blocking of the actual scent source.

I enjoyed watching Butty, this little lass can’t help but make you smile. Butty showed Denise 4 out of the 5 hides, but Denise only called two of them. Unfortunately once Denise had missed a call Butty was reluctant to show Denise them again. Of course this is much easier from my perspective to decide if Butty was indicating as I knew where the articles were. Some work on indication would give Denise more to work on than Butty’s subtle cues she showed in this search.

We moved out to the exterior search. 3 articles were hidden in this area, one in a drain downpipe affixed to the roof of the drainpipe to avoid any moisture. One on the patio right at the corner of a brick square (barbecue?) and another hidden medium height on the leg of a patio table.

Sue and Sunny were first in to this area, Sunny was cool as a cucumber and hit all three quickly. Sue had made some minor changes to her handling, avoiding stopping still when Sunny looked interested and this moved him away from an area where he offered his passive indication but there was no scent. Very well handled.

Harry and Zack knew they had it all to play for, Harry was mindful of his body and Zack moved freely around the search hitting all three articles with confidence.

Helen and Preston showed great partnership, moving through the search methodically and accurately.

Denise and Butty moved through and around the search area beautifully. Butty was picking up the odour on the brick square, the odour seemed to be a little trapped by a wooden sheet that overlapped the brickwork drawing Butty’s nose up. Denise cleverly used one of her false alerts to ‘remove an area’ from the search, if you’ve got them use them! Allowing her to move on, sadly Butty ran out of time.

Keith and Monty were back on form in this area, Keith was aware of some duck noises in a neighbouring building so kept Monty on lead. I liked how he considered his dogs nature and made changes to his handling to make the best use of his time and tools.

Hazel and Yogi looked far more confident in this search. Yogi was one of our smaller dogs but he struggled a little with the lower hides, he missed the patio level hide. A shame, but a good learning curve.

Alan and Rhum worked well through the area, though Rhum picked up odour from the previous interior search through the door to the inside. While there was no odour on this door and hadn’t been in the previous search Rhum was likely picking up odour from the room. A good use of a false alert to clear the door.

Emma and Smartie combined proprioception with their scentwork in this search. Climbing through the equipment and over the boards on the brick square. Smartie did follow the odour up to this area and Emma removed him quickly to a safer place. Emma was the last to run and the odour seemed to be circling the brick square, Emma sensibly offered Smartie some suggestions on where to search resulting in a good find.

Interior 2 was our final search. This was held in the foyer area had 4 hides, one resting underneath a book, one in a void in a wall, one in the door frame of the closed door of the men’s toilets and one in a door stop. The Foyer offered a tighter area to work and a healthy area awareness needed.

Denise and Butty were first in, Butty really brought it together here, looking much more focused and Denise was quicker to respond to Butty’s indication. Well handled!

Jan and Mattie attempted something new for them, trying the handling off lead. This is a good idea in these smaller spaces with many dogs, lessening the likelihood of lead blocking. The team used the space well and found all the hides in this area.

Sue and Sunny left me holding my breath for almost 4 minutes, knowing that so close to qualifying just one false alert would disqualify them. As judges we want to challenge you, but we want you to qualify so these situations can be breath holders! Sue found three, giving her 11 out of 12 and decided to retire. This turned out to be a very good plan indeed as when I indicated the area of the final hide Sunny gave us a false alert.

Keith and Monty got their mojo in this round, knocking scents and calling in such quick succession we could barely keep up.

Alan and Rhum, a chatty search from Rhum but in between the running commentary she gave us found all 4 with much more searching and calm in this run.

Zack was getting a little tired by the final search and Harry made a wise call to bring him out once he’d found his required number of finds. Teamwork like this is precious, being mindful of our dogs ability to enjoy a search is paramount training not for today but for the future. Nice call Harry.

Helen and Preston remained focused on the methodical search and covered the area well. Resulting in all finds in the area. Lovely teamwork from this pair today, they appeared so in tune.

Emma and Smartie also showed us what teamwork means, looking very smooth and together in their work.

The challenges from today appeared to be low hides and doorframes. While doorframes are not new to the level 5 competitor they aren’t as familiar as they could be. Especially as the doorframe often acts as an ‘item’ to search in 3+ as it’s not a part of the wall as such, but rather a thing that is included and should be checked. The lower hides are also quite new, anything on an item is ofcourse raised even a little bit off the floor so working these floor level hides is new for the dogs and handlers.

Peaks of the trial really was watching these amazing partnerships, each one individual and each one wonderful to behold. Thank you for having me to watch you all.

WA = Wrong Alerts ( 4 = elimination )P = Points (articles found X 10)
B = Bonus (10 if all items found)D = DeductionsT = time (seconds)
Interior Search 1Interior Search 2Exterior SearchTotals
No of itemsTime allowedNo of itemsTime allowedNo of itemsTime allowedP+B-D = Points + Bonus - Deductions
1Sue Taylor – Sunny350100232030001610301001203110200130513
2Alan Clancy – Rhum03000.23000401001101301001541100200.2119.8564
3Helen Kennedy – Preston0400020413000240030100591100100110503
4 Emma Conlisk – Smartie1400030020300017103010013921100100110610
5Jan Martin – Mattie23000.228114010018802000180390100.299.8649
6Harold Latusek – Zack03000.53001300024003010071190100.599.5611

Bodymoor Heath Victory Hall, Sutton Coldfield, B76 9JF.

Start time: 10.00 am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog. Entries caped at 10. Only one dog per handler.
Contact: Ellen Lindley, Tel 07413 111 921
Online entries are available

Anyone wanting to submit by post needs to call first so the slot can be reserved in the online booking system

Download Entry Form to book a place. Fully booked.