Mon 10 Apr 2023, Aldingbourne

Levels one: Judges - Nicola Gaffney and Helen Byrne

The Dog Barn, Park Farm, Hook Lane, Aldingbourne, West Sussex PO20 3TL

Start: 9am
Entry Fees: £35 per dog.
Contact: Anna Coyne – Sussex county Dog training
– Tel: 01243 609202

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Judges Report.

Thank you Anna for inviting me to Co-Judge at Sussex County Dog Training. It’s always a pleasure and feels very special as this is where Nellie and I started our scentwork journey many years ago.

The weather certainly wasn’t kind to us in the morning with high winds and rain. Thank you to my lovely co-judge Nicola who was kitted up in all her wet weather clothing, she offered to run the outside searches, much to my delight, whilst I stayed dry inside! So huge thanks you to her.

All areas, both in L1 and L2 were white dogged by two dogs, Anna’s Havoc and my Nellie.

Level 1
We had a fair few newbies today, this being their first trial. How exciting to be at their start of their scentwork adventure in this wonderful sport.
I started the inside searches with boxes and luggage. I opted for the scent to be placed in a box at the far side. 10 out of the 16 dogs successfully found the hide, with Team Brodie finding in a speedy 12 seconds!
Moving on, we moved areas to tables and chairs. Two long tables with 8 chairs around them. All teams found the hide under the chair to the end of one of the tables and there was lots of happy smiles, as at this point some knew they had passed having also completed at least one outside search.
Congratulations to all our qualifiers today especially Danielle and Arti, our winners. I’ve seen this team work before and they didn’t disappoint. This was only their second Level 1 and not only did they win but they won out of Level 1 with their Excellent title in just two trials. Very well done!
To those who just missed the pass mark, keep going, keep your nerves in check and trust your dog! Congratulations to all and hope to see you in either another L1 or L2.

Level 2
Again my lovely co-judge took to the elements and judged outside. Luckily the rain had now stopped in the afternoon, but it was still very windy.
A few newbies to L2 and lots of faces and dogs I recognised from judging them previously. Its always lovely to see how teams are progressing and hopefully it puts them a little more at ease knowing the judge.
Only 9 teams in this level, so we set about with the first search of Boxes and luggage. The first hide was in a box in the middle of the search area, quite near to the start, which I suspected dogs may rush past. However the standard was so good, even those who missed on the first way around came back to alert on it. Only one team missing this item.
The other hide was on a bag to the left of the search area, 8 out of the nine dogs found this one too.
Tables and chairs & perimeter. I placed the first hide on the chair nearest to me and the second on a grill resting against the wall. No problems with the chair all dogs found it and fairly quickly in most cases. The grill posed a problem to some handlers, as whilst their dogs were clearly telling them, the handlers for some reason didn’t think it was part of the search area, despite being on the perimeter. When your dog is pulling you to an area, ensure you fully investigate and don’t dismiss it. Unfortunately this cost one team missing this hide, but all the rest who trusted their dogs and went with them were successful. Well done.
Congratulations to all the L2’s, who all passed. Mention to Kim and Raven who came 3rd and received their L2 Excellent, congratulations to this calm, methodical team, proving you really don’t need to be the quickest to be in the top 4. Also huge well done to our winners Emma and Growlithe. A good day for Emma, taking home a 4th in L1 and the top spot in L2!

Also a special thanks to Chris, my very able scribe for the day also his lovely wife Diana who kept all the competitors moving and in the right place at the right time, in the cold wind and rain. And last but not least thanks to Sharon for making such scrummy cakes, they were delicious!

To all teams in both L1 and L2, I wish you continued success and joy for this sport. I look forward to seeing you grow as a team in future trials, until then enjoy your dog

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