Mon 10th Jun 2019, Wellingborough

Levels 4 & 5: Judges - Dolores Palmer & Jeni Pirie
Level 4

1 Jan Martin – Amber – 89.9
2 Helen Kennedy – Preston – 89.5
3 Lynda Stangle – Max – 89.2
4 Wendy Clay – Chilli – 88.9
5 Charlotte Jarrad – Bea – 79.9
6 Melanie Goble – Rowan – 79.75
7 Carole Millington – Teddy – 78.95

Level 5

1 Sarah Neat – Charlie – 150
2 Kathy Killick – Rowan – 130
3 Jull Harper – Herbie – 130
4 Yaz Whitehall – Banjo – 130
5 Sara Wren – Tia – 130
6 Wendy Clay – Quincy – 129.5
7 Beth Alexander – Gus – 129.25
8 Kate Osborn – Kiwi – 129.25
9 Annette Leslie – Disney – 128
10 Chris Clements – QueevaDiva – 110
11 Jeni Pirie – Sullivan – 109.5
12 Julie Thomas – Betty – 99.5

A rather wet start to the day which did not stop at all.

It was great to see everyones enthusiam though even though we all got drenched.

As usual we got started with the judges briefing and then running the white dog. Both judges were ready to get started. Scribes were in position so another trial was under way.

The rugby club is a great venue as we have a massive car park and acres of exercise area. We only had 7 competitors in level 4 and all passed.

I will let the judges talk to you about the searches.

Level 5 was in the afternoon but still raining!!!

As the bar area where we normally have refreshments in was closed due to refurbishment we were given the changing rooms instead. This provided a great opportunity for the level 5 interior search. Also it was lovely and warm, so we did the presentations in there.

It was really good to see that everyone (although totally drenched) was still smiling at the end of the day.

Huge thank you to judges Jeni Pirie and Dolores Palmer, you were both superb. Also thank you to Jane Meadows and Annette Leslie who scribed and supported the judges in the morning. Helen Kennedy as usual was a great scribe to Dolores for level 5 – thank you Helen for helping at so many of my trials. You are extremely appreciated.

Looking forward to welcoming you and your dog to the next trial.


Jeni Pirie

Firstly thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who ran and scribed for us at the event. It was lovely to see the familiar faces of Annette and Chris who kindly ran the white dog for us in the level 4 search. It was nice to meet new faces too and Jane was a wonderful scribe sticking with me through the very wet exterior search and the boxes and luggage search. This was my first visit to Wellingborough Rugby club and I was impressed with the variety and flexibility of the environment. The rain however was not flexible and poured like Wellingborough’s answer to Niagara Falls.

The distraction scents for this trial were decided to be Almond oil, Toothpaste and shampoo. The rain made the exterior search a very damp affair and deciding where to put the hides to safeguard them from the rain and preserve the scent. I hid the gun oil in some plastic grocers stacking boxes, the stacking arm allowed the scent to be protected from the rain but to be available to the air through a whole in the front of the box. The clove hide was in a folding stool, lying on the ground this gave us one low and one high hide. I hid toothpaste in the kettle (which many of the dogs were interested in, but no false alerts here) and almond oil in a hose (no false alert here, but a really tricky one as handlers were putting the dogs straight into the distraction to ensure the ends were checked. A true test was had here and everyone passed with flying colours.

Many of the dogs were displeased with the weather and were distracted by the rain itself, Bea spent a little time searching and reducing the size of the puddles that formed around us. Once she had finished checking out the water she focused and found both hides very quickly. Chilli was very interesting to watch, focusing on remaining in front of his handler, once Wendy realised this she moved around the area to give Chilli the confidence to search. We had a couple of incidents of people blocking the low hide and some handling was deducted for this, but the dogs were truly on form and everyone found both hides.

Moving in to the boxes and luggage I decided to use the change in rules coming into level 4 and put both hides in luggage items. Both distractions were hidden in boxes (toothpaste and shampoo).
It was interesting to see how many handlers and indeed dogs were focused on boxes after finding the first hide in luggage. This lead to a couple of false alerts, some on a distraction (toothpaste) and some on a box near the hide. As we watched the search unfold it seemed that dogs were picking the scent up when moving anticlockwise around the item, no dog found it clockwise. There was a beautiful knock onto the odour from Max, who spun on a halfpenny to source. Preston found both items very quickly he was very focused on the target odour and Helen called both finds confidently.

Many handlers stood very near the first find and with such a large area available this kept the dogs very close to the handler, only when the handlers began moving away from the first item did the dog find the second item. In part as both items were at opposite ends of the room.

I really enjoyed judging this trial with Delores, it was interesting watching such a variety of breeds, ages and search styles overcome what was a difficult day with adverse weather and level 4 standard hides.

Dolores Palmer

Thank you to Marianne for asking me to judge my first Level 4 and 5 – I had a ball watching the dogs (& handlers) work, even outside in torrential rain.

Level 4

Judging for this level, (in the morning), was shared with Jeni Pirie – lovely to meet and work with you. Jeni& I took it in turns to work outside in the rain – who would want to be outside all the time in that rain!!.

First I judged tables and chairs. The scents were hidden on a bar stool and on a cupboard door. One distraction scent, (almond) was on a chair and the other, (shampoo) was tucked inside the tent cover. The almond proved to be tricky for some dogs, either due to its strength or the fact it was more open to the air.

Everyone found one scent. A lot of dogs took little notice of the cupboard doors – possibly because these were outside the dogs’ radar as possible hiding places. It’s worth teaching your dogs to search all sorts of things that can be part of the perimeter of a room, (generalising where scent can be hidden).

Three dogs found both scents: Jan Martin’s Amber (1 minute 44 seconds), Linda Stangle’s Max (2 minutes 18 seconds) and Carole Millington’s Teddy (in an amazing 43 seconds).

On the vehicle search both hides were on one vehicle, but were in easy places to find. To make it fair all teams were required to start at the red car and to work their way to the last car with the scents on. Of course if the dogs decided to switch cars as they worked up the line that was fine. Everyone found one scent,either on the wheel nut or the door seam on the opposite side & end of the car.

My fantastic scribe, Annette, very sensibly, based herself inside her van which was placed in a position where she could watch the dogs. She even wrote up notes for me – thank you so much!

The rain was very light at the beginning of the search but became progressively heavier as time progressed. I think this affected the work of a lot of teams which was a shame. By the last competitor, (Carole Millington & Teddy), it was torrential. Not sure whether Carole’s expression was due to the rain or watching her dog. Certainly Teddy’s behaviour, from Carole’s position must have looked perplexing when he found the first scent. Teddy briefly put his nose on the scent source, came off, shook his head, put his nose back on. This happened four times. It looked like rain drops were landing on a sensitive part of Teddy’s anatomy and he needed to shake it off. Bless him he did his best to covey that he had found the scent & Carole realised this and called it.

The fastest team in this search was Helen Preston’s Preston who found both scents in 79 seconds!

The handling on both searches I judged was excellent. And I was very pleased to see that all seven teams qualified, well done everyone.

And Congratulations to Wendy Clay with Chilli gaining 4th place, Linda Stangle with Max gaining 3rd place, Helen Kennedy with Preston gaining 3rd place and lastly Jan Marin and Amber on winning & gaining their excellence rosette.

Level 5

First I must say a massive thank you to my fabulous scribe Helen Kennedy. What a help and support you were!

With the weather due to worsen I decided to do the exterior search first with possibly 3 hides. After discussion with Marianne I chose the perimeter of two sides of a wooden wall with 2 scents hidden in gaps/cracks of the wall, one of which was an early hide. Due to the fact that this search was only 2 minutes I decided that there would be a choice of either half time or last 30 seconds warning, which made Helen’s timekeeping easier. With the rain falling fast making it hard to do the scoresheet so it was decided to write each score on individual pieces of paper. Marianne collected these after each competitor had worked, transferring the score onto official paperwork indoors.

Although this seemed a really easy search some owners needed to work on their dogs wish to sniff the interesting smells on the ground, or wish to peer over the wall, or even jump it. Other dogs were very focused. Handling was very good. Every dog found both scents gaining the bonus of an extra 10 points. I am sure this must have settled the nerves of the 4 teams new to Level 5.

The first interior search was in a smallish changing room. Everyone found the hides hidden on a cupboard door, room door, corner where one bench met another one and another hide making 4 hides found.

The hides that proved problematic for some were either the one on the bottom of a table leg or the one tucked into the corner of a plastic covered cushion placed on the end of the bench close to the door.

Two dogs failed to find the scent on the cushion. Although owners pointed to the cushion for their dogs to search the dogs unfortunately only searched one end of the cushion, where their handler had pointed. This was a scent that needed the handler to be precise about searching along the whole of the side of the cushion or at least to have the dog check both corners.

Quite a few people lost marks for their handling around the table. The majority of people pointed to just underneath the top of the table, keeping the dogs’ heads high, therefore the table was only partially searched. Possibly this is the result of doing tables/chairs in L1-4. Chris Clements was the only person who pointed low on the table directing Queeva to search all 4 legs – excellent handling.

Some dogs didn’t need the support of their owner to find the scent on the table. Kathy Killick’s Rowan found the table scent as soon as she entered the room. A few dogs picked up the scent cone of the table hide further away (between the bench & the table) & worked their way to source – just a split second before time was up – talk about suspense!

Handling marks were also lost for pulling dogs off the scent either by calling the dog or speeding away from their dogs when they were honing in on a scent.

There was some lovely handling! The teams that stood out to me were Wendy Clay with Quicy, Sarah Neath with Charlie, Annette Lesley with Disney, Sarah Wren with Tia, Chris Clements with Queeva, Yaz Whitehall with Sullivan

Congratulations to the following for finding all 5 scents: Kate Osborn & Kiwi, Kathy Killick & Rowan, Beth Alexander & Gus, Yaz Whitehall & Banjo, Sara Wren & Tia, Jill Harper & Herbie, Wendy Clay & Quincy, Annette Lesley & Disney, and Sarah Neat & Charlie.

The fastest searches were Sarah Neath & Charlie (159 seconds), Kathy Killick’s Rowan (151 seconds), Annette Lesley & Disney (151 seconds), and Jill Harper & Herbie (142 seconds).

Then it was on to the second interior search which was set up in the bar, using half of this larger room. The hides were hidden in a low keyhole on a door (early hide), in a door by the top end of the bar, in a hole at the side of a cupboard close to this door, under one of the benches, and on one of the stools in the middle. One of the hides had to be adjusted as Gypsy, the white dog, showed no recognition of the scent even with precision pointing.

Gypsy is a very fast worker but took a little longer on this search – approximately 3 minutes, whereas she would normally have completed it in half the allocated time – 5 minutes. For this reason I added an extra 30 seconds onto the search time so it was fair for slower dogs.

Virtually every dog found 4 of the scents. Nearly everyone assumed that having found the scent in the side of the cupboard there would not be another scent close by. So the door was outside the radar of, not only the dogs, but also most of the handlers. (Remember to check every part of the search area!) There were just a couple of people who directed their dogs to the door – (well done Chris Clements and Kathy Killick) but unfortunately their direction was onto one part of the door and so the dogs only checked one part of the door. This is similar to the blue cushion in the previous search. This was a hide (with a small scent cone), that needed precise direction. So the dog needed to search both sides of the door and along the bottom of the door properly. If you practise this regularly your dog will start to do it on their own.

I was beginning to think no team would find the door scent when in came Sarah Neat with Charlie. Sarah moved her dog back to the door and directed her dog to search both sides high and low and along the bottom & Charlie found the scent with ease. Beautifully handled Sarah, very well done!

So after a long day & into the evening Level 5 finally came to an end. Thank you all for your good humour and patience. And congratulations and well done to all 12 entered- you gained a well deserved qualification.

Congratulations to Kathy Killick with Rowan with who came second, Jill Harper with Herbie who came third, and Yaz Whitehall with Banjo who came third – all on 130 points so time had to be used to sort out the placings.

Finally a massive well done to Sarah Neat who came first, finding all 12 scents and losing no marks on your first try at level 5. Fantastic! Outstanding handling for a first timer.

T&C - A/FT&C - HT&C - TES - A/FES - HES - TVS - A/FVS - HVS - TB&L - A/FB&L - HB&L - TMarksTime
A/F = Alert FindH = HandlingT = Time (seconds)
Tables & ChairsExterior SearchVehicle SearchBoxes & LuggageTotals
1Jan Martin – Amber20510420545105111204.915289.9412
2Helen Kennedy – Preston1057320560204.5792053689.5248
3Lynda Stangle – Max205138204.941104.5300204.84789.2526
4Wendy Clay – Chilli104.5131204.959204.52702058188.9541
5Charlotte Jarrad – Bea1059520555205141104.912379.9414
6Melanie Goble – Rowan10512620539104.753002057879.75543
7Carole Millington – Teddy20543204.7121104.253001057278.95536
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
1Sarah Neat – Charlie1501001591501002460201001092120300150514
2Kathy Killick – Rowan05010015114000330020100601110200130541
3Jull Harper – Herbie05010014214000330020100701110200130542
4Yaz Whitehall – Banjo05010022304000330020100400110200130593
5Sara Wren – Tia050100193140003300201001201110200130643
6Wendy Clay – Quincy05010024304000.5330020100710110200.5129.5644
7Beth Alexander – Gus150100.2522204000.5330020100581110200.75129.25610
8Kate Osborn – Kiwi050100.7530024000330020100602110200.75129.25690
9Annette Leslie – Disney05010015114002330020100761110202128557
10Chris Clements – QueevaDiva1400030004000330020100501100100110680
11Jeni Pirie – Sullivan14000.2530004000.25330020100741100100.5109.5704
12Julie Thomas – Betty14000.53000300033002010096190100.599.5726

Wellingborough Rugby Club, Cut Throat Lane, Wellingborough NN29 7TZ

9.30AM – 5PM
Entry Fees: £24 per dog, Capped at 10 handlers. Only 1 dog per handler.
Contact: Marianne Tembey Tel: 07949 786255
Download entry form to book a place.