Sat 02 Apr 2022, Perranwell Station

Level 2 & 4: Judges - Debra Cassidy L4 & Sara Seymour L2

Perranwell Centre, School Hill, Perranwell Station TR3 7JU

Start: 9.30 am L4 / 1.00 pm L2 estimate
Entry Fees: £26.00 per dog.
Contact: Jackie Lawer

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Firstly, big thanks to Jackie for asking me to judge, Serena and Elissa for scribing and Terry for keeping everyone in order. It’s always good to be well looked after as a judge.

The L2 started with the tables and chairs search. There were a few items around the perimeter, and I chose to put the hide in a folded up tunnel. This was to the right hand side as the teams started their search. The chair hide was at the front of the seat on a chair on the opposite side of the room. I ensured there was a big gap between the chairs to allow dogs to be able to get to it, although many came from under the table instead. All but one team found both hides, with the one missing out calling the find on the wrong chair. A couple of dogs indicated on the wrong side of the chair – fine for L2, but something to be aware of when preparing for L3.

Next up was the exterior search. This had been set in advance, and we’d had a bit of rain in the meantime. I’m not sure if this contributed to the issues teams had, but only two teams found both hides. There were false calls on a variety of different items. The first hide was tucked into a pair of wellies directly in front of the teams as they entered the search, with the second being on an upturned wire crate off to the left hand side – the dogs had to search carefully to source that one. This gave the dogs a chance to find lower and higher hides.

Back inside for search three – containers and bags. The first hide was in a square box towards the start of the search area. It was tightly tucked into a seam at the top on the side away from the start. This meant that dogs that just sniffed the side on approach didn’t always pick up on the odour. Coming back from the other direction they picked it up easily, and all found source. It’s worth observing whether your dog has searched all of an item. The second hide was in the handle attachment of a small tartan cloth bag at the far end of the search. Some lovely head snaps from a few dogs as they passed over that one. All of the teams found both hides in this search.

The final search was two vehicles and a short section of wall. There was a bench along the start of the wall. The hide was placed under a concrete collar around a drain pipe towards the end of the wall. The dogs could pick odour up from either inside or outside the collar. Some struggled a little to then source it, but all that found it were well within six inches. The vehicle hide was under the end of a step plate at the back of a van. One false indication a little further away, but otherwise all the dogs found this one well.

Well done to all the teams that qualified, and in particular to first and second who also gained their Excellents – Jenna and Bonnie and Beccy and Pike (my eardrums have just about recovered!)

Level 4 Report
Thank you Jackie for asking me to judge the level 4 trial today at Perranwell Station, as always it is a pleasure to judge for an organised trial manager and happy band of helpers (thanks to my scribes, Lisa and Becky – without your help we could not run these trials).

I don’t know who was more nervous, the competitors or myself as this was my first appointment at level 4. There were 5 teams today with 2 of them working NFC.

I had thought long and hard about exterior items as with quite a few trials recently my supply was dwindling, but my garden broom and strimmer both broke the week before and I am always amazed at what I can find in the garage. (Scent fairies I sure go in and replenish).

The distraction scents: coffee and vanilla.

Tables, Chairs and Perimeter: The gun oil soak was hidden at the bottom of the rigid room divide, on the left by the middle pillar as teams entered. The clove soak was on the front of the table at the rear of the area. There was one distraction scent (coffee) which was on the front of the chair at the front table. One dog indicated on this hide, it was a super indication.

Exterior Search: Outside conditions were wind free and dry. Both distraction scents were used in this search, the vanilla on the camping stove to the right of the area as teams entered, the coffee on the recess of the handle of an old mop, towards the rear of the area one dog alerted on this). The gun oil was in a recess of the strimmer handle and the clove on the childs’ seat. Teams ignore the hanging bakers that had some soil residue. Most teams worked this area on lead.

Containers and Luggage: The majority of teams worked off lead , with the dogs extremely focused in their searching with minimum input from handlers. Again both distraction scents were included one on a flat black bag (vanilla) and one on a holey box (coffee). One dog alerted on the coffee, but a super indication). The clove was hidden in a laptop bag to to the rear of the search area, and the gun oil at the front of the area within a couple of steps of teams entering the area. There was one wrong alert.

Vehicle Search: This had to be moved due to the extreme distraction of a football party with footballers running back and to, and copious amounts of party food. However competitors were great and with some car shuffling there were 3 vehicles to search parked near a grass and hedged area. Teams worked with dogs on leads.

There was some wind and the environment was certainly challenging as all vehicles then had to be parked close to each. This meant I had to do a bit of running around but the handlers worked hard to keep dogs focused on vehicles, in a calm manner. Both hides were on the same car ( small silver one).

The gun oil was hidden at the base of the Suzuki S, the clove was hidden on the ledge at the rear of the same car, above the number 5 on the number plate. The majority of teams were aware that hides could be on the same vehicle and continue to search after the first hide was found. One team alerted on a wheel of the middle vehicle.

Two teams got their excellent awards, well done to Sara and Ripley and Serena and Bertie.

A big thank you to Debra Cassidy and Sara Seymour for judging Level 4 and 2 for us today . They both set interesting searches and we had the added distractions of many excited, noisy young children enjoying a birthday party on the playing field outside the hall during the Level 4 search only to be followed by a very speedy – and only a fraction quieter – ride on mower racing around the field after they had dispersed! The weather was quite kind though and we only had a few drops of rain amongst the remainder of a bright but rather chilly day. There seemed to be quite a congregation around the radiators following the afternoon search! All the teams seemed to cope admirably with the disturbances. It was lovely to see so many smiling faces despite all the challenges today.
Many thanks to my merry band of helpers as well – especially today as I was slightly incapacitated following minor surgery last week.

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