Sat 04 Mar 2023, Solihull

Level 2: Judge - Karen Kendall

Solihull Lodge Community Centre, Grafton Road, B90 1NJ

Start: 9.30am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Mandy Rigby

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Solihul Level 2 – 4 March 2023

Thank you Mandy for inviting me to judge the Level 2 trial with 10 handlers and their dogs. Thank you to my scribe Lucy and runner Jane. It was a chilly morning with a light breeze but nice and dry.
Starting with the Chairs, tables and perimeter search one scent was placed on the underside of a chair on the left hand side and the other on the underside of an upturned kneeler on the right hand side of the room, in front of a fire door.
All dogs started with a clockwise search. Some were tasked to do the perimeter first and others allowed to go to the table when their dogs caught the scent plume from the chair, resulting in a quick first find. When re entering the search area after the first find all but one handler set off again in a clockwise direction, so had to work all three sides of the perimeter to reach the last article. The dogs found the scent plume but needed to work past the article from the other side to go to source. Nicola and Cara did a cracking search, finding both articles in a very quick time. Beverly and Carly, Collette and Clemmy also did very quick and accurate searches.
Then it was outside to the exterior search, with a nice easy hide on the top edge of a crate on the top edge and a more contained hide in a large log situated to the right of the start. Most dogs worked really well outside and got the finds without a problem. A couple of handlers struggled at first to believe their dogs when they alerted on the log, but got there. One dog toileted a half meter outside of the search area but up wind. This proved a distraction for one or two. Another fabulous search from Nicola and Cara in a great time. Olga and Ted also worked extremely well, and Beverly and Carly worked in a calm methodical and accurate way. Beverly reading Carlys going to source behaviour really well.
Inside for boxes and luggage. We were grateful to be able to warm up. The scented box was on the left perimeter of the search area placed a meter in front of an internal door to encourage the scent plume to disperse. The bag with scent on the handle was over the other side of the search area but amongst other items. 6 out of 10 teams found both the box and bag. A few dogs got very excited around the boxes and some mild trashing ensued. Handlers need to look at ways to manage this during searches. Collette with Clemmy and Dawn with Tilly, and Beverly with Carly did calm, accurate searches in a very quick time.
It was back outside for the final search, three vehicles. I want to commend all the handlers and their dogs as all found both scents and there was some excellent searching and cornering around the vehicles. It was Barbara and Nancy’s best search. Great work from those handlers who were able to read their dogs when they caught the scent, allowing the dogs to go to source in record times.
I really enjoyed the trial. It was wonderful to have the privilege of watching enthusiastic dogs and their kind handlers work the searches. The standard was very high indeed so well done all for your hard work. Winners, Beverly and Carly, were a dream team with Carly working freely but calmly under Beverly’s sensitive and knowledgeable handling. A well earned second for Collett, who did well with Clemmy, who wasn’t always easy to read, and Barbara and Nancy with a nice third. I was thrilled for Claire with Theon, who worked his socks off to come a well deserved fourth.
Thank you to Mandy and her great team for a well run trial. Thank you to the handlers for accepting my decisions. I look forward to seeing you again on your scentwork UK journey.
Karen Kendall

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