Sat 10 Jul 2021, Daglingworth

Level 7: Judge - Nigel Wilkes

Daglingworth, Cirencester, GL7 7AE

Start: 9.30 am
Entry Fees: £25.00 per dog.
Contact: Tina Schuster nigelawilkes@hotmail.com

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

It certainly had the air of Groundhog Day when I started the Judges briefing for the Level 7 at Daglingworth yesterday as 7 out of the 9 competitors had been at the trial 2 weeks ago. I was certainly hoping this trial would see some of them pass.

I showed the competitors all 3 search areas and bang on time, after running the white dog, we were off.

Interior 1 was 1/2 of the big hall, the corridor and the gents and ladies loos. Both loos had 2 scents and there was one in the corridor with the big hall empty (apart from a blank on the little table that no one alerted on). The hides were
– By the door in the corridor (gloves)
– Mens: Urinals (gun oil) and wall (gloves)
– Ladies: cubical hinge (truffle) and radiator (truffle)
A lot of the competitors had taken note from the last trial and were doing speedy searches, which was great to see. Interestingly, only Dylan who went on to win the trial found the radiator scent, which was located in a place where dogs were reversing out of the cubical and turned to exit.

Exterior was next – out in the front. There were 5 hides in the search area, with most teams calling 4:
– On the first post (gloves)
– First tree (gloves)
– Dry stone wall corner (gun oil)
– Under the pavement by the steps (truffle) and by the door (truffle)
A lot of dogs alerted on the decoy placed on the second tree and the entire search was made very difficult by the fact there was an endurance horse trial taking place, with me (and some of the competitors) being mistaken for stewards! Kudos to Neil, who made Oscar work even through this distraction and my heart went out to Karen and Jinx and Peter and Dolly, who decided that life outside search work was either too scary or too interesting!

The last search (Interior 2) had only 2 hides, and 4 teams had a chance to pass at this point. The search area was the other 1/2 of the hall. With one hide
– Escape door curtain (truffle oil)
– In the middle of the hall separator (gun oil)
I was holding my breath for Margery and Alfred to find both hides (as she needed 2 finds to pass), unfortunately, they missed by 0.25 points, which I had deducted on the exterior for “lack of systematic coverage”. 1/2 of the dogs indicated at the distraction, which was placed in a hole in the floor.

Alison, who won the trial, did an amazing job letting Dylan “do his job” and as extremely experienced handler (her late dog Peppa was the first ever dog to pass a Level 8 trial), she was able to work out how many scent would be hidden in the last search area and called it “clear”. Also well done to Dolores and Gypsy for their well deserved Level 7 Excellence Award!

Thank you everyone for making this a great day, I am getting the hang of judging Level 7 now!

Nigel Wilkes TM

It was a pleasure to put on the Level 7 trial for the second time in two weeks. All the competitors arrived early and the Judge was busy looking at hides that would challenge the teams that had entered. The briefing was done and the white dog searched the first area and the teams although nervous went into the challenge with gusto! I think we were lucky that it was not a hot day although we were suddenly confronted by some sort of horse ride going through the village, which went on most of the day. Some of the dogs took no notice at all but some were distracted by them so we stopped the watch if the handler requested, but nearly all were quite happy to carry on. All the teams performed well and our Judge Tina Schuster set a challenging but fair trial. We had a few handlers call ‘Clear’ in the searches but the only correct call was by Alison Williamson and Dylan who came first followed by Dolores Palmer and Gypsy who received there ‘Excellent’ award for Level 7. Congratulations to both of them and a huge thank you to our Judge for the day Tina Schuster.

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