Sat 12 Aug 2023, Haynes Village Hall

Levels L1 & L8: Judges - L1 Hayley Whitaker & Stacey Robinson, L8 Justine Steele

Haynes Village Hall, 25, Northwood End Road, Haynes, Bed, MK45 3QB

Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
L8 Fully booked
Contact: Katherine Miell

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Hayley Whitaker

Hayley judge L1
I had a wonderful time judging the L1 trial at Old Warden. Thanks to Katherine for her excellent trial management and Chloe for being the perfect scribe. Buddy and Heston were white dogs for the event.

There was some wonderful searching from every team which was great to see given that it was a first trial for three teams.

We started with the tables and chairs and the hide was on a chair furthest from the door. Everyone found this hide with Sherlock, handled by Joanne, setting an early lead taking just 17 seconds. It was great to see Bucky’s handler, Debbie, having the confidence not to call interest in the wrong chair and to keep going.

Next we ventured outside where the conditions were quite windy leading to a lot of distractions for some of the dogs. The hides were on the helmet and the leaf vacuum collector clasp. Hazel working Lilly led the way here taking just 17 seconds to find BOTH hides – amazing work! We were lucky enough to have two Gordon Setters in this trial, Goose and Minx, and both found this outside search challenging with lots of leaves blowing around. Their handlers did a great job to get them focused and searching as it isn’t easy with this breed as I know only too well from my own setters.

Back in the hall to the often dreaded boxes and luggage where the hides were in the large box on the left and the rucksack over towards the window on the right. All of the teams did really well here and there was some super steady searching by Sherlock as his handler Joanne became more relaxed.

We finished the day on the car search where all of the teams were successful – Lilly proving that she’s one to watch for the future by finding the hide in just 11 seconds with both Bucky and Sherlock only a second behind. Some super speedy searching!

Everyone qualified which is a reflection of the high standard on display by everyone. A huge congratulations to Hazel and Lilly for getting first place in their first ever trial and also to Angela and Minx for coming 4th in their first trial.

I look forward to seeing everyone progress as there was so much great teamwork on display.

Justine Judge L8
First and foremost, I want to apologise for the confusion regarding the 90 points, and what qualifies a competitor and what does not… Quite simply a competitor in tier 2 must find a minimum of 9 scented articles and have a total of 90 points once bonuses have been added and deductions have been taken away. I further confused everybody by saying that if bonuses were attained, feasibly people could pass with perhaps 7 or 8 finds only, this is not the case! A minimum of 9 finds must be found.
I do hope this clears that up comprehensively… so now onto the actual report…!!

Thanks to Stacey’s Revolution K9 team of Katherine & Chloe, for hosting & assisting me at the L8 Trial at Old Warden 12th August 2023.
Lovely venue with plenty of character lending itself perfectly to create interesting search areas. I enjoyed setting the test & again thanks in particular to Katherine for assisting so capably & of course the wonderful Heston for carrying out his White Dog duties effectively & efficiently.
Sadly only two teams managed to qualify today & those near misses for teams on 8 finds had me holding my breath & willing you all on to find just that one more…!
Mel & Rowan, Helen & Nellie, Helen & Preston, Vanessa & Lola, Rebecca & Marvel all missing that elusive 9th find.
Interior 1 – unknown hides known time
Main hall, including No Go Zone (NGZ)
Time – 5 minutes/4x hides.

1. CLOVE on side of wall heater box.
2. GUN OIL under chair marking boundary of front left side of NGZ.
3. TRUFFLE in key hole of door, right hand end of NGZ.
4. GUN OIL under chair marking boundary of front right side of NGZ.
* DECOY on chair stack left side of hall.

Notably in this first area, Stacey & Bella got off to a flying start finding all 4 & calling clear.
The NGZ didn’t cause too many problems, more-so maybe handlers not considering the boundary of the NGZ as potential hiding places?
Have to mention team Dolly & Pete here as the enthusiasm from Dolly was immense. Indicating so strongly on the chairs causing them to upturn.. wonderful to see this drive from Dolly & super impressed that she didn’t freak out by the bang noise caused!!

Exterior – unknown hides, unknown time
Building perimeter including 1 vehicle & open door.
Time – 3 & 1/2 minutes/5x hides.

1. GUN OIL on shed.
2. CLOVE on crack low by drainpipe.
3. CLOVE on offside front wheel.
4. TRUFFLE under plastic signage.
5. GUN OIL on corner crack on first step
* DECOY on front of shed

It never fails to surprise me, how hides we think might be tricky prove to be less so and some we think are standard appear to be more of a challenge to our dogs. I guess it goes to show that scent is so easily manipulated by the environment and conditions, by temperature and airflow from the weather & of course, our’s & our dog’s movements.
There was some impressive reversing skills by many to deal with the hide on the shed which drew dogs into the long narrow gap by the wall. Rowan for Kathy used the shed to lean on whilst backing all the way out. It was the equivalent of watching someone backstepping while holding on to and being guided home by a safety rope. What a privilege to watch that collie brain figure things out.
Jubbly managed to do an impressive U-Turn & the extraordinary skills of Rowan with Mel to knock & figure out the source was an impressive thing to see. In fact although picking up a couple of minor deductions for not quite being at source, Mel’s Rowan was incredible throughout this area as she was the only one that managed to find all 5 thus enabling an ‘all clear’ call & grabbing what could have been the most important bonus of the day…

Interior 2 – unknown hides known time
“busy” storage area comprising of two rooms
Time – 4 minutes/3x hides.

1. TRUFFLE On lower door hinge at search area entrance. Accessible either side.
2. GUN OIL on bottom of wall/floor right side & rear of area.
3. CLOVE on corner of first large plastic container in stack.
* DECOY on table trolley immediately ahead & central to start point.
Going into this final search many teams required finding 3 hides to qualify & this was certainly doable, but there were only 3 to find, thus all had to be located.
As usual dogs start to tire & the changeable but generally warm conditions also played an energy sapping part in making it tough to find these final 3. Chris & Jubbly achieved this in apparently calm style calling an ‘all clear’ & nailing a bonus.
As the judge I was perhaps best placed to see subtle signs of dogs being in odour, but of course it is always so difficult for handlers to call a definitive alert whilst carrying out that pressured blind, trial competition search.

The decoys were mostly not an issue. No wrong calls on the exterior decoy & a combined total of 4 on the interior decoys, both of which were a sticky pad. (Is this an issue with the glue??) All other wrong alerts were in different places & there was some impressive reading of your own dog’s body language to avoid some avid interest in some parts of search areas, particularly the final search in the left hand room where there was clearly something interesting going on in there from a scent point of view… Well avoided!! Especially Helen & Preston & Vanessa & Lola.

Congratulations then to 1st place Stacey & Bella achieving 110 points & 2nd place Chris & Jubbly achieving 100. Deserved prizes for you both for a job nicely done…
Thanks tho again to everyone, hope you enjoyed the challenge!
Good luck in your future trials…


Comments are closed.