Sat 13 Aug 2022, Wichenford

Level 5: Judge - Pauline Whittaker

Wichenford Memorial Hall, Venn Lane, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YF,

Start: 9am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Bridget Francis

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Judges Report
Wichenford is my regular training venue so I had been looking forward to setting this Level 5 test and had put a lot of thought into the areas and locations of hides. I was very grateful that everyone was able to arrive early and avoid the worst of the heat. Luckily there is plenty of shade there and our Trial Manager for the day provided a gazebo and a doggy paddling pool (along with the amazing flapjacks). Thank you Bridget.
We started with the exterior search as this was going to be the warmest area as the day progressed. It was a 3.5 minute search with 3 odours along a wall, including some walk way posts and and an area which included a bench and a boxed in wooden tree base. There was a clove odour on the wall just past the corner which proved tricky for a couple of dogs, gun oil on a post which most dogs got easily and gun oil on the tree base which all the dogs found. The standout dog for this area was Tia handled by Sarita, very fast and efficient in 58 seconds and also Queen handled by Magda in 65 seconds.
Interior search 1 started at the back door and included the corridor to the toilets, the store room and a portioned off area of the committee room. There was an easy clove odour on a radiator inside the door which all dogs found, and the gun oil on the step ladder in the store room also proved to be successful for all dogs. A gunoil hide on the door frame of one of the toilet doors proved tricky for 3 of the dogs but most dogs found the clove odour on the bar door in the committee room. Very good and quick searching by Philippa and Stan and Hayley and Seb who had struggled outside but stepped up inside and Vicky and Dexter who was really consistent across all search areas with Vicky guiding him to a systematic search.
Interior 2 was in the main hall which I had divided in half and included the entrance area, the disabled toilet and a large double doored cupboard. This was a fun area to work (I hope) but for those without a plan or systematic search, it seemed to become a little disorientating. There was a gunoil hide early on the door as you passed through the entrance area – one which several teams missed as they didn’t ask their dogs to search the entrance or didn’t notice their dog knock the odour. The clove on the wheel of the trolley in the cupboard was easy for all teams apart from one who forgot they hadn’t called the find! Everyone got the gunoil on the chairs in the lobby to the toilet and the clove on the kitchen door and all but one got the gunoil on the radiator cap. Two dogs found all the hides in this area in the 5 minutes, Sage handled by Fiona was fast and efficient and it looked like they had a plan and stuck to it. Sage didn’t miss an odour on the way around the room and this lead them to a fast time of 169 seconds and meant they had found all the hides across the 3 areas, the only team to do so. I also particularly enjoyed watching Joanne and Cora both in this search where they got all 3 hides but across all the areas. Cora is partially sighted which didn’t seem to impact her ability to search but the connection to Joanne and their teamwork was delightful to see. Well done to worthy winners Sage – I know Fiona was surprised but delighted by this, second place Vicky and the fabulous Dexter, third to Joanne and Cora and fourth to Sarita and Tia. This was my first Level 5 to judge and I had so much fun with it. I plan to offer another one in the near future. Thanks as always to team PWDTS Scentwork, Bridget as TM and Charlotte as a very efficient scribe.

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