Sat 15th Sep 2018, Little Haywood

Pre trial & Level 1: Judge - Karen Kendal
Level 1

1st Lynda Stangle & Max :- 100
2nd Jean Tuck & Zac :- 99.75
3rd Kathy Killick & Rowan :- 99.25
4th Collette Guy & Lola :- 99.25
5th Mary Allen & Alfie :- 99.25
6th Jean Tomkinson & Neah :- 99
7th Sandra Hartwell & Archie :- 98.5
8th Chris Bennett :- 97
9th Sue Taylor & Sunny :- 80
10th Jean Tuck & Maddie :- 80
11th Elaine Prescott & Zha Zha :- 78
12th Cath Seddon & Dana :- 77.25
13th Mary Allen & Alice :- 77.25
14th Maggie Docherty & Seth :- 75.25
15th Carole Millington & Teddy :- 74.75

This was Scentwork South Staffs’ first trial so an exciting event. Both Pre-trial and Level 1 were offered; the entries for the latter came rolling in till we had full quota and only then were there enquiries about pre-trial.

There was a point where it looked like the trial wouldn’t get off the ground as I had difficulty finding a judge for this date. Luckily, Karen Kendall agreed to judge – thank you so much! Karen also brought her husband, Paul, to be scribe – and an excellent one he made making my job easy.

I decided to do most of the setting up the night before so there were only a few things left to do on the morning of the trial. After Karen and I had agreed on the best place to set up the exterior search Paul set up the fencing for this search – thank you again Paul. After the hide was set up for tables and Chairs and the white dog had been run competitors were gathered together for a briefing from both myself and the judge. Karen went over some of the rules for Level 1 and there were some humorous comments which I’m sure helped to ease nerves from those entering their first trial. And so, our first trial got off the ground!

My runner, Maurice Millington, organised competitors so there was a steady flow of dogs & owners into each of the searches. Maurice, who doesn’t do scentwork himself, did a wonderful job throughout the day. His lovely calm manner and sense of humour made competitors feel more at ease. In particular he did a brilliant job ensuring safe passage for our 3 dog reactive dogs. Thank you so much Maurice for your help! It was also lovely to see you again!

At times various people gathered together to share and compare how they had done in the searches. Everyone seemed very supportive of one another which is lovely and one of the things I really like about scentwork. The sunshine allowed people to sit out on garden chairs by their cars. There was a lovely atmosphere throughout the day – at times, almost a holiday feel. Thank you for entering South Staffs’ first trial and for being such a lovely bunch of competitors.

The day seemed to go very quickly. I spend the first part of the trial checking everything was running smoothly and that everyone was ok. We had a break for lunch and everyone seemed to congregate in the kitchen with much chatter. As the day progressed I started entering scores on the master sheet, adding them up, to save time at the end.

Karen was a very efficient judge and so the searches for those entered with one dog flowed easily and quickly into the searches for those with a second dog. The only time there was a break in searching was in the vehicle search while waiting for the scent to ‘cook’ ready for the second dogs. Karen used this time to talk to competitors and was also available to give individual feedback whilst the final scores were being added up.

The one downside of the day was the intermittent loud shooting, which had been very much in the background when I explored the possibility of using the hall for the trial. It seems the wind was in the wrong direction for our trial. There were 2 dogs who were worried by the shots. For the inside searches these owners took their dogs straight from the car into the building rather than wait in an outside queue before waiting in the foyer. This worked well for these dogs for inside searches. On the exterior search one dog was too worried to work properly and so his owner Carole withdrew him from that search – a courageous and wise action! Fortunately, the other worried dog was able to complete the exterior and find the hide. Thankfully the shooting had stopped by the last search – vehicles. I was pleased to see that both worried dogs qualified – well done Elaine with Zha Zha and Carole with Teddy!

Chis Bennett’s Santi was also affected by some passing trains which made her do a wee in exterior and cost her a placing. You handle Santi very sensitively Chris, well done.

I have now contacted the business who organised the shoots to find out when they run these so that I can avoid those days/dates in the future. Apparently, Sundays are good days which will also lessen the number of passing trains.

I only managed to watch a couple of searches. Jean Tomkinson’s Neah searched steadily and, on occasion, did a double check before indicating. Her ability to stay at the scent location has improved so much over recent months. I hear Jean Tuck held her nerve when her second dog threw in a couple of false alerts. When Maddie indicated a third time Jean made doubly sure that she had really found the scent – well done! And also, congratulations on your 2nd place with Zac.

Scentwork is based on the marks achieved for finding the scent and for handling. It is only when teams end up on the same marks that time comes into play. There were 3 people on the same marks; Kathy Killick with Rowan had the fastest time so gained 3rd place; Collette Guy with Lola had the next fastest time so gained 4th place. Commiserations to Mary Allen who just missed out on a placing with Alfie but well done on qualifying both dogs you handled. The clear winner was Lynda Stangle with Max who qualified on full marks and also gained her Level 1 Excellent Rosette – wow what a day you had! Many congratulations!

Commiserations to Chris Schwarz with Axl, who came 1st at a trial at the end of August but missed out on gaining their Level 1 Excellent rosette at South Staffs by one point. Commiserations also to those of you that didn’t qualify on this occasion. Work out why you didn’t get those other hides needed for a qualification, work on whatever needs to be worked on, work on your own confidence and you will be a stronger team for it! May you qualify at your next trial!

Finally thank you to South Staffs Competitors who managed to give me a helping hand in so many ways throughout the day – your help was/is very much appreciated! And thank you also to Ellen Ward Lindley who had been prepared to lend a helping hand. It was so supportive knowing I could call on you to help – again much appreciated.

I would like to say a big thank you to Trial Manager Dolores Palmer for inviting me to judge all 4 Level 1 searches at your inaugural trial, I thoroughly enjoyed my day with you.

We started with tables and Chairs and nearly everyone managed to get over their nerves and make the find. Chris Bennett with Santi and Kathy Killick with Rowan had really quick times of 14 seconds, with lovely searches.

We then went outside for the exterior search which was tricky in two ways: firstly, it was quite noisy with an adjacent railway and rifle range and secondly the grassy area at the back of the building had been well used by the local dog walkers. Most dogs were able to work through the distractions and make the find, several in 20 seconds or less. Fantastic search from Max the very nervous WSD, handled by Lynda. They had a lucky quiet spell for their search, but it had been noisy just before and Lynda did very well to get a quick, accurate search from Max.

Back inside for the container search (or boxes and luggage). Carole Millington with Teddy and Jean Tuck with Zac did a very stylish and quick searches to make the find in good time. Some handlers were a little too close to their dogs in this search and got in the way when dogs caught the scent and wanted to change direction.

Lastly it was the vehicle search and although the dogs were tired now most did great searches. Lynda Stangle & Max again performed an accurate, methodical search going straight to source. Fantastic searches too from Kathy Killick & Rowan, Collette Guy & Lola, Mary Allen & Alfie, Sue Taylor & Sunny among others.

Well done to all who entered the Trial and congratulations to those who passed. Congratulation’s to Lynda Stangle and Max for a well-deserved first place and gaining your Level 1 Excellence Rosette. I would like to thank all who entered for kindly accepting my decisions, and I look forward to meeting you again as you continue your Scentwork UK journey.

A/F = Alert Find H = Handling T = Time (seconds)
  Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Totals
Name of Handler & Dog A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1 Lynda Stangle & Max 20 5 38 20 5 20 20 5 14 20 5 25 100 97
2 Jean Tuck & Zac 20 4.75 45 20 5 18 20 5 13 20 5 26 99.75 102
3 Kathy Killick & Rowan 20 5 14 20 4.75 11 20 5 13 20 4.5 44 99.25 82
4 Collette Guy & Lola 20 4.75 36 20 4.75 45 20 5 29 20 4.75 34 99.25 144
5 Mary Allen & Alfie 20 4.75 61 20 5 38 20 5 45 20 4.5 48 99.25 192
6 Jean Tomkinson & Neah 20 5 20 20 4.5 78 20 4.75 55 20 4.75 44 99 197
7 Sandra Hartwell & Archie 20 5 34 20 4.25 55 20 4.75 22 20 4.5 63 98.5 174
8 Chris Bennett 20 5 14 20 2 31 20 5 15 20 5 16 97 76
9 Sue Taylor & Sunny 20 5 22 20 5 15 20 5 24 0 5 30 80 91
10 Jean Tuck & Maddie 20 5 74 20 5 19 20 5 33 0 5 39 80 165
11 Elaine Prescott & Zha Zha 20 4.5 65 20 4 174 0 4.5 22 20 5 48 78 309
12 Cath Seddon & Dana 20 4.25 36 20 5 33 20 3.5 94 0 4.5 19 77.25 182
13 Mary Allen & Alice 20 5 115 20 3 150 20 4.75 34 0 4.5 66 77.25 365
14 Maggie Docherty & Seth 20 4.75 26 20 2 47 20 4.5 22 0 4 52 75.25 147
15 Carole Millington & Teddy 20 4.75 40 0 0 0 20 5 27 20 5 28 74.75 95

Little Haywood Village Hall, Chilwell Avenue, Little Haywood, Staffordshire, ST18 0QZ

10.30am – 4.30pm
Entry Fees: £20 per dog.
Contact: Dolores Palmer 01889 586033
Download Entry Form to book a place.