Sat 19 Nov 2022, West Buckland

Levels 3 & 5: Judges - L3 Denise Pile - L5 Debra Cassidy

West Buckland Village Hall, Silver St, TA21 9NA

Start: Level 3 10 am, Level 5 1pm
Entry Fees: £25.00 per dog.
Contact: Pat Somerset

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Judges Report Level 5
Thank you Pat for inviting me to judge the level 5 at West Buckland, also many thanks to my wonderful scribe Rachel. The weather was kind although it got a bit chilly later on.

The first interior search, the large hall was very much a blank canvas, but as heating had been on I waa unable to use radiators and piping so I added some items chairs, hoover and used existing other perimeter items. It was a large area and 5 soaks were hidden with 4 and a half minutes allowed for the search. . To the left of the cones as teams entered the rooms was a unit where chairs were stacked, hide 1 (clove) was under the wheel rim. Hide 2 (clove) was on the front middle of the brown chairs which I had placed back to back; this was in the middle of the hall. Hide 3 (gun oil) was on the top of the bottom hinge of the double doors on the left of the hall. Hide 4 (gun) was hidden under the handle on the top of the Henry hoover at the right rear of the hall and hide 5 (clove) on the rear fire exit doors on the black bolt mechanism.

This area was challenging for teams as Henry Hoover was close to the fire exit but within permitted distance as prescribed by guidelines.

The exterior search was in an enclosed area with the building on two sides and wooden fencing on the other two sides. There were 4 hides and the time allowed was 3 and a half minutes. There were distractions as members of the public were walking around the field but teams were so focused this was not a problem. In this area I wanted to vary the heights of hides. Hide 1 (gun oil) was on the that the teams entered through, hide 2 (clove) was approx 6 inches from floor on wooden post behind concrete pillar, hide 3 (gun oil) was on the upright bolt mechanism in the middle of the five bar gate, the dogs had to work to source for this one. Hide 4 (gun oil) was on the silver handle on the side of the green tank. This hide was approx 50cm on the upper section of the handle. Teams were picking up odour at the bottom and dogs tracked back to source.

Interior 2 was a section of the hall’s corridor; there were at least 4 doors to search, a small shelf object and a toilet. There were 3 hides to find in 2 minutes . Hide 1 (clove) was on the bottom shelf of the small shelf unit, hide 2 (clove) was on the large hinge of the closed toilet door and hide 3 (gun oil) was on the bottom of the door stop holding the outer toilet door open.

I tried to ensure searches involved an element of the dogs having to problem solve and it was a joy to watch dogs tracking back to sources, they work hard for us to do this. It was a joy to watch the dogs having fun, I think Molly was in “Strictly mode” when she was dancing around the hall.

Well done to all teams I would hope you took away something from the searches as every trail and environment is different and it is all a learning curve. Remember you all took the best dog home .

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