Sat 20 Aug 2022, Slitting Mill

Levels 2 & 4: Judges - Mandy Rigby L2, Dolores Palmer L4

Slitting Mill Victory Hall, Slitting Mill Road, Slitting Mill, Rugeley, WS15 2UW

Start: 0915 and 1230
Entry Fees: £28 per dog.
Contact: Kate Wilkes

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Level 4
Thank you to Kate & Julie for inviting me to judge. It’s a while since I last judge level 4 and I thoroughly enjoyed watching great teams and lovely searching. Thank you also to Ceris & Anna who shared the scribing and Olga (runner), all were very efficient. Its much appreciated.
We started with exterior as it looked as if it might rain at some point. First on was Freddy who decided to give us some entertainment, as he did a lap of the perimeter at the back of the hall. However, niffy scribes and Rebecca soon had Freddy back at the start and, after settling, he did an excellent search.
I put one of the scents on an object at the front of the search and it was interesting to see which dogs took a minute or so to settle to searching whilst others searched from the beginning which meant they picked up this scent within seconds, (though some didn’t indicate till they had searched other objects). Even so the exterior searches were performed very quickly. Though some dogs succumbed to the delights of the shampoo distraction, which made a worrying start for those handlers. Really lovely searching from Kate & Tali, Julie & Jess, Linda & Flo, Debbie & Sundae, Alison & Elle, Rebecca & Pixie.
Tables & Chairs & Perimeter
Both scents were on the perimeter, (door & skirting board seams) with one distraction, (tea) on the perimeter and one, (shampoo), on a chair. Again, some of the dogs was enticed by the shampoo. Many of these searches went to the full 5 minutes with the perimeter being searched once and table & chairs over-searched. A skill to learn is knowing when an area has been searched and being able to dismiss it giving more time to search elsewhere. It was noticeable that while the table/chairs were search in both directions most handlers only searched the perimeter in one direction, starting with the right-hand side. Yet if teams had searched in both directions the dogs would have picked up the scent in the skirting board as shown by Lynne White’s Alize. Alize’s independent searching of everything on the perimeter, including blank wall, was impressive. I loved watching her work. Also lovely to watch were Julie & Jess, Kate & Tali, Rebecca & Pixie and Alison & Ellie.
Next it was outside for the wall search. 5 dogs found both scents which were situated in holes on the wall, one at the beginning of the search, one towards the end. Of the rest of the teams, half found the earlier scent and half found the later one. The dogs that ran later in the running order had the job of sorting out the plume of clove scent that had spread out to the objects on ether side causing some dogs to indicate on the drum. Experienced handlers recognised that the dog was picking up scent all over it and ignored; less experienced handlers called the alert. Something to set up in training to give your dog, & yourself, experience. The team that stood out in this search was Karen & Phoenix who was now on top form and thoroughly searched the wall.
On to boxes & containers with some teams needing both finds in order to qualify. Whilst the scent on one box was found easily by the dogs the other scented box proved problematic as the dogs needed to search the side where the scent was to find it. Five dogs found both scents. Generally speaking the dogs searched well with lovely handling by their owners.
Commiserations to Joyce, whose dog, Loki, was having an off day today. Stick at it Joyce, lots of searching in different environments, with plenty of rewards in training and at trials – high motivation and confidence can overcome those off days. And congratulations on coming 3rd on Sunday in level 4.
Well done everyone and congratulations to the 7 qualifiers.
1st Alison , (a very experienced handler) with Ellie made very worthy winners. Neither put a foot wrong, gaining full marks. I loved Ellie’s attitude to searching. I shall watch her journey through the levels with interest.
2nd was Kate & Tali, also with a clean sweep and gaining excellence. I love Tali’s snorting when she picks up scent. A lovely team to watch. Unlucky to be competing against Alison. Onwards to level 5 now.
3rd Julie & Jess I love watching this team work, both of them calm but focused. They were unlucky in not finding the last scent in boxes & containers. Very close to their excellence, one more point needed.
4th Debbie Williams & Sundae love their steady searching; it will stand you in good stead.
5th Karen & Phoenix on same marks as Debbie & Sundae. It was a pleasure to watch Phoenix search when on form; eyes sparkling as she went into the search.

Slitting Mill Victory Hall – Rugeley
SWUK Level 2 Trial – Judge’s Report
20th August 2022

Thank you to Kate for asking me to Judge her SWUK Level 2 and running such a smooth trial. Thanks also goes to her great team of helpers, Helen and Olga for scribing duties and Julie for organizing the competitors

The weather was pleasant with a steady breeze and the temperature ranged from around 16 to 21 degrees throughout the morning

Tables, Chairs and Perimeter Items
We kicked off with the tables, chairs, and perimeter items. One clove scented article was placed on the rear left corner on the furthest chair away, the left-hand side of the table and the other clove article on the underneath side of the handle of a small cylinder vacuum
Racheal Fox was the first to run with Jemima who enthusiastically found both hides in 42 seconds with superb indications on both. Rachel Williams matched this time with Finch who worked the search area methodically, notably very nice handling from both these handlers
Liz White also handled Ruby very well considering Ruby’s fear of some interior floor surfaces, unfortunately not gaining both finds but nice to see such gentle and reassuring handling enabling Ruby to feel confident enough to search on and indicate correctly on the scented chair
The search style varied from dog to dog from calm and methodical to super keen and busy, it was great to observe that all the dogs knew the job at hand and they were attentive to their handlers where necessary

Exterior Search
The exterior search took place at the rear of the hall on a slabbed area which was fenced off from the grass beyond. The clove scented articles were placed on the underside of a green plastic carry box on the rear right of the area and on the left side underside of a child’s activity table
All the teams worked this area very well with the outdoor distractions. Sue Ellis with Delphi completed a very detailed search of all the items, showing great teamwork. Hilary Parry with Coco landed on the first scented article within seconds and Hilary believed in her dog’s abilities and called the correct alert, the same can be said for Pam Lloyd and her keen worker Dylan

Boxes & Luggage
One clove scent article was placed in the lip of the lid of an upside-down shoe box on the rear right hand side and the other scent on the rear side of the handle of a pink suitcase position to the left of the search area. All handler and dog teams worked the second interior search very well. The key words that I wrote down about all the dogs within this search were keen, confident, and great! The enthusiasm from all the dogs for the activity was fabulous to watch. Ceris Wolfenden and Alfie stood out to be relaxed in their search style exhibiting natural handling skills

The final search comprised of three cars parked next to each other at the side of the building. One clove article was placed in the first car on the drivers front wheel on the left-hand side wheel. The second scent was positioned on the second vehicle on the driver’s side rear lower wheel arch just in front of the wheel. The third car was blank. There were trees above which had dropped leaves all around and a swirling light breeze. All teams had to work well for their points on this search. Anna Allan with Cassie commenced the search and worked the area well and found both finds. Joanne Pegge and Milo ran second with Milo remaining on task. A whoop of delight from Nicola James with Cara who secured their qualify on this final search with Cara working calming and methodically around this quite challenging search area

I am delighted to say all teams qualified with only a very few deductions and six clean sweep rosettes awarded

Congratulations to all the competitors and a huge well done to Rachel & Finch for achieving first place and their L2 Excellence and to Sue & Delphi for coming second place and gaining their L2 Excellence too, well deserved placings for both of these teams. Coming in third place was Ceris & Alfie and the fourth rosette place went to Joanne & Milo. Really well done

You can all be very proud of yours and your dog’s achievements, it was a joy to watch such happy search teams

Mandy Rigby (Judge L2)

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