Sat 21 Jan 2023, Cannock Wood

Levels 2 & 3: Judges - L2 Helen Hepple/Kate Wilkes, L3 Jan Martin/Julie Bytheway

Cannock Wood & Gentleshaw Village Hall, Buds Road, Cannock Wood. WS15 4NB

Start: 9am and 1215pm
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Kate Wilkes

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Thank you to all of my lovely helpers today we have a great team and without you we could not run these trials.

It was cold and icy underfoot but we managed to find some non slippy areas for exterior and no-mishaps.

Ceris took on TM duties for L2 – setting up searches and entering scores allowing me to judge two of the searches with Helen Hepple as our other judge. Ceris was also our runner so a very busy lady, and Jo and Julie scribes. Alfie was out white dog.

L3 the sun came out and although cold it was a lovely afternoon. Jan Martin and Julie Bytheway were our judges for the afternoon with Helen as my runner and Emma and Olga as scribe. Ossie was our white dog.

Thanks to Ceris for our lovely cakes :-).

Cannock Wood 21st January
I had the pleasure of judging with Helen today and did…..
It was literally a freezing start with temperatures below zero and the ground covered in frost. We were able to park two cars, in a line, in the secure fenced area of the children’s playground and had a wall section with two planters for the search. We had two start points, handlers choice, either side of the first car avoiding icy ground where possible. We also allowed reward at either end of the search area. The first soak was placed on the first car in the drivers door seam (right hand side of search area). The second was on the wall on a drain pipe – the wall was on the left hand side of the search area.
Judge and scribe stood at the back of the first car so we only had a good view of the wall and the left and right hand sides of both cars. Very few of the handlers noted this and spent time searching the rear and front of the cars which we couldn’t see. Also several handlers found the first soak on the left hand side of the first car and then proceeded to search the right hand side of the same car when re-entering the search area. Remember to read the rules – L2 will be on either car or the wall but never two on the same car or both on the wall.
Competitors did use the reward areas and entry points really well to maximise their time. Liz and Ruby were superb, Ruby doesn’t like hall floors and it was lovely to see her working to her full confident potential outside and notching up the fastest time for this search. Despite lots of environmental distractions, birds and possibly mice under the planters (several dogs found this very interesting) eleven out of twelve competitors found both soakes.
Table Chairs and Perimeter
Table and chairs we laid out in traditional design with the soak on the rear of a chair on the right hand side. Articles around the perimeter included two Body Shop advent calendar boxes with 3 tiers of draws and an open lid, two chair trolleys, plastic pet beds, plastic boxes with holes and a fabric agility tunnel rolled up.
One soak was placed on the bottom draw of one of the Advent boxes on the left of the perimeter. Radiators were on and excluded and the perimeter, of the very large hall, was reduced using a line of chairs which were not included as articles. Two reward areas were allowed at the rear of the hall and at the front.
All competitors worked the chairs and perimeter well and very few strayed outside of the search area. Table and chairs was no problem – something familiar from L1. The perimeter took a little longer for some of the dogs who were struggling to search the lower drawer of the box and many went around the perimeter and over the top of the box without finding the scent. The 1st-3rd placed dogs had no problem with this one scoring the fastest times- Nikki and Cara, Jan and Onyx and Emma and Jess. The handling was superb by all with no handling marks lost. Some dogs and handlers were just getting a little impatient and some false indications started to arise when dogs were becoming frustrated and/or handlers started to task dogs to ‘check’ items. Take your time lots of your had loads of time left – Anna and Cassie took it to the wire and worked hard until the 301 second – just missing out on a raised hand as time was called but full marks for careful, methodical persistence.
Fabulous handling today and everyone came away with all of their handling marks for the two searches I judged. Some great team work too and lots of handlers trying different things which is just the right thing to do at these levels. Just a reminder to please read the rules and remember which sport you are competing in – no need to call areas clear in this game and if you do you can go back and search an area again .

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