Sat 24th Aug 2019, Daglingworth

Level 7: Judge - Karen Denton

1 Christine Gregory – Dilly – 129.75
2 Julia Edwards – Jade – 109.75
3 Alison Williamson – Peppa – 99.75
4 Tina Schuster – Timon – 99.25

It was going to be a very hot day for the teams on the Level 7 trial and I got to the venue early so that I could set up the hall prior to the arrival of the teams. However, my Judge for the day Karen Denton arrived and so we first of all discussed which rooms were going to be used and the area for the exterior search. My two helpers Helen and Lorraine arrived and Karen explained everything to them.

I then set up the paddling pool to keep the dogs cool and put tape around the Exterior search area as this was going to be the first search area because of the heat.

We were ready to start and I watched from a distance as the teams came and went and I really felt for them as I know what it’s like not to be able to discuss how your part of the trial went, but they all appeared to coping well and at the start they were in the sun, but towards the end I notices even the hardy ones had moved to the shaded area of the car park.

For the last search I took over as the scribe as Helen could only stay for part of the search. This was even more frightening for me as each team came in and I was hoping that they would find the hidden scents!

At the end of the trial 4 out of 10 teams qualified with first place going to Christine Gregory and Dilly.

I would like to thank Karen for doing a wonderful job in judging and also a special thank you to Helen and Lorraine who worked so hard to make the trial a success.

Another mini heat wave greeted our Level 7 competitors at Nigel’s Daglingworth Trial. There were 10 dog/handler teams, some trialling at this level for the first time and others having another go at it, either to qualify or work towards the Excellent title.

My scribe for the first two searches was Helen and for the third search was Nigel. The scribes were checking off the alerts, correct and false, and they all correlated with my notes as we progressed and finally finished. One or two handlers were dodging an elimination on 3 false alerts by the end and, unfortunately, one was eliminated with four false alerts.

Level 7 is a big step up from Level 6 where the competitors are told how many hides and what the time allowed is. In Level 7 this is not the case and you can easily lose track of time. It takes courage to declare an ‘all clear’ because the search stops there if you’re wrong. The question then is: is it better to work until ‘time’ is called or risk not finding them all? Not easy, especially in the first Level 7 you enter.

I started with the Exterior search as it was forecast 25 degrees or more for the afternoon. I chose the gravelled area at the front of the hall where there were 4 hides. The decoy hide was in the tree and it foxed one or two of the dogs and the handlers called wrongly. Most worked this area methodically and three handlers ‘declared’ all winning the extra 10 bonus points. One or two handlers didn’t ask their dogs to investigate further when they noticed a change of behaviour, instead, I think, making a mental note to return to the area but in L7 there sometimes isn’t time to return so I would always suggest investigating that recognition of odour before moving on.

Interior Search 1 was in the main hall and I only put three hides out there. There is sometimes an assumption that a big area will have a lot of hides which is not always the case and I saw many handlers spending too long on long blank walls having their dogs going up and down when their dog was clearly not getting any odour. I’d also told people that they could move anything so some wasted time unnecessarily moving tables when their dog would have told them if there was anything behind. Many handlers worked too slowly and ran out of time and nobody declared an ‘all clear’ in this area although four competitors did get them all. I would suggest a quicker whizz round to see if the dog picked anything up and then a more methodical search if the handler feels it necessary.

Interior Search 2 was in the bar where there were 5 hides. One team found them all and ‘declared’ here. The room was fairly crowded and looked daunting but the white dog did it blind and managed it in less than three minutes so I thought the five minutes allowed was quite adequate. Handlers must watch their dogs’ heads. I saw some instances where the handler was thinking ahead about where to search, often with the dog behind them, and they didn’t notice their dog on their way to another find which they then pulled them off! There were also some cases of leads or lines getting tangled around the dog and one or two folk need to get their dogs’ heads up to find the higher hides.

One or two dogs seemed somewhat affected by the heat but most handlers and dogs did some very good detection work. I found the Trial a most enjoyable way to spend a sunny day and I hope those who didn’t qualify on this occasion give it another bash. The more you do, the less scary it becomes!

Congratulations to Chris & Dilly on 1st place. Dilly really knows her job and did better when Chris stopped micro managing her! Chris held it together on the last search and made a very good decision! Well done Chris!

2nd place was taken by Julia & Jade. Julia also eventually decided that Jade could just get on with it on her own terms and she did! Julia always looks like she’s having fun and Jade felt that too. Congratulations team Jade.

3rd place was taken by Alison & Peppa. I think Alison enjoyed this and especially the final search where they were the only team to get them all and win the bonus by ‘declaring’ correctly. Well done!

The 4th place rosette was taken by Tina & Timon. Tina handled this big lad calmly and effectively and he responded with some good detection work. Congratulations!

These were our only four qualifiers in this Trial and I’m delighted we were able to award all four rosettes. Thank you everyone for entering and I hope you enjoyed the experience.

Many thanks Nigel for inviting me to judge your L7 Trial and scribing the third search. Also thank you to Helen for scribing the first two searches. I don’t think you were expecting the job when you arrived but you did it well!

Karen Denton

WA = Wrong Alerts ( 4 = elimination )P = Points (articles found X 10)
B = Bonus (10 if all items found)D = DeductionsT = time (seconds)
Interior Search 1Interior Search 2Exterior SearchTotals
No of itemsTime allowedNo of itemsTime allowedNo of itemsTime allowedP+B-D = Points + Bonus - Deductions
1Christine Gregory – Dilly230100.2516014000149040100863110200.25129.75395
2Julia Edwards – Jade12000.25180040001310401002021100100.25109.75513
3Alison Williamson – Peppa01000.2518025010018603000212290100.2599.75578
4Tina Schuster – Timon01000.2518014000145140100.5106290100.7599.25431

Daglingworth Village Hall, Cirencester, GL7 7AE

Start 9:00am
Entry Fees: £22 per dog. Capped at 15 entries
Contact: Nigel Wilkes 07974 918180
Download Entry Form to book a place. Fully booked