Sat 24th Feb 2018, Deddington

Level 1, Judges: Susan Benson & Track Alker
Level 1

1st – Claire Organ with Bobby
2nd – Becky Bignell with Bonnie
3rd – Christina Phillips with Daisy
4th – Becky Bignell with Millie

This was my first go at running a Scentwork trial. I had to do quite a bit of juggling around, as I had one competitor with 2 dogs and a last minute entry with a different scent, which was gun oil (I hadn’t realised they were on a different scent before I agreed to take an extra entry on – yikes!). This was going to prove a challenge in the timescale, so Tracey Alker very kindly offered to be the second judge, to keep things running smoothly. After our initial discussion with the judges on how to work out the order of tests to ensure the switch for the second dog and the other scent went smoothly, the trial started promptly and I was very pleased to say that both judges kept things running calmly and smoothly throughout, allowing us to finish just in time. Susan Benson judged the Table and Chairs & Boxes and Luggage inside with her scribe Lesley Mack. Tracey Alker very kindly took the challenge of judging outside the Exterior and Vehicle Searches with Phil Bruton as her scribe.

The weather was kind to us, as it was a lovely sunny day, albeit a bit chilly! Being a Saturday, it was a busy environment for the dogs, but they coped well and were focused on the task at hand. Great achievement to be able to focus so well for their level 1.

We all stopped half-way through to warm up with some cake and hot drinks. All dogs worked well and I was told that the competitors were handling their dogs very empathetically and kindly, which brought much joy to my heart. I personally didn’t see any competitors do their searches, so as to not put them off. All bar one qualified, but everyone (including the dogs) seemed to enjoy the day, which is what it is all about.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Tracey Alker, Susan Benson, Lesley Mack and Phil Bruton for all their help and for keeping things running so smoothly and timely on my first trial.

Susan Benson

I was delighted to be asked by Patti to judge at her Level 1 trial today.

The weather was gorgeous, even though it was cold. I pulled the lucky straw and judged Inside. We started with tables and chairs and there were some lovely searches.

Everyone found the scent, although it took some longer as their dogs thought they would have a search around the hall. After a quiet word, their next
searches were so much better. I love to see all these new teams working together. Congratulations for all the good work and I look forward to seeing you progress through the levels.

A very well organised and run trial and thankyou to Lesley Mack, my great scribe.

Tracy Alker

I stepped in to share the judging at short notice today to keep things moving along, as we realised having two scents and an owner with two dogs could keep people hanging around a while. So with a quick recap of the rules, we were off. Patty our trials manager had worked out when the scents needed to be set out to keep things moving as quickly as possible. The recreation area was very busy with it being a Saturday so we managed to section off 2 outside areas and I ended up judging these. We started with the vehicle search. The dogs all worked very well, especially the ones who were keen on tennis balls as we were right next to the tennis courts and there were balls flying everywhere behind a fence. In fact, during one search, a dog had just placed his nose on the scent when a ball hit the fence right behind the handler. This had no impact at all, as amazingly, the dog just stayed in position indicating the find! Very impressive for a level 1 search. Things were going so well after the vehicle search that my scribe Phil and I were invited inside for a welcome warm up and a hot drink. During this time our exterior search was disrupted by footballers turning up and moving objects to park their cars. Well, Patty soon jumped in and told them who was boss! They promptly left the area and I reset the search ready to start. It was very windy in this area now but the sun was shining brightly.  Most of the dogs found the scent with no problem but we did have a couple of wrong alerts on different items. It was then time to go back indoors for the results and presentation. I wonder if there is a record for the fastest team to complete all 4 searches with top marks? I think our 1st place winner today has a very good chance of being a candidate for this.  Claire with her black lab Bobbie completed all 4 searches in a total time of 32 seconds! Fantastic searching.

It was a lovely afternoon with very helpful people, especially my scribe Phil, who had never been to a SWUK Trial before but just picked things up naturally leaving me to concentrate on the teams searching. Well done everybody – I hope to see you all at another event.

A/F = Alert Find H = Handling T = Time (seconds)
  Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Totals
Handler & Dog A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1 Claire Organ – Bobbie 20 5 6 20 5 5 20 5 14 20 5 7 100 32
2 Becky Bignall – Bonnie 20 5 12 20 5 12 20 5 23 20 5 8 100 55
3 Christina Phillips – Daisy 20 5 19 20 4.75 56 20 4.75 13 20 5 23 99.5 111
4 Becky Bignall – Millie 20 5 8 20 4.75 21 20 5 20 20 4.5 55 99.25 104
5 Lorraine Coley – Chester 20 4.5 51 20 5 28 20 4.75 59 20 5 28 99.25 166
6 Tracey Lines – Ruby 20 4.5 26 20 5 30 20 5 29 20 4.5 17 99 102
7 Pam Ascott – Hook 20 4.5 27 20 4.75 46 20 5 34 20 4.75 77 99 184
8 Sue Kirkham – Tilly 20 5 13 20 5 10 0 5 28 20 5 10 80 61
9 Beverley Buckner – Teddy 20 3 143 0 4.75 71 20 4.5 78 20 5 35 77.25 327