Sat 6th Apr 2019, Erdington

Levels 1 & 3: Judges - Dolores Palmer & Harold Latusek
Level 1

1 Lynda Stangle – Magic – 100
2 Sonia Pidhajeckyj – Ruby – 100
3 Rob Warman – Bella – 100
4 Helen Hepple – Marcus – 100
5 Penny Harris – Chance – 99.8
6 Jess Martin – Ruby – 99.65
7 Lisa Finney – Brew – 99.5
8 Jane Page – Dinah – 99.4
9 Jennie Gibson – Nelson – 99
10 Anne Johnson – Ellie – 98.75

Level 3

1 Jan Martin – Mattie – 99.8
2 Carole Millington – Teddy – 90
3 Elizabeth Beaumont – Cash – 89.9
4 Sarah Melling – Ash – 89.8
5 Keith Clowes – Monty – 89.75
6 Felicity Ashford – Mr Smiths – 89.55
7 Lorraine Coley – Chester – 89
8 Colette Guy – Lola – 88.75

Erdington URC has some fantastic features, but also some tricky ones. The warm waiting room that dogs are welcome in is definitely part of the charm, but an external search area with roads on two sides of it, and being directly under a flight path does not make this an easy venue for dogs. That said, everyone seemed to make the best of it.

A trial is only as good as the kind people who muck in and help out, and I was fortunate enough to have not just an amazing crew of scribes and runners, but also some really kind competitors who got stuck in.

The judges for the day were Dolores Palmer and Harry Latusek who did a fantastic job, with Dolores’ Gypsy being our white dog and assisted by the morning scribes, Barbara O’Brien and Sue Kirkham. Liz Beaumont was our morning runner which is no mean feet when you have no memory for people’s names and need to make sure certain dogs are kept apart.

Our level 1 winner was Lynda Stangle with Magic and Sonia Pidhajeckyj with Ruby came second. A double congratulations to Lynda and Magic who also earned their excellence rosette. Everyone who qualified managed a clean sweep, and I was very glad I’d put a big order in of clean sweep rosettes!

After a very relaxed lunch of sandwiches kindly made by Brenda Ward (our tea lady for the day) we set up for level 3 just as the contestants were beginning to arrive.

In the afternoon Lisa Finney and Jane Page took over scribing duties, and Penny Harris was our very well organised runner.

The level 3 winning team was Jan Martin with Mattie, and 2nd place was Carole Millington with Teddy.

Thank you to everyone who came along. I hope you enjoyed yourselves, and hopefully we’ll see you again soon at another trial.

Happy sniffing.


Dolores Palmer

Thank you to Ellen for asking me to judge alongside Harry Latusek, and lovely to see you again Harry! Level 1 ran in the morning. At this time the weather was cold so we agreed to keep swapping inside and exterior searches. I judged table/chairs and exterior. The standard of work was very high with every dog finding the scent and most handlers gaining 5 handling points – there was some interesting handling of dogs. Sonia Pidhajeckyj talked to her dog throughout the whole search – normally I don’t like this because it interferes with the dog but; in this case Sonia kept Ruby on task, bringing her attention away from the distracting floor. Jess Martin had a little routine she used whenever her dog sniffed the floor, supporting it to re-focus on the scent. Jane Page & Dinah handled her dog very sensitively keeping attention at the start line by feeding titbits and Rob Warman worked Bella off the lead with much confidence. However the team that stood out way above everyone was Linda Stangle & Magic. Magic, off lead, was very systematic in searching the chairs finding the scent quickly (20 seconds) and Linda’s handling was just the right balance of support. There was a couple of other very quick searches: Penny Harris’ Chance found the scent in 19 seconds and Linda Finney’s Brew in 11 seconds.

Then it was outside to judge the exterior. Lucky me – the weather was warming up! Most dogs found the scent, some so fast it was hard to judge the handling. Penny Harris’ Chance found the scent in 8 seconds and Linda Stangle’s magic in only 6 seconds – very impressive. Having judged Helen Hepple with Marcus before I was very impressed with how they have developed into a great team. Some dogs found working outside harder as there was some pedistrians walking close to the search area plus the area has roads on 2 sides with quite a lot of traffic. It is harder for dogs who are very environmentally aware. Additionally there is a flight path which goes over it – though most planes seemed to fly over during the dinner break – one seemed to just miss a nearby tree whislt Gypsy was performing her white dog duties on the exterior search – it certainly gave her a surprise!

When sharing the judging it is always a mystery as to who gets placed. However I wasn’t surprised that Linda Stangle with Magic came first; also gaining her Excellence rossette. Well done! Unusually all the placings must have been worked out on time as all 4 teams gained full marks. Brilliant! Congratulations to Sonia Pidhajeckyj & Ruby, Rob warman & Bella, and Helen Hepple with Marcus.

Level 3

After a yummy chicken sandwich (thank you Brenda) it was time to judge Level 3 – boxes and suitcases. Seven dogs found the two scents and 3 dogs found one scent and false alerted for the second call. Again there was some lovely handling of dogs both on and off line. A couple of handlers had the end of their line dangling, often in front of their dogs’ faces. Just a bit more care at the start line to gather the line in coils would have prevented that.

Last was the vehicle search. Observing the vehicle search is quite tricky beyond level 1. With 3 vehicles it is necessary to follow the dogs round quite quickly; however some dogs are put off by this either because they easily get worried or because they are very environmentally aware so lose focus. It is a delicate balance positioning oneself in a way that allows the dogs to search to the best of their ability whilst still watching all the search. Mattie was obviously affected by the environment but Jan Martin handled him so well, managing to distract him away from the environment and back onto the cars.

The dogs searched all round the vehicles really well. Sarah Melling’s Ash found both scents in 47 seconds and two other dogs only took over a minute to find the scents. The scent hidden under the liscence plate was found easily by all the dogs. The surprise was how many dogs missed the scent hidden in the door seam on numerous passes. Dogs searching both ways showed no response as they search along & past the door seam. In spite of this 7 out of the 10 dogs eventually found it. The dog who worked the longest was Carole Millington’s Teddy who worked his socks off searching and searching (3 minutes 30 seconds) until eventually he indicated on the door seam on the fouth pass. I was very impressed by his focus and perserverence.

Congratulations to all qualifiers, that car search proved tricky for quite a few dogs.

Many Congratulations to the winner Jan Martin with Mattie, you hardly dropped a mark – very well done! Congratulations also to Carole with Teddy, Elizabeth Beaumont with Cash, and Sarah Melling with Ash – a high standard of work. Well done to all the qualifiers. I look forward to watching your progress in the future.

Finally thank you to my very efficient scribes – Sue in the morning plus Jane and Lisa in the afternoon. It was lovely to meet you & enjoy your company.

Harold Latusek

Firstly, let me say it was a pleasure, judging levels 1 and 3 at Erdington,on Sat,6th of April with my fellow judge, Dolores Palmer. A big Thank you to my 3 scribes on the day, Barbara, Jane and Lisa.

As the judging was shared, I was tasked with the vehicle and boxes and luggage search in level 1. I couldn’t have asked for a more friendly bunch, with all the teams, excepting 2, correctly identifying the scent on the vehicle, which was hidden in the rear passenger side wheel. Despite this, the standard of handling was very high. I then moved onto the boxes and luggage search, this continued in the same vein with all teams working in harmony. Some very good quick find with Pennie and Chance finding the hidden scent in under 7 seconds. Well done to all of you, especially the eventual 4 rosette winners, in achieving the maximum score of 100.A first place and excellence Rosette going to,Lynda Strangle and Magic,all first four placings being decided on time.

Following a short break,we moved on to level 3,in which I judged the exterior and tables/chairs and perimeter searches. The exterior search proved a little tricky for some of the dogs, with added distractions from passing vehicles and pedestrians. It was quite breezy and gusty at times and the odd plane landing at nearby Birmingham airport. Despite this most teams coped really well. With Sarah/Ash,Keith/Monty,Carole/Teddy,Collette/Guy and Felicity and Mr Smiths going forward to achieve full marks. Moving onto the tables/chairs and perimeter search this proved quite difficult for some of the teams in finding the gun oil scent which was hidden in a door seam. Although a couple of the dogs correctly identified the scent the handlers failed to call it, believing, that the hide had to be in one of the articles, placed around the perimeter. A couple of others were very hesitant, but trusting their dogs called,and were duly rewarded with the find. Some excellent handling, patience and perseverance won the day for those that were successful in finding both scents. Good methodical searching by Lorraine and Chester and perseverance by Jan and Mattie saw them through. Lovely teams, and I look forward to meeting up with some, if not all, in the future.

T&C - A/FT&C - HT&C - TES - A/FES - HES - TVS - A/FVS - HVS - TB&L - A/FB&L - HB&L - TMarksTime
A/F = Alert FindH = HandlingT = Time (seconds)
Tables & ChairsExterior SearchVehicle SearchBoxes & LuggageTotals
1Lynda Stangle – Magic205202056205212053010077
2Sonia Pidhajeckyj – Ruby20547205122052820531100118
3Rob Warman – Bella20523205292053820531100121
4Helen Hepple – Marcus20527205262055520535100143
5Penny Harris – Chance205192058204.870205699.8103
6Jess Martin – Ruby20549204.7531204.9362053599.65151
7Lisa Finney – Brew2051120525204.5332053499.5103
8Jane Page – Dinah2053720526204.570204.911499.4247
9Jennie Gibson – Nelson20411420521205552051999209
10Anne Johnson – Ellie204.567204.756320512204.511898.75260
Level 3
1Jan Martin – Mattie205183204.8862051692054099.8478
2Carole Millington – Teddy205111205412052101054790409
3Elizabeth Beaumont – Cash20590104.994205732055689.9313
4Sarah Melling – Ash104.84720571205472053189.8196
5Keith Clowes – Monty1057820522204.75952054389.75238
6Felicity Ashford – Mr Smiths104.810620591205128204.752989.55354
7Lorraine Coley – Chester205126204.75167204.5153104.7511589561
8Colette Guy – Lola20565205146104.751892047188.75471

Erdington URC Church, Holly Lane, Erdington, Birmingham, B24 9JS.

Level 1 – 9.30am, Level 3 – 1.30pm
Entry Fees: £22 per dog, only one dog per handler per level.
Contact: Ellen Lindley,
Download Entry Form to book a place. Anyone wanting to submit by post needs to call first so I can reserve the slot in my online booking system.
Online entries are available Level 1, Level 3 Now fully booked.