Sat 6th Jul 2019, Erdington

Level 7: Judge - Heather Donnelly

1 Ali Brannen – Chase – 110
2 Chris Gregory – Dilly – 99.75
3 Karen Denton – Zelda – 90

Hosting my first Level 7 trial was more nerve wracking than I realised, but there really nothing to worry about (for me, anyway) as once again I had the support of extremely capable helpers and the pleasure of delightful competitors.

Considering the extreme heat we’ve had recently, I think we were all grateful for some cloud cover, though the rain during the external search was a little less welcome.

Heather Donnelly very kindly agreed to not only let me host the event, but also offered to judge it. The hides were tough, but you expect no less at this level, and Heather really made the competitors work hard.

Janet Wykes brought her dog, Jess along to act as white dog and was no doubt booting herself for not entering given Jess’s performance. Janet was also a fantastic scribe and cleaner-upper at the end of the trial!

Thanks also to Dolores Palmer who stepped in as runner at the last minute, and for helping with the washing up.

Congratulations to Ali with Chase for a well deserved win.

I look forward to hosting you all again, at whatever level you are at.


A big thank you to Ellen for running this L7 trial in her usual calm and relaxed manner which creates such a nice relaxing environment for everyone. Also thank you to Janet Wykes for not only being a super scribe but also for running Jess as the ‘white dog’ for all three searches. Dolores, although came to watch, ended up doing running duties and generally got stuck in as she normally does. These people really are the back bone SWUK and they are much appreciated.

I set a pretty tough L7 test and make no apologies for it; However most teams rose to the challenge and if they were quite on form on the day unfortunately they didn’t make it.

Just a few overall comments, I found handlers still reluctant to call an alert when they had their suspicions about a ‘Find’; there is no penalty for calling three ‘False Alerts’. Also some handlers seemed to be affected by where myself and my scribe were standing and sometimes these areas were under searched sometimes to the handlers cost.

1st Ali Brannen & Chase – I thought that this team went out and ‘attacked’ the search areas with great mission and purpose. Ali seems to have found the correct balance of knowing when to allow Chase to free search and when to apply guided and precision handling. A well deserved win and the only one to find all 4 in the ‘Exterior search’ and call the ‘All Clear’.

2nd Chris Gregory – Dilly – Again a good pairing and I liked Chris’s no pressure approach being supportive and pleased with all of Dilly’s efforts. A very impressive interior (2) search where Chris had to ‘pull out all the stops’ to locate all the 4 scented articles and call the ‘All Clear’ which they did. Well deserved.

3rd Karen Denton & Zelda – Always an exciting team to watch. Karen is so persistent when she thinks Zelda hasn’t thoroughly searched an area that she has requested and if you get a chance to watch this team you will earn a lot. Not surprised that this team qualified and would have achieved a higher place, just unlucky with a couple of ‘Finds’ really.

4th Sue Gardner & Lily – A first attempt at L7 for this team and certainly gave it a good go and just missed out on a qualification. Spent abit too long on investigating an area where there was a decoy; ‘calling it’ even though it was incorrect would have saved time. Also seemed a bit aware of where myself and my scribe were positioned which proved to be costly, these are only minor details though. Well done.

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
1Ali Brannen – Chase300024030002402401001852100100110665
2Chris Gregory – Dilly12000.2512004010010103000192190100.2599.75413
3Karen Denton – Zelda1300023803000240030002401900090718

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

Start – 9.30am
Entry Fees: £25 per dog, capped at 10 entries, only one dog per handler.
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 7