Sat 9th Nov 2019, Sutton Coldfield

Level 6: Judge - Janet Wykes
Level 6

1 Justine Steele – Chumley – 130
2 Dolores Palmer – Gypsy – 120
3 Felicity Ashford – Mr Smiths – 120
4 Jill Harper – Herbie – 100
5 Sara Wren – Tia – 90

It was day 2 for us at Bodymoor Heath Victory Hall for Level 6, having run a Level 5 trial there the previous day. This brings with it some interesting challenges, but thankfully my judge for the day was very experienced and with the help of her dog, Jess acting in white dog capacity, we were able to overcome them.

Due to the layout of the hall, we were able to mostly use different areas to the day before, which brought some extra texture to the searches.

The weather was, if possible, colder than the day before and sadly the rain hit during the external searches, but the smiles continued despite the damp.

A huge thank you to Janet for judging and Collette Guy for scribing, and to both of them, as well as Dolores Palmer and Sara Wren for helping tidy up.

Many congratulations to Justine Steele and Chumley for a well deserved first place, and to Dolores Palmer and Gypsy for obtaining their excellence.

Many thanks to Ellen for inviting me to judge this level 6 at Bodymoor Heath Victory Hall in Sutton Coldfield. A huge thanks to Collette Guy for being my super-efficient scribe and great company. Ellen, as always, was very well prepared for this trial and made sure everything ran smoothly.
A white dog was used in all searches.

Interior Search 1
We started off with the interior search in the main hall. There were 4 scents in this area – Truffle (under chair seat towards back of hall; chair leg in centre of the room), Gun oil (left hand side of the side door), and Cloves (hole in base of skirting board). This was a challenging search and out of the 8 competitors running, there was only one team that found all hides (Justine & Chumley who went on to win), and only one competitor who found 3 (Sara & Tia).
The hides that were missed were varied, but the two that seemed to cause the most problems were the hide in the side door (gun oil) and the hide under the chair (truffle). Both were towards the top corner of the room and compared to the rest of the room this was quite a busy area and potentially needed some detailed tasking from the handlers to get their dogs to check out this area fully.
The early hide in the base of the skirting board could have been particularly challenging, as a silicone mat was placed close to this hide, but virtually all competitors read their dogs well, identifying that they were on odour, but asking for more detailed searching in this area (rather than the inevitable interest in the mat).
Throughout this search, it was interesting to watch quite a few of the dogs locate the odour but not actually provide a clear indication. For a few of the teams, this was a problem throughout the day – something that is always challenging for a handler whose dog indicates differently in these trial environments.

Exterior Search
The exterior search was the area immediately in front of the main entrance hall. There were again 4 scents in this area – Truffle (under lip of building beside flower pot), Gun oil (under the end of the bench; and under the mat), and Cloves (in the handle of a shovel). The search area was slightly reduced following the white dog search, as there appeared to be some soiling around the intended bin area. Despite this, this area was full of environmental challenges and the weather had also turned wet for several of the competitors.
Out of the 8 competitors running, 3 found all four hides (Justine and Chumley, Felicity and Mr Smiths, and Dolores and Gypsy) and 2 found three hides (Sara and Tia, and Jil and Herbie). The most common hide to be missed was the mat, with several competitors standing on the edge of the mat and blocking the scent. A special mention to Sara & Tia and Jil & Herbie, who for totally different reasons, have dogs that can become distracted in these highly environmental areas. Both teams used lots of positive encouragement and demonstrated how to work their dogs through the challenges.

Interior Search 2
The second interior search was a store room. Again, we had 4 scents in this area – Truffle (wheel of trolley), Gun Oil (Bottom lip of door), and Cloves (Under chair seat; and in rung of step ladder). This was an extremely busy room and although quite small could appear quite daunting with the number of objects in it. Despite this, this search area was worked well by everyone. Out of the 8 competitors, 3 found all four hides (Felicity and Mr Smiths, Jil and Herbie, and Dolores and Gypsy) and 4 found three hides (Lynn and Chess, Julie and Poppy, Justine and Chumley, and Sara and Tia).
The hide in the lip of the door could have been particularly challenging as it was in a relatively tight space. A special mention must go to our largest dog (Mr Smiths worked by Felicity) who carried out a lovely search in this tight area.

This was a lovely level to judge and it was so rewarding to watch each handler work their dogs and understand their needs.

Congratulations to:

Justine Steele and Chumley – 1st place on their inaugural level 6. A lovely partnership that is a real pleasure to watch. Well done

Dolores Palmer and Gypsy – 2nd place and some lovely searching from this team. After a very exuberant start in the first search, this team not only gained 2nd place but also their Excellent title at this level. Congratulations, a very well deserved result

Felicity & Mr Smiths – 3rd place. Mr Smiths works so enthusiastically and Felicity works well to ensure the team covers the required area. A lovely team to watch work

Jil Harper & Herbie – 4th place. Jil had to work extremely hard today with all the environmental challenges and it was great to see this lovely partnership be rewarded with a place.

Well done to Sara Wren and Tia on their qualification – another great team that demonstrated some lovely detailing in the interior search in the store room.

A special mention to Lynn Grice and Chess (some lovely searching today from Chess), and Julie Russon and Poppy (a fantastic search in interior 2 with some great indications). I loved the positivity from both these handlers even when it wasn’t going to plan. Well done, a pleasure to be able to watch both teams work.

Well done to everyone that took part today, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

Janet Wykes

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
1Justine Steele – Chumley040100201130002400401001071110200130548
2Dolores Palmer – Gypsy020002400401001140401001500100200120504
3Felicity Ashford – Mr Smiths020002400401001360401001720100200120548
4Jill Harper – Herbie0200024004010020613000240190100100686
5Sara Wren – Tia1300024003000240230002403900090720

Bodymoor Heath Victory Hall, Sutton Coldfield, B76 9JF.

Start time: 10.30 am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog. Entries caped at 10. Only one dog per handler.
Contact: Ellen Lindley, Tel 07413 111 921
Online entries are available

Anyone wanting to submit by post needs to call first so the slot can be reserved in the online booking system

Download Entry Form to book a place.