Sun 01 Aug 2021, Solihull

Levels 1 & 2: Judges - L1 Karen Denton & L2 Rachael Fox

Solihull Lodge Community Centre, Grafton Road, Shirley, Solihull, B90 1NH

Start: 10am & 2pm
Entry Fees: £27 per dog.
Contact: Mandy Rigby

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Judges report level 2
Rachael Fox
a huge thanks to Mandy Rigby for inviting me back to judge, having previously judged many of you at a prior Level One, it was lovely to see the progress and improvements, many of you had clearly taken feedback on board.
I always say that scentwork is all about having fun with your dog, and seeing so many happy handlers and dogs working together was lovely.
Byron ( who achieved a well deserved second place) was such a happy confident little boy, such a lovely indication and a joy to watch, he smashed all the searches and has a great bond with his lovely handler Alison, who also gained perfect handling scores.
The first search was table and chairs and perimeter, some found this a little challenging as its a big step up from level one, but Pat and Lulu demonstrated well how to keep your cool in a trial, with some amazing indications leading to a first place and also her excellent! very well deserved.
Joyce and Loki also demonstrated lovely calm, methodical searching and a great partnership- its so nice to watch people clearly in tune with their dog .
James and Maia showed lovely work off lead, with Maia showing confidence on lead, but also working well independently, a super little girl. unfortunately she struggled later on, but some lovely work and a great last find .
the exterior search was challenging due to some very interesting environmental smells, but Max stayed calm and focussed , with some very calm and supportive handling from Claire, a very nice search from a fab little dog, i know how hard this team have worked not only with scentwork, but also his reactivity and it has paid off.
the boxes and bags can sometimes be a challenge as dogs can find them interesting for all sorts of reasons, but little Milly showed how it was done with a lovely enthusiastic search.
we finished with vehicles and wall , it was nice to see some teams that had struggled previously , get their mojo back here, with some lovely searching and nice indications working to source.
i hope you all enjoyed it, and no one was dissapointed, with only one clean sweep- from Pat and Lulu, it shows how much more challenging the level 2 is. However your dogs got to spend an afternoon with the people they love, having fun and that is why we do this.
keep up the good work and im sure next time will be your day

TM’s report Level 1 & Level 2
1st August 2021
Mandy Rigby

Level 1

Two trials were held at Solihull Lodge Community Centre on August 1st 2021. Level 1 in the morning and Level 2 in the afternoon. Having only put on one trial in a day previously I was very conscious of trying to keep Level 1 to time. I arrived early to set everything up but was greeted with rain which was not on the forecast, thankfully that stopped just prior to the Judges brief at 9.45am

Perfect weather conditions for the morning searches, moderate with very little wind. It was really nice to meet new people, some starting out their trial journey with myself. From then on for the TM it is pretty full on with setting up the next search whilst one is running and logging the scores down from the previous search.

I felt honoured to have the very experienced Karen Denton agree to judge for me and I have no doubt she passed on some pearls of wisdom to the handlers throughout the morning.

Some great results with eight qualifiers with only two of having been to the venue prior. Three clean sweeps and a worthy winner with full marks was Pia Fleet with Lottie whom only jumped on board a couple of weeks prior due to a cancellation. Jil Harper and Ajke, Kate Wilkes and Skye came 2nd and 3rd respectively with very close marks and Janet Beverley and Teasel took fourth place having only committed to a place due to an unavoidable last minute cancellation the day before!

Better luck next time to those who didn’t qualify, it’s always good to gain trial experience and take away the Judges comments

The morning went smoothly and due to our teamwork we kept to time and finished by 1pm ready for Level 2 at 1.45pm. Thank you so much to Karen for her expert judging and putting handlers at ease and to Ruby for efficient scribing and to Jemma who was runner ensuring everyone was where they should be ready to compete.

Level 2

The weather was mixed with sun and some cloud which made for a good afternoon of searching. It was the first Level 2 for all competitors bar one. Level 2 is a big jump up from level 1 with double the amounts of finds and quite often may involve a wall search in addition to vehicles, bringing in new skills sets required for the handlers and their dogs

Rachael Fox very kindly had agreed to judge again for me, having judged a Level 1 at the end of May. The afternoon progressed well with the same routine as the morning but being a longer time allowed per search the trial lasted four hours with the presentation being held at 5.45pm

The winner of the day was Pat Wills with Lulu coming first with a clean sweep and gaining her L2 Excellent as well – Congratulations Pat & Lulu
Alison Lightfoot with Byron the smallest dog at the trial (Min Pin) took second place and Claire with Max took third. Incidentally Max is uncomfortable around other dogs and Claire never dreamed she would be able to ever be involved in a trial situation so the yellow rosette meant so much to her. Joyce and Loki the biggest dog of the trial took fourth place. It shows dog size doesn’t matter in this great activity. Congratulations to every one that qualified.

For those who didn’t qualify better luck next time and take away with you Rachael’s great advice, it’s not always you and your dog’s day but gaining the experience on your journey at Level 2 is invaluable

Thank you to Rachael for being such a genuine and pleasant Judge and to Ruby who scribed and Jemma who was runner, both committing to volunteering all day. I could not have done it without you all. Great team effort.


Thank you to Karen (Judge) Ruby (Scribe) and Jemma (Runner) for all your help in making it a great morning for the competitors

Judge’s report Level 1
1 August 2021
Karen Denton

It was my great pleasure to judge this lovely group of people and dogs at Mandy’s Level 1 trial in Solihull. The weather held and provided almost perfect conditions for our teams.

I started with Tables & Chairs in a nice large, light and airy hall, and if the handlers felt nervous, they didn’t show it with most dogs seeking out the correct chair in under 30 seconds. Pia impressed me here with her excellent handling of Lottie.

Next up was the Vehicle Search, and again, most dogs located the scent within 30 seconds. Janet & Teasel worked this area particularly well and Martha with Floki was particularly unlucky with Floki giving her a lovely indication but not near enough to source.

We went back into the hall for the Boxes & Luggage search which was a bit of a mixed bag – excuse the pun! Some dogs struggled here because their handler didn’t put the dog in the right place or didn’t help them when they needed it. Remember that big items need searching all the way round and if you put your dog in the right place they will find it. Kate’s Skye didn’t have a problem though and they got it in 10 seconds.

The last area was the Exterior Search. Most did very well here and notables were Rachel with Esme and Jil with Ajke for their empathetic and patient handling.

Pia & Lottie came a well deserved 1st, Jil & Ajke were 2nd, Kate & Skye came 3rd and Janet & Teasel came 4th. Huge congratulations to you guys and very well done to all who qualified. I hope those who didn’t quite make it on this occasion weren’t too disheartened. I truly believe that we learn more from our errors than we do from our successes.

I really enjoyed being in your company and had a great morning. I hope you did too.

Many thanks to Mandy Rigby for inviting me and for her fantastic organisational skills which made judging her trial easy and pleasurable. Thanks also to Ruby for scribing for me.

All the best everyone and good luck in your future trialling. The first is the hardest – it gets easier from here!

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