Sun 02 Apr 2023, Finmere, MK18 4AT

Levels L1 & L8: Judges - L1 Hazell Williamson, L8 Dolo Res Palmer

Finmere Village Hall, Water Stratford Road, Finmere, Bucks MK18 4AT

Start: 9am – L1, L8 – 1pm
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
BACS acc name Mrs H Donnelly, sort-code 40-47-65, acc no 85478138
Contact: Heather Donnelly
– Tel: 01869349190

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Dolores Palmer

Special thank you to Hazell Williamson for scribing for Level 8

Dolores Palmer

Level 8
I stepped in to judge at short notice and thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon. Competitors also seemed to enjoy themselves; the sunshine enabled them to stand in groups chatting, which did sometimes cause a delay in the running order but I was also quite relaxed.
It was an honour to have the opportunity to judge my peers! It was interesting to be on the other side of the fence and watch the choices made by handlers, some which worked well for the test I set, some not so well.
As this was going to be the last level 8 under the original guidelines I wanted to ensure teams had a good chance at qualifying whilst, at the same time, feeling their qualification was well earned. I think I achieved this with 4 qualifiers and some near misses.
Each area was white dogged by 2 dogs, once before being scented and again afterwards. Each dog was timed & the longest time was used as the time for the search.

Well done those that called search areas clear! Its trickier doing this when you don’t know how many scents there will be overall but if you & your dog have cleared the search area & don’t think you have missed anywhere, it is aways worth calling it.
Interior one
The search included the whole of the hall and the committee room. I added a few things in to make the search more interesting. The scents were placed as follows: in the pocket of a coat hanging on a chair, (cloves); the 2nd corner of the room, (truffle oil); the 3rd corner (nearest the committee room; also truffle oil); on the side of the filing cabinet nearest the wall, (truffle oil); on the heater, (gun oil) and on the table corner on the same side as, but furthest from the door, (gun oil.
Two teams got all 6 scents; Rebecca Grant & Marvel and Chris Gregory & Jubbly – well done!
Three teams got 5 scents; Karen Denton & Barley, Alison Williamson & Dylan, and Melanie Goble & Rowan – also well done.
The scents missed most often were – 2nd corner of the room, the table corner and the filing cabinet
I was surprised by the number of wrong alerts in the search, knowing the area had been thoroughly white dogged; some having nothing to do with the decoy which was situated on the daido rail near to the chairs with magazines on. I loved the way Tiva checked out each magazine.
Exterior Search
There were 2 scents towards the end of the search area. The first was a bottle on the far side of wheely bins, (cloves). The second scent was positioned on the end of the garage door behind the frame, (gun oil). The decoy was on the cones.
Five teams got both scents; Well done Karen & Barley, Alison & Dylan, Sue McAuliffe & Tiva, Helen Bryan & Nellie, and Nikki Inglis & Elli.

Interior 2 – The storeroom
Going into the interior there were three teams who only needed one scent to qualify and two teams who needed both scents. There were two scents placed in the storeroom. A gun oil scented cloth was placed in the seam, at the bottom, of the far blue locker close to the ladder. The majority of the teams found this scent.
The second scent proved to be challenging; it was truffle oil, place on the bottom of a stack of chairs. I was surprised that there was pooling early as both white dogs encountering this. One white dog took some time to work to source, thinking it was around the legs of the chairs, whilst the other went very quickly to source. Towards the end of the running order the scent seemed to also pool under the bottom chair causing 2 dogs to indicate there. Yet the last dog, Barley, went very quickly to source, making it look easy – very impressive! The direction that the dogs approached the scent seemed to affect their ability to work out this scent puzzle. Those approaching from the door side found it more difficult to work to source whilst those coming from the other direction found it easier to work where the scent was. This was true of the white dogs as well. Unfortunately this scent created a few wrong alerts. Five dogs successfully indicated at source within time. Well done to Helen & Nellie, Sue & Tiva, Rebecca & Marvel, Karen & Barley and Neil & Oscar. Sadly Chip correctly indicated & Helen called it a split second after time was called.
At the end there were 4 qualifiers:
1st Karen & Barley – an experienced handler who kept her nerve and found 9 out of 10 scents. A worthy winner! Karen handled Barley quietly getting the best from her dog. In the first search I was surprised that Karen left the committee room after only finding one scent there; she finished searching the rest of the area then thoughtfully returned to the committee room to find the other 2 scents. Well done.
2nd Rebecca and Marvel – my but Marvel is a bottle of pop, handled really well by Rebecca. Another lovely partnership! In the exterior the decision to thoroughly search round the piping was costly as it meant Marvel didn’t get to the end of the search area where the scents were hidden. If you had Marvel would, I’m sure, have found all ten scents. Well done
3rd Alison & Dylan – another experienced handler with another dog who is a bottle of pop handled really well by Alison. Not easy to work a dog who also has a lot to say during the searches. Alison kept her cool and in the third search Alison strategically called the area clear rather than risk having another wrong alert. This qualification gave Alison & Dylan enough points to gain their L8 Excellent. Well done!
4th Chris & Jubbly – another experienced handler and lovely partnership. I love the way you chat quietly to Jubbly on the way round. I believe this is your first attempt at level 8 with Jubbly; very well done. Must be nice to be working your dog for a change instead of judging.

To those that just missed out on qualifying – keep at it!
I wish you all the best in future trials and hope to see you all again once I have Gypsy sorted out physically.

Hazell Williamson

Many thanks to Heather Donnelly for inviting me to judge Level 1 at Finmere. My hugh thanks to Yaz for her excellent scribing and her support throughout the morning. After a few very wet days at least the weather was dry.
14 competitors came to search and there was indeed a lot of good teams taking part. The unlucky ones today was, I felt, a lack of teamwork
and reading your dog more to know when to stand back and when to go in and help.
Tables and chairs was very successful with only one dog false alerting.
Vehicle search proved a little more troublesome with 5 wrong alerts.
Boxes and luggage caught 6 dogs out and this is where I felt a bit more teamwork was needed…some dogs indicating and not being
listened to and some items being missed altogether.
The exterior search of items proved no trouble at all with all dogs correctly finding the scented article. Interesting to note those who had confidence in their dogs and not want to know which 3 items had been allocated.

Very well done to all teams, some lovely sniffing and handling and a great start. Many congratulations to the two teams achieving their Excellence certificates, Karen and Quin and Penny and Eli and to the other two teams gaining full marks, Shirley and Banjo and Catherine and Freddie.

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