Sun 04 Dec 2022, Great Cheverell

Level 7: Judge - Lindsay Gilmore

Great Cheverell New Pavillion, Witchcombe Close, Gt Cheverell, Wiltshire. SN10 5TJ

Start: 10.30am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Jo Thiselton-Dyer

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Jo Thiselton-Dyer

Trial Managers Report

This was my first L7 as a Trial Manager. There seemed to be a need for a L7 in the SW so I asked Lindsay to judge as I knew she was a very experienced judge and Kate Kemp to help support due to her knowledge and experience. Sarah helped support all round.
I had sourced a new venue which I believed would be completely free from any contamination and would be suitable for a L7, with a good carpark and area to walk dogs. There was a toilet immediately to the left as you went through the door which then left the rest of the hall free for setting up search areas. (unfortunately it was cold and there was no availability for competitors to stand inside in the warm, and the boiled kettle was taken into the carpark to top everyone up to make teas/coffee!

All of the areas were checked over prior to hide placement by my dog who is now qualified to work L7 as I had found out a trainer had used the venue prior to the trial so needed to check for contamination. Each area was then also white dogged once the hides had been placed.

While I was then scribing, Kate was ensuring the flow of the competitors which worked very well.

Unfortunately, an issue arose regarding a rule on calling the area clear on the second search. A copy of the rules and regs was at the trial which could be checked, and as Lindsay, being a very experienced judge had been part of a discussion on this rule previously, was correct, the written L7 rules had not been updated or made clear on this issue so caused some confusion but has been highlighted to SWUK to amend.

Whilst some competitors had felt deflated after the first search as they assumed they had missed more hides in the larger search area, they ended up working well, and 4 of the 7 teams qualified.
It was also a pleasure to award Sue and Tiva with their excellence rosette which I had taken the risk to purchase in the hope she did as she came
into the trial on 28 points and wanted to reward her on the day for a great achievement.

With the help and support of Lindsay and Kate I survived being TM for my first Level 7 trial!

Lindsay Gilmore

Thank you to Jo for not only inviting me to judge this L7 but also for being a fab scribe and supportive TM on the day. My thanks also to Kate Kemp for her support and unrivalled skill and determination in getting scented articles in to small spaces/gaps/holes and the like! Last but not least thanks to Sarah for her help on the day.

All 3 search areas were worked both prior to, and after, odour placement by the very capable Neo, our white dog for the day. Following a judges & TM briefing I walked competitors through the search areas.

Interior 1
3 hides, time given 4 minutes
This search area comprised of the main hall area that was almost void of furniture. The walls were bare with no shelving, stacked chairs or the like. There were several door ways and window sills. The only pieces of furniture in the hall were 2 folded tables that I had placed in the room towards one end and set about 5 meters apart. To aid visualisation, these tables were similar in size and shape to a folded table tennis table. A door from the main hall leads in to a kitchen area which also formed part of the search area. The kitchen, by comparison to the hall was busy with stainless steel fitted units, empty kitchen bins, dishwasher, oven and the like. Teams entered the hall via a double door, once in the hall I had placed a large rubber backed mat (thank you for bringing it Jo!) that teams were able to return to should they wish to reward mid search. This worked very well.
Hide placement
On one of the folded tables I placed one hide (TO) on the left foot and one hide (TO) on the right foot. The approx distance between these hides was 250cm. I placed the third hide (GO) on a peeling piece of silver floor marker tape that ran down part of the middle of the main hall. The kitchen area was blank bar the decoy which I had placed in the door of one of the kitchen stainless steel cabinets. The decoy was a blank cigarette filter.
No team found all 3 hides and no handler called the area clear. Three teams called a WA in the kitchen area, all different locations and one was on the decoy. Most teams only found one hide in this search, which was one of the 2 folded table hides. Once teams had found one on the table they tended to move away and not work the table to completion., only 2 teams got both table hides. Whilst 3 dogs found the hide on the flooring tape, no handler called it! Most handlers got stuck over working the kitchen area.

5 hides, time given 4 mins
This search area was predominately a wall search along the entire rear of the hall. The roof of the hall over hangs the rear external wall and is supported by 10 wooden joists, of which 4 have drain pipes attached. There is a cement/tarmac path that runs between the external wall and the wooden joists. The wall had 8 windows with sills lower than 80cm (I checked with a tape measure!). There was one large double fire door and a solid wooden store cupboard door.
Hide placement.
From the search area starting point, one hide (C) was placed in the second wooden joist. This joist did not have a drain pipe attached to it. The second window sill had a hide (C). A hide was placed each end of the large double fire door (one TO one GO). The final hide was placed on the drain pipe bracket on the penultimate wooden joist (C). The decoy (match stick) was placed in a crack on the furthest window sill.
All hides were found, but only one team, Helen & Chip found all 5. Those that did call the area clear did so incorrectly after finding 4 hides. No one hide proved more problematic. One team called a WA and this was not on the decoy.

Interior 2
4 hides, time given 3.5 mins
In contrast to the main hall, this search area was fairly compact, comprising of the ladies loos (2 cubicles one of which I closed the door so no need to search it) 2 sinks and a further folded table (Again similar in size to a folded table tennis table). The door from the main hall foyer (the start point) in to the toilet area was wedged three quarters open. At the far end of room was a door leading in to a fairly small room that contained a fitted shower cubicle, a fire door, a row of multi height metal lockers and some benching.
Hide placement
One hide (c) was placed in the skirting board at the corner point behind the main door in to the search area. A further hide (GO) was placed on the wall by a toilet partition wall (not in the cubicle, no acrobatics required!), the third hide (c) was placed to the left side of the door leading to the shower/locker room area. The final hide (c) was placed behind a bit of skirting on a blank wall area near the shower unit. The decoy, a Velcro dot, was placed under the benching near to the metal lockers.
2 teams correctly called this area clear having found all 4 hides in good time. One handler called a WA and this was on the Velcro decoy

Whilst Jo & Kate were busy collating scores and working out who had qualified I took the opportunity to walk those competitors who had stayed to the end round the 3 search areas, showing them where the hides had been located, what odour was placed where and answer any questions that they may have had.

A special mention and huge well done to Sue & Tiva who achieved their L7 Excellent title. You were a pleasure to observe.

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