Sun 05 Jan 2020, Grendon Underwood, Juniors Crufts Qualifier

Juniors Crufts Semi final Qualifier:
Judge - Karen Kendall
  T&C - A/FT&C - HT&C - TES - A/FES - HES - TVS - A/FVS - HVS - TB&L - A/FB&L - HB&L - TMarksTime
A/F = Alert FindH = HandlingT = Time (seconds)
Tables & ChairsExterior SearchVehicle SearchBoxes & LuggageTotals
A/FHTA/FHTA/FHTA/FHTMarksTime
1Meadow Bannard Howes - Mr Wilson20544.6320545.2520564.7820576.38100231.04
2Zak Benson - Lyla20550.4420548.12204.958.47204.9151.1999.8308.22
3Kaitlyn Frosdick - Harvey20530.2810570.5310532.0320572.2880205.12
4Callum Merchant - Tawney20566.2520560.5410570.6910558.2880255.76
5Sophie Barnes - Chokka204.953.4420542.7510549.9710560.4479.9206.6

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Sun 05 Jan 2020, Grendon Underwood,
SWUK Juniors Crufts Semi-final Qualifier
Trial managers report by Nikki Thorpe

The afternoon saw the arrival of 5 fantastic juniors through the door.
Some very nearly backed out in the morning due to nerves so well done everyone
for having the courage to turn up.
Some of the juniors had trained their own dogs from scratch and were just at
the beginning of their Scentwork journey. Others were taking the reins of an
already trained family dog but the relationships between the dogs and young
handlers was lovely to watch.
As this is the first (of hopefully many) Junior Crufts qualifiers, we weren’t sure
what to expect but the maturity, calmness, handling and general standard of the
competitors and dogs was brilliant. All juniors showed great independence &
decisiveness throughout each of their trials and there were no ‘pitch side’
fights between parents which was a huge relief!
Our judge for the day will go through the searches and performances on their
report but I look forward to seeing these partnerships develop further and am
delighted that our 5 competitors all qualified.
Can’t wait to see them for the final at Crufts!

I would like to thank Niki Thorpe for inviting me to judge the first SWUK Juniors semi-final qualifier for Crufts. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the young handlers and their dogs, or indeed from the family members who brought and supported them, but I couldn’t have been more impressed. I came away from the afternoon overawed by the attitudes and skills of the fabulous young people who worked their dogs so kindly. I was also reassured and grateful for the warmth and support the parents gave their children and the fantastic spirit which imbued all involved. It was an amazing learning opportunity for everyone, including myself.

There were four indoor searches; two involving tables and chairs and two involving containers and some of the items used in the morning’s exterior searches. In each of the searches two clove scent cloths were hidden, giving eight finds in all.

In the first search there were two groups of one table and four chairs set diagonally across from each other. The chairs with the hides were as far apart as we could put them and on my understanding of air movement in the room, placed to minimise the overlay of the scent plumes. All dogs successfully found the scents. Kaitlyn and Harvey had a very quick time and Harvey gave two great alerts.

In the second search the two tables were placed lengthways across the room, forming a line, with three chairs around the top of each table. Eight chairs were then placed in a line down the middle, making a “T” shape. The chairs were alternated in position with backs placed either side of the line. The cloths were hidden on the underside of two chairs as close to the back edge as possible. One chair was in the line in the middle, with the cloth closest to the right edge of the line of chairs, and the second cloth was on a chair placed at the back of the left-hand table. Nikki and I wondered how the young handlers would hope with the different layout. However, they didn’t appear to be worried, or to over-think the task and seemed to work it pretty methodically paying attention to their dog’s body language in telling them when they’d caught the scent. Fantastic effort, especially Sophie with Chokka who got the fastest time and Chokka gave two brilliant indications. Meadow and Mr Wilson were quick too and worked the line really well, with Meadow encouraging her dog to work the other side. Callum and Tawney worked their way round very methodically and I appreciated Callum bringing his dog our for a treat after the first finds and then enjoying a tuggy game with his dog at the end.

The third search was a container search with cardboard boxes, tins and plastic crates. There were more than the usual 15 items for the dogs to search. One hide was taped inside an upturned grey crate which had perforated sides, and the other was in a round tin with the cloth taped internally over small holes drilled into the side. There was a very convincing alert on one of the boxes near the crate and again a few early calls before dogs had gone to source, which meant lost points.

For the final search I set up four clusters of items in the corners of the room, with a scent hidden in two of them. The scents were hidden inside a round weight and under the top of a mini “fold up steps”. All the dogs, who had done a lot of sniffing by now, performed really well. And again the young handlers weren’t phased by the different layout and worked their way methodically around the groupings. The steps caused the dogs to have to work to go to source, but well done Zack for keeping his cool while Lyla worked her way round.
I was delighted that all teams qualified. We had two clean sweeps so well-done Meadow and Mr Wilson and Zack and Lyla, our first and second places. It was a challenging competition so huge congratulations to all five teams who took part. Thank you for accepting my decisions and for being so kind to your dogs. I was thrilled to see how they worked so enthusiastically and happily for you. I witnessed 5 amazing handlers and look forward to watching you and your dog’s future progress, starting with Crufts 2020!

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