Sun 06 Feb 2022, Peterborough

Level 7: Judge - Heather Donnelly

Highgate Hall, Overend, Elton, Peterborough. PE8 6RU

Start: 9:30
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Nikki Johnson

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Heather Donnelly

My thanks to Nikki Johnson for the invitation to judge and running a superbly run trial as per her usual standard. Also thank you Corrine my very able and competent scribe and first time scribing at this level. Well done.
I hid 3 scents in the first interior 1 search and most teams gave this a good go with a particularly impressive search from Chris and Jubbly finding all 3 and calling the ‘all clear’ within time. Also, after a very impressive exterior search I did think that this team would be my winners but Jubbly decided to throw a couple of ‘false alerts’ in the final search and sensibly Chris decided to withdraw him so that this wouldn’t become a habit. Good training skills well done.
In the ‘Exterior search’ the wind hit the building creating some ‘dead areas’ and when a gust did hit the building the wind was forced upwards taking the odour, hidden under the windowsill near the bench, with it making this hide particularly challenging. I hid another scent in the manhole cover which was towards the end of the search but Ehren’s superb nose and wind scenting ability detected it almost right from the start. After finding 3 Jo had the confidence to call the ‘All clear’ and after successfully finding 4 in the last search enabled this team to qualify and win overall well done.
The handlers that didn’t fair quite so well outside didn’t seem to have an appreciation of the very gusty conditions. Detailing should be kept to a minimal as the dog would find most of them unaided if the dog has been taught how to use the wind.
In the final search I hid 6 and positioned scented articles to test odour mergence. The clove was hidden higher up and one of the oils lower down knowing that the clove would probably overshadow the oils. This search, unlike the ‘Exterior search’ needed detailing as well as the handler blocking already founds scents and Justine and Chumley did this expertly and found 5 out of the 6. With this kind of work it was not surprising that this team also qualified one of only two teams today.
Some teams did just miss out but L7 is tough and at this level the teams must be on top form in all 3 searches to qualify.
Well done to the two qualifiers.

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