Sun 08 May 2016, Langley Burrell

level 1. Judge - Heather Donnelly

Sunday 8th May 2016 at: Langley Burrell, Wiltshire. Judge: Heather Donnelly

Level 1

0101st Sue Lintern & Skye 100
2nd Julie Greenough & Ben 99
3rd Annette Sawyer & Summer 99
4th Karen Dunkason & Zsa Zsa 95.25
5th Pippa Bentham & Billie 94.25
6th Rob Glass & Warwick 79.75
7th Pippa Bentham & Becky 78
8th Rob Glass & Jack 77.75
8th Cilla Stansfeld & Tumble 77.75
10th Ren Glass & Dudley 69.75

Scentwork Wessex was privileged to be able to host its first Scentwork UK Level 1 trial and we were honoured to have Heather Donnelly as our judge.

The weather forecast was set fair, the vehicles were washed & packed and the check-list checked, checked again … and checked several times more.

I looked out of the window at 7am and saw driving rain – not a good start.

We arrived at the venue and began setting up. Not long after Heather arrived, which was great because we were able use her experience and knowledge to ensure the set up was correct and to her liking. She even helped set out the coffee and tea.

David Halls, our scribe for the day arrived, after a quick crash course in what to do from Heather he was ready to go.

The Competitors started to stream in complete with an abundance of cakes, flans & scones kindly supplied by our master bakers Kim, Sue & Ren.

The scent for the first test, tables and chairs, was in place and left for 10 minutes.

We had a quick introduction and judges briefing and we were ready to rock – literally, as at the very last minute the hall had informed us that there would be a band practice in the small room next to the main hall. Minor panic!!

In fairness this didn’t seem to bother any of the dogs and appeared to be a calming factor on the handlers. Well done Lads.

The rain had gone and with the sun beginning to shine the camping chairs were coming out and people were starting to settle in for the day under the cherry trees. The trial had now been renamed ‘Rick-Fest’ Whilst Kate and Heidi held the draw I ran my white dog Paddy who didn’t let me down and found the scent with no problems.

Up to this point it had all been work to get set up but now the trial was starting my nerves kicked in.

I held my breath watching every competitor, willing each and every one to do well.

First dog in, first dog out, no find – Oh No! Second dog was in, Find! Phew! Great relief. Third dog was Jack, a veteran GSP handled by Rob. At 14 years old he set to the task like a dog 10 years his junior performing a good search to find the scent. What a star. Next dog was Ben with Julie “When you’re ready start” I heard Heather say and then I heard ‘Find’ as Julie called the alert! 7 seconds!! Now we were on a roll. Sue & Skye and Pippa with Billie both successful with their lovely quiet handling. In came Ian with Murphy. As Ian was concerned about the safety of the cakes he decided to work Murphy on the lead, something they don’t normally do but he needn’t have worried as had a good find.

Due to Heidi’s fantastic organising and some great searches dogs were going through the first test at a pace. Some unfortunately calling a little too early.

We were soon on to the handlers with their second dogs. Warwick, a rescue Lurcher who is not a confident dog and probably a little out of his comfort zone was sympathetically handled by Rob finding the scent correctly.

The last 3 dogs, Pippa & Beckie, Karen & Zsa Zsa and Julie & Joey all performed good successful searches.

Test 1 over. I had gone through the full range of emotions by now from being bitterly disappointed for those that had not been successful to total euphoria for those that had and we still had three more tests to do!

By now the sun was shining and the heat was becoming intense. The vehicle search was next.

Cilla was first with Tumble with a good search and find. Dudley completed a nice search but unfortunately thought the Land Rover was too clean for his liking which sadly lost Ren all her handling marks – oh Dudders!!

Annette & Summer with her lovely sit indication, Julie & Ben, Sue & Skye and Karen & Zsa Zsa all carried out fabulous searches gaining them full marks.

We moved back inside for Boxes & Luggage search which turned out to be the most difficult search of the day with only 9 correct finds. The first two dogs unfortunately gave a false alert but then things went back on track with the next five all with correct indications. I was pleased to see Sally and Zevah back on form performing a cracking search, successfully finding the article in 19 seconds.

Cilla carried out her search in just her socks as after both she & Tumble were found sound asleep under a tree she didn’t have time to put her shoes on! Still half asleep and blurry eyed – it was no wonder they took so long.

Joey having a bit of the devil in him today indicated on a box and when asked by Julie to ‘show me’ then decided to pounce on the bag next to it which unfortunately resulted in a false alert.

After stopping for some lunch, the temperatures were up in the mid 20’s and we entered the final test, the Exterior Search. Heather briefed all the competitors and we were off again.

Karen & Malik set the bar with a 9 second find, Julie & Ben with 8 seconds and Ian and Murphy in 12 Seconds.

Sally & Zevah did a very nice search as did Sue & Skye. Pippa & Billie were also successful in this search gaining them a ‘Clean Sweep’ for the day. Dudley who had been giving Ren a bit of a hard time throughout the day successfully found the article, as did Rob & Jack, Pippa & Beckie giving them the third find they needed for their qualification.

It had been a brilliant day with some great results, great food, coffee and sunshine and great company.

I would like to thank all who attended, our competitors for entering, our guests (who gracefully accepted the camera being thrown at them), our helpers – David for his superb scribing, Heidi & Kim for their organisation skills and keeping an eye on both the competitors and dogs welfare, the bakers and of course Heather for judging.

We really couldn’t have done it without you.

Rick Burgess

It was lovely to be invited to judge at ‘Scentwork Wessex’ first ‘Scentwork UK trial’. Rick & Kate (Scentwork Wessex) had attracted a very good entry of 14 with 4 of those having two dogs entered so it looked to be an interesting day.

003The day started promptly with the judges briefing and whilst I set up the first test Kate did the draw and wrote the running orders on a white board so that everyone was clear when they were to run which was a brilliant idea as at no time was I kept waiting.

Rick ran ‘Paddy’ as the ‘white dog’ after the 10 minutes, to see if the scent was good and if I thought there would be any potential problems for me for judging the test. As all seemed well the first dog was ready to run. The table & chairs didn’t seem to cause too many problems, but owing to handler nerves with some competitors being a bit too quick to call the alert, not everyone passed this section.

We then went onto the vehicle search where I hid the scented article for the first group on a step area on Rick nicely washed landrover. Again we saw some really nice searches and some really good handling from Pippa & Billie who after searching around the vehicle anti-clockwise then turned the dog around and worked the dog in the other direction enabling this team to find the scented article with ease.

We quickly moved indoors to do the ‘boxes & luggage’ search where the scented article was hidden in a blue bag for the first group and a cardboard box for the second group. Again this proved to be the hardest test with unfortunately 5 wrong ‘alerts’ and with Cilla and Tumble giving us all a heart stopping moment searching for over 2 minutes but with Cilla holding her cool Tumble eventually found the correct piece of luggage.

Lastly was the exterior search which would have seemed ideal being on tarmac but in the incredibly unusually hot May conditions it seemed to affect some of the dogs. It seemed that some of the dogs, Karen’s two GSD’ Zsa Zsa & Malic, and Julie’s Ben didn’t want to hang around in the hot weather too long and found the scented article within 30 seconds.

So we came to the end of trial and out of the 14 runners we had 10 qualifiers and the results were as follows:

1st Sue & Skye – I was very impressed with this team. I later learned that they had gained full mark. Lovely quiet handling from Sue as Gordon Setters aren’t always the easiest of breeds.

2nd Julie & Ben – Again a very good partnership between these two and great attitude from Ben a collie x who didn’t want to hang around and did all the tests in the fastness overall time.

3rd Annette & Summer – So thrilled for this team as they didn’t pass at the trial last month but this time Annette held it together and showed excellent teamwork.

4th Karen & Zsa Zsa – Lovely to watch this keen GSD bitch, well done.

Also qualified: Pippa with Billie & Becky qualifying two dogs; well done, as did Rob with Warwick & Jack the elderly GSP who also went on the win ‘Judges Special’, Cilla & Tumble and Ren & Dudley. Commiserations to those that weren’t quite ready this time but the fact that all they all passed a section shows that they can do it but just didn’t have that bit of luck on the day.

Also a huge thank you to my scribe David Halls for scribing for me and the Sue, Ren & Kim who made all the delicious food (I can definitely recommend the delicious cheese scones) and of course to Rick & Kate for arranging a brilliantly organised first trial, with Kate giving each competitor a lovely ‘dog treat’ gift, which I thought was a lovely touch. Well done Rick for keeping your cool, watching your brilliantly trained newbies which is terribly nerve wracking as I know.

Heather Donnelly (Judge)

Position Handler Dog Breed Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Total
A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1st Sue Lintern Skye Gordon Setter 20 5 12 20 5 36 20 5 78 20 5 40 100 166
2nd Julie Greenough Ben Collie X 20 4 7 20 5 8 20 5 26 20 5 12 99 53
3rd Annette Sawyer Summer Kelpie 20 4 34 20 5 126 20 5 74 20 5 54 99 288
4th Karen Dunkason Zsa Zsa GSD 20 4 46 20 4.25 60 20 5 23 20 2 144 95.25 273
5th Pippa Bentham Billie WSD 20 4 45 20 3.5 89 20 3 111 20 3.75 30 94.25 275
6th Rob Glass Warwick Lurcher 20 5 44 0 5 180 20 4.75 58 20 5 63 79.75 345
7th Pippa Bentham Becky Border Collie 20 4.5 31 20 5 51 20 4.75 61 0 3.75 158 78 301
8th Rob Glass Jack GSP 20 5 123 20 3.5 57 20 4.25 33 0 5 49 77.75 262
8th Cilla Stansfeld Tumble JRT x Collie 20 5 65 0 4 34 20 3.75 29 20 5 134 77.75 262
10th Ren Glass Dudley GSP 0 5 18 20 4.75 109 20 0 88 20 0 33 69.75 248
NQ Sally Wynes Zevah GSD 0 5 47 20 4 96 0 5 102 20 5 19 59 264
NQ Karen Dunkason Malik GSD 0 3 60 20 5 9 20 4.5 20 0 5 24 57.5 113
NQ Ian Hunter Murphy Collie x GSD 20 3 81 20 5 12 0 3.75 16 0 2.5 26 54.25 135
NQ Julie Greenough Joey Springer Spaniel 20 3.5 14 0 0 81 0 3.75 46 0 2.5 48 29.75 189