Sun 11 Sep 2022, Finmere

Levels 4 & 6: Judges - Nigel Wilkes L6 & Yaz Whitehall L4

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

Start: L4 – 9am, L6 – 1.30pm
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Heather Donnelly heather.donnelly6@btinternet.com

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

First of all, i would like to thank Heather for inviting me to judge and to Melanie Goble for being my fantastic scribe once more. Level 4, introducing gun oil and distraction odours. Today’s distractions were dog odour and peppermint
Tables and Chairs
Clove was placed under the front right foot of the table on the left, most of the dogs were on the odour right from the start line but initially struggled to go to source. The gun oil was on a chair at the far side of the right table. Only 3 teams found both odours with most ignoring the gun oil and choosing the peppermint distraction odour which was placed on a child’s toy on the perimeter.
Vehicle
There was very little wind today which impeded any movement of the odours.
Clove was placed on the left front wheel hub and gun oil was placed on the child’s scooter. 6 teams managed to find both odours, again the gun oil causing issues.
Boxes and luggage
Cloves was placed in a bag just to the right of centre and gun oil on a box on the left. 8 successful teams, the others chose the peppermint.
Exterior
Cloves was placed inside a pipe, all teams found this with no problem, however the gun oil was place in some stacked small cones laid on their side quite near the start only 2 teams found this. Again 6 teams chose the peppermint which was placed in a bicycle pump.
Overall, i think it was a great learning curve for competitors. The well-deserved winners were Catherine and ZenZero who were the only team to get a clean sweep.

When arriving at Finmere it was a nice fair day and I was looking forward to Judging the Level 6 trial in the afternoon. Heather and my scribe Yaz where in the hall waiting and the teams where outside. After looking around the search areas I decided that the first Interior would have 5 hides with 4 minutes to find them, the reason for this was that the main hall had very little items to search and the committee room had table and chairs plus cabinets. The trial was set so it was a test for both dog and handler with the hides being in the Main hall fire door in the corner at ground level, the second 82 cm away under the second door. The third hide was on the fold down projector table, then 2 in the committee room on the heater and bottom of the table leg near the cupboards.
Most of the teams found either 2 or 3 of the hides with Missy and Anne finding the most with 4. As I mentioned earlier it was set to test both handler and dog. I noticed that some handlers did not push their dogs into the corners or if they found one on the fire door they thought it was the only one!
The second search was Exterior and there were 4 hides with 3 minutes as the area quite small. The hides were under the Kitchen window on the grey pipe, a doll on a chair, rear wheel on green wheelie bin and on the grating at the far end of the garage. In this search we had mostly 3 find apart from Paula and Bonniejazz who found all 4, unfortunately we lost one team as they had 4 wrong alerts.
The final search was in the new storage area where there were 3 hides with 3 minutes to find them. One was an early one on the door next to the stack of chairs, the 2nd was in a cupboard door half way up and the final hide was on the table trolly at the end between the chairs. Two out of the 3 hides would have required the handler to push the dogs into the space to get the hide. Unfortunately we had another 3 teams disqualified for more than 3 wrong alerts and another team who withdrew because their dog was not searching. Most teams found 2 out of the 3 with the early hide being the one that was missed.
In the end there was only one qualifier which was Anne Glennon and Missy who got the 90 points required. Congratulation to them and commiserations to those who were close but not quite there on the day.
My thanks to Heather for inviting me to Judge and also a Special thanks to Yaz my scribe and Banjo our white dog for the afternoon.

Post your report here