Sun 14 May 2023, Finmere, MK18 4AT

Levels L2, L5: Judges - L2 Lynn Bell & L5 Stacey Robinson

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

Start: L2 – 9am. L5 – 1.15pm
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Heather Donnelly

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

By the time a scentwork enthusiast gets to Level 2, they are generally hooked on this sport. This group was no exception. However, no matter what level there are always nerves and for many of the searches. The trial was well run by Heather, which is important to help both handlers and dogs . My extremely able Scribe, Yaz, was on hand to assist each of the searches and she always has invaluable tips, which I am sure will help as everyone progresses through the levels. One aspect of scentwork and trials that appeals so much to me is the camaraderie. Something that this sport should never lose and I was delighted to hear from one triallist that she was enjoying the friendships and chatter that took place in between the searches.

I do enjoy seeing different breeds working and doing the job successfully with their own breed unique ways.

Table and chairs and perimeter was the first area. The first search can be the one where there are more nerves and it is important to settle the dogs. Amber, handled by Melanie, initially showed signs of being unsettled. Melanie managed her well and the result was 2 excellent alerts. Bonnie was much more on the ball from the start, but her technique was to free range and it was enjoyable to watch her cover the area and home in on the items. I was impressed by the handling skills and as a general comment, the more experienced handlers were able to support their inexperienced dogs.

The Vehicle and wall search was next. The sun coming out meant it was timed perfectly. A vehicle and wall were used in the search and the wall proved to be very straightforward. I particularly enjoyed Kai’s interpretation to go to source moving a long the wall on his hind legs. Sadly, even the new scoring to be introduced next month don’t give extra points for style! By contrast Jimmy, handled by Lisa had a steady methodical approach. I must commend her for negotiating the area where they had been an accident extremely well. Again, no extra points Lisa!

Boxes and Luggage always seems to worry everyone. We only had one dog trying to assist Amazon delivery when it came to the box. It was good to see so many dogs off lead, giving good coverage of the area and Fiona and Bonnie were great examples. The dogs that circled the outside quickly picked up the rucksack containing the odour due to its location. Some handlers definitely showed patience to wait out for the freeze from their dogs. Never easy, especially as the pressure starts to munt. Everyone was well within their time for all the searches. No ‘free’ 30 second reminders were given.

The outside search was the ammo box and the wooden boat. Neither really caused issues. The key was not to forget the middle or the early items, or to be tempted by the dog taking interest in one item, but not really giving the signals that yu know as it being a real find. Although, I do know that dogs can change their approach on the day just to fool us, as one dog decided to do for their handler. But they waited, moved away and the dog stayed. They then made a good call.

For me, I really enjoy seeing the new enthusiasts starting on their Scentwork journey. I think SWUK should be delighted to have so many potential new handlers and young dogs ready to progress through the levels. I know I will watch them as they progress and wish them great success for the future.

Hazell Williamson

Level 5
I stepped in as a replacement Judge so thank you to Heather for the invitation and chance to watch your lovely dogs doing what they
all seemed to enjoy Not only did Heather run a friendly trial but managed to persuade the powers that be to have the sun shine on us for the day and so make everything more enjoyable. My thanks to Yaz for scribing and who controlled the stop watch and pencil and kept everything in order, including me!
I think there are quite a few differences between Level 4 and 5 in one go so I wanted to set a straight forward test with an obvious hint at difficulty befitting the progression, hence one more testing hide in each search area

Interior 1 : 5 hides, 3 and half minutes. I used half of the hall which was fairly bland but put a few items out in two heaps.
Hides: radiator at beginning, Dado rail in corner, seam of french door, wheel of plastic childs car and black door stop.
The Dado rail proved the most hard to locate as it had four chairs placed in front and as expected most teams were intent on the chairs and not bothering to “look behind them” some blocking the corner completely. Helen and Noodle found all 5 and Emily-Jane and Becky and Vicky and
Bracken finding 4.

EXterior: 4 hides,3 minutes.. I used the back of the hall perimeter with 4 evenly spaced out hides, spout of tap, airbrick, seam of garage door and hole in brickwork two inches from ground level. This did not cause too many problems with 2 teams finding all 4 and the rest 3. Emily-Jane and Becky did well to continue after being disturbed by bottle bank crushers and children in the middle of their search

Interior 2: 3 hides, 2 minutes – Small committee room – hides on radiator, side of filing cabinet and under a table top. The latter was
my “test” hide as the other two were found in very quick time but this needed more attention to find source. However four teams found all 3 well in the time given. Unfortunate for Sara and Billy who was right around the table hide and time was called before Sara could alert Still I know you
were pleased with Billy’s efforts today.

Congratulaltions to the winner Helen and Noodle – a fabulous calm efficient search finding all 12 hides

Thank you for accepting my decisions today and good luck to you all in the future.

Thank you all for accepting my decisions it was great to meet you and good luck

Thank you all for accepting my decisions and good luck with your lovely dogs in the future

Bracken finding 4

Comments are closed.