Sun 19 Feb 2017, Sharnbrook

Levels 2 & 3 Judge: Karen Denton

Sunday 19th February at: Sharnbrook Village Hall, Bucks Judge: Karen Denton

Level 2

1 Becky & Flossie – 99.5
2 Sarah & Flynn – 98.5
3 Sue & Halle – 97
4 Julia & Winter – 96.5
5 Caroline & Stanley – 86.5
6 Geof & Bug – 86.25
7 Annette & Disney – 77.25

Level 3

1 Karen & Malik – 95.5
2 Liz & Archie – 89.5
3 Laura & Ollie – 88.75
4 Teresa & Archie – 78

Once more on a Sunday morning my car is packed and I am heading off to Sharnbrook to get set up ready for todays level 2 & 3 trial.

Luckily no rain was forecast for today – which made the exterior and the vehicle search so much more pleasant.

Judge Karen arrived nice and early and we set up the exterior search first.  Good job as later the football team arrived.   Sharnbrook is a very busy centre and it certainly challenges the teams doing their searches.

Karen Kendall was scribe for the day and did a fabulous job, this enabled me to set up the next searches ready so that Judge Karen was able to flow from one search to the next.

Sue and Geof brought a lovely picnic which included some fabulous peanut butter brownies.  They had brought something for everyone.   Such a lovely day out and each and every team supported everyone else.


I was so proud to award the first ever ‘Excellent’ rosette to Sue with Halle.   A very well deserved award.   A few teams are now working towards this award so hopefully we will be awarding some more soon.

Alison and Poppy were so excited to enter that they came a month too early but we moved things around so that she could enter, but sadly it was not their day.  It was their first trial so was an experience and has set then up ready to attend in March.

Dedication from Karen with Malik who broke her ankle just two days before the trial.   She then went on to come first in level 3.  Just shows that Scentwork is for everyone….  Crutches included.

Overall everyone worked their dogs beautifully and I feel really privileged to be able to watch them.

All done and everyone having a sit down and a welcome cup of coffee and everyone breathing again.  Judge Karen gave a  talk to say how she felt the day had gone, then gave out the rosettes and certificates.   All helpers were thanked, photos taken and then it was all over until the next time.

A huge thank you to Karen Denton for agreeing to judge and doing a fabulous job. Lots of thank you’s to Karen Kendall for scribing and also a huge thank you to Nicki Hetfield-Rogerson for helping move equipment, load and unload my car, organise tea and coffee, hold my dogs for me and generally be useful.

We could not run these trials without the helpers, the judge and of course the competitors, so from me I would like to say a very big thank you to you all.

I had a fabulous day, encouraging each and every team as they prepared to do their search and then really enjoyed watching them.   Marianne

I arrived at 9am sharp for my first judging appointment to church bells clanging loudly heralding a new Sunday in the village of Sharnbrook.  I was pleased they’d stopped by the time we started the Trial an hour later!

Many of the dog/handler teams for this event are my fellow competitors from previous Trials.  They come from far and wide and it was lovely to see their friendly smiles again.

We started with the Outside Article search as I figured the recreation field would get busier as the village woke up and the day wore on.  All was good with this exercise and most dogs coped really well.  Annette & Disney L2 and Liz & Archie L3 worked well in this area – being very small dogs they could investigate the search articles with great intricacy.

With the welcome warmth of the hall, we proceeded on to the Tables and Chairs/Perimeter element of the Trial.  Again, there was no real problem here for most dogs or handlers with L2 Becky & Flossie, Sue & Halle and L3 Laura & Ollie and Teresa & Archie managing very quick times.  A special mention here for Sue & Halle who apart taking the L2 Third place rosette, also won the first Scentwork UK Excellent Title. Well done Sue!

When we went outside for the Vehicle Search, as predicted, the recreation ground presented quite a few distractions with footballers of all ages enjoying a good kickabout! There was also a fair amount of human traffic through the car park which Marianne’s daughter, Nicky, marshalled superbly to enable the competitors to search the vehicles in relative peace. This wasn’t easy as the cars had to be moved into a tighter formation than we’d planned due to a thoughtless individual who had smashed a brown glass bottle right next to them!  In addition there was also a flock of crows or similar in nearby trees squabbling in a cacophony of noise!  Nonetheless, our dog and handler teams carried on regardless with the majority of dogs staying on task and finding two scents.  I think most dogs find the outside searches harder because of the distractions and in the Winter months the training opportunities are less favourable and more difficult.  However, in L2, Caroline & Stanley and L3 Teresa & Archie didn’t find it problematic and executed super quick finds and times.

Our last search of the Trial back indoors was Boxes and Luggage.  With the dogs tiring, this proved more difficult for some of them.  Level 2 folk had their scented articles reasonably easily placed with both scents on items at the edge of the area.  Julia & Winter took on the job in a very fast time and Winter indicated his find beautifully.  I made it more challenging for the Level 3 group by placing both the scented articles on bags, one of which was flat and right in the middle of the search area.  Only Karen’s German Shepherd, Malik, the last team of the day, managed to find it. Special praise is due here as only two days before the Trial Karen was bowled over by an unknown dog whilst out with her dogs and broke her leg.  She left her crutches by the chair, hobbled to the search area and worked Malik wearing a big air boot!  An amazing achievement in itself and then won First place!  Well done Karen!

I was struck by the kind and affectionate handling of the dogs today.  This is one of the few dog sports where the dog takes the lead.  It seems very easy as an observer but it’s often so tricky as a competitor. I saw a lot of skill in the way the dogs had been trained to find the scent and the way they had the confidence to indicate it, in most cases right at the source of the odour.  Many of the dogs had lovely indications making it much easier for the owners to read.

I’d like to thank Marianne for inviting me to judge at this Trial. Her excellent organisational skills ensured a very smoothly run event – even down to the sock swatches being colour co-ordinated according to the odour they’d been scented with!   A brilliant idea and one I’m going to adopt! Thanks also to Nicky who beavers away behind the scenes and to my Scribe, Karen Kendall, who is super-efficient and great at adding up all the totals!

It was a pleasure to spend the day in such great company. It was wonderful to watch the different personalities and styles of the dogs – a whole array from the quiet and gentle like Sarah’s Flynn or the huge enthusiasm of Geof’s boy Bug.  All needing tailor-made training and all truly loved.

Well done everyone!

Karen Denton

A/F = Alert Find H = Handling T = Time (seconds)
  Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Totals
Name of Handler & Dog A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1 Becky & Flossie 20 5 34.76 20 5 30.63 20 4.5 145.75 20 5 120.4 99.5 331.54
2 Sarah & Flynn 20 5 51.96 20 4.75 77.63 20 4.75 111.79 20 4 96.66 98.5 338.04
3 Sue & Halle 20 4.75 25.72 20 4.5 52.37 20 4.75 107.72 20 3 57.66 97 243.47
4 Julia & Winter 20 5 135.44 20 2 93.09 20 4.5 115.21 20 5 37.9 96.5 381.64
5 Caroline & Stanley 20 4 126.15 10 4.75 39.4 20 3 83.44 20 4.75 63.43 86.5 312.42
6 Geof & Bug 20 4 160.75 20 4.5 96.04 20 4.75 99.56 10 3 142.9 86.25 499.25
7 Annette & Disney 20 4 48.42 20 4.75 56.16 10 4 228.43 10 4.5 75.26 77.25 408.27
A/F = Alert Find H = Handling T = Time (seconds)
  Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Totals
Name of Handler & Dog A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1 Karen & Malik 20 3.75 66.75 20 3 75.03 20 4.75 149.28 20 4 58.75 95.5 349.81
2 Liz & Archie 20 4.75 69.53 20 4.75 136.97 20 5 72.47 10 5 43.09 89.5 322.06
3 Laura & Ollie 20 5 49.15 20 5 64.35 20 4.75 104.16 10 4 75.84 88.75 293.5
4 Teresa & Archie 20 5 48.91 20 5 38.57 20 5 37.53 0 3 75 78 200.01