Sun 20 Aug 2023, Finmere, MK18 4AT

Levels L3 & L6: Judges - L3 Julia Edwards & L6 Kathy Killick

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

Contact: Heather Donnelly
– Tel: 01869 349190

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

20th August 2023 Finmere Level 3

Thanks to Heather for asking me to judge. An enjoyable day with some great partnerships so we had many qualifiers . The first interior search proved to be a tad challenging as it was on the back of a trolley and some low finds caught a few people out but overall a very high quality performance by everybody.

We even had a rare decent summers day which helped . Thanks to everyone who helped the day run smoothly and good luck in your future trials – I am sure you will have lots of success

20 August 2023 Finmere Level 6

Many thanks to Heather for entrusting me with the judging of this L6 trial and to Hazell for efficient scribing, support and good company during the preparation and running of the tests.
One or more White Dogs were deployed for every test to check for residual odour and old hides, to check the strength of hides I placed and to set the times of the tests.
Neither White Dog indicated on two old hides, one in Exterior and one in Interior 2 which I discovered after becoming suspicious when some competing dogs indicated on them. In the Exterior search the test had been completed by all teams before I checked.
Marking for Wrong Alerts was adjusted accordingly. Nevertheless this was a regrettable incident, especially in the Exterior search because it affected the confidence of handlers and dogs. My sincere commiserations to everyone affected.
On to the tests.
Interior 1 was the top half of the hall and the committee room. There was a circle of chairs in the middle and a couple of interesting objects around the perimeter. I placed a Clove hide under the front of a chair in the circle facing the fire exit, a Truffle Oil hide halfway up the right hand fire exit door, Gun Oil under the dado rail just beyond a Good Citizen style gate and another Gun Oil hide in a fairly low seam of the filing cabinet in the Committee room.
Most handlers and dogs missed the Truffle Oil hide. Dogs knocked the odour on the fire extinguisher but either the momentum of the team at the early stage of the search, or the pull of the Clove hide, meant that they bypassed it. I was impressed by the way Elizabeth and Bodie, who went on to win, managed to find this tricky hide.
The table and chairs, and in one case the radiator, in the committee room, absorbed the teams’ time and attention like a sponge. Most teams had missed at least one hide in the hall and, having found the hide in the filing cabinet, were convinced that there was a second hide in the committee room. Some teams were confident to clear the committee room and continue searching the hall where the clove and gun oil hides proved relatively straightforward as long as teams searched the area and didn’t bypass the corner or forget to search the chairs in the middle.
The Exterior search ran from the corner of the building along the wall under the kitchen window, with its collection of pipework, into the corner by the door and along the wall to the corner beyond the ‘garage door’. I placed an early Clove hide in the first little pipe, and the dogs had no trouble knocking this and working to source as long as the handler gave them time to work that bit of wall. The other two hides were in air bricks in the wall, Gun oil immediately before the bins and the Truffle Oil just after. Most teams who worked the area thoroughly made short work of the test and it was good to see confidence returning for them.
Interior 2 was all 3 toilets, the lobby, and the lower part of the hall. I placed a number of chairs along the walls of the hall. There was one Truffle Oil hide in the coatstand at nose height which every dog working the corner found. The remaining four hides were all in the toilets and lobby. A low Gun oil hide in the door hook in the lobby which all dogs that sniffed it found, another Gun oil hide under the sink in the Disabled toilet. There were two in the male toilet, Clove under a urinal and Truffle under a panel near a corner. The Clove pulled many dogs in from the hall and the Truffle proved straightforward as long as the team worked the corner. At least one handler had trouble believing that there was a hide there even though the dog was indicating clearly, but decided to trust the dog to good effect.
All three qualifying teams worked very well overall, showing all the skills needed to meet the challenges of this level. Well done to Helen with Noodle in third place and to Margaret with Time in second. Congratulations to the winning team, Elizabeth and Bodie and to Margaret and Time for achieving Excellence.
For those who missed qualifying, sorry this wasn’t your day.

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