Sun 20 Feb 2022, Hethe

Levels 1 & 6: Judges - L1 Pauline Whittaker, L6 Keith Clowes

Hethe Village Hall, Hardwick Road, Hethe, OX27 8EY

Start: 9am – L1, L6 – 1pm
Entry Fees: £28 per dog.
Contact: Heather Donnelly

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Keith Douglas Clowes

Judges report by Keith Clowes.
Level 6 competition at Hethe on the 20th February 2022.

Heather Donnelly trial manager kindly asked me to judge the level 6 trial.

For this trial I judged all 3 searches. There was some really excellent handling throughout the searches, although a few had problems with the weather.
Interior search. I put 5 scents around the room 2 cloves, 2 gun & 1 truffle. The only scent that caused real problems was one that I had put on the floor, although 3 did find it.
In the exterior search I used 3 scents, 1 cloves, 1 gun and 1 truffle. The weather for this search was getting to gale force which made it difficult.
For the second interior search, I put out 4 scents, 1 cloves, 1 gun & 2 truffle. Due to the high winds the store extension roof rattled and had a very strong draft blowing through. It became an extremely hard search. The dogs had real problems getting to source due the extremely strong draft. The handlers had to work hard and use their knowledge of how drafts cause scent to travel. I would also like it to be noted some dogs where scared by the noise caused by the gale, my sympathy goes out to them and I hope they have recovered.
I would like to congratulate the following three who qualified:

1st Kathy Killick with Rowan (also got her Excellence.)
2nd Suzanne Olford with Luther.
3rd Alison Norrington with Lola.

I would also like to congratulate all the others that took part for being such a fantastic bunch. I would also like to thank all those who helped and in particular Yaz Whitehall my fantastic scribe.

Pauline Whittaker

Judges report Hethe Sunday 20th February
Thanks you to Heather for asking me to judge, to Lynda for scribing and Christine the runner who kept things moving at a timely pace throughout the morning.
The trial today took place in incredibly windy conditions with a constant threat of rain, although we were very lucky not to get any rain, however the wind got worse throughout the morning.
The first search was the tables and chairs, this didn’t prove too difficult for anyone with Jacky & Darcy finding the odour in 12 seconds and Lynda and Lacey at 14 seconds. Only one team didn’t make the find. Lynda & Lacey’s search was fast and systematic and I also noted the nice calm partnership of Clare & Flake.
Next we had the vehicle search with the odour put on the front left wheel of the van, an easy position but the wind complicated this for many teams and there were some examples of the owner not trusting the dog’s indication in this search. 3 teams didn’t make the find and we had some super-fast teams, in particular Alison and Ellie on 8 seconds.
Back inside for boxes and bags, the odour was put centrally in the clip of bag and was easy for most teams to find. The dogs were settling into their searching by this point and I noted nice indications from Karen & Phoenix, Wesley & December and Kelly & Data.
The winds had picked up considerably for the exterior items so much so that the fencing wouldn’t stay up and we had to remove a couple of lighter items. However, despite this, all the dogs made the find which was placed onto a cycle helmet. The two other items of choice were the kettle and fold up chair. Again a couple of very fast times, in particular from the eventual winner Alison and Ellie on 3 seconds and Ruth and Radar on seven seconds.
Well done to everyone, I really enjoyed watching all the partnerships, we had a real mixture of competitors, some new to trials and some who have done a lot in the past with previous dogs. Everyone should be very pleased with how their dogs coped in tricky conditions today.

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