Sun 20 Jun 2021, Finmere

Levels 1 & 5: Judges - L1 Lynn Bell, L5 Yaz Whitehall

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

Start: 9am
Entry Fees: £27.00 per dog.
Contact: Heather Donnelly
L1 in the morning & L5 in the afternoon.

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

L1 judges report

It is always a privilege to judge dogs and handlers at the start of their Scentwork journey. Finmere is where I started my foray into scentwork and so I was pleased to have an opportunity to judge others who have become addicted to this sport. The Covid rules do mean things are more rushed these days, but hopefully this did not add any extra pressure to those taking part. But Heather kept things moving extremely well and my scribe Yaz, once again scribing for me and being very professional and efficient in this role.

The searches were designed to be straightforward, giving the dog and handler a chance to demonstrate they could work as a team and find the odour. Although it was the vehicle and boxes and luggage which proved to be the most challenging. But that can be a trend in many of the lower level searches. At trials time can seen like an eternity. The wait and then in this case the actual 3 minute search. On the boxes and luggage it was generally a case of people jumping the gun so to speak. Some of this was possibly the lack of experience, mixed with the fact that training had probably been mixed due to the Covid restrictions and a little bit of nerves flung in for good measure. I think most people realised that a bit of patience and not rushing things is a good idea and I am sure next time, they will hold out a bit longer to be sure. Losing any handling marks is a lot less than those lost for not finding the item.

Again on the vehicle search, it was a mixture of not being patient and waiting for the dog to get to source and being over the 6” away from the spot combined with the environment being more interesting. I was aware that the rain that set in for the later searches added a new factor, but that’s British weather for you. It’s either too hot, too cold or too wet. We just have to be prepared for it all with our training.

For many of the searches, it was a pleasure to watch the dogs and handlers and for me there is nothing better than to watch the dogs enjoying what comes naturally to them. I feel for those handlers when things didn’t go to plan. Do remember you are not alone, we have all had good and bad days at trials. Hopefully the glitches that some of you faced wont deter you from continuing in this great sport for your and your dog. I look forward to seeing all your future successes announced on FB.

Firstly a big thankyou to Heather Donnelly for inviting me to judge my first level 5, and to my fantastic scribe Melanie Goble, it was great to see you again. Heather did a great job as usual at keeping everything flowing smoothly and providing the much needed coffee.
A total of 8 competitors, 1 NFC resulting in 5 qualifiers.
There were 4 hides in each search area, the exterior search appears to have been the most favoured with 7 achieving full marks. Peter Jefferies must have nerves of steal having had 3 wrong alerts in the 1st search area and Coco offering 2 half hearted indications in the 2nd interior search. Well done Peter. Some of the dogs and handlers found that it was a big step up from level 4 to 5 and got a little bogged down with over searching, others needed to be a little more precise with identifying the location of the hide.
Only 1 dog achieving all 12 finds, congratulations Stacey Robinson and Ghost. Ghost certainly did a fab job today and only needed Stacey to make the call, the dog worked smoothly and freely and it was a pleasure to watch and deserved the win.
Again congratulations to all competitors and thankyou for making my 1st 5 a good one, and we managed to stay dry.

Comments are closed.