Sun 22 May 2016, Sharnbrook

Levels 1 & 2. Judge - Tracey Alker

Sunday 22nd May 2016 at: Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. Judge: Tracey Alker

Level 1

1st Geof & Bug 97.5
2nd Karen & Malik 97
3rd Katherine & Handley 95.5
4th Jenny & Harvey 75
5th Tracey & Hardy 74.5
6th Teresa & Archie 74
7th Julia & Winter 54

Level 2

1st Karen & Zelda 99
2nd Karen & Zsa Zsa 87

The sun was shining, which was brilliant as rain had been forecast. This was my second level 1 trial that I was hosting but this time we were doing a level 2 as well. I had spent days ensuring that everything was packed and ready to go. Van went off to get power washed so was lovely and shiny ready for the vehicle search. Tea/coffee cakes and biscuits were all in the bag. Extra trip to the supermarket to make sure that we had enough boxes.

The van was packed with so much stuff that there was barely room for the dogs, but we were ready.

I arrived at the hall and started to get the exterior search ready. We were doing both outside searches first this time as did not want everyone to get wet later. But the sun stayed out all day.

Tracey the judge arrived and was eager to get started. So we did the draw to see the running order and off we went. First in was Karen and Malik who had a cracking search. She worked beautifully and found the hiiden swab in between the two flower pots. Next up we had Jenny and Harvey who was amazing. Harvey found the hidden scent in forty three seconds. Really pleased. Next we had Julia and Winter who is a lovely Japanese Spitz. He also had no trouble finding the swab.

All competitors (both level 1 and 2) found the exterior search items. Some took a little longer but we held our breath and all passed this section.

Next we did the vehicle search, and all level 1 dogs found the scented article in a very quick time. The fastest being Geof and Bug in 35 seconds. Level 2 dogs took a bit longer but then they did have to find two articles and had three vehicles to search. Zelda found them both in just under three minutes whilst Zsa Zsa struggled a little and only found one in 4 minutes 15 seconds.

We then tackled the boxes and luggage, where there were some confusing searches. Only 3 out of the 7 entered actually found this as some people were calling too quickly and some dogs were indicating on the wrong item. All very confusing but down to nerves and the floor being extremely slippery, I think they must have polished it too much. Next time.

Both the level 2 dogs found the boxes and luggage without any great problems – although again the floor proved to be a problem.

Next we had the tables and chairs where we had some brilliant searching. Sadly only Julia and Winter failed to find the correct chair, Winter sat between two chairs and Julia just called on the wrong one. Again just nerves on the day as in class Winter is always very smart on chairs.

Level 2 for tables and chairs was lovely to watch with both handlers being rewarded with top marks from our judge Tracey.

All done and everyone having a sit down and a welcome cup of coffee and everyone breathing again. Judge Tracey 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 Becky Harris for organising everyone to ensure they were at each section on time and putting everyone at ease. Also a big thank you to Nicki White for helping move equipment, load and unload my van, 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 had a lovely day in Sharnbrook for the Level 1 & 2 Scentwork trials.

Marianne was a lovely host and was there ready with a packed van when I arrived. I knew I was in the right place as Merri was looking out from the van to greet me!

After deciding which order to run the day, we set out the exterior search for level 1. I tried my best to make everyone feel at ease as I know a test situation can make handlers very nervous! It was a great start to the day with all 7 teams finding the scented article (between 2 white pots) from the 3 items I had chosen. Both Teresa and Katherine held off calling the alert until they were sure of the item, with Archie being very interested in the chair (not one of the chosen 3 items) and Handley being quite interested in the grass and the fencing. The handlers did very well to hold their nerve and both dogs alerted just in time. Phew!

Next up was the level 1 vehicle search (the hide was in the front grill on the right). This was a fast round with Tracey & Hardy in top place alerting within 9 seconds. Wow! The slowest time was only 27 seconds so lots of confidence alerting on the vehicle today with very positive indications from the dogs.

We then did the level 2 exterior search where Karen proved she knew her dog Zelda very well. Zelda was very interested in the red boxes in the top left hand corner of the search area but Karen waited until a more positive indication was made on the green rolled up garden edging in the top right position. Very good handling. The second article was placed between the 2 files midway on the left hand side. Both articles were successfully alerted by both Karen’s.

The level 2 vehicle search had distractions as the car park was busy and the bowls teams had a match on! I’m pleased to say that neither dog was tempted by the moving bowls and concentrated on the task in hand, but, sadly Zsa Zsa was indicating on the rear wheel arch of the decoy vehicle. Karen understandably called the alert from her behaviour which was incorrect on this occasion. She did very well with finding the second article on the wind though (placed low down in the front grill of the black clio) and called this find correctly. The second hide was in the rear wheel arch of the white van
(driver’s side).

While the sun was still shining (thundery showers were forecast) we moved indoors for the level 1 container search. We then discovered that the floor had been recently polished! This proved the hardest challenge of the day as only 3 of the 7 teams found the article. Julia was unlucky here as her dog Winter was indicating on the wrong bag. I understand why she called the alert from reading his behaviour. The hide was actually in the half opened pocket of the black rucksack.

We tried to come prepared for the days’ eventualities thinking a dog may foul an area at some point through nerves. Nobody did. I was however, unprepared for our first contestant on the tables and chairs test. Archie found the article and then decided it would be nice for lunch! He pulled it from the tape underneath the chair and promptly swallowed it, meaning we had to wait 10 minutes for the next scent to cook. We had some fantastic quick alerts from Katherine & Handley, Geof & Bug and Karen & Malik. Winter had sat between 2 chairs and Julia was stood behind the ‘other’ chair. I feel if she had continued to walk and not stand still, Winter would have searched longer for the source and alerted on the correct chair.

Both Karen’s gave good guiding arm movements to encourage their dogs where to search in level 2. They worked thorough methodical searches in both directions on the room perimeter / tables and chairs and successfully pinpointed the articles.

With all the tests completed we gathered indoors for a very welcomed drink and to find out the results of the day. Certificates, rosettes and trophies
were then handed out and photographs were taken of the day’s achievements.

I’d like to thank Marianne for organising the day and also her two helpers Becky Harris and Nicky White. There is a lot of activity going on behind the scenes to make these trials happen, and I’d also like to thank our competitors for their patience and co-operation while the different tests were being set up. Special thanks go to Mister Kai for his fast, accurate performances as our white dog, with Marianne of course.

Well done to all of you. I hope you enjoyed the day and the experience encourages you through to your next levels!

Level 1 A/F = Alert Find H = Handling T = Time (seconds)
Position No Handler Dog Breed Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Totals
A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1st Geof Bug Pointer x 20 5 19 20 4 35 20 4 19 20 4.5 43 97.5 116
2nd Karen Malik GSD 20 5 19 20 3.5 69 20 4.5 12 20 4 15 97 115
3rd Katherine Handley Lab 20 5 14 20 3 180 20 4 24 20 3.5 24 95.5 242
4th Jenny Harvey Clumber sp 20 4.5 28 20 4 43 20 4.5 13 0 3 62 76 146
5th Tracey Hardy Lab 20 4 35 20 3.5 65 20 5 9.00 0 2 2 74.5 111
6th Teresa Archie Lab 20 4 45 20 4 27 20 2.5 180 0 3.5 15 74 267
NQ Julia Winter Spitz 0 3 65 20 3.5 60 20 4 17 0 3.5 35 54 177
Level 2 A/F = Alert Find H = Handling T = Time (seconds)
Position No Handler Dog Breed Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Totals
A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1st Karen Zelda Belgian Mal 20 4.5 114 20 5 99 20 5 145 20 4.5 94 99 452
2nd Karen Zsa Zsa GSD 10 3.5 255 20 4 145 20 5 72 20 4.5 105 87 577