Sun 23 Jan 2022, Stithians

Levels 2 & 4: Judges - L2: Faye Sparkes, L4: Hannah Crook

Stithians Centre, Church Rd, Stithians TR3 7DH

Start: Level 2: 9.30 am / Level 4: 2.00 pm estimate
Entry Fees: £26.00 per dog.
Contact: Jackie Lawer

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Level 4
Thank you to Jackie for asking me to judge – and providing dry – if cold – weather (this is a novelty for Cornwall!)
I always find this an odd level to Judge. There is such a jump between levels 1-4 and then 5 onwards, I always try to look at the sorts of challenges people will see in the more environmental searches and add an element of that if I can.
I feel a bit sorry for Level 4 really… it seems to be the level everyone wants to skip!
Distraction scents – Tea and shampoo

We started with a Vehicle search, I did think this was nice, we tend to see Walls now, it is an interesting challenge to get the vehicle again.

3 vehicles, a transit van between two cars.
I debated putting the two finds on one, but thought everyone would be expecting that! (As it happens a few forgot and called the dog away when it went back to different areas of the first vehicle)
In the end, I placed the Clove find on the first vehicle, so the dogs hit it as soon as they moved into the area. Testing the dogs commitment and the handlers confidence. Every team got this find, although a couple had to move round the vehicle once before having the confidence to call.
The second find was placed on the 3rd vehicle, on a wheel in the far corner of the search area. Again, this was done deliberately as the wind was coming from that direction. Most dogs caught the scent on the middle van, and a couple gave unlucky WAs on the interest on the van.
It was a very distracting search to start with, but the teams all managed very well, setting a nice high standard.

Distraction Shampoo – placed on a chair.
I left the perimeter pretty bare, other than a small folding table, a stack of children’s chairs, Henry hoover, floor bursh and chair dolly.
There were a few features on the walls, some piping, a door and the radiators. The radiators were on, so the teams were told they did not need to search.
The Clove find was placed in the door frame, next to the folding table. I enjoyed watching the dogs work the table and tack into the find, it was lovely to see.
The Gun oil on a chair, many caught this on the table and back tracked a couple gave me minor heart attacks thinking they would call the table!
One dog indicated on the shampoo and another sadly called the same find twice. Otherwise, all teams searched very nicely.

This was an interesting search in a small, artificial grassed area. It created nice clear boundaries for the handlers. 13 items were placed out, The finds being on a set of bathroom scales and some long plumbing pipe.
The wind had picked up a bit, so it was interesting to watch the dogs search. The clove (scales) was placed very close to where the handlers entered, only one dog picked this up straight away, most having to move into the wind and track back. The artificial grass seemed to catch a lot of odour and the dogs had to work hard to get back to source but pinpointed it well. The pipe find was set up for that reason, to see if the dogs could pinpoint on a larger item. It was also placed so the air movement would help them with this, a couple of dogs caught it on the wrong end and worked back really nicely. Everyone called on the precise point.

Distractions Tea/Shampoo
Both finds were placed in bags, next to each other (about 4ft gap). I’m pleased to say this did not cause anyone any issues. Gun oil in the zip of a leather handbag and clove on the handle of a suitcase.
Some of the dogs were tiring a bit, but they all searched really nicely.

Through the day the deductions came mainly for not believing indications. I wholeheartedly approve of people holding out for the indication you have been training. I will only dock for this if the indication you call it on is not as good as the first one the dog gives 😉
Marks also came of for dogs returning to the scent they had already found.

All in all, the teams were a joy to watch, kind and considerate handling and coping with the challenges of this trial well. It was not meant to be easy 😉 /
I hope you all have great fun in Level 5 !

Big congratulations to Lesley and Toffee for not only winning but getting her excellent, and to everyone else with their personal achievements of the day.

Level 2
I would like to say thank you to Jackie for asking me to judge Sunday’s Level 2. Thank you to my wonderful scribes Lisa and Serena. The weather conditions for the trial was clear with a slight chill in the wind.
All the teams worked well and there are great partnerships in the making. The use of long lines and methodical search patterns were impressive.
You have all worked on your indication training and it shows in the results. The handling and team work was fantastic.
Well done to everyone that qualified and to those who did not, I hope you enjoyed it and learnt something from the trial.

A cold but dry day in the depths of the Cornish countryside! Well done to everyone who enjoyed a fun day out with their dogs – spirits generally seemed high, especially when the teams were waiting inside for their turn!
A huge thank you to Faye Sparkes for judging our L2 trial in the morning and to Hannah Crook for judging the L4 in the afternoon. It was obvious in both trials that some thought had gone into making the trials interesting and appropriate for the levels. Many thanks also to everyone who helped out, whether scribing, setting up and packing away or supplying vehicles for the search! Your help is really appreciated as we could not run trials without it.
Jackie Lawer, TM

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