Sun 23 Oct 2022, Wichenford

Level 5: Judge - Christine Gregory

Wichenford Memorial Hall, Venn Lane, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YF

Start: 9am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Bridget Francis

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

I was very happy to receive the invitation to judge at Whichenford. Bridget as TM kept everything running smoothly and I would never have known that this was Debbie’s first go at scribing. M.any thanks to you both.

At Level 5 the familiar prompts of the earlier levels are no longer there, instead it’s about multi room searches and clearing areas. A plan of attack has to be devised in a very short amount of time and then, even more quickly, modified if your dog decides that they don’t like your plan – it isn’t easy. Often it will be the dogs first time at the venue and not only do they have to adjust and cope with the new environment they also have to deal with mum’s “jingly jangly” nerves. Team work is everything and no matter how nervous, anxious, frustrated we get we need to try, as much as we can, to not transmit those negative emotion to our dogs.

All areas were “white dogged” pre and post placement of hides.

Interior 1
Half the main hall, a very small store room and half the kitchen. 5 hides, 5 mins.
The time allowance proved to be more than adequate. A theme that became apparent throughout the day was that handlers did not seem to expect hides to be close together. I had 2 hides (different odours) at each end of a radiator (1 high, 1 low). Philippa and Stan were the only team to find both, well done. The hide towards the front of the store room and the one in the water spout didn’t prove a problem. The one that did, and required some tasking, was on the wheel of the frig. It was slightly set back from the line of units and that, together with the frig door being ajar perhaps caused the dogs to cut the corner. Karen and Phoenix, Liz and Cash and Tina and Rioja did a good job here.

Sleepers forming a small raised bed, large bench, both close to the start, a wall and some support posts. 3 hides, 2 1/2 mins.
2 hides were on each end of the bench. With the exception of my winner, the other handlers after finding 1 on the bench moved their dogs on. The 3rd hide under a waste pipe was easily found.

Interior 2
The other half of the hall, a corridor and a cluttered store room. 4 hides, 4 mins.
1 hide was in the bristles of a brush and the direct route to it was obstructed by a mop bucket and a dust pan. The other in the store room was stuck to a floppy sign projecting from a trolley a couple of metre’s away. The broom proved tricky(clove) but not as tricky as the hide under the dado rail (gun oil) in the hall. If the dogs weren’t tasked to the rail then they didn’t get it, fortunately 4 teams had enough time to do just that, well done. The hide on the sliding door in the corridor didn’t present any problems.

At the end of the day I had two very well deserving qualifiers.
1st Jo and Cora. They were very good. The harmony that they demonstrated in their work was outstanding, it was a pleasure to watch. It was all the more impressive because Cora has impaired sight and Jo has devised a way of communication that guides Cora to the areas/objects to be searched. They earned bonus points in Exterior and got their Excellent award too! Very well done and good luck in Level 6.

2nd Tina and Rioja. Rio is very exciting. Once his misunderstanding of what’s required of his indication has been resolved then I’m sure he’s going to do very well in the higher levels. Well done Tina.

Many thanks to all the other competitors, you were all a pleasure to judge and I wish you well for your future trials.

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