Sun 27 Mar 2022, Hethe

Levels 3 & 5: Judges - L3 Kathy Killick & L5 Marianne Tembey

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

Start: L3 – 9am & L5 – 1.30pm
Entry Fees: £28 per dog.
Contact: Heather Donnelly

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Marianne Tembey – judge level 5 Hethe 27th March 2022

Thank you to Heather Donnelly for asking me to judge this level 5 at Hethe. Also thank you to Yaz Whitehall for being such a great scribe and providing the white dog.
We started off with the first interior search which was conducted in the main room. I popped some small chairs in the centre of the room and the one nearest the start held a scent on the underneath. The next one was in the corner of the fire door, one on the bottom of the bookcase and the fourth one on the corner of the wall. This last corner one caught three dogs out who just missed going right into the corner. Just a small bit of handling to direct the dog into the corner would maybe have helped. We did have a couple of false alerts during this search but overall the dogs performed really well. The handlers helped where needed and stood back when the dog was working. So well done to all handlers.
We then moved to the exterior search. By this time Heather had asked the lads playing football to move down the field and they did and before the search started they actually moved right away. Exterior searches have enough challenges without a football match as well.
Well done to Vanessa with Lola and Rebecca with Marvel for finding all five. The only two teams who earnt their bonus for this section.
There was clove hidden in the door and all teams found this. At the very start there was gun oil under the grating. This was just as the dogs crossed the start line and some dogs went charging past but quite a few found this straight away. Great handling from just about everyone on this
At the end of the building is a little alley way and I had clove one side of the entrance and gun oil on the other side plus clove on the wooden door at the end of the alley. All teams found the clove on the wooden door. The two scents opposite each other caused 4 dogs to miss the gun oil and 7 dogs to miss the clove side. Some handlers did not task their dogs to check the both sides of the alley and so missed one or both. Well done to Vanessa with Lola and Rebecca with Marvel for finding both of them. Good work from Julia with Joshua, Lynda with Magic, Ruth with Dot, Denise with Oddbod and Mandy with Mac for finding the gun oil by the pipe on the wall. Also great work from Hazel with Cedar and Tracey with Billy for finding the clove on the opposite side.
Back indoors for the second interior search. A bit of a squeeze but all good FUN. One was placed underneath the bottom of a bbq, one by the door at the entrance and one on the door opposite the entrance. No hides were in the corridor but a few handlers kept their dogs in there for a while. Well done to Clare with Ripple, Mandy with Mac, Lynda with Magic, Rebecca with Marvel, Vanessa with Lola and Anne with Gabriella for finding all three and earning their 10 bonus points.
A very well deserved 1st place for Vanessa with Lola achieving top marks.
thank you to all the competitors as it was a great privilege to watch you and your dogs working.

Thank you to Heather for entrusting me with the responsibility for judging at Hethe, for running a very efficient trial, and for securing the services of Ruth Payton as my scribe. Thank you to Ruth for your efficient work, company, and support. The weather conditions were perfect for a Scentwork trial, cool and dry with some breeze. Thank you also to all competitors who allowed me the privilege of watching and judging your work with your canine companions. Thanks are also due to my girl Rowan who checked the hall for residual odour before we set up the first test.
I aimed to set tests that challenged dogs and handlers to ‘think outside the box’ of Levels 1 and 2 by placing some hides in spots that would not be included in those Levels.
In Tables and Chairs, one hide (Clove) was low on a table leg and another (Gun Oil) in the seam of a large wooden unit around the perimeter. A few teams struggled when the dog got stuck on searching chairs and didn’t follow the odour to source on the table leg, but most managed the challenge with varying degrees of aplomb. In the Vehicle and Wall search, one (Clove) was located in an ‘easy’, i.e. familiar, spot on the vehicle, under the front wheel arch. All teams found this one, some of the dogs knocking the odour while searching the wall. There were some handlers who noticed this, and others who didn’t. The other (Gun Oil) proved to be the bugbear of the trial. The hide was fairly early and in a seam just before a corner which had a black drainpipe just beyond it. This proved extremely challenging for dogs and handlers. Many dogs knocked the odour by the drainpipe, having cut the corner, and most handlers, or dogs, got stuck on the drainpipe and eventually called wrong alerts there. One team (the eventual winners) systematically searched the whole of the wall before the corner and into the corner, showing exemplary teamwork in hunting the odour to source. Very well done to Vicky and Dexter.
In Boxes and Luggage both hides were on pieces of luggage, one (Gun Oil) early and the other (Clove) at the other end of the search area. Most teams found both hides with little trouble, but varying degrees of handling skill. One handler forgot that both hides could be on luggage, or on boxes, in Level 3, and therefore doubted her dog’s superb indication. You know who you are! Your teamwork was also a joy to watch throughout all the searches. Not your day, but I look forward to seeing you progress as you deserve to.
We ended with the Exterior search which was also relatively straightforward, one hide (Gun Oil) placed on a trolley handle and the other (Clove) in a hole in a caravan wheel lock. Most teams ended the day on a high note, with smiles on their faces as their dogs worked confidently and located both hides. At this stage I have to mention Rebecca and her lovely boy Freddie. Freddie was obviously distracted by various goings on on the playing field, including a football being kicked about and a lady in hi vis riding a tricycle…and Rebecca’s sympathetic and calm handling enabled him to take the search by storm, bringing them out in second place overall.
I was absolutely delighted to see my lineup after all the various scores had been calculated, checked and cross checked. I was even more chuffed to hear that you had enjoyed the trial despite the challenges. Well done to you all and best of luck in the future.
Kathy Killick

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