Sun 2nd Jun 2019, Thurleigh

Levels 1 & 2: Judges - Jeni Pirie & Kathryne Tollemache
Level 1

1 Kate Osborn – Kipling – 99.7
2 Nicky Hamlin – Bodie – 99.6
3 Christine Williams – Barley – 99.45
4 Ruth Payton – Dot – 99.45
5 Joan ward – Holly – 99.4
6 Cath Seddon – Reaper – 99.35
7 Chrissie McCrory – Paddy – 98.75
8 Robert Sheppard – Bailey – 79.6
9 Peter Reaves – Rene – 79.6

Level 2

1 Sonia Pidhajeckyj – Ruby – 99.85
2 John Hearn – Skip – 99.55
3 Helen Soper – Toby – 99.5
4 Val Isherwood – Heike – 98.55
5 Harold Latusek – Zack – 89.9
6 Geoff Howard – Chester – 89.85
7 Cath Seddon – Dana – 89.85
8 Jean Payne – Otti – 89.7
9 Gabrielle – Peppa – 89.7
10 Emma Conlisk – Danny – 89.35
11 Martina Ramage – Phoebe – 89.2
12 Keith Clowes – Lexi – 88.3
13 Jeffrey Allen – April – 77.15

Another lovely day for a Scentwork UK trial here at Thurleigh. Today we had level 1 and 2 – lots of new teams in level 1.

The sun shone all day – maybe a little warm around lunchtime but all seemed to cope very well. The car park looked like a holiday park with all the cool nets over the boots of the cars. Lots of people sitting in chairs waiting their turn.

Both judges arrived plus lots of helpers so we set up the tables and chairs and the exterior search first.

The kettle was on so everyone could help themselves to a drink.

Jeni and Katheryne decided where they would like the hides so we sorted those and then we ran the white dog. Super enthusiastic Sully.

The searches got underway without any hiccups and all was running on time.

We stopped for lunch after level 1 had received their rosettes, certificates and clean sweeps. The trophy for first place went to Kate Osborn with Kipling. A very well deserved win.

Level 2 after lunch was lovely to watch. One little dog escaped and ran around the car park but came back and started searching and got her mind back on the job….

Sonia Pidhajeckyj and Ruby came first in level 2 also receiving their excellent rosette. John Hearn with Skip and Harold Latusek with Zack also got their excellent rosettes.

Thank you to everyone who helped during the day. Each and every one of you are so vital to the smooth running of a trial.

See you next time – happy scenting.


Kathryne Tollemache

Thank you Marianne for asking me to judge and for all your work that made the trial run so smoothly. Also a big thank you to Gloria and Nicky for scribing and for Gloria and Keith for organizing the running order. Also, a thank you to those who produced newly washed cars for us to work on. They are very hard to source. Thank you also for Jenni my co-judge who produced an immaculately trained white dog XXXX which turned out to be essential when we were setting up the baggage and boxes. Trials would not run without volunteers like you. Thank you.

I really enjoyed watching all of the participants work their dogs. I was impressed by the range of breeds with a spinone, a boxer, a poodle, a jack Russell, French bulldog, cavellier and three german shepherds of different ages as well as various collies, a lab, a pointer and various spaniels etc etc. It was so nice to see so many dogs who had been trained and had had enough practise so as soon as they saw the tables and chairs for example they recognized the scenario and once they were given direction knew what they had to do. It was also interesting that some dogs gave very clear signals having either been well trained or they naturally were easier to read and other dogs were naturally just very hard to read. I thought everyone did very well. Also, there were so many dogs I would have loved to have taken home.

I am only sorry I can’t mention every one of your dogs in this report, largely because I had to keep going and do my job so I couldn’t spend all the time writing notes on you all.

For Level 1 I judged tables and chairs and vehicles. The scent was on the second chair around the table going clockwise and on the vehicle the scent was on the wheelnut of the diagonally opposite wheel from where you started on the car and a lot of the time the breeze was blowing the scent towards the dogs as they approached the car initially.

In Level 1 I remember some phenomenally quick dogs such as Kate’s Kipling, Robert’s Bailey, John’s Whisper, Christine’s Barley and their owners, as well as Nicky with Bodie, Suzanne with Lottie, Chris with Piglet, Ruth with Dot, Peter with Rene, Cath with Reaper, Joan with Holly, all got high marks for good handling. I noted that Nicky did well to settle Bodie in the tables and chairs. I thought Reaper did particularly well as he a young German Shepherd and I think he is less than a year. I noted he was well handled in the vehicle search. Also, the fact that the yellow lab Kipling is quite reactive had obviously not inhibited his training or stopped him enjoying the work. It was nice to see him do well. I was very impressed how clear Rene’s indication and Holly’s indication was in the vehicle.

At Level 2 I judged the exterior (in a quite hot afternoon that the dogs did well to work in) and in the hall, the bags and luggage . One exterior scent was at the far end of the area in a wooden item and the other was about a third of the way down the area from the start in a collapsed stool. Inside one scent was in a cardboard box as far away from the dog entering as it was possible to get but with the scent facing the dog so a lot of dogs had to come at the box from different angles to catch the scent. The other scent was in the open pocket of a back pack about a third into the centre of spread of boxes and baggage.

Again, some partnerships worked very well such as Val and Heike, Sonia and Ruby, Helen and Toby, Harold and Zack, Cath and Dana, Emma and Danny, Gabrielle and Peppa, John and Skip, Geoff and Chester and Martina and Phoebe. I found Zack and Skip particularly interesting to watch as they were very measured but they knew their job and got results so quickly and clearly. I was also impressed with Emma’s handling of Danny in the exterior search. He was clearly having a great time as well as being effective.

At both levels there were many more outstanding examples of dog handling than the people I have mentioned. All in all I thought the general standard of dog handling was very good. Almost without exception everyone got their dogs attention by their movement and voice and realized that their dogs wanted to please them and were not deliberately making mistakes. I know I was very nervous doing tests and I was impressed that people were able to change tactics mid test if necessary and put a dog on the lead if it needed it or take a moment and start again with a dog.

Thank you for the opportunity to see you work your dogs.

Jeni Pirie

Level 1

I was so pleased to be invited to co-judge the level 1 and 2 trials at Thurleigh. It’s a lovely venue which I have trialled at with my own dog and I therefore already understood some of the challenges that this venue offers. Each venue holds their own intrigue and that’s something I really enjoy in the variety of Scentwork UK trial locations. Judging with Kathryn was a real confidence giver, thank you for welcoming me on to the team. A huge thank you to my faithful and observant scribe Helen Kennedy for sticking with me for the day.

I judged the Exterior search and the boxes and luggage search at this level. We started with the exterior while Kathryn ran Table and Chairs indoors. The Exterior search can be a tricky start point for some of the dogs, they can come in a little excited and interested in the environment. The handlers all did very well to handle the dogs through this. We did have several false alerts in this area, some handlers may have wished they had chosen to be offered three potential hide items, some may have regretted their use of cones in their training at home. However as we made good time we were able to run most of the dogs that false alerted over the correct item to end on a positive note.

I particularly liked the enthusiasm of Paddy, Dot, Kipling, April and Reaper. We had a very near miss with someone feeding just on the line of the cones half way through this search, so we would urge you to remember to reward well through the other side of the cones/ start of search area as directed by your judge.

We saw some amazing handling in this search, most people letting their dogs off lead but remaining in control and those on lead working well around the items.

Boxes and Luggage was my second search environment the hide was on the handle of an item of luggage situated off to the left of the search area. Many of the handlers seemed to focus on the boxes, ignoring the items around the edges and the luggage generally. We had a couple of false alerts, one where the dog became over excited and began playing with the item and another where the handler focused away from the correct item and the dog seemed to become frustrated. But both were able to be run over the correct item to end on a reinforceable note.

All the dogs remained in the search area well and we saw some impressive handling to move the dogs around the search area.

Rene was particularly impressive as his handler commented that he hadn’t yet run over boxes. He clearly knows his job as he searched the items with gusto. Three of the dogs caught the odour from the cones and these dogs were super fast, all coming in under 17 seconds for the search. This included Barley (10 seconds), Dot (16 seconds) and Kipling (14 seconds).

A “white dog” in the shape of a tri colour welsh collie ran all 4 searches before the competitors entered and checked each item for contamination and distractions.

Level 2

I love a day where you can watch two levels, its so interesting to see the progression from level 1 to level 2, the dogs and handlers are growing in confidence. I was lucky to enjoy watching these dogs with Helen Kennedy at my side to scribe for the afternoon and Kate Osborn to run for us.

We started the afternoon with Table, chairs and perimeter. The hides were on a chair close to the cones and the back wheel of a child’s scooter.

Many of the dogs showed interest and many alerted early on the chair, but as it was near the start the handlers lost trust in their dogs and moved them on. Thankfully the vast majority returned to it and many realised what had happened as they returned through the cones to reward.

The perimeter item proved a little more tricky, with many skipping the corner that the item was in and allowing only a cursory glance at the item. For the larger dogs this meant skimming (possibly) above the scent picture. A couple of the dogs were interested in the cycle helmet, most notably the Viszla Chester, who did a beautiful but sadly false alert on the item. We had some beautiful passive alerts on the correct item, even with a little bit of movement at times in the scooter the dogs were able to hold a sustained nose touch.

Our final search of the day was the vehicle. I reminisced about my first 3 car vehicle search during this time and was very pleased to see the confidence the handlers outwardly showed in tackling three vehicles in one search. We had the added environmental distraction of a lawn mower and a hedge trimmer which were really rather loud, but what drive and commitment from the dogs. Peppa was very cleverly handled and gentled through the experience as her handler tells me she is very anxious around novel and loud noises, Peppa found both hidden items despite her emotional response.

With a little soft wind blowing from left to right across the vehicle search the odour swirled and moved underneath and around the vehicles, this distracted some dogs and the owners then lost confidence in the area causing a couple of false alerts. I thought this was an amazing learning opportunity about this type of search and the teams all continued on with increased drive to succeed.

The “white dog” was also run over all of these searches before the competitors began.

I had a wonderful day and I’m really looking forward to my next judging appointment. Thank you so much Marianne for opening the doors of your beautiful venue to me and to Kathryn for your support and amazing knowledge of the sport through the day. Finally thank you to all of our competitors I hope you all enjoyed your day, thank you for remaining positive with your dogs and of course, us!

T&C - A/FT&C - HT&C - TES - A/FES - HES - TVS - A/FVS - HVS - TB&L - A/FB&L - HB&L - TMarksTime
A/F = Alert FindH = HandlingT = Time (seconds)
Tables & ChairsExterior SearchVehicle SearchBoxes & LuggageTotals
1Kate Osborn – Kipling204.751720510204.95342051499.775
2Nicky Hamlin – Bodie204.7589204.9104204.95252055899.6276
3Christine Williams – Barley204.7514204.8110204.9452051099.45179
4Ruth Payton – Dot204.7564204.75152204.95202051699.45252
5Joan ward – Holly204.55620554204.9422054499.4196
6Cath Seddon – Reaper204.78020530204.8549204.85499.35213
7Chrissie McCrory – Paddy204.54720522204.7519204.512698.75214
8Robert Sheppard – Bailey204.75920536204.951104.92079.676
9Peter Reaves – Rene204.74505180204.9292052179.6275
Level 2
1Sonia Pidhajeckyj – Ruby20556204.954420554204.96199.85215
2John Hearn – Skip204.871204.972204.9103204.956599.55311
3Helen Soper – Toby20549204.921204.742204.96499.5176
4Val Isherwood – Heike204.862204.856520448204.93198.55206
5Harold Latusek – Zack20559204.953510523204.9511689.9233
6Geoff Howard – Chester10534204.95520558204.953889.85185
7Cath Seddon – Dana10566204.99420565204.956989.85294
8Jean Payne – Otti204.949104.94920559204.94289.7199
9Gabrielle – Peppa105103204.849205108204.95589.7315
10Emma Conlisk – Danny204.6112204.9539104.85127204.953389.35311
11Martina Ramage – Phoebe20543204.952920587104.2511389.2272
12Keith Clowes – Lexi204.51381045020565204.87688.3329
13Jeffrey Allen – April104.5190203100204.9150104.7512877.15568

Thurleigh Village Hall, 27 High Street, Thurleigh, Bedford. MK44 2DB

Start time: 9.45am
Entry Fees: £24 per dog. Capped at 15 entries. Only one dog per handler.
Contact: Marianne Tembey 07949 786255 / 01933 316446
Download Entry Form to book a place. Fully booked