Sun 31 Oct 2021, Yarwell

Level 7: Judge - Heather Donnelly

Village Hall, Main Street, Yarwell.Peterboro. PE8 6PR

Start: 10am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Nikki Johnson rockdogoutdoors@gmail.com

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Heather Donnelly

A big thank you to Justine & Nikki for asking me to judge the L7 trial at Yarwell, Peterborough. The venue was excellent being a very large main hall, plenty outdoor area and kitchen & toilet areas available for the interior 2 search. The day ran very smoothly with Nikki trial’s managing and my very able scribe Victoria Boyd.
In the first ‘interior’ search I hid 6 articles as I thought the competitors would assume that there were only 5 and would call the ‘All Clear’ after only finding 5. One competitor found 5 and the others 4 with most calling the ‘All Clear’. The finds which seemed to be the most difficult to locate were 2, both of a different odour, hidden in the seam either side of a door. All the dogs detected the combination of the 2 odours and weaved in-between the two before finally indicating on one. Unfortunately, all the handlers made the assumption that there was just the one scent hidden here and prevented their dogs from returning when their dog picked up the second scent. The scent under the dado was also missed by some teams as it was fairly close to my scribe and because of this some competitors appeared to under searched this area.
As the weather was particularly stormy, a decision was made to stay indoors and judge the Interior 2 search instead of the ‘Exterior’ which was the kitchen. I hid 3 scented articles and most teams found 2. The most difficult scent appeared to the one hidden on a radiator which was underneath a worktop next to a peddle bin. Competitors seemed reluctant to really insist their dogs searched behind the bin except for 2 handlers who were rewarded with this fairly easy find.
It was still rather blowy whilst searching the ‘Exterior’ although most teams worked this area really well. I wanted to see how the dogs coped with the wind by hiding the first article very early on behind a down pipe. As this was down wind the dogs, would only find it on their return which most did. The second article was also behind a down pipe and on a wall which was sheltered from the wind and the third scented article was hidden on the last tree near the end of the search area. To be successful handlers needed to direct their dog behind the tree to locate it as again the wind was blowing the scent out of the search area. One team found all 3 articles and the others finding 2.
Unfortunately I didn’t end up with any qualifiers although 2 teams were unlucky not to have done so. L7 is difficult and the team has to be on top form to qualify at this very challenging level.

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