Thu 30 Dec 2021, Salwarpe

Level 1: Judge - Heather Donnelly

Salwarpe Village Hall, Droitwich, Worcestershire WR9 0AH

Start: 10am
Entry Fees: £28 per dog.
Contact: Pauline Whittaker

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Heather Donnelly

My thanks to Pauline Whittaker for inviting me to judge this L1 trial. Pauline’s has the fortune of an excellent backing team so many thanks to Fiona (scribe) , Bridget (scribes, scores) & Judy (runner) for their efforts in making this a very efficiently run trial.
The standard of a L1 was extremely high particularly in the Boxes & luggage search which is normally the search that takes the most victims but this wasn’t the case here with some searches taking as little as 12 seconds to complete successfully. Also it is very rare to see good team work at this entry level as this normally comes together in L3 and onwards when the experienced dog & handler teams really get to know one another but I witnessed some excellent dog handling skills here today.
I hope that competitors thought my feedback was useful and that it helped competitors to understand why marks were either deducted or how the team work could be improved moving forward.
The place getters were as follows:
1st Katie Harvey & Luna – A very young Labrador with a handler who certainly knows how to get the very best out of Luna. Luna was able to contain her enthusiasm with Katie just ‘steering’ Luna as and when necessary. This team shone out here today and a performance like this will result in this team going far. Well done on 1st place.
2nd Nikki James & Cara – Nikki handled this nice sensible collie in a very business like manner. I was surprised to learn that this was Nikki’s first trial as Nikki contained her nerves extremely well enabling her to get the best from Cara. Well done.
3rd Kelly Evans & Data – A lovely partnership completing the Boxes & luggage search in just 16 seconds. It is a brave thing to do for the handler to call the ‘alert’ when the dog has only searched 4 of the 14 items and this shows good team work. Well done.
4th Pam Lloyd & Dillon – This Springer Spaniel performance improved as the day went on. The team work certainly went up a couple of notches during the Boxes & Luggage search with Dillon finding the hidden scent in just 23 seconds. As this teams confidence continues to improve they will be the team to beat. Well done.
Also congratulations to Rebecca Grant & Pixie on gaining their ‘Excellent’ title today and deserving this award on a particularly impressive vehicle search. Pixie is expert at detected the odour within a very large range and with Rebecca’s’ assistance Pixie was able to locate the source accurately as well as efficiently. Lovely to watch.
Special mention to Kerry with Daisy & Nicky with Evie both sensitive collies but in different ways. I was impressed with how intently Daisy searched the items and that Kerry was able to decipher between interest and an indication. Evie struggled with the environment in both the Vehicle & Exterior search and Nicky handled Evie very calmly and expertly enabling Evie to get back into the right zone for me to witness some very focused searching. Well done both of you.
And lastly to Chester the Springer Spaniel whose searching of the boxes & luggage can only be described as master class, with work like this they will go far. Well done.

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