Tue 07 Sep 2021, Solihull

Level 8: Judge - Heather Donnelly

Solihull Lodge Community Centre, Grafton Road, Shirley, Solihull, B90 1NH

Start: 10.30am
Entry Fees: £29 per dog.
Contact: Mandy Rigby mandy@yesgooddog.co.uk

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Heather Donnelly

My thanks to Mandy Rigby for running the L8 trial and scribe Kerry to getting to grips with the L8 paperwork where accurate scoring is so crucial.
We had 7 entries including one NFC which was Alison and her young dog Dillon who did a very credible round. Just need to leave those decoys alone Dillon!
Interestingly it appeared that the handlers rather than the dogs were a little rusty after ‘lock down’ but don’t be despondent if you didn’t qualify today as this is easily remedied. Most of the ‘false alerts’ were on decoys and some competitors did get close to ‘blowing out’ so there were a couple of scary moments for me and my scribe.
I hid 10 hides in total, 8 in the ‘Interior 1’ search and just one in the ‘Exterior’ and ‘Interior 2’ search. It was the first search which sorted out the qualifiers as at least 6 out of the 8 hides needed to be found to have a chance of qualifying. Chris & Dilly worked this area really well, finding 6 and just missing out on the two hidden under the dado near the doors. Chris & Dilly went on to find the hides in the other 2 searches without any problems and with Chris even being confident enough to call the ‘All Clear’ in the last search making her the clear winner today. Well done.
Karen & Zelda were the other team to find 6 hides and Zelda took quite a liking to the decoys which did put the on pressure on Karen but Karen’s, in her usual cool and calm manner didn’t allow herself to become flustered and gaining another L8 qualification as well as her well-deserved ‘Excellent’ title. Well done.
Nikki & Ellie just missed out finding just 5 in the first search but a good overall performance will ensure that it won’t be long before Ellie qualifies L8 as this team deserves. Not sure how Ellie will take to retirement though Nikki!

Mandy Rigby
Trial Manager – Level 8 – 7th Sept 2021

I had the pleasure in hosting a Level 8 Trial at Solihull Lodge Community Centre. At the present time Level 8 is the highest competition level and the search criteria is very different. No boxes, bags, or exterior items to transport but I did ensure the hall was nice and clean and ready for the Judge and scribe to work through scent placement. Areas not required to be searched were masked off with hazard tape.

The trial started well on time at 10.30am. The sun was shining so everyone ensured their dogs were kept cool under reflector blankets and the cars parked in the shade and I provided a paddling pool for the dogs if they wanted a paw dip. The competitors enjoyed a catch up and cake in between their searches.

As TM & runner unfortunately I am not able to observe the searches but all the competitors did amazingly well for this challenging level. I learnt a great deal about the setting up and the scoring criteria for this higher level and enjoyed seeing and chatting to the competitors.

A huge congratulations to Christine Gregory and Dilly who took first place and a beautiful L8 trophy and to Karen Denton and Zelda who achieved second place and also the first team to gain the SWUK L8 Excellent Title!

A huge thank you to Heather Donnelly for her brilliant Judging and to Kerry Lancaster for her efficient scribing, both ensuring the trial ran smoothly and in good time.

I hope those that didn’t qualify still took a massive amount of experience away with them at this ‘top of the shop’ level. It was a really friendly trial and a pleasure to host for everyone

The other lovely competitiors that competed on the L8 today who all deserve a mention too were,

Nikki Inglis & Elli
Dolores Palmer & Gypsy
Sarah Taylor & Hugo
Susan Benson & Lyla
Alison Williamson (NFC)

A final thank you goes to hubby Mr Rigby who travelled to the trial venue especially to bring the winners trophy over to us ready for the presentation as it had only arrived at my home address mid morning of the trial (the original order had arrived smashed) Big TM relief

A great and memorable day!

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