Wed 18 Mar 2020, Walsall

Levels 2 & 3: Judges - Karen Denton & Harry Latusek
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
1Lynne White - Torin205822056020511020553100305
2Liz Beaumont - Ceri20599205452057420593100311
3Mandy Hunt - Mac205602054120543204.98699.9230
4Debbie Goodwin - Fab20590204.952205222057899.9242
5Anita Scott - Meadow204.911220561204.95402057499.85287
6Penny Harris - Chance20562204.5180200112204.915394.4507
7Jan Martin - Jasmine20575204.964104.75300204.95389.55492
8Ian Crewe - Bond1057220532204.8130104.520979.3443
Level 3
1Chris Bennett - Santi20518020535105982055390366
2Sue McAuliffe - Tiva20566204.878104.91582054789.7349
3Bobbie Osborne - Bella104.912120543205242204.812589.7531
4Rachel Williams - Topic20543205671002952057385478
5Kate Wilkes - Tali20571204.75921003002058284.75545
6Julia Bodsworth - Spot205592053704.93002054179.9437
7Gloria Bonnell - Dylan104.9141105302052402058379.9494
8Ruby Kwok - Boo Boo204.9782052704.93002056279.8467
9Susan Lander - Rolo205202051104.9300204.757379.65404

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

A big Thankyou to Ellen for inviting me along to this lovely new venue at Walsall Rugy club,to co judge the levels 2 and 3 trials,with my good friend,Karen Denton.A Thankyou also to my scribe ,Ellen’s other half,James.My report will be a little brief as Karen has already covered the weather,placings and and circumstances surrounding the trial.
I was tasked with judging the tables/chairs/perimeter and vehicle search in level 2.
Tables/chairs and perimeter
I set the tables up in a square pattern,hiding the scent underneath the furthest away chair to the right.I laid out some 9 articles around the perimeter,hiding the scent inside a tripod and placing this to the far left of the search area.Some lovely searching,with 7 of the 10 teams correctly finding both scents.Patience shown by Mandy as she watched dog move up and down the tripod,waiting until Mac went directly to source.Excellent nose work by Lynne and Torin whilst searching the perimeter,quickly picking up the scented chair and moving across the room,directly to it.Other teams worth of note here were,Penny and Chance,Jan and Jasmine,Debbie and Fab and Liz and Ceri.

Vehicle search
An exterior wall was used at the rear of the building adjoining a patio area,overlooking the main playing field.I decided to hide the first scent in a small crevice of the wall,some 15inches from the ground and immediately to the right of the start line.The second I hid at the bottom of the wall,adjacent to the tarmac,on a corner some 15 meters away.
This search,to my amazement,went extremely well,with 9 of the 10 teams finding both reasonably easy.
It was lovely to watch the handlers tasking their dogs along the wall when they became a little distracted,as not a vehicle in sight.Excellent handling shown by Debbie and Fab,finding both in some 22 seconds,followed by Anne and Ellie in 60 seconds.
My congratulations go all teams,you put on an excellent display of Scentwork,it was a pleasure to watch you all working.

Level 3
Boxes and Luggage
Following a short lunch break (in my own corner),I moved back inside to conduct the boxes and luggage search,13 teams taking part.
I laid out some 14 articles,hiding the gun oil scent in the seam of a small box and placing this to the far right of the search area.The cloves scent I hid in the Velcro handle of a blue bag and placing this to the far left.12 of the teams went on to correctly find both.Excellent teamwork shown by Julia and Spot,Sue and Tiva and Rachel and Topic in 41,47 and 73 seconds respectively.

Moving back outside once again into the showery rain.I placed out some 14 articles hiding the cloves scent in a skateboard, and the gun oil in a small pipe attached to a wooden block.This I placed immediately at the start of the search area and to the right,the skateboard I put centrally at the furthest away point.10 of the teams had no trouble finding both.
Lovely searching all round,with Susan and Rolo showing the way in some 11 seconds,followed by Chris and Santi
and Julia and Spot in 35 and 37 seconds.
All of the teams worked really well despite the miserable weather.It was an honour and pleasure to Judge you.
I look forward to seeing some,if not all of you at sometime in the future.

Judge’s report

Way back I was delighted to accept Ellen’s offer to judge the first Trial in her lovely new venue in Walsall. If I’d been told then that this would be the last Trial I’d judge or the last Scentwork UK Trial to be held for the foreseeable future I’d never have guessed the reason in a million years! Who knew then what was going to unfold!

The cold, damp, rainy day presented many challenges. There were no handshakes, hugs or hot drinks and competitors had to wait their turn in a cold car park or sit in their cars. They brought their own pens and filled in their own personal score sheets which wasn’t easy in the rain and those of us who put out chairs, tables and other items wore innumerable latex gloves throughout the day. These measures were taken, of course, by Ellen to protect everyone but made for a novel experience.

However, the cold and the rain and the extra measures didn’t dampen the spirit of the competitors. They came with their usual smiles and good humour and willingness to give everything a go.

My co judge was Harry who always has a happy demeanor and is good fun to work alongside. We ran Level 2 in the morning and I was overseeing the Boxes & Bags and the Exterior searches. The dog/handler teams covered the bags and boxes very well for the most part with many example of lovely handling. One or two handlers are still not quite believing their dogs but overall I saw some great work here. Lynne’s Torin holds a lovely indication even after I’ve called ‘correct’ which was very impressive. Particularly nice handling came from Liz with Ceri, Debbie with Fab and Anita with Meadow. I was pleased to see that no dog was bothered with Ellen’s life size, very realistic crow which was one of the exterior items! In this search Ian and Bond were very impressive with both finds in 32 seconds. Notables for great teamwork here were Mandy & Mac and Liz & Ceri. Many congratulations to all the teams but especially well done to the following: taking the red rosette and winning was Lynne & Torin, 2nd with Excellent was Liz & Ceri, 3rd Mandy & Mac and 4th Debbie & Fab.

After lunch where we sat miles from each other Level 3 was set up. This time I judged the Vehicle/wall and the Tables & Chairs. The familiar Tables, Chairs and Perimeter presented very few problems for these experienced dogs, For the most part every team dealt with this search with aplomb as the score sheet shows. However, this was not the case for the Vehicle/Wall search. We used the wall due for practical reasons on the day but the inexperience of dogs and handlers really showed here. By their own admission, some handlers had never taught their dogs how to search a wall and many flaws showed. Both dogs and handlers expected the items to be hidden on pipes, drains, flower pots or big obvious doors etc but I’d placed one hide in a small hole and very near to the ground and the other tucked into a door low down next to a pipe. It was raining and because dog teams were unfamiliar with this kind of search and finding it difficult, they were using their full five minutes and some were becoming disillusioned which was a shame. Many dogs didn’t realise the wall had to be searched and were just interested in who’d be there before and promptly peed against it or by it. A few handlers need to think about helping their dogs out by tasking them in when they can see that the dog has got odour but needs a bit of help and some would benefit from being videoed when their dogs are on environmental odour and on target odour so they can observe and compare the difference in behaviour between each. Brilliant searches came from Gloria & Dylan and Bobbie & Bella who found both hides. A white dog was run for both levels.

The challenges certainly challenged but competitors rose the the challenge and, for that, I commend you all. Congratulations to everyone. In 1st place and with Excellent was Chris & Santi, 2nd Sue & Tiva, 3rd Bobbie & Bella and 4th Rachel & Topic. A great result for the Tollers.

Many thanks to Ellen for inviting me to judge and who managed to oversee a safe and enjoyable Trial and to Brenda who scribed for me.

As we enter this weird time warp with much uncertainty I wish you all the best of luck. I think if we all practice plenty in this inordinate amount of spare time we’re going to have, we should come out the other end with super sniffers who are more than ready to rock and roll with new scentwork challenges and trials.

Keep safe everyone.

Karen Denton

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