Wed 27 Apr 2022, Lilley

Level 6: Judge - Christine Gregory

Cassell Memorial Hall, Lilley, LU2 8LH

Start: 11:00
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Stacey Robinson

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Many thanks to Stacey for the invitation to judge her L6. Lilley is a great venue with very good facilities. Skye was my scribe for the day, this was her first time and she very quickly got into the flow. Many thanks Skye.

Interior 1, 4 hides, 4 minutes. The area comprised of the entry lobby and half the hall. The hides were basically in a line. The first hide was in the middle seam of double doors dividing lobby and hall. Hide 2 was under the lip of the bottom step leading up to the stage. 3 was was under the lip of the stage, a table was butted up to that hide with the 4th hide under the diagonally opposite table leg. From the way that the dogs only sourced the door hide from within the hall and were very interested in the corner just beyond the table gave a good indication of how the air flow was working in the hall.
As an observation, many handlers tended to move away from a find before retasking their dogs. At the higher levels where hides may well be closer to together you increase your chances of finding those hides if you restart your search from the the find.

Exterior, 5 hides, 4 minutes. The area comprised of part of the front of the hall, a large wheelie bin, drain covers and some wooden posts. The hide that caused the most problems was under the lip of the pebbledash. There was a large seat in front of it which created both a distraction and dictated how that stretch of wall could be worked. Also, air movement seemed to be carrying odour to a nearby drain which kept several dogs occupied but fortunately didn’t lead to any false alerts.

Interior 2, 3 hides, 4 minutes. A kitchen and the other half of the hall. The start was in the kitchen which was blank. Times get tight as you move up the levels, you need to be thorough but I felt that some teams overworked the kitchen (particularly the start, perhaps in the past they’d had their fingers burned by missing early hides?). You can always come back if you feel that there’s an area that needs extra attention. Of course the other side of the coin was the exuberant, “I know what I’m doing Mum” types who bounced around the kitchen and took themselves of to the hall leaving large areas unchecked. As it was they weren’t wrong because all hides were in the hall but it’s an approach that will create extra pressure in L7.
The hides were in the floor in a corner created by a door and pillar, another on a nearby table carrier pushed up against stacks of chairs and the final one close to the boundary of the search area behind a pipe.

The standard was very high as can be seen by the number of qualifiers and the teams that just missed out were well up to this level.

1st Sue and Tiva
For me Tiva is consistency personified and today was no exception. She works at a lovely pace with accuracy and focus. Very well done on both winning and getting your Excellent award.

2nd Alison and Lola
A lovely balance of enthusiasm and independence yet happy to work with Alison when more detailed tasking was required. A team that oozed confidence, I was very impressed.

3rd Rebecca and Marvel
As with 1 and 2 just one hide missed but 2 false alerts. Somehow both Rebecca and Marvel managed to by pass the step hide in Interior 1. Obviously loves his nose work, independent, enthusiastic, maybe a touch random in his area coverage but does respond well when Rebecca steps in to help.

4th Anne and Missy
A cracking little terrier with a good work ethic, a good nose and a team that work very well together. Easy for me to say – I knew where the hides were – but I did feel that Anne got stuck into very detailed tasking right at the start of Interior 2 which perhaps left them a little short of time when they moved into the hall. Nevertheless, good work.

5th Mandy and Mac
My notes said calm and precise (Mac), quiet, calm handling (Mandy). A very thorough team, so one of scentworks mysteries as to why they didn’t get the boundary hide in Interior 2. Lovely work overall though.

6th Emma and Murphy
A lovely active lab with a great nose. Missed 2 hides in Interior 1, I wondered if because it was the first search of the day and Murphy is a fast dog, that he wasn’t quite settled enough to absorb what his nose was telling him? Anyway, bound to carry on doing well.

7th Nikki and Theo
Theo is a daschund and the combination of a typical slippy hall floor and his build meant that the stage hide in Interior 1 was particularly challenging. However, he stuck at it and Nikki waited patiently until he was able to get to source and give his indication. This was particularly impressive as I felt that it took a little while for Theo to settle so it would have been understandable if he’d decided to give up the challenge and move on. I enjoyed watching him work, well done to you both.

Laura and Peanut have qualified out of L6 and ran NFC. There was one moment when Laura got herself unsighted but Peanut was prepared to show her again where the hide was. Other than that little blip it was text book work. Impressive!

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