Kennel Club Working Trial Championships
Hosted by Wessex Working Trials Club on
16 - 18 October 2014
Sponsored by The Kennel Club & Arden Grange
Patrol Dog Stake
Judge: Paul Morling
Steward: Karen Walker
Report by Paul Morling
Tracking involves following the footprints of a person and
finding articles that have been left in their footprints. The
tracking for the Patrol Dog Stake was on lush grass approximately 6
inches long and my tracks were laid just as I envisaged them, I
could not have asked for more; my thanks to the track layers
Andy Lloyd and Lindsay Poole. As the conditions were so good I
tried to set a track that was a little challenging, the first
article was a plastic leg and the last a 4 inch square of denim. I
really enjoyed watching all the teams and I saw some excellent
handling and tracking.
The second part of the nosework was the search square which is a
25 yard box with a pole at each corner. The dog has five minutes to
try and retrieve up to 4 articles without the handler entering the
area. The square steward Karen Warner walked the square while the
dogs were tracking. Once the track was finished and the handler was
talking to me she laid the articles. There were varying degrees of
success in the square.
Control & Agility
The control field was a very large, flat, grass field with no
obvious boundaries. My test
started with the heel work which began with a figure of eight
around the 'clear' and 'long' jumps and then out into the field to
the vicinity of the send away. The send away involves sending your
dog in a straight line to a point in the field the judge has
nominated. The send away was at an angle to the right, through the
field to two car tyres stacked flat on top of each other. The
redirect was to two more tyres leaning against each other that were
straight out from the handler, where the normal outrun would
Following the send away was the agility. The jumps were set out
so the 'clear' and 'long' were parallel to each other. The long was
positioned ahead of the clear and the 'scale' a good distance in
front of the clear. No second attempts were allowed. The 'speak'
took place on the tracking field while the handler was reporting to
me and I was taking their details; I allowed for 10 barks then
asked them to cease. The 'gun' was the last exercise on the
tracking field. The handler was asked to walk their dog away from
me, dog at their side; I fired the blank and then ended the
exercise. The stays took place in the control field with handlers
going out of sight behind a van.
Patrol Steward & First
Protected Stewards: Vic &
Anthony Snook (chase, recall, test of courage, escort and defence
Malc Snowdon & Nigel Heinz (last hide & search)
Charlie Taylor (short chase, test of courage, jogger,)
Gary Martin (far hide in camouflage suit)
Chase: Dog is sent to stop Protected
Recall: Dog is sent to stop Protected Steward
but at approximately half way returns to the handler on
Test of courage: Dog is sent to stop a
Protected Steward(s) and its resolve is tested, in this case by
noisy plastic bottles on ropes used as a deterrent.
Quarter: Dog is sent to find one of the
Protected Stewards and is required to bark to alert the handler
once the person has been located.
Escort: Handler escorts one of the Protected
Stewards from one place to another with their dog by their side
Search: Protected Stewards or hide are searched
for weapons or suspicious items.
A draw was made by the Trials Manager to establish the running
order for the Control and Patrol Dog (PD) rounds. My round was
designed as a total lock out, so handlers and spouses were asked to
wait out of sight with a steward until it was their turn to work.
None of the handlers came onto the PD field with any prior
knowledge of the test. As the PD field didn't have any natural
hides a 10ft square gazebo was set up in the middle to provide a
break in the line of sight for some exercises and to also provide
cover for the Protected Stewards. Five smaller tents were also
positioned around the field acting as hides.
When the handlers came onto the field it was explained that they
would not be told whether the exercise would involve the chase or
the recall until after the dog had been sent. If they wanted to use
a whistle it had to be around their neck from the start. My
intention was to see every dog go flat out on each exercise.
The test started with the recall. The handler stood at the start
pole and was told to get his dog under control and ready for the
test to start, when they were happy the test began. Two Protected
Stewards had been placed about 15 paces either side of the handler
and started walking into the field challenging each other and being
challenged by the handler. They came together and ran around the
side of the gazebo, as they went out of sight, the dog was sent and
as the dog went out of sight it was recalled. Watching these dogs
run flat out and responding to the recall so efficiently was spine
Two further control exercises followed the first which included
a short chase where one of the Protected Stewards came out of the
gazebo and started abusing me, gave me a push, and ran. The handler
had to send his dog to detain the man, all the competitors achieved
this. On joining their dogs and gaining control they were told to
hold the dog by the collar for the next exercise. The short chase
Protected Steward then started walking away towards the gazebo
challenging the handler as he went; on nearing the gazebo he
sprinted towards it and the dog was sent. As the Protected Steward
ran into the gazebo, two more stewards ran out and imitated an
attack on the dog, the test of courage, with plastic bottles on
ropes. All dogs were very committed and barely broke stride.
The quarter was next. The dog was sent back to the first hide
where the steward was hiding, each of the dogs located Karen with
very strong speaks (no search). Unknown to the handlers, a steward
was in the third and furthest hide on the quarter, on the floor in
a camouflage sniper suit (again, no search). It soon became
apparent that some handlers were unaware that there was someone in
the hide and were surprised when their dog indicated this. The
quarter continued and as the dog approached the last hide, the
handler was brought across the field so he could not see his dog or
the hide and had to wait for his dog to speak before being allowed
to join them. Once the handler had joined their dog at the last
hide they were told to do a full search of the Protected Stewards
and the hide.
When the handler had finished searching the Protected Stewards
and had started searching the hide, a steward appeared and made
himself a nuisance. Five of the six dogs ended up detaining him.
After this, the handler could choose whether to go back to the hide
and continue searching it or declare that they hadn't found
anything. The final exercise was a chase. Two stewards came
from either side of the gazebo and walked towards the handler
keeping the same distance between them; when they were within
twenty feet of the handler they turned running together, back past
the right hand side of the gazebo. As they disappeared out of
sight, the dog was sent. When the dog had stopped one of the men,
the handler was allowed to join them and take control of the
situation marking the end of the test.
I would like to thank Karen Walker my steward throughout the
KCCs for doing such a great job. Her experience of stewarding for
me in the past and her knowledge of PD were invaluable, cheers
mate. To my Protected Stewards, what can I say? Without you this PD
test could not have happened, your input was greatly appreciated,
enabling my test to be exactly as I had envisaged. I thought you
put on a great show, thanks so much. Also, my thanks to all the
volunteers who run throughout the year, and who enable the
qualifiers to compete at this event. Competitors, wow! I thought
you were awesome and a credit to Working Trials. I hope you enjoyed
my test as much as I enjoyed watching you; it was an honour to be
asked to judge you. My judging criteria were the same as always; if
you do it, you get points, if you don't, you don't get points.
Thank you for taking my decisions in a sporting manner. Also, thank
you for your integrity in the lockout, enabling the test to be an
even playing field.
Thank you to Brian and Barbara, the Committee, and members of
Wessex for organising these terrific KCCs - running trials is never
easy, let alone the KCCs! Thanks a lot and also for looking after
me so well. It was also great to meet the Chairman of the Kennel
Club and his group of representatives. I hope you all had an
interesting and enjoyable weekend.
Cheers Paul Morling
1st Dave Olley with WTCh Little Raymond
Consistent, controlled, focused and driven are some of
the qualities that I think make a KCC winning team; I think anyone
who watched these two in action this weekend will agree. Dave said
to me "I've never qualified under you before." What a way to start!
Congratulations on your weekend that can never be bettered, only
2nd Alan Bexon with WTCh Fly By Night Lad
Another great performance from this very successful team,
what a year you have had and reserve at the KCCs as well!
3rd Wendy Beasley with WTCh Stardell Lunar
Lunar was certainly a star today, not much to choose
between any of these teams, well done Wendy.
4th Lee Payne with Little Rough Rhinestone
As always a team to fear, a perfect track and great to
5th Diane Ling with Deben Little Tom
Another brilliant team, so close, well done Diane.
6th Joe Magness with Lizline Mandoline
What a dog, always makes the hairs on the back of my neck
stand up, good luck in the future Joe.