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BRONZE LEVEL TRIAL 29th May Harpur’s Hill Primary School, Coleraine Judge – Lesley Clements

Updated: Jun 12, 2023


The first of two Bronze Level Trials was held in the afternoon of 29 May - Bank Holiday Monday

1st Susan Anderson and Kuro on 81 points

2nd Lynda Crozier and Jack with 75.5 points

3rd Louise Boomer and Charlie on 71.5 points

4th Peter Crozier and Bonnie with 66 points

5th Karen Smallwoods with 63.5 points

6th Liz Mitchell and Holly with 55.5 points

Also taking part and just out of the placings were:

Laura Kirk and Hera

Sue Christie and Rika

The search area was an outdoor activity area within a Primary School. It was enclosed on all four sides by the school building and accessed via an internal door and some steps (neither were included in the search area. The area comprised a small garden bordered by a wooden fence and with bark underfoot, a playhouse, various pieces of large outdoor learning equipment a large tractor tyre acting as a planter right in the centre of the area and some general clutter.

The day was sunny and warm with a little breeze. Some of the area was in direct sunlight and some in shade but this changed throughout the afternoon as the sun moved round the building. As it was surrounded on all for sides by the building it was also trapping heat and the light breeze was swirling . This made for slightly challenging searching conditions.

One hide was placed on the bottom right hand corner of the wooden playhouse near the start of the search. The odour was being drawn up and to the left of the hide. Most dogs picked it up from the left hand side of the playhouse and worked it round from there. The other hide was placed in a groove between two round logs that formed the base of the fence around the little garden. This was deeper into the search area. The odour was being blown through the small gap, so the dogs could work it from either side. A few handlers mistook the dog being on odour from the garden side as environmental distraction and consequently called the dog off. Alerts were accepted from either side.

The most successful teams were the ones where the handlers had a search plan, gave their dogs space to work and gave some thought to how the odour may behave. Some lovely searching!


The second Trial was held in the evening.

1st Janine Brownlees and Duster with 91 points

2nd Susan Anderson and Kuro on 81 points

3rd Eileen Toye with Buddy on 76.5 points

4th Tania Carron and Forest with 75.5 points

5th Carlee Evans and Shadow with 70 points

6th Laura Kirk with Tilly on 65 points

Also taking part and just out of the placings were;

Kevin Doherty with Bruno

Andrea Neuhold and Rolo

Liz Mitchell and Max

The search area was inside the school assembly hall.

The area comprised the whole hall with an area sectioned off with benches to ensure no dogs went behind some curtains and into a storage area. It did not include the stage but did include a smallish alcove to the side up a short flight of stairs which housed a stair lift. The lighting in this area was quite dim.

The area was primarily large a perimeter search with some some group of unfamiliar objects such as a sports mattress, sports benches, musical items placed haphazardly. Some tables and chairs were placed in the middle of the room. The challenge was the size of the area rather than the content.

One hide was placed on a low wall in front of the stage between the brickwork and the wooden top. It was approx 18 inches off the ground. The other hide was placed just inside the bolt keeper at the base of a door at the top of the stairs in the alcove.

Most teams found the hide in the wall without too much difficulty providing the handlers tasked the dogs to search and didn’t skim by it. The alcove proved a little more of a puzzle for some with a couple of wrong alerts on the adjacent fire extinguisher and some teams becoming focused on micromanaging the stair lift. The majority of teams found both.

Some lovely partnerships and a nice evening’s judging!

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