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Saturday 18 March, Ballyhanwood N Ireland

Bronze Trial 1 - morning (ground floor search)

1st Jillian Marshall and Humphrey with 91 points

2nd Lynda Crozier with Copper on 90 points (Diamond League)

3rd Debbie Goligher and Holly on 89 points

4th Ben Lacy with Blitz on 88.5 points

5th Nicky Rodgers and Kaboo on 88 points

6th Elizabeth Worley (Mitchell) with Holly on 87 points

7th Ronnie McAleese and Flora with 72 points

Bronze Trial 2 - afternoon (first floor search)

1st Janine Brownlees with Duster on 93.5


2nd Louise Boomer and Charlie on 91 points (Diamond League)

3rd Antoinette Traynor and Tiggie on 87.5 points

4th Irene Scott and Luna on 86 points

5th Dawne Wilson with Reggie on 82 points

6th Sue Christie and Kaija on 70.5 points

The day stayed fine until the very end and everyone agreed that the previous week's postponement because of snow had been a good decision!

Teams searched a new venue which provided scope for two different floors to be utilised for searches morning and afternoon.

The venue comprised a two storey dwelling that the owner had previously lived in whilst a new house was being constructed on the property. Subsequently, the original dwelling has been used for all sorts of random storage, with a small truck parked in the middle and the remains of the original kitchen on the ground floor and a private music studio for drumming practice with en suite bathroom on the first floor. One side of the ground floor has been replaced by a roller shutter door.

The standard of searching the ground floor in the morning was high and scores were very tight with only 4 points separating the top 6 places. It was quite hard to split the teams. The first hide was placed just inside the threshold beside an external door in a substantial log pile around a foot off the ground. The second hide was placed on one of the hinges of the roller door about two feet off the ground.

As most teams were those with more experience, by and large, teams knocked the threshold hide on entering and worked it back from the front of the wood pile to the side. The hide on the hinge proved a bit more of a challenge for some being tucked into a corner, and as all but one team opted to go clockwise around the room this led them away from the odour plume. Dogs tended to source it working back anticlockwise after completing a circuit of the room.

Results were slightly more spread out in the afternoon on the first floor, with a couple of teams running NFC. Some really nice performances from the more experienced partnerships and some good efforts from newer teams. The first hide was placed on the back of a large leather three seater sofa which was sitting at an angle to the back wall, providing a wide ‘channel’ of sorts for the dogs to get to source. Those handlers that recognised changes of behaviour at the front of the sofa and tasked their dogs round the back were the most

successful. The second hide was placed in the en suite bathroom at the bottom of the exterior of the shower tray in a corner. Some sent their dogs in for a quick search then dismissed that room until time was running out. The full drum kit in the middle of the main room caused some major distraction and delay for some of the teams with some of the handlers seemingly convinced that there would be a hide there.

A lovely day’s judging with great attitudes across the board some good decisions and some lovely searching.

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