Pictured with owners Ruth & Paul Dickinson after passing Section E
Results and Reports - Day 1 - 12 August 2017
Judges: Graham Hill & Jane King
|Entrants: 10 | Passes: 9
|Harvey Bouncing Beech (Junior Handler: Sasha)
|Shallowseas Waltzer (Junior Handler: Sasha)
|Talbot & Trayler
|Talbot & Trayler
|Wilderland Golden Bough
|Culnor Just Divine Crocus at Uskrail
We had a manageable entry of 12 dogs and all but two passed. There was a stiff left to right cross-wind on the water which made helming the boat and keeping it steady not very easy for the helmsman. These conditions could have presented a problem for some younger or novice dogs, but to their credit none of our entrants appeared phased by this.
We had a nice variety of ages to judge. A few of the youngsters completed the exercises in rapid fashion and at the other end of the scale we had a wonderful 11 year old lady perform each of the three elements sedately to perfection.
With regard to handling, I know with plenty to think about plus some nervous tension we can forget that we are allowed to enter the water up to our waists before releasing the dog, obviously this can be of great advantage to the dog so it's worth remembering. Also I appreciate training methods vary, but I would recommend that if the dog is heading in the right direction to stop calling, even if it is just a reassuring 'good dog' as they are half way out, it can distract or confuse and cause the dog to deviate from what it was doing perfectly well before hearing the 'command'.
Also a few words about 'double handling'. It may seem harsh in this Section to be penalised with a failure should handlers forget about this, but that is the rule, so it is essential to remember that once the primary handler starts an exercise a second handler must not take over, or assist in that position within the same exercise. In every section A-C, if in doubt about anything you are permitted to do, or not do, ask the judges.
Thank you to my fellow judge Jane King, Test Manager Martine, stewards and members of W.N.A.G. for all their hard work throughout the day.
I would like to echo everything Graham has said, and to thank him for an enjoyable test.
Judges: Graham Hill & Kay Burridge
|Entrants: 2 | Passes: 1
Report to follow
Judges: Chris Roberts & Paul Dodd
|Entrants: 15 | Passes: 6
|Davey & Storey
|Tallisbay True Gentleman
|Bagglebears Man In The Moon
I would like to thank the SNC for the judging opportunity. As always there is a good friendly atmosphere at this venue, which is always well run by the Test Manager and stewards which makes our job a lot easier.
We judged 15 dogs with some very good passes, the good thing to see was the dogs that failed were only on things that could be put right with a little training.
I would like to thank my fellow judge, Paul Dodd, for his help throughout the day.
A long but enjoyable day back at picturesque Bryn Bach, the weather kind to us and we had a huge entry of 16 teams. In the end 15 dogs tested and we had five passes, including one very nice first attempt pass.
I was impressed with the alacrity which many of the dogs exited the boat in C1 … some so fast I barely had time to start the stop watch!
The C2 exercise of rescuing a ‘drowning’ stranger tripped a few up and at the risk of repeating myself, it is a good idea when practicing (even at the lower levels) to avoid the temptation to get the dog to come to you - use a stranger at every opportunity, alternating between male and female. You can start at shorter distances and gradually work your way up to the full 25 metres. The important thing is that the dog must be taught in practice to come back with the stranger even if it means that the stranger has to come closer or the handler has to swim out with the dog to collect the stranger - allowing the dog to return to shore without that stranger is teaching them that it is optional and they can decide.
Always a pleasure to judge with Chris Roberts, we agreed on all of our decisions, right down to the points deductions and synchronised stop watches. Thank you to Martine Fitzpatrick, the Test Manager, and the WNAG team and helpers for the hospitality and efficient stewarding.
Judges: Jude Moulsdale & Kay Burridge
|Entrants: 6 | Passes: 1
Due to the roads within the park being closed for the running club, denying access to the test area, we had a later start than advertised on the schedule. Following the judges briefing, at the newly allocated time, the first entrant was in the water by 11am.
Unfortunately this venue, due to park regulations, does not have a 'warm-up area', so dogs had to be either entered dry, or allowed a quick dip to warm up prior to the test commencing. I see no harm in this practice as it gives the handlers a chance to take a breath and relax a little with their dog. While this is the highest level test, I feel we should not make the entrants feel uncomfortable, nervous or afraid, our role as well as to judge the dogs ability is to make the event as enjoyable as possible for the handler!
We had six entries and only one pass. However, this pass was flawless - it was encouraging to see handler and dog working together in total harmony. One or two of the other entries were very nearly there. Physical redirection seemed to be the biggest stumbling-block: handlers need to remember that the dog should respond to verbal commands only at this level.
Thank you SNC for inviting me to judge at this venue and also for encouraging me to work my own dog at this level by arranging for a third judge to be present. Hope you can do this at more tests as it may encourage other judges to accept judging appointments knowing they too can work their dogs.
Thank you to Martine as Test Manager - you and your team did a great job.
Judges: Jude Moulsdale & Marcus Sutherington
|Entrants: 1 | Passes: 0
Arrived at the test venue in good time and the tests finally got underway at 11am.
Seven dogs entered in total, one of which belonged to the other judge so I was informed at the start of the test that another judge was hopefully arriving to judge with me for this dog. Gone are the days where you couldn't enter and judge the same event.
Out of the seven dogs entered today we only had one pass, this was done with style and class with the team getting just one point throughout the entire test. It was a real pleasure to experience four perfect exercises, one of those you just don't forget.
The only two other Dogs that came close to passing both failed on the 4th element, one didn't get out of the boat until 55 seconds and the other was redirected by the handler pulling on the rope to reel her back to the boat.
I would expect that anyone working at this level to be fully aware of what is and isn't allowed and was surprised to see a couple of toys being brought into the test site. If a handler wishes to do warm up throws with toys it may be better to use the warm up area rather than bringing the toys into the test area. It clearly states in the regulations that all toys should be removed from the test area before the test commences. If you bring a toy into the test area remember to remove it before the test starts.
As a judge it is my objective to judge every dog impartially and fairly and do this in line with the current clubs regulations. I hope that all the entrants felt that this was the case on this occasion. There were no disagreements regarding pass/fail of any elements with any dogs between myself and co-judges during this test.
Well done to Martine as Test Manager for the event, it's a big task to undertake especially with so many entrants on the day, thank you for the welcome.
Report to follow
Results and Reports - Day 2 - 13 August 2017
Judges: Kay Burridge & Dave Viney
|Entrants: 12 | Passes: 6
|Dalrynewfs Chewie Chum
|Bagglebears Moonstruck at Wilbears
|Staneberne Whomping Willow
Many thanks to the SNC for asking me to judge. It was a fine day, not too hot, ideal for a water test.
Some excellent passes, some good passes and a few dogs who did not quite make it, but they will do with a little more training. The main problem were the underwater retrieve and controlled swim although the dogs do seem to make better attempts at these exercises.
Many thanks to WNAG for their hospitality and to test manager Martine and all the stewards. Special thanks to my fellow judge Kay.
Thank you to SNC for inviting me to judge and to WNAG for providing good weather, good food, a good atmosphere and a well organized event.
I judged 13 dogs today, with six passes. The two main problems seemed to be the underwater retrieve - there were one or two dogs who made me smile by absolutely refusing to do the underwater retrieve until they were out of time/throws, then turned round and did it perfectly!
The other sticking point being the controlled swim, this is something only training and practice will overcome.
Thank you stewards, we can't do it without you.
Judges: Kay Burridge & Karen Thompson
|Entrants: 1 | Passes: 0
Report to follow
Judges: Jude Moulsdale & Karen Thompson
|Entrants: 11 | Passes: 1
With 11 dogs entered for section D it was great that we got off to a prompt start at 10am for the tests. Thank you to the stewards and helpers who all worked to get the test site ready for today's event.
Several of the dogs showed great skill and were close to passing. There wasn't a specific exercise that seemed to be a sticking point at the event, it really was a mixed bag today.
We agreed to re-start the 4th exercise for one dog who was unfortunately distracted by an extremely distressing noise from another attendees dog as the exercise was underway. Consideration for dogs under test should always be given by everyone in attendance and noise around the test area be kept as minimal as possible.
We had the stranger in the water tangled in the marker buoy rope for Exercise 2 for one of the dogs which meant the judge on the boat made the decision to tell the handler to hold his dog and end the exercise before the stranger had been brought onto the boat.
We had just one pass today and the pass was a flawless one. Each element of the test was carried out with precision, clear instructions from the handler and a great connection between man and dog. It's great to pass a test at any time but to do it so slick and perfect is something to be really proud, the handlers clearly fully understand the regulations and take the tests seriously whilst still enjoying the time with their dogs.
I would expect that anyone working at this level to be fully aware of what is and isn't allowed and was surprised to see a toy being brought into the test site. If a handler wishes to do warm up throws with toys it may be better to use the warm up area rather than bringing the toys into the test area. It clearly states in the regulations that all toys should be removed from the test area before the test commences. If you bring a toy into the test area remember to remove it before the test starts.
Section D tests concluded at 2pm so it took four hours to get through 11 dogs with a very short break and one element being re-set for one dog.
Clarification needs to be made in relation to handlers touching their dogs in Element 2 in the boat as it's my understanding that you shouldn't be able to 'lift and position your dog' up on the sponson or be holding its harness or jacket at the point at which it's exiting the boat.
Had a lovely entry of 11 dogs for this level so we needed to get things underway as soon as possible. Despite the disruption at the park this weekend with the road being blocked off for the running clubs I felt this was achieved and very little time was wasted. Entrants were ready to start and stewards were available to keep the tests flowing.
The dogs were all capable of passing this level and most were very close. There didn't seem to be any particular element that stopped them passing it varied from dog to dog.
Unfortunately, there was some commotion on the bank when one of the dogs was attempting exercise 4 so a joint decision was made to allow the element to be reset. In a perfect world this wouldn't have happened however the dogs tethered on shore can't read the rule book and we never know what they will do on the day.
We also had a problem with the buoy coming loose. The dog and the stranger were at risk of being tangled. As the judge in the boat I dealt with it in what I thought was the safest way bearing in mind that we only have seconds to make a decision at the time. Again in a perfect world this would not have happened, however we are all human and things can sometimes go wrong.
We had one pass on the day which was completed with style - beautiful to see.
It is always an honour to judge these wonderful dogs and great to see the handlers working in different ways in unison with their dogs to enable the best results from them.
WNAG as usual ran a great weekend and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.