Autumn Tracking Tests

Autumn Tracking Tests

Well I hoped to run some L1 and L2 tracking tests this Autumn but owing to the sheep moving into my fields, just after the hay was cut I wondered if it was going to be possible. So after alot of running around and asking folk if they knew of any fields available, Ali Brannen who was hoping to take her L1, said that there might be a field where she kept her horse. Fortunately the field wasn’t too far from where I lived so I went along with Ali to meet the owner and view it. Very kindly the owner agreed to let us use it and said that she would ‘hold off’ from muck spreading until after the test. I can’t thank Deb enough. The field was narrow but very long and I knew that it would accommodate a couple of L1 tracks and possibility a ‘Beginners’’ track too.

So now to pick a judge and it was after a chance meeting when I visited a gym whilst on holiday in Momouth, back in July, that I bumped into Maurice Millington as he happen to be the gym instructor! Well where else would you meet a potential judge! Maurice kindly agreed to judge for us so a date was fixed.

The morning dawned very foggy and I thought the tracking conditions would be perfect but unfortunately the sun came out and burned off the moisture making the conditions rather challenging. Nicola and Delphi her GSP, were first to track and successfully completed a box of 50 x 50 x 50 x 25 ending on one article. I run two beginner tracks, a ‘pre-beginners’ consisting of two legs and one article and a ‘beginners’, consisting of 4 legs, before going on to the L1. I feel that this gives the beginners a taste of competition and a chance to watch the L1’s and see what they are aiming for. Anyway Nicola and Delphi did a good track, and never really looked in trouble and found the last article so it won’t be long before this team are ready for L1.

Next up was Marianne & Merrye. Merrye is very subtle with her indications and Marianne has to work really hard at both reading and handling her. This team started off well but unfortunately couldn’t locate one of the corners which turned in an area that had numerous tractor tracks running through which made this corner really difficult. So unfortunately although it was a fail for this team this time, both will be back to have another try and it won’t be too long before this team pass their L1.

002Ali & her boxer cross ‘Chase’ have worked really hard at being a team and as ‘Chase’ is such a strong, independent tracking dog,  Ali has to spend most of her time trying to keep upright on feet!. Chase, also thinks that articles are a waste of time and why should he be interested in ‘bits of old carpet’. Ali has spend alot of time persuading Chase that if he wants his ball he should acknowledge the article and has now taught Chase to lie down when he finds an article in exchange for the ball. Ali & Chase’s track went straight from the pole with the dreaded article on this first leg, Chase was a good boy and spotted the piece of green hose pipe but was so delighted at getting his ball he decided to hang on to it whilst he continued to track. After this first leg, the track turned to the left and this first corner proved to be quite difficult and it was a result of excellent team that these two managed to find the way through. The rest of the track seems alot more straight forward and Chase, although looking tied towards the end, did a brilliant down on the last article. Clever boy.

So it was back to the cars for coffee and the presentations and I think everyone really enjoyed a most enjoyable morning in the glorious Autumn sunshine. Once again a huge thanks to Maurice & Carole coming all the way over from Staffordshire, Ali for finding the land and Deb the land owner for not muck speading!


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