25th & 26th February 2006, West Sussex
After last year’s resounding success the Working Trial group at Billingshurst Club are doing it again! Following the lead that the Kennel Club needed to encourage dog owners to try out the different disciplines, Billingshurst are again going to do their bit to help publicise Working Trials this year in February.
Organiser CC Guard explains:
‘We are blessed with tracking ground throughout the year, thanks to our president, Peter Harrison and his wife, Valerie Harrison, who run the farm where we train. We meet in the Harrison’s farmhouse every Sunday morning for coffee round their huge kitchen table. When we have put the world to rights, then briefly talked about dogs, we go out to work in the fields. We have a trailer and can set up the jumps, as long as it is not too wet.
‘It is a basically self-help group. Although newcomers are guided along the way, they are expected to "put back", laying searches, putting up jumps etc. We require a certain level of control and encourage the new members to go to their local obedience clubs to learn the basics of every day training. Agility helps too, giving young dogs confidence when first facing the Working Trials jumps.
‘On 25th and 26th February 2006 we are running a "Try Trials Two" weekend. Newcomers can partake in all the aspects of Trials. The groups will be limited to a maximum of five people and each group will remain with the same trainer throughout the weekend. This will give the newcomers the chance to progress with nosework and other exercises over the two days, at their own level.
‘Obviously those who can come both days go to the front of the queue. We will be able to take people for one day only and a very few spectators. Numbers are governed by how many can be seated in the farmhouse to partake of homemade food (Billingshurst has a renowned reputation for good food!). All refreshments and food throughout the day, will be including in the cost of the course.
‘Each group will be taken by a trainer who not only works their dog to the highest level, but judges at Working Trials. The groups will be sorted out in advance by the background ability of the owner and dog, as well as by breed. This will be made possible by a short questionnaire on the booking form. We hope to run an extra group of people who started last year and want to continue.
‘We suggest, as it is February, you bring warm wet weather clothes and boots, there can be mud on the farm in February! If you have a harness - bring it - although we will have some spares available. You will need tasty titbits and/or a favourite toy, as well as a dumbell for your dog. Your dog will be expected to remain in the car during meals as our base is a private home.
‘Each year Billingshurst raises money for a charity decided by the Club members at the AGM. All our trainers and helpers give their time and expertise free at the weekend. Valerie appears only to charge for ingredients and the Billingshurst Obedience section donates cakes as well. Last year we made £616 for the annual charity.
‘We are keeping the cost the same. Handlers £40 for the weekend. Spectators £30 for the weekend. For one day, as a Handler it will cost £25 and £20 for spectators.
‘Venue, timetable, directions etc will be sent out with the booking form. This can be obtained by sending a SAE to: C.C. Guard, Peacocks Farm, Northchapel, Petworth, West Sussex GU28 9JB. Tel 01428 707620 or by email email@example.com’.