http://www.laderaranchdentistry.com/bistrota/3466 In the heat of the Lincolnshire sun, RAF Police Military Working Dogs and their handlers from across the UK have been fighting it out to determine who is ‘top dog’.
Royal Air Force College Cranwell provided the prestigious backdrop for the Military Working Dog Trials, an event that has not taken place for five years due to operational commitments. With an audience that included the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, the pressure was certainly on for the competitors.
The trials are the culmination of months of technical evaluation carried out across the UK by the Provost Marshal’s Dog Inspectors, with only 12 patrol dogs and their handlers making the grade to compete at these national finals. Flight Sergeant Steven Hancox, Provost Marshal Dog Inspector, has been up and down the country since February leading the technical evaluations, he said: “This year is particularly special as we haven’t had the trials for a long time. It takes a lot of hard work to be selected to compete, so this event means an awful lot to everyone taking part. To win it is truly special.”
Three days worth of heats saw the dogs and their handlers put through their paces in three different disciplines – wind scent exercises, obedience and obstacles plus criminal workouts. The outcome of these heats whittled the 12 competitors down to five for the final. In the arena, each pair set aside their nerves and exemplified the special bond that a dog and its handler shares and spectators were left in no doubt of their professionalism.
Following the months of preparation and the pressure of the finals, it was Corporal Stacey www.buycheap-pillsonline.com/synthroid.html Graham and Air Dog Demon, stationed at RAF Coningsby, who took the coveted top spot as champions. Corporal Oli Griggs from RAF Brize Norton was runner-up with Corporal Sam Plant from RAF Waddington taking third place.
A clearly delighted Corporal Graham said: “It feels fantastic! Being UK Champion is literally the one thing I’ve wanted since being on dogs – I’m really happy. I just burst out crying when my name was called and I heard all the cheers. I was massively overwhelmed – I still am!”
The RAF Police took the opportunity to present a host of other military working dog related trophies at the awards ceremony. The recipients of these awards were identified by the Provost Marshal Dog Inspectors through stringent assessment over the past year.
- The Lady Kemball Trophy, for the top Arms and Explosives or Drug Detection Team was awarded to Corporal David Hoy and Air Dog Shane, based at RAFC Cranwell.
- The Drissell Trophy, for the Best Police Dog Team was awarded to Corporal Shaun Perkes and Air Dog Tacko, from RAF Brize Norton.
- The Vehicle Search Trophy was awarded to Corporal Emma Blackburn and Air Dog Burty, stationed at RAF Marham.
- The Prestige Trophy, for the best UK Dog Section was awarded to RAF Northolt for the second year running.
- The Tosh Thomas Trophy, for the Most Outstanding Contribution of the Year went to RAF St Mawgan’s Dog Section – Corporal Tim Cayless.
With his closing remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford said “My one question is why has it been five years since the last dog trails? Please don’t leave it so long next time!”
(Report Courtesy of Royal Air Force Police Headquarters (Sal Davidson))