Well I never updated, but now is a better time than never!
We had our second level 1 trial in February.
Saturday we drew the 2nd track, bright and early in the morning. The track went left immediately off the peg which threw me a little (I know it can, but I never expect it to!), but Elsie was indicating strongly so after casting her once back around the start I followed on. The conditions were pretty damp and cold, on short grass with lots of big thorn bushes around. The place is FULL of rabbits & hares, so naturally Elsie is in hunting mode! She got into some thorny bushes and was obviously hunting not tracking so I broke my rule of not scolding her on the track and I pulled her out of the bushes and got her started again.
We tracked nicely along, came to a dirt road which she hesitated at, then crossed over and down through a ditch and up a hillside. She started casting pretty wildly on the hill, and the characteristic hunting pose of tail curled totally over her back and standing on her hind legs like a meercat started. I had a look around and realized that the track layer could not have got out of where we had tracked into (lots of big thorn bushes) so made the decision to turn around and try to regain the track where she was last working.
Went back to the dirt road and cast her there, naturally she turns onto the road and starts following it... The ditch and hillside were bunny trails apparently! Off we go, find the first article, realize we're running short on time so start moving a lot quicker... Make another turn back towards the start direction and move down through some really wet, long grass, great Elsie tracking terrain.... Look up and see the judge is walking away.... Boooo, we ran out of time! We were about 50 metres from the last article! No pass on Saturday!
This left me feeling very nervous for Sunday, maybe this bunny country is too big an ask for the terrier? On Sunday I drew track 6, which I knew was in a really lush, grass area... So perfect for Elsie. As things would have it, the running order got mucked up a little so they asked if they could shift me to the final track of the day (11) and I said yes. Apparently it was near a swamp, hopefully no ducks! Finally our turn rolled around and off we went straight out from the peg. Our track went over some grass and dirt, up a slight hill, made a right turn, across the hillside of grass and dirt, found an article, further walking, then another right turn down into this swampy grass area which it meandered through, went past an old burnt out car, then yay - last article! It all felt a bit easy!
Elsie got a good score, only losing 3 marks for casting, once at the start and twice at the corner before the swamp. So we got our 2nd level 1 pass!
So now I'm a bit stuck, we're at level 2 for tracking trials but still at UD level (half hour old baby tracks really)... Hopefully we'll pass UDX next weekend so we can move up to WD tracks... Then the fun will begin!
Level two tracks are 2 hours old and contain cross tracks, 3 articles and multiple surface changes and multiple obstacles like fences, gullies, streams, ditches, roads... WD tracks are quite similar, minus the cross track!
And some photos
Ominous clouds on the way there (the weather was actually really nice)
Elsie and I tracking!
Competitors and judge!