RAF College Cranwell played host to the military working dog trials which had not taken place for five years because of operational commitments.
Reaching the final twelve at the Lincolnshire base was no mean feat and came only after months of technical evaluation was carried out throughout the country by a Provost Marshal dog inspector.
Two handlers and their dogs from RAF Lossiemouth made the final list of 12 competitors – Corporal Lloyd Rickersey and Nat Grimer.
“This year is particularly special as we haven’t had the trials for a long time,” Provost Marshal dog inspector Flight Sergeant Steven Hancox said, adding: “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.”
The RAF men and their dogs underwent a testing three days during which they were put through their paces over three disciplines – wind scent exercise, obedience and obstacles with ‘criminal workouts’.
While both Moray men lost out on a place in the final five they remained delighted at having been selected in the first place. Corporal Rickersey said: “I feel honoured to be here.
“There hasn’t been a trials for a few years now, so the fact that Corporal Grimer and I came down here is quite a big deal – we have put a lot of hard work in so we are thankful to be here.”
Emerging with top prize was Corporal Stacey Graham and Air Dog Demon, stationed at RAF Coningsby, while Corporal Oli Griggs from RAF Brize Norton was runner-up.