Hounds and their handlers from Lincolnshire RAF bases including RAF Waddington have been named as top dogs across the UK in the Military Working Dogs trials.
Royal Air Force College Cranwell provided the backdrop over the trials, which are a culmination of months of technical evaluation by the Provost Marshal’s Dog Inspectors, and three days of heats.
The heats saw the dogs and their handlers put through 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 on Saturday, July 4.
RAF Waddington took three of the slots with Corporals Sam Plant, Andrew O’Brien and Ashley Jackson.
Following the months of preparation and the pressure of the finals, it was Corporal Stacey 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 and Corporal Sam Plant, with Air Dog Resi from RAF Waddington taking third place.
Corporal Plant said: “I’m happy. I’m a bit competitive so I wanted to come first but you can’t win everything.
“Resi has done really well this week and it’s been really hot. I’m just happy with third place – third out of the whole of the UK isn’t bad!”
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.”