We held our first trial of the season on 4th October at Maristow, Devon by kind permission of the Maristow Shoot and Head-keeper Mr Gary Liddle.
On a day when we were expecting to ride the tail end of hurricane Lorenzo the competitors were treated to a clear, dry, blustery day and stunning Devon views.
Good scent and plenty of birds gave the 16 dogs work to do, the ground and conditions presented challenges so early in the season.
1st and Gun’s Choice – Spritdawn Midnight (Misselchalke Evoke x Glenrussel Promise) – Jonathan Nightingale
2nd – Dolbrenin Otto – Jeremy Davies
3rd – Rootytwo Rocket – Lindsay Corbett
4th – Cragtop Bomber – Alan Watkins
Thanks go to the Judges: Steve Bolton and Jud Lascelles
Photos by kind permission of Maurice Stanbury
With a view like this – trailing is great fun
Competitors wait their turn
Andy Perrett handles her cocker on to a bird
A successful retrieve for Wendy Openshaw
The one that got away but found by the judges
Always time for a cuddle – Lindsay Corbett makes a fuss of her Cocker after a good second run
The guns intently watching the cockers at work
Winners and judges (left to right) Steve Bolton, Alan Watkins, Jeremy Davies, Jonathan Nightingale, Lindsay Corbett and Justin Lascelles
Held at Castle Hill Estate, with thanks to Brian Mitchell and his team.
We were blessed with lovely weather and the trial being held in a large field of cover crop. Undergrowth was hard going for all the dogs but with the final winner,
Lindsay Corbett, with Caerfyrddin Black Jack able to put two fine runs together with her dog showing great marking abilities.
1st – Caerfyrddin Black Jack (Mallowdale Zander X Rootytwo Rocket) – Lindsay Corbett
2nd – Taffswell Torpedo – Matthew Warren
3rd – Priormeadow Beebop – G Lockyer
4th – Taffswell Toddy – Matthew Warren
Guns Choice – Centrewalk Skipper – Jon West
Windwithe Double Dealer – P Amor
Sinnchetti Minnie – C Baker
Episcopi Ditto – A Jones
Thanks go to the Judges: Aled Jones (A) and Neil Harris (NP) and the gun and helpers
A Day to remember
In spite of some very testing conditions, with rain and sleet all day, spirits stayed high among the guns, competitors and estate staff at the Club’s Novice Retriever Stake on the Hall Estate, North Tawton. We were welcomed by Shoot manager Jeremy Boyd and Head-keeper Steve Snell who together with an excellent team of guns, led by Les Oldham, put plenty of good birds on the ground to keep the judges and competitors more than happy.
A few birds were picked from grass fields but most had to be hunted for in woodland. Seven competitors went through to the final round.
Our judges for the day were Nick Coates, Michael Brown, Bruce Ross-Smith and Martin Bagg. They were able to pick a clear winner when the two top dogs were asked to cross a deep gully to pick a bird from woodland – both dogs succeeded but Clare Baker’s Arklebear Caribou did so without breaking stride.
Our two guests from Germany enjoyed the day, but no more so than when we returned to the Great Hall for a warm-up and drinks in front of a roaring open fire.
1st – Arcklebear Caribou – Clare Baker
2nd – Copperbirch Cabernet of Tallamelie – Phil Dyson
3rd – Polihale Grizzly Bear of Foxcote – Jill Gardner
Certificates Of Merit :
Winbeck Loyal Kinsman of Tanderswell, Margaret Allen
Danescombe Omega, Rob Wilmott
Duchess Pepper, Killy Penell
Thanks go to : Jeremy, Jo, Steve and the beating team for looking after us all so well, to the judges, the guns and our sponsors Skinners and BASC.
The team of guns enjoy some hot soup after their second drive.
Killy Pennell sends Duchess Pepper for a retrieve………..
…………. which makes a rapid return with a hen bird
Our two guests from Germany watch the dogs at work
The guns recall the day, while Keith Sandercock warms his nether regions in front of the roaring open fire.
Award winners and judges, overlooked by some interested spectators, (left to right) Rob Wilmott, Margaret Allen, Michael
Brown, Bruce Ross-Smith, Nick Coates, Clare Baker, Martin Bagg, Phil Dyson and Jill Gardener
A very good entry
The Club’s Novice AV Spaniel (except Cockers) stake received a very good entry from members and was held at the Temple Shoot, Filleigh by kind invitation of Shoot Manager Jeremy Boyd and Keeper Will Neate. Judges for the day were Dave Rayner and Wayne Swiggs.
We started working wide hedgerows around the perimeter of a maize stubble that was an attraction for pheasants – some good flag work moved them to the field margins to provide flushes for the dogs that were prepared to get into the hedges. This led us on to some mature woodland with bramble understorey, good holding cover for birds. Dogs had to work hard but game was there to be found. Most dogs coped with the typical Westcountry cover, although a few of the younger entrants found the bramble just a little too daunting.
At the end of the day the judges called for a run-off between Alice Wise’s black and white bitch Esgob Floss and Jeff Ayres liver and white bitch Kirstzo Geo of Tylacoch.
A welcome glass of port, with soup and sausages greeted us back at the Shoot Lodge where the presentations were made.
1st & Guns’ Choice – Esgob Floss – Alice Wise
2nd – Kirstzo Geo of Tylacoch – Jeff Ayres
Certificates Of Merit :
Breckmarsh Elva of Carkees, Margaret Cox
Breckmarsh Dusty, Peter Amor
Thistlepark Fred, Caroline Rawlings
Thanks go to : The judges, Will and his team of guns who shot well for us, the stop who pushed birds out of the fields into cover, together with Skinners who sponsored the day.
All keen and ready to roll
Will Neate (second from right) and his team of guns.
The Chief Steward Jeremy Davies with an early Christmas hat, or was it the red flag ?
Martin Bell is watched attentively by his young spaniel while he waits for a retrieve on the other side of the hedge, watched by Chris Pope
Picker-up Neil Harris, well loaded with game
Alice Wise takes a bird from her bitch Esgob Floss
The award winners and judges (left to right) Wayne Swiggs, Dave Rayner, Alice Wise, Caroline Rawlings, Peter Amor, Jeff Ayres and Margaret Cox
An excellent all-round trialing day
Our Open Spaniel stake was held at the Maristowe Shoot by kind invitation of the owner Mr Laws and Headkeeper Gary Liddle. An excellent trial with the Open standard dogs truly tested in Westcountry bramble; there were a few scratched noses but that didn’t stop the ever-eager spaniels entering cover and finding the game that proved to be there. There were times when the only way that handlers knew where their dogs were, was by watching the brambles quiver.
Wes Thomas and Paddy Williams were our judges for the day, and with the help of the guns who shot so well for us, they were able to find the winner without the need for a run-off. A full set of awards reflected the high standard of the dogs competing on the day.
We were particularly pleased to welcome Kevin John as a competitor. Kevin is the son of the late Dave John who was the instigator of the very first spaniel trial in the Club and was the generous donor of our truly unique trophy, the Bridacombe Shield. It was a very poignant moment for Kevin when he was asked to present the Shield to winner Stuart Morgan.
The win makes Stuart’s four year old bitch Bishwell Braith up to a Field Trial Champion and qualifies her to run in the Spaniel Championship at Blenheim in January 2020 – good luck Stuart!
1st – Bishwell Braith – Stuart Morgan
2nd – Creccamarsh Virtue – Richard Biggs
3rd – Beanhill Sansa of Episcopi – Anita Jones
4th – Countryways Railey of Windrush – Dave Templar
Certificate Of Merit & Gun’s Choice : Thistlepark Fred – Caroline Rawlings
Other Certificates Of Merit :
Halwinryston Rustler of Spannerwood, Wayne Swiggs
Lanymynydd Patch of Tylacoch, Jeff Ayres
Kilhopemoss Pepperpot, Dave Hodgson
Escob Floss, Alice Wise
Thanks go to : Everyone involved, particularly Gary and his team for putting on the trial and shooting for us, and, of course, to our judges Wes and Paddy.
Judge Wes Thomas (right) and handler Jeff Ayres, keep an eye on the far side, while a retrieve is completed.
Handlers and their eager spaniels waiting their turn to run.
Headkeeper and Gun, Gary Liddle, on full alert.
A stylish retrieve of a cock pheasant by Creccamarsh Virtue for handler Richard Biggs.
What’s going on across there? Judge Paddy Williams just checking out with his steward John West.
A very special moment – Kevin John (centre) presents the Bridacombe Shield to the winner
of the stake Stuart Morgan, with some assistance from Jeremy Davies.
The winners and judges (left to right) Anita Jones, Dave Templar, Wayne Swiggs, Dave Hodgson,
Stuart Morgan, Headkeeper Gary Liddle, Caroline Rawlings, Paddy Williams, Richard Biggs, Wes Thomas
and Alice Wise.
Open Retriever at Castle Hill
The competitors were welcomed to the Castle Hill Shoot by Headkeeper, Brian Mitchell who went on to organise a first class day for our Open Retriever Stake. The beat keepers and friends shot for the trial and joined in the spirit of the occasion by making sure we had sufficient birds on the ground. At the Viaduct Drive the last of the day, many of the birds were dropped in challenging areas where the competitors had to demonstrate their retriever’s full ability to complete their task.
Although the first round retrieves were on open ground, we were soon into more testing situations. At the Punch Bowl, the second drive, some of the retrieves were from dense bracken and bramble while many of the birds shot at the final drive were dropped across the River Bray. The river is not particularly wide but was fast flowing – interestingly all dogs crossed quite readily but not all responded quite as readily to their handlers commands once they were on the far side.
The judges for the day were Tim Shipp, Steve Ashby, Craig Perry and Keith Sandercock.
The day ended with the presentations and a delicious cooked meal back at the Shoot Lodge.
1st – Fendawood Harold – David Latham
2nd – Hollowbrook Saker – Nick Jordan
3rd – FTCh Artistryn Ulrich – David Field
Certificates Of Merit :
Studebaker Corvette, Mary-Jane Opie
Hawksgarth Osprey of Tallamelie, Philip Dyson
Thanks go to : Castle Hill Shoot, Brian and his team, the guns and of course our judges for the day.
All eyes on the fast flying pheasants.
Liz Taylor sends Tagabea Loganberry for a retrieve, while under the eye of judges
Craig Perry and Steve Ashby.
The judges make their way back down a track after completing their task at the renowned
drive, the Punch ‘Bowl’.
The ‘point of fire’, as one of the guns takes a high bird through the trees at the Viaduct Drive.
David Field’s yellow Labrador, FTCh Artistryn Ulrich, contemplates the best crossing point
before taking the plunge across the River Bray.
Successfully completed – he is about to climb up the bank and deliver the bird to hand.
The winners and judges (left to right) Philip Dyson, Tim Shipp, Mary-Jane Opie, Craig Perry,
Nick Jordan, Steve Ashby, David Latham, Keith Sandercock and David Field.