Field Trial Results 2022/23


NDWGC One day Open Retriever Trial at Honeycombe Shoot Dorset on 3 October 2022.

Honeycombe shoot opened its door this year to the NDWGC to host their 12 dog Open trial. The day started off dry and warm as we were met at the shoot lodge by our hosts Mike and Antonia Appleby. 

Our Judges for the day were Mark and Jamie Bettison, Di Stevens and Pete Castleman, with Nick Jordan and his team of guns shooting for us, with Judy Rainey as Chief Steward.

Once the team of guns were safely loaded into the gun bus to be taken off to the first drive, the competitors plus helpers took a leisurely stroll to the first field, a mixture of millet, sunflowers and wild bird mix. The trial started with a walk up, with two pointers working in front of the line where our team of first-class guns made short work of getting plenty of birds on the ground for the competitors.

The first field saw rounds one and two completed mainly walked up, but with a mini drive at the end.  We then decanted to another crop/grass field where two further drives completed the trial.

Once the Trial itself was over, our hosts then invited all the competitors that were left in the gallery to go and work their dogs if they so wished at the next drive they had put on for the guns. This meant that any competitor that had stayed to the end of the trial had the opportunity to work their dogs and turn the day into a positive training day, whilst helping the shoot out.

All the guns, helpers and competitors were then invited for mid-day drinks and food – huge boards of cheese, biscuits, and sausages and glasses of fizz. It was such a lovely congenial atmosphere that it was hard to think we had just completed an open trial!

The guns were then taken off for a last drive of the day and again the competitors were asked if they would like to work their dogs. Some who had second dogs in their cars found this an ideal opportunity to work them as well.

Once the guns had finished for the day, there were huge pots of tea on offer as the certificates were signed by the judges and the guns were asked for their Guns Choice.

The results were as follows

1st           Jayne Coley with Mekoro Shot Marker of Waterford

2nd          Craig Perry with Wadeshot Kane

COM      Dave Godding with Kailture Neros Flame

Guns Choice went to Craig Perry with Wadeshot Kane

Very Special thanks go to Gamekeepers Goods for giving all 12 competitors a money off goods voucher and to Skinners for their very generous sponsorship of the trial.


Our Open Cocker stake was held on the Blannicombe Shoot, by kind permission of Gareth Stevens, on Wednesday 5th October.  A typical shooting day with some light rain at the start of the morning and clearing skies later. At the beginning of the day everyone was made most welcome with a bacon butty and a hot drink provided by a super team of helpers. 

The trial was run in cover crops with a very ample supply of game, both partridge and pheasant.  The judges for the day were Margaret Cox and Andy Faulkner.  The birds flew well but the team of guns, Bryan and Andrew Stevens, Kevin John and Maurice Stanbury were in good form producing plenty of testing retrieves for the Cockers.

We saw some interesting spaniel work, particularly on the first runs with a stiff backwind.  The top dogs handled it well taking in plenty of ground and hunting the ground back to their handler.  Not one was put out for missing game.  The cover was particularly testing in places which proved the downfall of a few on their retrieves.  As always, the best dogs made it all look easy.

After a lengthy consultation and examination of their books, the judges called for a run-off between Grant Branton’s four year old bitch Thistlecrack Mayfly and John Sexton’s five year old dog Cwmceiliog Skid with the former taking the top award and gaining a place at the Championship next January.  The runner-up was Guns’ Choice.

1stThistlecrack MayflyGrant Branton   
2nd and Guns’ ChoiceCwmceiliog SkidJohn Sexton 
3rdByrbwll Peaky BlinderDJJ & DV Rees ReesJon Rees  
4thCraiwarn Tinkers Tidy of ArcklebearClare Baker 
  Certificates of Merit  Misselchalke Green Mamba of Dolbrenin  Claire Davies  Jeremy Davies
 Bootstrap Bill of GreenbrushAlastair Ross   
 Mallowdale Foden of CountrywaysDavid Templar 
 Samsir She DevilSimon Blackman



Our Open AV Spaniel Stake was held on Friday 21st October at the Spreacombe Shoot, by kind permission of Bryan Stevens and the Spreacombe Estate. Peter Avery and James Luxford were the judges for the day.

A wet start to the day but that failed to dampen anyone’s spirits.  As always, the ground had been well prepared and with a strong team of stops holding birds in cover, every handler found game.  Despite a very dry summer the bramble cover had grown strongly and proved to be a true test for the courage and hunting ability of the competing spaniels, not one failed to hit the cover with enthusiasm.  The guns, led by Andrew Stevens, were in good form and almost every bird flushed was shot and made available for a retrieve.

1stRytex RingoIan Openshaw
2ndRytex RaptureIan Openshaw
3rdWhitebeam WarblerNathan Quinn
4thDdraighelwyr BlaiddHarley Thompson
Certificates of Merit  
and Guns’ ChoiceGreenbush Charley of BoggwaterKevin John
 Countryways Ralley of WindbushDavid Templar

Congratulations to the winner Ian Openshaw making his young dog Rytex Ringo up to a Field Trial Champion in only three trials.  A very rapid ascent and so seldom achieved.


The Hall Estate was our host for the Club’s Novice Cocker Spaniel Stake held on Wednesday 16th November 2022.  We received a very warm welcome from Matt Goodman, Headkeeper and Jeremy Boyd, Shoot Manager for their very first spaniel trial held on the Estate, a new experience for both our hosts and the guns.

The trial was a great success with Matt taking us to several fields of game crop, all holding birds and every competitor had the opportunity of showing the hunting ability of their Cockers to best advantage.  The guns shot well with sufficient birds on the ground to also test their retrieving ability.  Although the game crop was only knee high, scent wasn’t particularly good and holding a mark proved critical for success.

Jeff Ayres and Brian Barry were the judges for the day and remarked that the performance of the top dogs was very close but by a close examination of their books they had just managed to separate them. Congratulations to all those in the awards, especially the winner Jon Rees running his two year old bitch Rowston Stylistic of Byrbwll and Jon West who was runner-up and Guns’ Choice with Centrewalk Mischief of Nettlehayes

1stRowston Stylistic of Byrbwll  Jon Rees
2nd and Guns’ ChoiceCentrewalk Mischief of Nettlehayes  Jon West
3rdTaffswell RobertaMatt Warren
Certificates of MeritEpiscopi Jones  Anita Jones
Misselchalke HellmakerNick Gregory


The NDWG club’s 14 dog Novice Retriever trial was held on Monday 12 December 2022 at Bulworthy, Alverdiscott, by kind permission of Head Keeper Geoff May.

Our Judges for the day were Robert Atkinson A5, Judith Evans B2898, Helen Ford NP and Karen Handley NP.

Les Oldham and his great team of guns shot for the trial.  The day started out freezing cold and just got colder, but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the competitors and guns.

The first round found the dogs split into odds and evens and stood behind the guns with their respective judges. The guns shot well with birds landing on open ground and in the woods.

Unfortunately, because of the bitter cold weather and therefore very little scent, several dogs were lost in the first round. We then met up with the guns for a third drive, where they landed the majority of birds in a cover crop where the trial was completed.

All in all a very good day with the guns happy to watch the dogs work once they had finished shooting to look for their Guns Choice.

For this trial to go ahead in such uncertain times with Bird Flu, our heartfelt thanks go out to our host Geoff May, his underkeeper James Ford and his sterling team of beaters and pickers up, the Judges, stewards, bird markers, and game carriers, for giving up their time.

Also huge thanks to Alan Bosley standing in for his wife Jane, who did us proud with bacon sandwiches to start the day, Soup and cheese rolls and delicious home make cakes al fresco at lunchtime and pasties and cakes to finish. Thanks also go to Julian Smith who drove the competitors around albeit in an open top wagon!

Thanks also go to Skinners for once again supporting and sponsoring the trial.

And last but not least, special thanks go to Beth Payne and her helpers for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes into putting one of these events on.  

The Results:

1st and lifting the Grayspeed Trophy was David Thomas with Corrib Jameson of Abergien

2nd was Mandy Smith with Flintsfield Shooting Star

COMrd was Keith Townsend with Raven Black Onyx to Elmertown

Guns Choice and lifting the Club Tankard was David Thomas with Corrib Jameson of Abergien


We held our fourth and final spaniel trial for the season, at the Maristow Estate near Plymouth, by kind permission of Head Keeper Gary Liddle. Our Judges were Jeremy Davies and Richard Heseltine. We had a good entry and full card . The trial was run in cover crop and the weather was kind to us with a dry day. The Maristow Team produced an amazing trial for us – plenty of birds and a cracking Team of Guns! We saw some lovely dogs, excellent hunting and retrieves. It was a fitting end to a very good season for our Spaniel Members. Big thankyou to Gary Liddle and team, Jeremy and Richard, and the competitors – for helping to make it a very enjoyable day.

1st. Shallowoakwest Showman. Julie Thatcher

2nd Dunbrigg Chatternag Karen Pinker

3rd Shivek Rehoboam Martin Ford

4th Hollydrive Nina of Halwinryston Mike Hoskins

Com and GC Cawriffle Tamar. Emily Harvey

Com. Saxonvale Sam Dave Hodgson


The final NDWG club’s 12 dog Novice Retriever trial was held on Monday 30 January 2023 at the Great Fulford Estate shoot, by kind invitation of Guy Imray and Geoff Allen and his team of guns.

Our Judges for the day were Mrs Judy Rainey A59, David Stephens B2786, Mrs Sally Ashby B3818 and Mr Shane King NP. The Steward of the beat was James Hancock.

The club would like to take this opportunity to thank our hosts Guy Imray and Geoff Allen and his team of brilliant guns for inviting us to this fabulous estate.

Rounds one and two were completed in magnificent woodland, where the dogs had to work for their retrieves, but it was a pleasure to stand back and watch them. We then met up with the guns again and drove to another part of the estate with open fields and valleys, streams and bracken which tested the remaining dogs and where the final rounds were concluded. With good weather for the dogs to work in, it was a perfect end to the trialing season.

The club would also like to thank all the Estates beaters and pickers up who turned out for our day at Great Fulford, our Judges and all our helpers who ensured the trial ran smoothly. Thanks also to the estate for the very delicious bacon rolls and pasties.

Huge thanks as always to Skinners for their continued generous sponsorship of our trials with vouchers for bags of food and to Game Keeper Goods for their vouchers for the competitors and their kind gift of a lead and lanyard for all our judges.

The Results:

1st and lifting the Vipond Trophy was Basil Smith with Bellspaddle Banjo of Highshot

2nd was Leigh Jackson with Blackgrass Dougal

3rd was Geoff Shore with Hestmoor Hunstrete

4th was Mel Brooks with Anningtonbay Ellielicious

Guns Choice and Keepers choice was Geoff Shore with Hestmoor Hunstrete