Stake 4 – Open Spaniel Cocker
Thursday 16th December 2021
The Club’s Open Cocker Stake was held on the Maristow Estate by kind permission of Head-keeper Gary Liddle on Thursday 16th December. A great day to conclude the spaniel programme for the season.
Gary took competitors to ‘Top Parks’, an area of woodland with good ground cover to hold game, mainly bramble but with some areas of bracken and a few laurel bushes to add to the variety. The game supply was excellent, mainly pheasants but an occasional woodcock also put in an appearance. With the keepers shooting, almost every bird flushed by the Cockers was shot. Competitors couldn’t have asked for more.
The Cockers had to demonstrate their willingness to deal with some challenging cover – the top dogs didn’t blink an eyelid, and really showed what spaniels are bred to do. Retrieves were sometimes tricky, depending whether the bird fell on clear ground or in a patch of bramble, and proved the downfall of a few.
When judges Jeremy Davies and Richard Biggs put their heads together at the end of the morning, they were able to choose the winner without the need for a run-off.
Angelo Lo Curto, running his young bitch, Strigidae Rough Quest of Temple Valley took the top award – a fantastic achievement when that young Cocker only won her Novice Stake, qualifying her to run in Open Stakes, ten days earlier. We wish them the best of luck when they run in the Championship on the Windsor Estate in early January.
|1st – Easterbrook Gould Trophy||Strigidae Rough Quest of Temple Valley||Angelo Lo Curto|
|2nd||Rusty Freddie||Rob Wilmott|
|3rd||Howesyke Amy||James Luxford|
|Guns Choice – Mobray Salver||Mallowdale Foden of Countryways||Dave Templar|
The day in pictures (click to enlarge images)
STAKE 5 – NOVICE AV RETRIEVER
Monday 13th December 2021
The NDWG club’s 14 dog Novice Retriever trial was held on Monday 13 December 2021 at Bulworthy, Alverdiscott, by kind permission of Mr Geoff May. Judges for the day were Sara Chichester A184, Nick Coates A223, Beth Payne NP3978 and Mandy Smith NP.
The team of guns led by Les Oldham were James Bulmer, Pat Smith, Eddie Dymond, Russell Jones, Phillip Milton, Henry Berry, Andrew Lane and Jonathan Rhind. Despite a gloomy weather forecast, the day stayed dry and fairly bright with a good breeze. So the birds challenged the guns with the wind lifting. them nicely.
The first round found the dogs split into odds and evens and stood behind the guns with their respective judges, Nick and Mandy on the right, Sara and Beth on the left for the first drive of the day. The guns shot brilliantly landing birds on open ground and in the large woodland behind. In fact there were enough birds shot for rounds one and two to be completed successfully, with the pickers up also being able to work their dogs to find any remaining birds.
Seven competitors were then taken forward into round three, where once again they met up with the guns, who again shot magnificently, landing partridge, pheasant and a pigeon onto open grassland, a vast ploughed field and wood behind.
The ground was challenging enough for these Novice dogs to show their potential, including a swim by the remaining Golden Retriever across water to retrieve a partridge. After round three had been completed, two dogs were then taken forward into round four to pick a further two birds before the Trial Over announcement was made.
All in all a very friendly, relaxed day with the guns happy to watch the dogs work once they had finished shooting for the day. Special thanks to go to Rob Bethel for driving the guns bus.
For this trial to go ahead in such uncertain times, 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. Thanks also to Julie Reed for a much welcomed and lovely meal at the end of the day.
Thanks also go to Skinners for supporting and sponsoring the trial.
And, last but not least, special thanks go to Julie Taylor and her helpers for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes as well as on the day to putting one of these events on.
|1st Grayspeed Trophy||Annaloughan Scott of Wickmoor||Glenn Lambert|
|2nd||Golden Retriever Winbeck Loyal Kinsman of Tanderswell||Margaret Allen|
|3rd||Jocksburn Macey At Delfryd||Alan Rees|
|Guns Choice –Club Tankard||Golden Retriever Winbeck Loyal Kinsman of Tanderswell||Margaret Allen|
THE DAY IN PICTURES
STAKE 3 – OPEN AV SPANIEL (EXC. COCKER)
20th October 2021
Our Open AV Spaniel Stake was held at the Spreacombe Shoot, by kind invitation of Bryan Stevens. It was good to be back at Spreacombe when our host ensured an excellent supply of game and a team of stops that held birds in cover throughout the day.
The ground was not for the faint-hearted, it proved to be true Westcountry cover. All dogs had to face heavy bramble but game was there to be found. The guns, regular members of the shoot, shot well and every spaniel that flushed a pheasant had the opportunity of a retrieve.
|The stake was judged by Simon Jones and Terri Siwek who commented at the end of the day, that without doubt, the top dogs were worthy representatives of the breed.|
Congratulations go to Steve Bolton with his young bitch Dashbrook Midsummer who took first place and returned home with a big smile on his face together with the Club’s unique Trophy, the Bridacoombe Shield and the Jandavic Cup for Guns’ Choice.
STAKE 2 – NOVICE COCKER SPANIEL
4th October 2021
Our Novice Cocker stake was held on the Castle Hill Estate on Wednesday 4th October by kind permission of Headkeeper Brian Mitchell and the Castle Hill Shoot. A glorious day when it was a pleasure to be out in the countryside, especially with the prospect of seeing young Cocker Spaniels at work.
Judges for the day were Aled Jones and Russ Woodward, with the Castle Hill team of keepers shooting.The first runs were in a game crop, quite light cover, but it proved to be game holding and the young Cocker spaniels were soon finding pheasants to flush. Perhaps inexperience, or the fact that so few had done any work last season, the retrieves caused a problem for some. And with such light cover the spaniels had a clear view of the fall when a bird was shot. Marking wasn’t a problem but the excitement of the shot, followed by the pheasant hitting the ground proved too much for some.
We then moved to a completely different area of the shoot, still in game crop but a very different scenario. A mix of triticale and sorghum which was waist high obscuring the view and making marking much more difficult for the Cockers. This proved to be a test for their owners handling skills with mixed success. The final runs were in a mix of sunflowers and artichokes, another real challenge which was handled admirably by those still left in the mix.
Five competitors completed the day and all featured in the awards.
Full Results: –
Owner Richard Preest was unable to be with us and so the presentation was live streamed to him via a video link. The miracle of modern technology!
STAKE 1 – NOVICE AV SPANIEL (EXCEPT COCKER)
2nd October 2021
The club’s Novice AV Spaniel (except Cockers) stake was held on the Blannicombe Shoot, nr Honiton on 2nd October by kind permission of Gareth Stevens. The trial was run in a game crop which produced a very good supply of partridge and pheasant, giving every competitor an opportunity to show their young spaniel at its best.
The judges for the day were Nick Gregory and Neil Harris who complimented the handlers on the standard at the end of the day. There were a number of really good hunting spaniels competing, but a few let themselves down when they needed to be handled on to a retrieve. It was also great to see some young competitors doing very well.
The guns were Brian Mitchell, Bryan Stevens, Jeremy Davies and Maurice Stanbury who shot well and made sure that the hard hunting spaniels had the retrieves they deserved.
Many congratulations to Andrew Stevens, running his 3 year old ESS bitch, Stockingford Sputnik who won the stake, especially since it was her very first field trial. Ray Titchener, with Nimoway Jonti was the runner-up and Kevin John, with Langstroth Bergerac of Boggwater was Guns’ Choice.
Full Results: –