11th/12th October - Open retriever field trial

Results of Dove Valley Working Gundog Club’s 2 Day Open Retriever Stake held at Bagots Park by kind permission of David Dale and Family.

With Judges David Field and Mark Bettinson on the right and Keith Bellamy and Jamie Bettinson on the left, the Trial started with a woodland drive with birds falling in a crop of low Rape. We had 8 dogs in line to start and Keeper Sam Sayce had agreed to hold his beating team when we had about 8 birds down. Our team of Guns are all keen Gundog Men and, more importantly, very patient and happy to watch the dogs working. We were able to continually stop and start the drive until we had finished the first round but sadly, along the way, we did lose 15 dogs for various reasons and it has to be said that the standard of dog work was mediocre at best.

After a quick lunch break we walked a short distance to line out for a walk-up in woodland needing 7 birds for the remaining dogs to complete the second round. All the dogs were successful and were taken through to the second day.

Day 2 dawned and we continued with a little valley drive from maize, game cover and a wide hedge and ditch. Our guns shot well and we soon had birds down on both sides of a big hedge to get the third round underway. All the dogs were lined out on one side and picked marked birds from another low Rape crop then the Judges moved the dogs to the other side of the hedge for some blind, picking-up type retrieves from a grassy headland and old stubble. Sadly, we did lose two more dogs here but the remaining 5 all picked well until the Judges had seen enough and declared the Trial over.

Results as follows.

First winning The Klato Cup, presented by David Clayton and The Flaxfire Trophy presented by Colin Walker was Phil Highfield handling his Field Trial Champion, Mistigris Finn of Featherfly. Phil won a Gold Plated Acme Whistle, a Labrador size indestructible dog bed from Tuffies, a bag of Skinners and goodie bags from the Sponsors below.

Second winning The Derrity Trophy presented by Charlotte Jeffrey was Neil Appleton with Applebriar Storm. Neil also won The Delfleet Pepper Trophy presented by Jane Jacombs for the Best Yellow Labrador.

Third handling Tildaross Acer of Tattney was Paul Hasney.

Fourth was Peter Abbs with Howeparks Starstruck At Scarningvale. Peter was also awarded Gun’s Choice winning The Marshflight Trophy presented by the late Kerrie Morton.

A Certificate of Merit was awarded to Pat Dixon with Forever Storm King.

Our Winners were given goodie bags and prizes donated by our Sponsors listed below.

A BIG thankyou to our Sponsors, Skinners, Sporting Saint, Baileys Shooting and Country Wear, Tuffies Dog Beds, Bagshaws, Pernamax Canine, Acme Whistles, BASC and Twicwbrewed Twines.

Thanks to our very patient Guns over the 2 Days, Pete Bancroft, Steve “Merv” Mear, Chris Burrows, Paul Cull, Dave Cooke, Steve “Rosie” Baker and Brian Wilshaw.

Huge thanks to “The Dove Valley Team”, Rachael Pugh, Mikki Deville, Angie and Steve Lomas, Sean Farrell, John Mee , Henry Carney , Chrissie Thomas, Adella Jackson, Mike Thompstone , Ann and Brian Blake , John Mead , Kevin Marriott and Cherryl Jones.

Good luck to Phil at The Retriever Championship.