21st December - Open Cocker field trial

21st December – Open Cocker field trial


Open Cocker Stake, The Beeswax Estate, Stubton by kind permission of Sir James Dyson and Mr Malcolm Partridge.

Most Spaniel Field Trial Secretaries will tell you that, this season, keeping a full card for a Spaniel Trial has been a nightmare!

This one was not going to break that tradition unfortunately and although we did have a full card, achieving it was frustrating to say the least!

As we drove to Stubton this morning we had our fingers crossed that everyone would turn up and, I'm happy to report, they did!

Under the guidance of Steward of the Beat, Ron Wells, ably assisted by Ivan Bannister, we started our Trial a stone's throw from the car park in a thickish spinney with a small lake in the middle. As it was quite tricky to send dogs in, our Judges Eric Elwick on the right and Mark Clifford on the left took the first 6 dogs with them to make it easier if and when another dog was needed.

Sadly, and quite quickly, we lost one dog for missing Game and another for not re-calling before things settled down a little.

The gallery walked along a hard road to the right of the line but we were unable to see what was happening because there was a high bank between us and the line.

Our regular Team of Guns, Pete Bancroft, Steve Mear, Brian Wilshaw and Dave Cooke shot well in the thick undergrowth and put the birds on the ground.

When we reached the end of the Spinney, Ron Wells borrowed our Game Carriers, Steve Wilshaw and Paul Kempson to help blank-in a Maize Strip in to a narrow woodland strip and deep ditch before we lined out to work the strip through.

Game came to hand nicely as we worked our way through the first round and the little Dogs worked well with a keen gallery close behind who, for a change, kept up with Club Treasurer John Mead who was carrying the Red Flag!

We carried on to the end of the strip before tuning right in to similar woodland with birds still coming consistently from contact flushes and the odd loose bird.

You can't have a Trial without a "Judge's Huddle" or two and when the second round was finished, we waited for the outcome of our Third Huddle of the day! And it wasn't Trial over! A Run-Off was needed for 3 Dogs before we heard those words!

Back to the car park for a welcome coffee and the Raffle which raised £109 for MIND and then the results.

The Winner, making her Dog up to Field Trial Champion (subject to K.C. confirmation) was Alex Hayes with Popsheath Mandarin. Alex was awarded The Open Cocker Trophy donated by Tony Horobin and The Mossy Brooke Trophy for Gun's Choice donated by Pat and Richard Wild.

Second place was awarded to John Robertson handling Wolferton Ashton.

Third was Jaseon Atkinson with Centrewalk Speckled Wood of Surefly. Jaseon was also awarded The Tasco Trophy in memory of Mary Rountree for The Best Retrieve of The Day.

Fourth was awarded to Carl Colclough handling Yvonne Mackender's Jadenmoss Magnificent Opal at Skipmeg.

Certificates of Merit were awarded to John Sexton handling Cwmceiliog Skid of Monagea, Jaseon Atkinson with Diamondfinda Dive Right In and Paul Seaman with Heathcroft Charles at Pixifen.

We would like to thank our generous Sponsors, Skinners, Sporting Saint, Baileys Shooting and Country Wear, Tuffies Dog Beds, BASC, Twicebrewed Twines, Bagshaws Estate Agents, Peramax Canine and Acme Whistles for their support.

This was a good Trial run in a friendly atmosphere and I think I can safely say we all had a Great Day.

Thanks to all concerned for helping out - Judges, Eric and Mark, Picker-up Peter Bell, Guns, Pete, Steve, Brian and Dave. Game carriers Steve Wilshaw and Paul Kempson. In line Steward, Carl Humphries, Red Flag, John Mead and of course Ron Wells and Ivan Bannister.

Happy Christmas.